Category Archives for "Testosterone"

Testosterone before and after

Dead or Alive: Rodger’s Incredible Story

In this article I interviewed Rodger Padgett. Rodger’s is a story of a man who wrestled with addiction and battled significant health problems. These things alone would have defeated lesser men. 

Rodger beat them all and completely turned life around – thanks in no small part to optimal testosterone levels and a great lifestyle to go with it! What’s more, he’s in his mid-60s and has the kind of physique men half his age would kill for it.

Rodger, please tell us a little bit about you and your background?

I was born on December 7th, 1951 in Eugene, Oregon. I was the youngest of twins and one of six boys in my family!  Growing up, I wasn’t athletic. I also wasn’t an athlete in school. And in the last year of high school I developed a drug dependency.

This continued for some years after, and I became dependent on methamphetamines and hallucinogens. Most of that stopped when I joined the U.S. Army in 1972 – except for the meth.  

Solider military

After getting assigned to my first duty station in Fort Hood, Texas, my meth habit came to an abrupt end. But not in the way I intended – I came down with hepatitis B and spent 30 days in ward “W” (a drug and alcohol recovery ward.) 

While I was there, one of my roommates was visited by a friend. It later turned out that this was actually a drug delivery. After his friend left, my roommate went into the toilet and was later found dead.

He had overdosed on heroin.

The visit was unlucky for him, but a major wake up call for me. I was 23 and decided I wanted to live to be 60. If I kept going like that I knew I wouldn’t make it to 24.

I spent the next year in drug and alcohol rehabilitation counseling. During my time in rehab, I learned to substitute healthy habits (running) for bad habits that had been plaguing me (drugs). 

I developed a newfound love for running and tackled it with the same enthusiasm I have with other things in my life. I trained for and ran 5, 10 and 15 km road races. I’ve also run 15 marathons, and clocked 14 of them in under three hours! 

I applied myself with renewed enthusiasm to the physical life in the army. Most soldiers would usually look to get by and meet the minimum physical standards – not me! I could do 100 push ups in 2 minutes, 100 sit-ups in 2 minutes and 1-mile run in less than 7 minutes. In July 2004 I retired after 32 years in the Army and stayed active until 2008. That’s when I began to have health issues.

You are in exceptional shape for your age. What drives you to maintain this level of health & fitness, at an age when most men have given up?

In October 2008 I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I had been suffering from frequent migraines and developed several autoimmune conditions. The worst of which was psoriasis ( a skin condition) over a significant portion of my body.  

The neurologist I was seeing sent me for a CAT scan of my neck to investigate. This resulted in a diagnosis of arthritis in my cervical spine, which explained the migraines. 

They also discovered lumps in my thyroid believed to be cancerous. The doctors moved quickly and I had my thyroid removed on December 23rd, 2008. 

That December marked my slow descent into the physical condition I had ever been in. After surgery energy levels were at an all-time low. I was overeating carbohydrates and quickly became overweight. Over the next four years I put on a whopping of 75 lbs (34 kg).

In October 2011 I was notified that my two oldest brothers went into the same hospital for the same thing, i.e. congestive heart failure, on the same day. A family affair you could say. One of them was overweight and sedentary, the other still had a drug problem. 

At the time I was a sloopy 245 lbs (111 kg) and on a similar path to my brothers. And I knew that if I didn’t do something about it I would share the same fate as them.

Nowadays people try to make health more complicated than it is. They obsess over complex macronutrient calculations and read countless books. At some point though you simply have to take action!

Sometimes, all it takes is a resolve to change and determination to do whatever it takes to see it through. 

Testosterone before and after

Before and after: How Rodger looks today

I began by totally revamping my nutrition and following a low-carb diet. I knew enough to appreciate that insulin resistance is associated with virtually every chronic disease. The idea of the new diet was to address my insulin resistance, balance my blood sugar, and above all lose weight! 

I also started taking metformin, which helps increase insulin sensitivity. Studies also demonstrate that testosterone increases your insulin sensitivity. If there’s one thing you can do for a longer, healthier life, it’s increase your insulin sensitivity!

In other words, the less circulating insulin you have in your bloodstream, the less toxicity you have in your body. 

In addition, I underwent a regular exercise program at the gym that was mostly functional and movement based. I did get to do multiple, multi-hour cardio sessions that year. 

 Over the next seven months I continued to drop body fat and gain lean muscle mass! The more muscle I gained, the better I felt. 

I hired a fitness coach to help me with my goals and it was the best decision I ever made! I would probably be six feet under by the time I figured it out myself. 

Working with a coach eliminated the confusion about what, when and why of nutrition and exercise to achieve the kind of health and body I always desired. 

I learned a lot more than “bro” science. I learned to challenge my muscles rather than lift weights. I also learned more can be accomplished with less damage to tendons and connective tissue. Whereas many people assume you have to beat your body into submission to get results!

What drives me to maintain my fitness now? A few things. First, it would have been a terrible waste of effort to fall back on bad habits. Second, I feel so much better mentally and physically with this lifestyle. Finally, I want to live my best life in the best body I ever had!

Why do you think that most men your age let their health deteriorate?

I think it’s a combination of factors. They’ve accepted they’re getting older and their physical condition has changed. Their responsibilities pile up; family, kids, work, etc, and they become ‘too busy’ to workout. Although in truth, being busy is usually a code word for ‘it’s not a priority.’

Many simply become complacent. They don’t realize they have hormonal issues and it’s wreaking havoc with their health. Instead, put it down to ‘age.’ Why does this happen? Because the never have their hormones checked!

Apart from this, some men are just plain lazy! Workout? That’s too hard! But I get it – the gym is not for everyone. You can achieve a lot simply by changing your diet and walking at a good pace for 30-45 minutes a day!

Can you tell us a little bit about your current lifestyle, training, nutrition and supplementation?

 In August 2018 my total (serum) testosterone plummeted to 45 ng/dL (1.6 nmol/L) – basically non-existent. My estrogen (E2) was even higher at 65 pg/mL. In October of the same year, after wrestling with depression and the myriad symptoms related to low T, I found a local doctor who prescribed me testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). 

It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I haven’t looked back since! My health transformation didn’t stop there. I also cleaned up my diet. Big time. 

I want to stress that if you do take testosterone, it’s no magic bullet. You still need a solid nutrition plan and lifestyle if you want to live a Fully Optimized Life

Over the past 12 months I’ve experimented with a few different dietary approaches. This included the keto diet and I even went full carnivore for 12 weeks. 

I feel many men over 50. They don’t take up new hobbies or try new things and they lose their zest for life. One day morphs into the next and everything becomes a blur.

