In this episode, Dr. Jaquish talks about common myths and misconceptions regarding testosterone, its relationship to aging and muscle growth, and TRT. New Falsehoods of Fitness episodes air live on Facebook and we usually have a Q & A at that time, so feel free to tune in there and ask questions during future episodes
Full Transcript #
Okay we are live for the “Falsehoods of Fitness” episode “TRT is an Advantage”. TRT stands for testosterone replacement therapy.
So let’s get some people in here. All right Instagram is doing much better than Facebook is right now. Hey Andrew, how ya doing? Super, so even though I promised there was only one reference, I would get to per one of these shows.
Yeah I’m gonna already break that rule ‘cause there’s a couple of pretty good ones. Not all of ’em are clinical. One was done by CNBC, just pulling in some data for testosterone replacement which I thought was pretty interesting.
Apparently prescriptions are rapidly on the rise. And I’ll wait for a second to get to some of the hardcore information. And I will say, like, the reason. I’ll repeat this when we get a decent amount of people paying attention.
Who should get Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)? #
The reason I wanted to do this “Falsehoods of Fitness” was that a number of people wanted to know what really is TRT, and is it something I really want or need, or something like that.
Or sometimes I’m at a conference, health, fitness or even medical conference, and I get some young guy coming up to me and he says, “Hey, how do I get like a prescription for that?” And I’ll say, “How old are you?” The guy says, “I’m 25 years old.”
You wouldn’t want a prescription for that because you may end up with lower testosterone after you start taking testosterone. Maybe even your prescribed dosage won’t turn out as well as what you have naturally in your system, and then you don’t really wanna be on an injectable chemical for a long period of time.
So, you know, there’s obviously some people who don’t understand anything about it and think it’s somehow an advantage, and it’s just not. It’s really designed for people with deficiencies.
So okay, we’ve got a whole bunch of people. Should I answer a couple of questions first do you think? Just give it another couple of minutes. No, okay, I’ll go ahead and start.
So, I’ll repeat what I said. Many people, even in our Facebook comments, people will say, “Well, I wanted a prescription,” or, “this guy has testosterone replacement therapy,” ‘cause I mentioned that when I was on Dave Ashbridge’s show.
And what we saw with Dave Ashbridge’s show—what was on Dave As, you just turn that, there you go, thank you, thank you.
Testosterone deficiency #
So, the question was asked, “Do you take testosterone?” So I’ve had a deficiency since I was in my early 20s from just getting nailed hard on a rugby field. I just got hit, you know, I had some testicular damage, got a prescription for testosterone replacement. It’s right when I was graduating, and I played a little bit for a club team after that. Played some rugby sevens after that. And so I went to my physician and I was like–
So, I went to see my physician, and I was being short of breath on the field but I had been running. A rookie game is 80 minutes of running. So I was very strong and I was running all the time. I played one of the faster positions. I played outside center which is kind of like a wide receiver.
And so I’d be running all the time and now I’m having like a shortness of breath and so what the physician said is, “You have some serious weak cardiac muscle.”
And I said, “What they hell are you talking about? I’m an athlete—my heart’s weak?”
And he said, “Well I’m sending you to the endocrinologist.”
So, went to the endocrinologist and he says, “You have 100 CC3 nanograms per deciliter of testosterone. Normal is between 350 and 1,000.”
Now, certain genetic groups of people have higher or lower, it’s the main system by the way not the one in here. So, certain groups have higher, like African-Americans have higher levels of testosterone than Caucasians, Europeans, and then the Hispanics are a little bit lower than that, and typically Asian people are a little bit lower than that.
But everybody lands within that 350 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter. And there’s other normal levels based on different studies, but most physicians stay right in there. But I had 100 CC3 and so I said, “Well, you know I had an injury,” and so I was prescribed testosterone because he told me, “If you don’t strengthen your cardiac muscle, which probably can’t function very well without this prescription, then you may have a heart attack in your 30s.” And so I was like, well that made that pretty easy.
