TRT and HGH For This 62-Year-Old? Yes

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This post was published to the Free Newsletter yesterday, in its entirety. No pay wall. I made the offer in advance, via all social channels, to get on the list, to be sure to get all the details. Now it’s paywalled. Tsk tsk.

Tell you what. You can get on the Newsletter for future such releases and not miss out. That free subscription also comes with at least 1 free, actionable value-tip on a wide range of experiences each week. And because I’m crazy stupid, I’m going to do you a solid. You can download this entire post for free, and bypass the paywall entirely. This one time only.

I previously revealed that I began TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy). I’m not even two weeks in, 4th dose tomorrow. The recommended procedure is 2 jabs per week.

This is not really something I’ve dwelled on. And, in numerous posts going back to early 2021, I talked about having a clinical 40% increase in free testosterone. I even wrote a download about it, now free for a limited time.

Rather than rehash all that story, I thought I might better just start fresh. After talking to numerous people, I decided to also commence HGH (human growth hormone) injections (ordered from a pharmacy in Bangkok, will start next week). Far more touchy and complicated; so I thought, perhaps it’ll be interesting to not only start fresh, but to document that start and then in my own self-experimenting style that goes back years, provide the daily and weekly blow-by-blow, which is something I can really engage in doing if it interests me.

So I’m going to kick this off with the background of everything I know right now, overview how it’s going to go, reveal the cost and dosages, and whatever else hits me between now and the final words.

Background

Without going into all the science which you can get in a million places, it’s well established that testosterone in men (and even the teensy little bit women need, made by ovaries) decreases with age. It peaks at around 20 and decreases from there. That’s total testosterone. About 1% decrease per year, which means “interest” is tacked on (it compounds).

Here’s what’s less well-known. Total T is relatively meaningless. It’s not what’s “bioavailable” (the T your body actually uses). That’s a much smaller number, called Free Testosterone. And it decreases even more than total T, upwards of 3% per year.

So, old dudes might have their T tested, they get a Total T figure, and not only is it age adjusted (in other words, “normal” being with the physiological decrease built in), but it’s no real indication because even if it’s “normal,” Free T could be low and out of range, even in age-adjusted terms.

Cut through the noise, the bullshit, the hand waving.

There is nothing unhealthy about an old man having the testosterone levels of his 20-year-old self. Quite to the contrary. It’s doable, and not only is it doable, it’s easy and (for me, at least) dirt cheap.

Why not?

Give me one no-bullshit reason why a man who, through no particular fault of his own, has less enjoyment in life, and that enjoyment can be restored through a medical intervention that’s perfectly healthy when done correctly, with a long-term safety record?

What’s your argument? That he has some weird-ass, fucked-up “duty” to who-the-fuck-knows to stay in his lane and “act his age?”

Yea? Well that’s your fucked-up standard and it’s none of my business. My business is my standard.

… There’s some kinda deep-seated resentment going on, perhaps. Not just about T—and other steroids in general—but about physical culture, as such, and the phenomenon of building lean muscle mass beyond average natural physiology.

They protesteth too much?

I still remember the very first time I heard the term “muscle-bound.” I was somewhere between 6 and 8 years old, so latter 1960s. It was a pretty common term. You also heard the common fallacy that all those muscles will turn into fat.

I remember it like it was yesterday, upwards of 55 years ago, because it was the beginning of eventually coming to realize that most people are just blathering their lies all the time and are mostly full of shit.

You know what I think now? I think most people get up in the morning and they start their daily routine of lying to themselves, and it goes on all damn day long, and then when finally exhausted, they go to sleep.

And our damn dreams are lies, too!

At least we can’t do anything about that, which perhaps makes it all the more important that we stop or minimize the lying we can do something about.

… I don’t know why male humans (perhaps all mammals?) are evolutionarily selected for lower T levels as they age. If I was to speculate, it would be that perhaps lower T leads to focus elsewhere than you-know-what and the wisdom and experience gained is valuable to the social milieu, family, tribe, etc. Or, perhaps it’s what keeps an Alpha an Alpha longer, where politics is the dominating thing. In other words, as physical prowess wanes, the lowered-T in combination makes up the difference, somehow. There has to be some survival edge somewhere.

But this raises the obvious question: once you’ve gone through whatever advantages the lower and lower T is supposed to deliver to you in terms of social status, then what happens when you ratchet T back up to 20-yo levels, and you get to keep that wisdom, experience, and social status?

I know what I think about that. I’ll let Midjourney answer.

[I know far less about HGH usage. Just a little poking around and a lot of talking to folks actually using it very successfully. Apparently, to nutshell it, the T is for muscle building and the HGH is for fat blasting. I’ll add more in subsequent updates, when I know more. The other thing is that it seems to be a less-is-more thing. Google “HGH bubble gut” for some unsightly, trying-too-hard bodybuilder images.]