Henry David Thoreau summed up best this condition with his famous quote:

"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and die with their song still inside them."

I think a lot of this malaise and indifference in older age stems from low testosterone.

It’s no secret that men’s testosterone levels drop as they age. After the age of 30, testosterone levels decline by as much as 1% per year!

At 67 I’m as energetic and as driven as I’ve ever been! 

And I know that much of it has to do with hormonal balance and the lifestyle I lead.

I’ve learned over the past few years that like everything else in life, change is what I respond to best. My training routine changes every six to eight weeks based on what my stimulus was the last period and what I think I need next.

What would you say to men in their 50s and 60s who look at you now and want to achieve something similar?

 Most older men are defeated before they start. They have limiting beliefs and think their age means they can’t have great health and a top-notch physique. Nonsense! I am proof positive of this. 

As I said, most people use ‘age’ as an excuse. In truth, they’re scared of the work it takes to get results! 

Getting into great shape, at any age, requires discipline, hard work and sacrifice – it’s nowhere near as much as people are led to believe. 

There seems to be this notion today that success in both health and life are mutually exclusive. That is, if you are going to have great health then you must give up everything else to focus on it. 

I’m here to tell you: 

You can have it all – a successful great, wonderful relationship AND incredible health. 

It simply requires an intelligent approach, much like my own story. 

If you put in the effort into your health – regardless of your age – you will be rewarded with a stronger body (invaluable to me while in recovery) and a longer life!

Final Thoughts

Rodger’s story is incredibly inspiring – not only to his peers but men of any age. It just goes to show, if you want the health and body of your dreams bad enough, then you’ll put in the work to make it happen. 

Now, if you’re an older man and you’re looking to get an edge in life do you need to take testosterone replacement therapy? Not necessarily, most men would do well to fix their poor nutrition and lifestyle habits first. Rather than expect testosterone to fix everything for them.

But if you’re a man over 50 who’s got his health and lifestyle otherwise dialed in? Then it can be a very positive adjunct to your life. However, in my experience these types of men are few and far between. 

The best testosterone booster is a great diet. I hope Rodger’s story inspired you to take action in your life. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

My Shocking Discovery About My Body

You can often look back on your life and trace dramatic changes to a pivotal moment that shook you out of your stupor.

Maybe it was the day your child was born, and you realized you had work to do if you want to become the kind of role model you aspire to be. 

Maybe it was when your girlfriend broke up with you out of the blue. Eventually, you realized that the signs were three for a long time and you simply ignored them.

We all have these lightbulb moments. Mine happened over seven years ago when I asked a friend to take a shirtless progress photo for me. And I got the shock of my life...

At the time I felt like I was in a place. I had a flourishing career in finance in London. I wasn’t exactly the Wolf of Fleet Street, but things were going well.

I was in a loving relationship with the woman of my dreams. She was drop dead gorgeous and I was very happy. So far, so good...

My progress in the gym was modest, but I was content with it. I could deadlift 450 lbs for multiple reps and my squat and bench were decent. 

I trained balls to the wall for years. I didn’t consider it a “workout” unless I was completely wiped, drenched in sweat,  sucking in oxygen through my tired lungs, and close to puking.

(Some bodybuilders would consider that a light workout.)

in hindsight it was perhaps not the most sustainable way to train. Alas, in my mind, the stronger I became, the better I would look. 

And the better I looked, the more confident and attractive I’d feel.

Then, I reasoned, all my problems like anxiety, lack of focus and motivation would disappear. 

At least that’s what I reasoned...

The Bombshell

I had seen my physique in the mirror every day and thought I looked pretty good.

Nevertheless, I hadn’t seen a picture of myself shirtless a while, so I was keen to see how I looked objectively, because as they say – the camera never lies.

On the day of the picture I was buoyant. I’d been training my ass off for months and was excited to see how I looked.

But I wasn’t prepared for this level of honesty...

I had big shoulders and a broad chest, but they were covered by body fat. It’s like big boobs on a fat chick or abs on a skinny kid: They don’t count for much.

Needless to say, my abs were non-existent. I was going for the lean and built look –

The kind of physique that makes it apparent that you lift weights whether you wear a slim fit tee or New York Giants jersey, but, isn’t so much that you look like a caricature of a Marvel character. 

Instead, I had a kind of “Ugg the Caveman” look going on. Years of bench pressing and poor training practices left me with rounded shoulders any self-respecting caveman would be proud of. 

It kinda looked like I lifted. When in reality, I spent four to five days a week pounding the weights. It was a little disheartening to say the least.  They say the camera never lies

So how about the look on my face? That told more than any other part of my anatomy:

I looked unconfident, anxious and almost embarrassed. Although it didn’t dawn on me that I felt that way until I saw the picture. 

In short, I was nowhere near the athletic, confident, go-getter I had imagined myself to be. This photo, which was meant to measure my progress, turned out to be a watershed moment in my life.

Not only did I see I was not in the kind of shape I aspired to. But I also realized but there were other areas of my life that I was glossing over

Once the initial shock wore off, I reflected on my life. I was actually anxious A LOT – almost every day in fact – but I had ignored it because it was so frequent. 

Anxiety had become my new normal. And if I'm totally honest, I felt insecure about myself and the way I looked.

Yet I had stuffed it down and chose to ignore it. Looking back, I realize this had dramatically impacted my personal life. 

I was anxious and reclusive in social gatherings, especially in situations where I didn’t know people.  I was in a stable relationship at the time, but due to my rockbottom confidence, I secretly worried if my girlfriend was looking at other men. 

When I first began lifting in my teens, I assumed that hitting big numbers in the gym would increase my confidence. 

I was reasonably strong, yet I still didn’t feel confident about taking my shirt off while on vacation.

And my libido? I couldn’t remember the last time I had a morning wood. Sex felt more like a chore than the intimate, enjoyable experience it’s supposed to be.

While it depressed me to see how mediocre I looked and felt, it was also a blessing in disguise. It was a wake up call that made me rethink my entire life. 

 A verdict of low testosterone…

The following day I performed a life audit. It was clear that several things needed to change. I completely overhauled my nutrition, training and cut back drastically on drinking. 

So much so, that I gave up drinking for two years altogether (but that’s another story).

I added more vegetables, protein and good fats to my diet – such as olive oil and avocado – and tracked everything that went into my mouth.

And instead of training like a powerlifter, only concerned with how much weight I could lift, I focused on hypertrophy (i.e. building muscle) with higher reps and more volume.

I did a lot of research and it appeared that my anxiety, low confidence and excess body fat all had one thing in common – 

Imbalanced biochemistry.