Triggering anabolic hormones #
So, part of my interest in physical medicine was driven by this experience. And so then getting these questions and also having my research a few years ago branch out into anabolic hormones, getting the body to trigger anabolic hormones. So that’s one thing that’s with the programming of X3 and with all the other things that I recommend.
A lot of trainers, a lot of sports physiologists look towards activating a muscle to the highest degree not towards any endocrine change. Whereas I’m trying to look only in endocrine changes.
If your body triggers an anabolic hormone to go up after you do an activity, that’s a much greater indicator that your body wants to grow something than just torturing the muscle. Because obviously if a growth factor increases, chances are that muscle’s gonna change and we have the research that shows that too.
So everything that I’m encouraging people to do is focused on those strong hormonal changes. Now, when you look at normal levels of testosterone—so there’s a 1996 study “Declining androgens with age: An overview.” So, this was pulling in a bunch of different research so it’s metadata. I just wanna show everybody this.
So you can see the highest levels of testosterone are actually for people that are in their late 30s and early 40s. Right, so somebody like me, if I didn’t have any challenge or an issue or damage, I would not want a prescription for testosterone ‘cause right now I’m at the peak for my age.
So when somebody says, “Oh there’s a guy in his 40s and he’s in great shape, it must be TRT.” That person is just a stupid person. They don’t know what they’re talking about. So, and it’s amazing how many of those there are on the internet.
R means Replacement #
So what we see here is when everything’s fine, that’s when you get your peak levels, and when you get the prescription it brings you right to your peak levels.
In testosterone replacement, TRT, the R means replacement. It doesn’t mean you get more. It’s just replacement. So there’s patients that get testosterone replacement and they don’t see anything happen.
And in fact, probably one of the larger labs, I’m friends with the owner, I was a patient of that lab for many, many years—and so what he says to me is he loves X3 because he gets everybody to take testosterone and then he gets them into X3.
So obviously they’re gonna put heavier loads based on the way X3 works. You’re kinda tricking your body into heavier loads, and then with more repetitions. And then that up-regulates something else.
Muscle androgen receptors, not hormones, induce skeletal muscle hypertrophy #
Now what’s the something else? This is the really important part of the conversation, and in fact, I was waiting to find like the exact right reference that explained this, because I knew it to be true. But it just so happens that a couple of days ago, a new study published.
This is Morton and the researchers, there’s a whole list of ’em, Morton and researches, and it’s called “Muscle androgen receptors not hormones induce skeletal muscle hypertrophy”.
So what does that mean? That means that it’s the amount of receptors that you have active, not the amount of testosterone in your system. Which also goes to the amount of free testosterone that you hear about. Well, the amount of free testosterone is testosterone that can be appropriated to an androgen receptor.
Well that calling it free testosterone is like a mysterious function of the body that has to do with age. Is that getting cause and effect backwards? I would say it’s getting cause and effect backwards, based on this study, because the amount of potential receptors you have is how much of that chemical is gonna find its way into the muscle and then cause growth.
So, now that we know this somebody who, and this is why somebody can take an anabolic chemical and then, if they don’t workout or they workout with really light weight, nothing happens—they don’t change at all.
And hence like what has been seen with that TRT lab that I know the owner of, there’s just so many of these guys. They get the hormone in their system and then they just don’t find time to exercise, or they exercise really light because they’re afraid of getting hurt and absolutely nothing happens. They don’t build muscle because you gotta put heavy load through the muscle to up-regulate the amount of receptors that are looking for it.
So that’s really the summation on testosterone replacement therapy. It’s not really anything you want unless you really have a deficiency. And then as long this deficiency is addressed, it’s not gonna get you really beyond anywhere normal unless you’re putting tremendous loads through the body. I had a strategy of doing that, but that’s true in general as well.
So, that kind of concludes this. I’m sure there’s a ton of questions.
Optimize your health through science
Sign up for our newsletter to get a regular dose of science-backed tips, tricks, biohacks, and more.