Where I Was Where I Am

I’m amazed that the boozing didn’t take a greater or an ultimate toll on me. I’ve told very few people the extent of it, but from roughly the age of 50, I’d migrated from my roughly pint of whiskey per day, every day, up to a 5th, and I did that for 11 years straight with only brief periods of abstention. Weirdly, I had little trouble knocking it off for a few days or even a couple of weeks. Cold turkey. Interestingly, the first time I did an extended abstention, I had the well-known night sweats, waking up soaked. Takes about 5 days to get through that.

But every time I took some days off, I’d have those damn sweats. Soggy sheets are miserable. Back in 2015 while doing that off-grid living in the east hills of San Jose that some may recall, I went 45 days. Had those sweats, got through them. Of course, I started back up same as before, if not more. But, weirdly, again, every time I’d take a few days off, I never had the sweats again. I’m mystified to this day about that. The last several years were at least a 5th per day, so you’d think whatever it is that’s established so that you go through that withdrawal phase would have been reestablished; but it wasn’t.

Long story short, I finally got bored with it about 14 months ago, set it aside for good.

Regrets?

I don’t really work that way. I’ve never gone through life leaving swaths of destruction in the lives of people who have a right to expect better from me. My ex-wife would probably tell you something like it was a pain in the ass sometimes, and I said some shitty things at times, but that’s about the extent of it.

(We had a long, enjoyable phonecon last week. She’s doing great. She works on her house, does online counseling of school kids when she misses it, and has a BF that seems to have worked out for a good while, now.)

… One of the reasons I stopped the boozing was because I noticed I was losing muscle, and that was obviously because I had lost apetite. It took three days to restore apetite, which had been a recent thing. I caught it in time started hitting both the gym and kitchen. Here’s a photo collage from September and October, a year ago, a month to two away from booze.

I also did a video about losing lean mass in the arms.

Lots of more long stories, including a left-shoulder injury that’s still a bit pesky but I said fuck it at the beginning of July and spent the month in the gym. I did a program by Alexander Cortes called SHRED30. It’s 15 specialized and unique workout routines you go through days 1-15, then repeat for days 16-30.

It was life changing.

I’ve done lean gains before, did the gym lots before, built my deadlift to 305# for reps at the age of 51 (later, to 325#), so on.

I never learned to love that it sucks so bad. That’s a special paradigm you can enter only by making it suck so fucking bad that your only rational response is to choose to love it. Otherwise, you’re quitting or you won’t be sane.

Love and embrace are your ticket to a down-to-earth paradise, and that changes you. Maybe making yourself do 30 straight days in the gym with hard-ass 5-6 routines, 4 sets for most of them, with reps in the 10-15 range, won’t get you where it got me, but I’d be surprised to hear that.

I’d wonder if you really put in the work. Show me your photos.

Well, that was July, and for the last two months I’ve done another AJAC program called Longevity, which has a whole bunch of alternatives. I chose the 4-day-per-week program, which itself has four sub-programs. I did the conventional, and just completed week 8, which is 32 routines of 4-5 exercises each time, 4 sets each, rep ranges generally in the 10-20. It’s a lot of volume. On leg day, my total volume is now about 50,000 total pounds lifted in the space of about an hour (49,724.4 pounds yesterday, to be exact).

Here are some photos, all in the last week.

Now scroll back up.

Keep in mind. That’s 62 years old, 63 in January, formerly drinking [way] too much [way] too often for decades.

I just did that doing 30 straight days in the gym, then 8 weeks of 4 days per week for another 32 sessions. I havn’t missed a single session. 62 for 62, reflecting my age.

Don’t tell my about your fucking “problems.”

Nitty Gritty Details

No, I have not “consulted with my medical professional.” That’s not hubris. I just don’t think I need to. I got T tested in 2021 and while I had increased 40% from pretty low FREE T, plenty of room for improvement, and that was a consultation with a knowledgeable specialist Thai doc.

Now, I talk to plenty of guys around my age who’ve been successfully using it for a good while, no problems, highly recommended.

So.

For T, the “Goldilocks” dose is 1mL per week, split into two jabs. In other terms, the intramuscular vial contains 300mg/mL of testosterone enanthate. My cost is 800 baht for a 10mL vial, 22 bucks. That’s technically a 10-week supply, not sure how I’ll syringe that last mL or two out, though, so let’s just call it 3 bucks per week (after all, there’s the needles and syringes to consider at a few bucks per 100 count).

The HGH is “expensive” by comparison.

GERIOSTIM AQUA PEN 45 IU is a product offered by Thaiger Pharma. It contains Recombinant Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and is available in a pen format with 45 IU dosage. HGH can promote increased bone density and may have other potential benefits. You can find this product on various online platforms and pharmaceutical websites.