In other words, my hormones (and probably a host of other biomarkers) were out of whack. I took a blood test and found out it was true...

It revealed I had the testosterone level of an 80 year old man!  I was basically running on empty.

It took more than a year of trial and error to figure out what worked in terms of diet and training, not only to support my fitness goals, but to get my hormones balanced again!

Low carb, no carb, high fat, low fat, booze, no booze, working out two days a week or five…

Trust me, I’ve done it all. 

I felt like a new man

The biggest challenge was figuring out how to balance it all with a demanding and stressful job that required me to work long hours.

While it was difficult figuring out what nutrition, training and lifestyle hacks worked, I’m glad I went through it. 

I battle tested pretty much every diet and training program out there. 

I worked relentlessly to improve my sleep, lower my stress, and essentially, declutter almost every aspect of my life.

Within a few months, I began to feel much more mental clarity. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had quite a bit of brain fog that meant I couldn’t focus. Which meant that my performance at work was mediocre at best.

I had been seeing a therapist for my anxiety. This did help to some extent, but I felt like it was always there in the background, like an elephant in the room. 

But once my body started to feel more balanced, the anxiety began to subside.

For months, my progress in the gym had trickled along at a snail’s pace and I had almost given up hope. Now, my strength went through the roof and I was gaining muscle once more.

The changes in my body composition made me feel much more confident about taking my shirt off. In fact, I even looked for situations where I could do it! 

My sex life, which had virtually dried up, now came roaring back into life and I enjoyed physical intimacy with my girlfriend again – something that was sorely lacking in my life. 

Today, over seven years later, I can say with hand on heart that I feel happy with my health, the way I look, and in particular, how I feel about myself. 

Below is a picture of how I look now most of the year: 

Now, I don’t show this picture to boast or to make you feel bad. It’s simply to show you what’s possible for you, too.

Final Thoughts

I didn't get this way due to good genetics (definitely don’t have those), drugs or anything else – it’s down to that foundational work I did all those years ago.  

So how did I get there?

Truth be told, it's a combination of multiple things:

  • Consistent training – I've not taken time off from the gym EVER
  • Prioritizing sleep – if you don't recover you don't grow, simples!
  • I took my diet seriously – before I used to half-ass my diet and it showed

However, if I could boil it down to one thing I’d say it was down to hormone optimization. 

You see, if you have no testosterone in your tank, you’re not going to get very far. And despite my best efforts, I was going nowhere, all because I had low testosterone.

My progress in the gym had ground to a halt – not because I had maxed out my genetic potential, but because I had zero testosterone to build muscle. 

The anxiety, low libido, and depression weren't personal issues, but were more a consequence of low testosterone. 

Ultimately, this led to me undergoing testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), which helped in many ways. But in hindsight, I realized it was a big, fat mistake.

The exuberance of youth perhaps?

I became a health optimization coach because I realize there's a TON you can do to raise your T levels naturally. Without ever resorting to testosterone. 

That's exactly what I teach my clients to do – through simple lifestyle changes. Click here if to find out more about my coaching and how I help men like you 10X their energy, get deep, restorative sleep and rekindle their love life!

Daniel Kelly bench press

120 Days to Fully Optimized? Yes Please

Over the past few years I’ve coached dozens of men through fatigue, low testosterone, broken sleep, brain fog, weight loss, muscle gain, and even helped one guy discover he had cancer before it could become life-threatening. 

So when it comes to optimizing men’s health, there aren’t many things I haven’t come across. Which is great news for you!

Recently, several guys have asked me what actually happens behind the scenes with my coaching.  

So I decided to share he process I use to take men who struggle to get out of bed in the morning, can’t think straight because of crippling brain fog, and can’t remember the last time they had morning wood to jumping of bed every day, razor sharp mental clarity and tearing their wife’s clothes off.

In the article I'm going to show you exactly how my 120 day Fully Optimized coaching system works. So are you ready to find out what it takes to get Fully Optimized?

“Why 120 days? Doesn’t it take YEARS to get results?”

When I say that I need 120 days to teach you everything you need to know, it often elicits skepticism. And I get it; in fact, that’s what many of my clients used to think.

Yet, they’re shocked to see how quickly they can lose weight (on average 5-7 lbs a month), while destroying limiting beliefs and crushing their workouts.

I help clients achieve mental and physical transformation in two key ways:

- The first is through constant feedback coaching that helps clients rapidly see results in all areas including nutrition, training and their lifestyle. 

- The second is through a comprehensive blood panel that tests over 80 different markers. This allows us to be surgically precise with any nutrition or lifestyle recommendations I make.

Here’s what happens the moment you become a client:

Day 1-14 Immediate results

First off, we’ll perform what I call an “optimization audit.” I’ll ask you to fill out a detailed lifestyle questionnaire so I have a good understanding of your medical history, supplementation and sleep patterns.

I’ll also ask you to keep a food log prior to our on-boarding call, which means I can identify the holes in your diet. This gives me a good idea of your current relationship with food, as well as what habits and behaviors we need to work on. From there, we can formulate a strategy to plug the gaps. 

For most people, diet is the biggest confusion. And at the same time, it’s the most important area of fitness and nutrition – accounting for up to 90% of the results.

Results vs excuses

If you only come away with one thing from my program, it should be a solid grasp of nutrition, and above all, how it relates to you. 

And here's where my approach differs from other coaches. You see, most trainers out there are focused on calorie-counting and workouts. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, these things can work. But in my experience, they still leave money on the table; because they don’t actually know what’s going on inside your body.

For example, doing blood work may help us identify you have an autoimmune thyroid condition (where the body attacks the thyroid gland), meaning we have to make very specific changes to your diet to minimize the condition. 

What’s more, I don’t want you to rely on me forever – I aim to teach my clients. That means instead of ordering you around like a drill sergeant, leaving you confused about what works, you’ll learn how to do it yourself.

Because let’s face it, the internet is a mind fuck when it comes to diet. Carbs or no carbs, broccoli or not, eggs or not, red meat or not, alcohol or no alcohol. The list goes on…

As a busy guy who’s already stressed from work and family matters, you have little time to figure this stuff out, let alone put it into practice! So how do I teach this to clients you ask?

Metabolic Flexibility

I teach nutrition to my clients using a concept known as ‘metabolic flexibility.’ 

Metabolic flexibility can be defined as allowing your body to utilize the best fuel source available (preferably from solid, whole foods) to fuel its energy demand. This is a concept Jay Campbell and I discuss in depth in our book, Living a Fully Optimized Life.

