Navigating the TRT and Testosterone Debate in the Fitness Community

As a male member of the fitness community, you're likely bombarded with influencers and podcasts discussing TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy), diets, and supplements touted to boost testosterone. This has become a billion-dollar industry.

Declining Testosterone Levels

It's a fact that men's testosterone levels have been declining over the past few decades. While there's much debate about the reasons behind this decline, a notable resource on this topic is the YouTube channel Man Medicine with Dr. Andrew Winge, particularly the video titled "Testosterone Normal Ranges: Junk Science?"

Natural Hormonal Declines with Age

We must recognize that a natural decline in hormones occurs with age. For men, this phase is known as andropause, or the male menopause, which typically begins in the 40s and 50s. Andropause leads to various physical, psychological, and sexual health changes. Unlike the sudden changes women experience during menopause, andropause occurs gradually, but its effects can be significant.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Low Testosterone

Symptoms of low testosterone include low libido, brain fog, depression, decreasing muscle mass, and fat redistribution. However, these symptoms can also be related to other factors. Accurate diagnosis requires considering both symptoms and lab results. Testosterone levels vary globally, but 300-1000 ng/dl is a common range for healthy adults aged 20-39. A full hormone panel, including total and free testosterone, SHBG, LH, Estradiol, FSH, and Cortisol, provides a clearer picture, interpreted by an expert physician.

Impact of Lifestyle Factors

The onset and severity of andropause symptoms vary significantly. Some men experience mild changes, while others face more pronounced health challenges. Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, stress levels, and overall health also influence andropause's impact.

Managing Andropause Symptoms

Treatment often focuses on managing symptoms and improving quality of life. Lifestyle modifications, such as increased physical activity, a healthy diet, stress reduction techniques, and adequate sleep, are crucial. In some cases, TRT may be recommended, but it should not be the first line of defense.


Lifting weights and resistance training can boost testosterone levels. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can also be beneficial.


Adequate protein intake supports muscle repair and hormone production. Healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, and olive oil are essential, as cholesterol is a precursor for testosterone synthesis. Ensure sufficient carbohydrate intake, especially around workouts.


Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Poor sleep patterns can significantly reduce testosterone levels, common in those with irregular sleeping patterns or night shifts.


Reducing unwanted stress is crucial as it increases cortisol production, negatively affecting testosterone levels.


While supplements can be beneficial, there's a lot of pseudoscience. Ensure adequate levels of vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium. Ashwagandha may help by reducing cortisol. Other supplements like Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis need further investigation. Always consult a healthcare professional before making significant changes, especially if you're a competitive or drug-tested lifter.

Finding the Right Support at Desert Barbell Strength Gym

Desert Barbell Strength Gym in Dubai offers a community-focused environment with certified personal trainers to help you achieve your fitness goals, whether it's losing weight, building muscle, or improving overall fitness. With top-notch equipment, a variety of classes, and a holistic approach, Desert Barbell provides the support and motivation you need. They ensure you see results and enjoy the process. Don't let myths and misinformation hold you back; focus on healthy habits and get expert help at Desert Barbell to reach and maintain your health and fitness goals.

Meet the Author

Patrik Hedqvist, the head coach at Desert Barbell Strength Gym, has over 20 years of experience as a physiotherapist specializing in spinal and joint dysfunctions. Dedicated to helping individuals overcome physical limitations, he promotes optimal musculoskeletal health through resistance training. With a lifelong involvement in sports and a passion for powerlifting since 2001, Patrik is committed to advancing strength training at Desert Barbell Strength Gym in Dubai. In 2018, he co-founded the gym with Marco Cipolat to create a supportive environment for those looking to improve their strength and overall well-being.


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