It’s a multi-dose pen…basically the stuff, syringe, and needle all in one. You click it for dose level. Each click is 0.6iu, 75 clicks per pen, 3000 baht (82 bucks).

Dosage is the thing you have to figure out individually. Also, when to dose it. There’s a ton of different recommendations. But there are ranges most guys seem to be on. From just relax at 2iu per day, to bodybuilding at 4iu per day appears to be the standard. I’ll start at 3 clicks (1.8iu) daily.

The other thing is that most people dose 5 or 6 days per week. I’ll probably start with 5. So for me, that puts cost at about $16.50 per week.

All told, both the T and GH total 20 bucks per week, under $100 per month, and from the testimonials and the aesthetic results I see (not to mention the improved sleep, mental clarity, on and on) quite a bargain.

Will keep updating in the PC:GDF Series.

Workout Videos

I’ve graciously taken the time to video my 4-sessions-per-week and edited down to about 10 minutes each, trying to hit the essentials so it’s practical value for you.

These are in the order in which they’re done weekly. Curiously enough, I have spread them out in various ways and the method that suits me best? To do them 4 days straight (after all, I did SHRED30, which was 30 straight days), then take 3 days off, straight. For whatever reason, taking one of those 3 rest days and putting it between any of the 4 days leaves me less good at the end of the week. The 3 consecutive days rest is apparently big, and important. Sometimes, for fat blasting—which is still required around the middle, getting there—I’ll total-fast for 1, 2, or even 3 of those rest days. After eating as much protein as humanly possible for six hours after day 4, leg day, I did a 3-day (72-hour) fast two weekends in a row (Thursday 6pm to Sunday 6pm) and those were my hands-down 2 best weeks overall of the total 8 weeks.

Go. Fucking. Figure.

I’m taking a week off and then starting a new program or a variation of this program for another 8+ weeks. Going forward, I’ll be taking a week off after each 32 sessions (8 weeks).

One final thing is that while the program contains no cario or sprints, I finish each routine with a short Air Bike sprint interval gig that I do 10-seconds all out (arms and legs), 20-seconds rest, 10-seconds all out, 50-seconds rest, then a final 10-seconds all out. It’s butt kicking. A 30-seconds-all-in total ass whipping.

Routine: Incline Bench Press (4×5); Cable Rope Face Pull (4×15); Dumbbell Bench Press (4×12); Pushups (4 sets to failure); Cable Tricep Pushdown (4×12).

Last total volume: 7,667kg (16,867lbs) in 53 minutes total time, 15 minutes under load.

Routine: Wide Grip Seated Row (4×20); Machine Dips (4×12); Cable Lateral Raise (3×15); Dumbbell Bent-Over Raise (4×20).

Last total volume: 8,940kg (19,668lbs) in 38 minutes total time, 17 minutes under load.

Routine: Cable Seated Row (4×15); Chest Supported T-Bar Rows (4×8); Wide Grip Cable Lat Pulldown (4×12); Dumbbell Alternating Hammer Curls (4×15).

Last total volume: 8,770kg (19,294lbs) in 39 minutes total time, 15 minutes under load.

Routine: Barbell Rmanian Deadlift (4×12); Machine Seated Leg Curl (4×10); Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat (4×10); Incline Leg Press (4×20); Seated Calf Raise (4×20).

Last total volume: 22,5602kg (49,724lbs) in 1 hr, 16 min total time, 22 minutes under load.

Well, there you have it. My style.

No hubris. I take it all in, even when so many folks take the approach with me that sounds to me like “let me tell you about the one true God I follow.” But I can set that aside and respect the information for information. Rarely is it totally full of shit. If you try, there’s value. Kinda like a Christian going, y’know, I went to this Buddhist Temple and there are a few things I really liked, that touched my heart.

Like that. It’s way better than going to war over true Gods.

So, keep it coming. Over on my Discord server, I was just having an exchange with someone who thinks time under load is a better benchmark than total volume. It may be. I don’t know. I don’t do one true Gods. Rather, I have done time under load and I like it. I can do both, even in the same exercise. DB hammer curls are a good example. I’ll do the 1st 2 sets slow and perfect form, then the 3rd and 4th more rapidly and explosively, until toward the end of the 4th set it’s like I’m skiing a slalom course with tight and deliberate pole planting, rapidly.

So.

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Richard Nikoley

I started writing Free The Animal in late 2003 as just a little thing to try. 20 years later, turns out I've written over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from diet, health, lifestyle...to philosophy, politics, social antagonism, adventure travel, expat living, location and time independent—while you sleep— income by geoarbitrage, and food pics. I intended to travel the world "homeless," but the Covidiocy Panicdemic squashed that. I became an American expat living in Thailand. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. ... I leave the toilet seat up. Read More

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