Understand, there is no such thing as the “best diet”, there are only foods that work for you. Period.  Blanket statements about paleo, keto, intermittent fasting or other such nonsense being the best diet don’t take into account your unique biochemistry.

For example, if you’re a busy entrepreneur who works until 10PM every night and you’re stressed out most of the time, then intermittent fasting is probably not the right choice for you. 

Fasting stresses the body (due to calorie restriction), therefore, adding more to someone who is already stressed will be detrimental to their health and performance. 

Metabolic flexibility means I provide clients with a framework within which they can eat, e.g. a specific macro target or certain types of foods based on their requirements, allergies, etc. 

That means if they can only eat two meals a day, we’ll make it work. Or let’s say they’ve had a stressful day at work and have no meals prepared (life happens), I teach them how to make good food choices even when options are limited. 

Essentially, I help them cut through all the confusion and bullshit out there. A good understanding of nutrition, and specifically how it relates to you, is the primary factor behind our success. Subsequently, clients tend to see results within the first few weeks of working together.

Day 14-30: Tweak and optimize

As part of our “optimization audit”, all Fully Optimized clients take a comprehensive blood panel that tests over 80 different health markers.

The main difference between the test I do and a normal lab test is that it has five “functional” ranges that distinguish between optimal and suboptimal. 

Functional blood test overview

This is the kind of detailed information you won’t get from your doctor.

A normal testosterone test

A typical lab report that gives you a reference range of 264-916 ng/dl, but doesn’t tell you anymore than that.

Functional testosterone range

The functional test that my clients take gives you a lot more clarity on your health.

A normal lab test lumps you into one reference range and tells you you’re “normal” – even when you feel anything but.  Testing your blood using a functional lab test is an amazing tool to know exactly what is going on at a cellular level. 

If we have that information, we can be much more specific when designing our nutrition plan. Now, we can still produce top notch bespoke plans without the panel, but it takes some trial and error to get things right.

Whereas testing cuts straight to the chase and shows us any particular health issues that may need support from the nutrition side of things, which we may not see without it.

Blood testing also means we can get people results much quicker because we know exactly what you need from day one.  We’ll continue to tune your nutrition as we go, so you’re able to do all the things you shouldn't’ and still progress…

A glass of wine after a hard day’s work? → Check

Pizza with the family? → Check

Isn’t this bad you ask? Not when you understand the power of Metabolic Flexibility and how to use it.

Day 30-60: Optimized Mindset

We’ll spend an entire month developing your mindset. Your mindset can be defined as your current set of assumptions, thought patterns and beliefs.

Your current thoughts and beliefs are what got you to where you are now. So, it stands to reason that if you want a better outcome, i.e. improved energy and vitality, increased libido, weight loss, etc, then you’ll need to modify many of your existing beliefs.

Staying in top notch shape year round has as much to do with your mindset as it does with how many calories you eat. I’ll show you how to make sure that you stick with your training and diet even when the bullets start flying. 

That means if you have to pull an all nighter at work, spend the weekend with your kids, or it’s your aunt's birthday, you can still have a piece of cake, drink a beer and enjoy yourself WITHOUT sabotaging your results.

And the way you achieve this is through an Optimized Mindset. This will give you an unprecedented level of freedom that will not only help you to make better food choices, but means you’ll always feel confident taking your shirt off, in bed, at the beach, at your-in-laws (OK maybe not..) or whatever.

Day 60-90: Optimized Evening Slumber

You know the feeling you get when you’re well rested and you wake up the next day feeling like a king? That’s what I aim to help my clients achieve every single day.

Many clients have long-standing sleep issues before they come to me, such as difficulty falling asleep (it shouldn’t take you longer than 10 minutes), waking up multiple times a night or feeling groggy in the morning. 

Often, they’ve spent thousands of dollars with “specialists” who can’t find anything wrong. Our bodies know exactly what’s best for us. 

My goal is to help you tap into this innate intelligence and balance your natural circadian rhythm, so that you no longer struggle to fall asleep, wake up every night or feel groggy when you get up each morning. 

We achieve this WITHOUT the need for medication and through sustainable lifestyle changes. 

Day 90-120: Stress less

Pretty much all my clients have one thing in common: A ton of stress. Often because they’re busy professional men who have to juggle their career and family responsibilities, which comes at the expense of their health.

I equip my clients with the tools they need to deal effectively with stress. This may involve teaching them how to meditate properly, journal or simply allocate more time for themselves each day. 

These are simply examples and they may or may not apply to you. This is an individual process, which is why we work together to figure out what’s best for you. 

That means whether you get into an argument over bonuses at work or with your spouse, you can handle it and it doesn’t derail your day, week or month. 

Daniel Kelly de-stressed

I am thoroughly de-stressed in this photo!

Roll with the punches

The framework of my Fully Optimized coaching system is extremely flexible. Which means while everyone has different needs, I’m still able to accommodate them, because the principles of proper nutrition, sleep, and stress management are universal to everyone –

The art form is knowing how to get them to work for you.  And because we’ve done all the heavy lifting upfront with the blood test and optimization audit, we know exactly how to do that for you. 

If you’ve been struggling with low energy, lack of libido and shitty sleep for some time, I imagine you’ve already done some investigation.

You’ve been told you’re “normal” or you’ve been told: “Here take these pills”, which you’re reluctant to do. 

I’m here to tell you that energy and vitality is your birthright and that your age or history don’t have to determine how you feel tomorrow.

Not with any gimmicks or hacks, mind you, but with real food, smart supplementation and subtle tweaks to your lifestyle. 

If any of this resonated with you, you can claim your free 30 minute Health Audit with me. On the call, I’ll share the results my clients have had, diagnose your issues a bit more, and get clear and certain on what it is that you’re stuck with.

Then, I can give you some feedback on how you can actually get to where you want to go.

And if you want to stay up to date with the best health optimization information anywhere on the web, join my Optimized Inner Circle newsletter


3 Pillars of Fitness & Nutrition For Optimal Body Composition

It SUCKS when you put so much effort into a calorie-restricted diet, training multiple days a week, and educating yourself.

But in the end, you only lose a pound of two, then pile the weight back because the diet was completely unsustainable and made you miserable. 

For the lucky guys out there, fitness and nutrition is a piece of cake (pardon the pun). Hell, they don’t even need to diet – they seem to be able to eat anything they want and stay lean.

That was never the case for me. I was not blessed with ‘top tier’ genetics, and if you’re reading this I suspect this may be the case for you, too. All the changes I’ve ever made to my fitness have been earned through good old-fashioned hard work.

