What Is TRT in Bodybuilding?

Published 11/15/2023, 5:15 AM EST

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Testosterone replacement therapy simply known as TRT, has always been a part of the fitness world, especially when it comes to bodybuilding. It is a perfectly legal therapy that is prescribed by medical practitioners to bodybuilding athletes. Some people think this to be a performance-enhancing drug however, this is not the whole truth. There have been a lot of different narratives around TRT and different bodybuilders have different opinions about it.

What is TRT, and why is it used and if it’s harmful, these are some of the main questions that fitness enthusiasts always have. Let’s go deeper into the context and see what testosterone replacement therapy is all about.

What is TRT?


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First and foremost it is a particular form of testosterone enhancement. This is an injectable therapy that is provided by a medical practitioner to increase testosterone levels in the body. However, this is also a medical process that is used for someone who has low levels of testosterone in the body. It can only be used to bring the normal levels of testosterone inside the body and therefore you cannot enhance anything extra.

Seems there is a lot of exposure to this treatment, and there are a lot of misconceptions about testosterone replacement therapy. Bodybuilders like Victor Martinez have a lot of information about this process since they have been a bodybuilder for more than a decade and have used TRT.

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According to a medical study by E. Charles Osterberg, Aaron M. Bernie, and Ranjith Ramasamy, TRT have a lot of benefits that can enhance a patient’s life and if they are giving in a controlled manner, then you can enhance quality-of-life, energy level, libido, muscle mass, cognition, and bone density.

How to know if someone needs TRT?

The human body is ever-changing, and as we age, the hormone levels inside the body also start changing. It is common for a person in the middle ages to have a decreased production of testosterone. This is partly because of aging, and it can also be caused by the lifestyle that a person chooses.

If an individual decides to have lifestyle choices, such as not having nutritious food, not exercising regularly, or consuming alcohol then the levels of testosterone in the body can be lowered. In the area of bodybuilding, low levels of testosterone can be caused by excessive use of PEDs.

If an individual takes large amounts of steroids for a long time the human body loses the ability to naturally produce testosterone. Bodybuilders such as Larry Wheels, Dorian Yates, and Jay Cutler have always been candid about their use of testosterone.

The Positive and Negative effects

If a bodybuilding athlete is given the signal that they are good to go for the TRT treatment, then it can begin as fast as possible. However, it is good to remember that this treatment is consistent and goes on for a long process. This also should be only used with a description of medical practitioners and is not for the general public.

This treatment, if used properly can make your health better and enhance your physicality. That being said, there are still some pros and cons that you need to keep in mind before starting the treatment.

Pros of TRT

The positive effects of this treatment can lead to a lot of benefits for ailments that you might have been facing for a long time. The pros are:

  • Increased sense of well-being.
  • Higher levels of energy
  • increased libido.
  • Leaner muscular body
  • Increased bone density
  • Good for cardiovascular risk factors

Cons of TRT

Negative effects of this therapy and a little bit similar to the side effects of using steroids. Since it is a synthetic form of taking testosterone, which is not produced naturally by the body, this will have some side effects. The side effects of using TRT :

  • Acne on skin.
  • Hair loss.
  • Swelling of the ankles due to fluid retention
  • Sleep apnea or problem with breathing during sleep

Bodybuilding veterans on using TRT


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In the Muscle Maturity Podcast, Samir Bannout, Nick Trigili, and John Hansen give their viewpoint on using TRT. Bannout said, “We’re not doing it to become Arnold or Sergio Oliva or winning. If you do it, it will improve your health. You will be healthier when your testosterone is in the middle range or slightly above the middle.”

Mount Sinai, a healthcare system in New York, researched that a healthy testosterone level in males is around 300 to 1000 nanograms per deciliter, however, these vary according to age and other factors.

He said, “But if your range is way too low you’re stupid if you don’t. You’re stupid. You’re dumb if you don’t. So, you do that accordingly. You go get tested. If you weigh below on the scales, you need to do TRT whether you like it or not.”


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Ultimately, the conclusion is that this therapy should be used as a medical process with proper supervision. If it is not taken with proper medical control, then it can turn into an adversity. The positive or negative use of TRT depends on how it is being used. Even though the signs as well as bodybuilding veterans have debunked the negative myths surrounding TRT, the bodybuilding world is here to warm up to the practice of this therapy.

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Written by:

Tanushree Bhowmick


One take at a time

Tanushree Bhowmick is a Bodybuilding writer at EssentiallySports. She holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature from an eminent university. Gymnastics, Football, and Fitness have always intrigued Tanushree and inspired her in her professional writing career and lifestyle.
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Edited by:

Brandon Gabriel