For the majority of men, many traditional weight loss strategies simply don’t work:

  • Crash-diets
  • Cutting entire food groups out (i.e. bread, dairy, etc.)
  • Training multiple days a week in an attempt to lose weight quickly
  • Buying tons of supplements

You feel miserable because you’re trying to starve yourself into submission. You end up binge eating because you’re hungry all the time. Then you beat yourself up due to your inability to lose weight, despite trying your hardest. It’s a vicious cycle and doomed from the start. 

The Problem With Calorie Counting and Restrictive Diets

Massively restricting your calories might seem like a good way to lose body fat. After all, eat less calories you’ll burn fat right Wrong.  If anything, you don’t eat enough. This is especially true if you train hard. Don’t forget, nutrition is vital for recovery!

This is a huge mistake that so many guys make. 

The biggest problem with slashing your calorie intake is this. When you lower your calories too much you create monstrous cravings, which you can only stave off for so long.  Guess what happens next. BINGING!

The cravings become insatiable too, so you resort to binging just to feel normal again, because you’re sick of feeling tired and depressed all the time. The transient high from the junk food gives you your dopamine fix. However, the processed foods lead to an insulin surge, which crashes your blood sugar and leads to an inevitable energy slump. So you binge once again to feel good. 

It’s possible to gain 2 to 3 pounds of fat from just one day of binge eating. Dramatic crash-diets may help you lose weight in the short-term. But in the end, you always put the weight back on

All of these things are common in men trying to lose weight, but they’re not the right way to go about fighting that stubborn fat.

The Internet can be confusing place and it’s hard to know what to believe with so many conflicting opinions. In a moment, I’ll share with you my three pillars of fitness & nutrition that will help you cut through the confusion. They will finally help you lose that stubborn body fat, drop weight, and get into the shape of your life.

Now, my methods might a bit different. But I promise you, they’re backed by science. It’s just that they don’t make the mainstream as they’re not designed to make you part with any cash. And best of all, they can all be done completely FREE. Plus, you can take action on them as soon as you finish reading this article.

1. Eat Plenty of Protein

In my experience, men who try to lose weight and get their dream body don’t eat anywhere near enough protein. As a general rule, you want to eat 1g of protein per pound of lean body mass.

For example, let’s say you weigh 230 lbs at roughly 25% body fat. From here, you subtract your body fat percentage, i.e. 25% (34lbs) from your total weight – 230lbs (230-34). So this gives you a lean body mass of around 196lbs. The aim to get this amount of protein in every day. Although, I would aim to overshoot it a little, say 200-210g of daily protein, to ensure you hit it. 

The is because not all proteins are made equal. 

NOTE: If you’ve never measured your body fat before, I recommend getting a DEXA scan or bod pod done. These are the most reliable and accurate ways to measure it.

It’s easy to lie to yourself about how you look in the mirror, but it’s not strictly necessary. You can get a good idea if you compare your body with the pictures below. 

male body fat

Your body requires protein to build and repair tissue. It’s the building block of bones, muscle, skin and blood. It also helps boost your metabolism, lower your appetite and activate key weight-regulating hormones.

Therefore, its importance in the context of losing weight and gaining muscle cannot be understated. Science backs this up. One randomized controlled study compared the effect of a high protein diet versus a standard protein diet on 105 adults with an average age of 47. [1]

Participants underwent a calorie-restricted diet of 500 cals under maintenance, and had a protein intake of either 1.34g/kg bodyweight or 0.8g/kg bodyweight for 6 months. Participants in the high protein group lost significantly more weight than those in the standard protein group.

2. Resistance Training

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of resistance training to your fat loss and physique goals. I say ‘resistance training,’ because ultimately you can build a muscular physique whether you lift weights or only use your bodyweight. Muscle has a higher metabolic rate than fat, so having more muscle increases your resting metabolic rate (energy expenditure) compared to having more body fat. 

Effectively, this means you burn more calories at rest. Sounds like a good deal to me. Not convinced? Take a look at the dramatic different in physique between endurance runners and sprinters. I know who I’d rather look like…

runner vs sprinter

Now, you may be thinking, “I don’t want to look like sprinter or a bodybuilder!!” Look. if simply lifting weights made you look like this, everyone would look like a bodybuilder. The fact is, most guys who go to the gym DO NOT look like this. So clearly, there’s a more to it.  

The bottom line is this:

Better fitness = a better life. And more muscle mass will make you look and feel better, and burn more calories at rest. Nevertheless, there is one point I want to stress. When you lift weights you must train with INTENSITY. That means you need to have a plan when you go to the gym and execute it. 

Most people simply go through the motions when they go to the gym. They make up their workout on the spot, drift aimlessly from one exercise to the next, and train with the same intensity as a slug in a puddle. Then they wonder why they don’t lose weight and look the same year after year. 

Another point to note here is that you can have the best training program in the world. However, if you don’t have the right nutrition to support your goals, you will be spinning your wheels. Indeed, I say to my clients that nutrition is 90% of the game. Understand that your efforts in the gym will be wasted until you make your nutrition a priority. 

3. Hormonal Balance

Hormones are the backbone of your health. As a man, testosterone is the most important of all. Testosterone supports muscle mass, fat loss, cognition, libido and well-being. In addition, it contributes to proper immune system and cardiovascular health.

testosterone male body
In contrast, low testosterone leads to a number of debilitating symptoms, including brain fog, increased fat gain, low energy and low libido.

The mental fog and depression from low testosterone alone is crushing. But equally as important is that low testosterone will wreck your results in the gym. As mentioned, testosterone supports lean muscle mass and fat loss. Subsequently, if you have low testosterone, much of your effort in the gym will be in vain. 

I discovered this for myself a few years ago. I was training hard in the gym. In fact, I was squatting and deadlifting up to three times a week! But I never got any results. That was until I took a blood test; only to find out I had the testosterone level of an 80 YEAR OLD MAN! No wonder I wasn’t getting any results from my blood, sweat and tears in the gym…

Ultimately, this involved getting further blood tests and undergoing testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). But you don’t necessarily need to go on TRT to boost testosterone.

Indeed, I recommend that most men invest their time improving their lifestyle and nutrition to improve their hormonal profile. As opposed to looking at TRT as some kind of quick fix. Nonetheless, there is a chance you could have low testosterone, and not even realize it – as was the case with me. 

If you’re overweight, your chances are even higher. Excess estrogen from high levels of body fat (adipose tissue) results in the degeneration of testicular tissue, which lowers testosterone production. The subsequent low testosterone leads to loss of lean muscle mass. This makes it harder to exercise and saps your motivation! 

It’s like a double whammy to your testosterone. No wonder you feel drained and don’t want to get off the couch!

One study of over 1500 American men aged 45 – 79 years measured testosterone levels from 1987-2004. The researchers found that on average, testosterone levels declined by 1% a year. This means that testosterone levels have by 20% over the past few decades. [2] This has dramatic ramifications for men’s health and society as a whole. 

This study was a few years ago now. We can only imagine how low men’s testosterone levels are now…And I’ve elaborated on this in detail in my book, Optimized Under 35. Suffice to say, the combination of toxic endocrine disrupting chemicals in our environment, combined with poor dietary habits have created the perfect storm for hormonal imbalance.

So what leads to low testosteroneThere are many things that lead to low testosterone. In addition to the aspects mentioned above, sleep deprivation and chronic stress also have a major influence. Indeed, modern life is characterized by lack of sleep and stress.

Nowadays, most people don’t sleep anywhere near enough. Chronic sleep deprivation is associated with low testosterone and obesity.  If you can improve your sleep quality, you can dramatically boost your testosterone and drop fat in the process! No supplement on earth can match a good night’s sleep!

Once I started using these simple, but massively overlooked methods with my own life, the results were staggering. When I suffered with low testosterone, I felt like a shadow of a man. I was anxious, depressed, had low self-esteem and constantly battled with low energy. But after undergoing testosterone replacement therapy, I felt like I had finally gotten my life back.

I felt stronger and more energetic. My efforts in the gym were finally rewarded, and I gained over 10 lbs of lean muscle mass within a year! Which goes to show what happens when your hormones are balanced. And not only was my sex drive vastly improved, but I felt much more confident and driven to succeed. Talk about a turn around! 

Final Thoughts

It’s sad that so many men give up on their health & fitness goals because they conclude that dieting doesn’t work. Or they slave away for hours on end at the gym. Only to get no results from it. This is both demoralizing and would be enough to dishearten anyway. Nevertheless, I hope that after reading this article you understand that to achieve your fitness goals, you need to have the right approach. That is, you need to incorporate these fundamental pillars of fitness & nutrition.

One takeaway I want you to get from this article is this.

Leading an enjoyable life and being in supreme physical condition are not mutually exclusive. Yet so many people believe this dogma. They think that being in shape requires living an extreme monk-like lifestyle.

That means you can’t go out to eat with friends, go to barbecues, have a casual drink with your partner, or celebrate birthdays. Sounds like a boring life. The whole purpose of living a healthy lifestyle is to lead a high quality life – it shouldn’t detract from your life.

If this is the case, you’re doing it wrong. 

By following these pillars of fitness & nutrition that I’ve laid out in this article, you will see dramatic results. This alone should give you enough to get going. But if you feel like you need something more personalized to you, you can find out more about my online coaching below:

How Testosterone transformed my life

How Testosterone Transformed My Life

Three years ago I was in I was in a massive slump. In fact, slump would probably an understatement – I had hit rock bottom. There’s depression and then there’s feeling like a black cloud follows you around 24/7. 

Nonetheless, from the outside looking in I had a pretty good life. I was working in London in the heart of the financial industry – a prestigious job with good opportunity for progression. In addition, I was in a stable relationship and had a close circle of supportive friends.

Yet in spite of this, I felt empty inside and didn’t know why. I didn’t know it at the time, but this would ultimately lead me on a journey of self-discovery.

And as the saying goes, in life sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. Although in my case, I failed to see how it could get any worse. At least in the way I felt.

A Passenger In My Own Life

As I mentioned, I previously worked in the financial industry in London. In the beginning I really enjoyed my job. It gave me a buzz to work in such a high-octane, fast and pressure-cooker environment.

We all have those days where we don’t want to get out of bed. Perhaps it was simply youthful exuberance. Nonetheless, for the most part, I used to jump out of bed; excited to see what the day had in store for me.

However, since the onset of this depression around the age of 27, I had lost my enjoyment for work and zest for life. I remember getting on the London underground (locally known as the ‘tube’) for work one day.

I had been awake for a few hours, but I felt zoned completely out – like a zombie. This was despite the fact I slept more than enough. I remember the bitter irony of being a passenger on this train, while feeling like a passenger in my own life.

It was as if I was watching a movie play out in front of my eyes. And I was definitely not the protagonist. 

Testosterone passenger depersonalization

Low testosterone made me feel like a passenger in my own life.


I read up about my symptoms on the Internet. The closest thing I found that came close was ‘Depersonalization syndrome.’ According to the definition on Wikipedia:

“Depersonalization is described as feeling disconnected or detached from one’s self. Individuals experiencing depersonalization may report feeling as if they are an outside observer of their own thoughts or body, and often report feeling a loss of control over their thoughts or actions”

I can’t say for sure that this is what happened, as it’s never a wise idea to self-diagnose yourself on Google. However, this description resonated with how I felt. It got to the point that I felt so numb and no longer enjoyed life.

My Daily Fight With Anxiety

The anguish from the emptiness and depression alone was enough to plunge me into turmoil.  But on top of that, I struggled with daily with a kind of grinding anxiety. And once again – I had no idea why. Indeed, I suspect that this constant anxiety contributed to me feeling disconnected from reality, as I described above. 

I used to worry about the smallest things. I used to obsess over emails that I sent at work – in case I made an error. Or I’d worry about something I said to someone. In case I said the wrong thing and it would be misinterpreted.

Anxiety low testosterone

I would play each scenario over and over in my mind. It was a form of self-torture – one I felt I had no control over. In addition, I struggled on several occasions with panic attacks. Sure, I had anxiety in the past – like any normal person, but this not something I had experienced before. 

I remember one time I was sat at my desk at work and my chest tightened, my airwaves constricted and my heart pounded out of my chest. I thought I was having a heart attack and almost passed out. Later on, I found out it was a panic attack. It was the first time this had happened. And once more, I had no idea why. 

I assumed this was due to the stress work and in my life. But in truth, my life wasn’t that stressful. So what the hell was going on? I just got overwhelmed by the smallest things. Yet, I knew deep down this wasn’t the real me. 

Low Libido and Stagnation in the Gym

If all the anxiety and depression weren’t bad enough, my sex drive had also fallen off a cliff. In fact, it was non-existent.  My girlfriend at the time thought that I no longer found her attractive. However, no amount of reassurances helped.

I had no libido and couldn’t explain why. It was quite distressing. As a man, your sexuality is a big part of your identity. You want to feel vigorous and energetic. And once that’s taken away from you, you feel as though you’re half a man. A shadow of your former self. 

Depressed man low testosterone


In spite of all this, I felt that there was one area of my life that was still OK. The gym was my sanctuary. I’ve been lifting weights for a long time and I’ve often used it to event my frustrations and channel my energy into something positive.

Although I soon discovered that this area of my life was not immune from the chaos in the rest of my life. I lifted weights three times a week at a minimum. Yet I couldn’t make progress for love nor money.

I couldn’t get stronger, in spite of how many times I squatted or deadlifted. I couldn’t gain muscle mass. And what’s more, I had fat around my waist I couldn’t get rid of.

In the end, I concluded at the ripe old age of 28 that I had reached my ‘genetic potential.’ Looking back, it was clear that there was something seriously wrong.  I suppose I was too close to everything to see it for what it really was. I figured I was an anxious or ‘negative’ person.

Furthermore, I thought that I couldn’t make progress in the gym because my training program was bad, or my diet wasn’t up to scratch.

But here’s the thing. I didn’t drink alcohol, didn’t smoke, and my diet was actually pretty good. I was trying my level best, but I felt like I was spinning my wheels.

The Symptoms of Low Testosterone?

I didn’t know what to think–until one day I took a routine blood test. The blood test was pretty thorough. From liver, kidney and thyroid panels, hormones, full blood count and immune system testing. When I got the results back, I wasn’t expecting anything untoward.

It all looked normal, until I got to my testosterone levels – I saw that I had the testosterone level of an 80 YEAR OLD MAN. I was dumbstruck. I felt like I had fallen into an abyss, because I couldn’t believe what was happening to me.

How was this possible?

I took such good care of my body, but I had low testosterone at such a young age? Suddenly, all of these symptoms made complete sense–although I didn’t recognize them as such at the time. The anxiety, low libido, depression, lack of energy and brain fog.

They were all classic symptoms of low testosterone. However, out of willful ignorance or otherwise, I had ignored them–thinking they couldn’t happen to me at such a young age. After much deliberation and soul-searching, I decided the right thing for me was to undergo testosterone replacement therapy.

I felt anxious about my decision to undergo TRT and a lifelong medication? However, at this point I felt there was nothing more I could do and this was the best solution.

Moreover, I had several friends who had already successfully undergone treatment. I saw how much of a positive impact it had on their lives. Many of them were older than me and had been on testosterone therapy for several years. They were the picture of perfect health. 

That was proof enough for me.  Subsequently, I managed to find a doctor who was open-minded enough to treat a young man for low testosterone. That was and still is rare – of which I’m thankful. I got my prescription for testosterone replacement therapy and put it off for a few weeks.

I was scared of change; scared of the unknown. Part of me wanted to cling onto the ‘known.’ But in the end, I decided my longing for comfort the ‘known’ was a miserable existence.

I would do anything to change it. So I decided to take my first injection. In fact, I got my roommate to do it, because I didn’t have the courage to do it.

How Testosterone Transformed My Life

It took a few weeks for the testosterone to kick in, but to say that thee effect was AMAZING would be an understatement. After a few weeks, I had increased mental clarity and more energy.

I felt like the OLD ME again. After a few more weeks, my anxiety had subsided to almost nonexistent levels. My depression had lifted and my sex drive was a back to a healthy level.

What’s more, after six months in the gym, I had gained over 10 lbs of lean muscle mass. So, my efforts weren’t in vain after all? I simply needed the right hormonal balance in my body to see the fruits of it.

But that wasn’t all…

I felt connected once again with my own instincts, which had disappeared into the background. For the first time in a long time, I felt the courage, conviction and confidence to go after what I wanted in life.

Several months post-treatment I decided to quit my job and move to Spain. This had been a long-standing ambition of mine. A dream I never thought I would fulfill, because I was suffered with so much doubt and fear. But having my health back in balance instilled my self-belief once more and my ability to conquer my dreams.

how testosterone transformed my life

A few years after that I started my own business – another long-held ambition of mine. And in 2019 I launched my first book –Optimized Under 35. Funnily enough, I never dreamed I would write a book – let alone on hormonal optimization.

However, after going through the trials of low testosterone, I knew had to share my story. Because there are many other men out there who suffer with it and don’t know that help is available. 

Without testosterone, I would not be half the man I am today. Words cannot accurately describe the mental and physical metamorphosis I underwent. Testosterone helped me get my life back and helped me go from an unconfident, anxious, depressed shell of a man to a confident, assertive and positive individual.

Final Thoughts

Hormones are the backbone of your health, and you cannot truly appreciate how important they are to your well-being until they’re in the gutter. Indeed, you may even be like me and not know that you have a hormonal imbalance, as the symptoms can creep up on you like a thief in the night.

Testosterone replacement therapy is not for everyone. Most people would do well simply to live what I call a ‘testosterone-friendly’ lifestyle. That way they avoid lifelong medication and everything that comes with it.

Not only is testosterone replacement therapy not the cakewalk and panacea many men think it is. It also has its own challenges and it could take months for the treatment to be successful.

Some men come to me and tell me that they have tried ‘everything’ and nothing has worked for them. So they think that taking testosterone will fix all of their problems. But, after I get them to track their diet for a few days, I quickly see their nutrition is not up to scratch.

Yet, instead of fixing their diet, they would rather go on a lifelong medication. Now they have to manage their estrogen, inject themselves multiple times a week and pay all the insurance fees that comes with it. It’s madness.

Testosterone replacement therapy isn’t always the right solution – but hormonal balance is for EVERYONE. And if you can live a lifestyle that facilitates that naturally – all the better. 

The picture below on the left is me before I started TRT. The look on my face says it all; I was unsure, lacking self-confidence and afraid. And there was belly fat around my stomach that I just couldn’t get rid of.

The second picture on the right is me after being on testosterone for six months. I look much more confident and assured. But not only that, my physique has changed in dramatic fashion; I appear more defined and muscular.

How Testosterone transformed my life

This is the power of hormonal balance. Hormones are the backbone of your health, and as a man testosterone is your LIFE BLOOD. Testosterone maintains androgenic (male) sex characteristics such as facial hair, a deep voice, sperm production, and muscle mass.

It has stimulatory effects on bones, libido, mood, cognition centers in the brain, and erectile strength. In addition, it has a positive effect on metabolic rate, lipids (e.g., cholesterol), and inflammation. If your hormones are out of balance you feel like a shadow of your former self.

If you identify with many of the symptoms I discuss in this post, contact me about my 1on1 coaching below. We will work together to create a lifestyle to help restore your natural hormonal balance through the power of nutrition.

depression man

The Cause of Your Low Testosterone Symptoms

Back in late 2018, a young man in his early 20s contacted me because he felt stressed, depressed, anxious, lacked motivation and suffered regular panic attacks. His libido was low, and he had to take cialis to feel any sexual desire at all.

In short, he was not in a good place. And he was convinced this was due to low testosterone:

He was desperate in a desperate state, so we did a consultation to see how best I could help him.

Before the consultation I asked him to send me any previous blood tests along with detailed breakdown of his current lifestyle.

Context is everything. You can’t truly help someone until you can see the full picture.

A Verdict of Low Testosterone?

His prior blood tests revealed that he had low testosterone. I don’t put a lot of stock in the total testosterone number alone. This is because symptoms are the most important factor when it comes to hormonal balance.

However, his total testosterone ranged from 400-500 ng/dL (13.9 nmol/L – 17.3 nmol/L). This is very low for a man in his early 20s.

He also had low gonadotropin levels – luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). Gonadotropins are hormones sent by the pituitary gland to the testes to produce testosterone.

This indicated that he likely had secondary hypogonadism. In secondary hypogonadism, the signal sent from the brain to the testes (via gonadotropin hormones) is weak. So because the testes don’t receive a strong signal, they fail to produce sufficient levels of testosterone.

In addition, he had low estradiol (a form of estrogen), which you would expect because his testosterone was so low. In men, estradiol is made predominantly from the conversion of testosterone. This process is known as aromatization. Essentially, the less testosterone you have, the less estrogen you produce.

Contrary to what many believe, estrogen is not a “female hormone.” Estrogen is crucial to male health and contributes to memory, mood, and libido among other things.

But that wasn’t all.

He also had elevated prolactin > 20 ng/mL (450 miu/L). Prolactin is another hormone produced in the pituitary gland. Elevated levels of prolactin can indicate a tumor in the pituitary gland, leads to the hypersecretion of prolactin.

High prolactin levels in men can also lead to erectile dysfunction, mood swings, low libido and even vision disturbances in some cases. However, his prolactin levels weren’t high enough to indicate a pituitary tumor (adenoma).

The Sickcare Solution

This young man was very exasperated. He had seen leading doctors, taken multiple blood tests, and even took an MRI scan.

His blood tests mostly “normal” (i.e. within range) and the MRI scans showed nothing wrong.

Yet he still felt like crap.

So due to his low testosterone symptoms and high prolactin levels, his doctor prescribed him clomid (a drug to elevate testosterone and maintain fertility) and cabergoline (a dopamine agonist) to bring prolactin down.

I’ve written extensively about clomid in my book Optimized Under 35. Research suggests clomid is a relatively safe and effective treatment option for hypogonadal men who want to elevate testosterone and maintain fertility.

One study looked at the effect of clomid treatment in young obese men with low testosterone aged 18-21. Eleven subjects were given 25mg of clomid every other day for three months.

Testosterone and gonadotropin hormones were measured before and after treatment. The average baseline testosterone levels were 233 ng/dL (8.1 nmol/L) and increased to 581 ng/dL (20.1 nmol/L) post treatment. Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone levels (FSH) also increased.

Studies also show that cabergoline is effective at reducing high prolactin levels. One study gave a single dose of 300 mcg of cabergoline to 15 patients with hyperprolactinoma (i.e. a pituitary tumor). Prolactin levels were taken several hours before treatment and up to seven days after.


The authors of the study noted a significant reduction in serum prolactin levels; ranging from 49.2-55.2%. This occurred quickly – within two-five days of treatment.

These medications are clearly effective at treating low testosterone and high prolactin in men. Nevertheless, this young man wasn’t sure whether taking medication was the right thing for him.

Now, it’s not my place to advise on medications or give medical advise because I am not a doctor. However, I am a firm advocate of improving your health through diet and lifestyle changes.

The modern medical system is preoccupied with treating symptoms. I call this the Sickcare Solution. I believe we should aim to fix root causes instead.

I told him to be truly healthy and avoid long-term medication, he needed to find out what led to the low testosterone, high prolactin, and other symptoms.

So to investigate further, I needed to understand more about his lifestyle:

Sleep, diet, exercise, supplements – the whole shebang.

Living a Clean Lifestyle?

His symptoms of anxiety, depression, low motivation, low libido and lethargy are all linked with low testosterone. And his blood work showed that his testosterone was on the low end.

Nonetheless, that doesn’t necessarily mean he needed to undergo testosterone replacement therapy.

As a mentor of mine once told me:

“When you’re a hammer everything looks like a nail.”

This man was under a lot of stress running his business. He was under extreme pressure every day, and this was clearly taking its toll on his health.

stressed man

That’s not really extraordinary, because who among us doesn’t deal with stress?

Now apart from this, he lifted weights 2-3 times a week, meditated daily, drank minimal alcohol, and slept at least eight hours a night. Although in spite of sleeping a lot, he never felt well rested and frequently woke up in the night to urinate.

I also asked him to record everything he ate. It looked something like this:

Breakfast: Eggs, fresh green juice, and an espresso.

Snacks: Nuts, fruit, or a fresh juice.

Lunch: Vegetables, a form of protein such as chicken, and some cheese.
Mid-afternoon: Same as before or a protein shake.
Dinner: Salmon and salad or a healthy takeaway
He also typically drank a breakfast smoothie consisting of spinach, kale, MCT oil, protein powder, greek yoghurt, and coconut water.

On the surface, it appears as though he led a healthy lifestyle. His diet was low-carb, and included good protein sources and green vegetables.

But something was not adding up. And as we’ll see in a moment, his diet isn’t as great as it appears.

After he filled me in on his lifestyle, I asked him to get a comprehensive blood panel done. At first, he was reluctant, as he’d done so many tests already.

I understood his reticence. However, here’s what I told him:

The tests I do for my 1on1 coaching clients are NOTHING like a normal doctor’s test. Let’s take a closer look…

A Normal Range For Normal Health

Taking a blood test is great for one main reason:

It gives you a clear and objective assessment of your current state of health.

A typical blood test will have a reference range for each marker of health. So if you’re within that range,  then as far as modern medicine is concerned you’re normal!

Normal health

However nowadays, “normal” is a byword for mediocre or failing health. And for the most part, blood tests in this format are deeply flawed.

Reference ranges are often arbitrary, or conjured up based on population averages. They’re rarely, if ever age-adjusted, so everyone gets lumped into the same range.

For example, the reference range for total testosterone is taken from the entire population. That means a 25 year old man is comparing his testosterone levels to an 80 year old man.

Subsequently, if a 25 year old man has 300 ng/dL (10.4 nmol/L) of total testosterone (comparable to an 80 year old); he is considered normal. This is simply because his testosterone is within the “normal” reference range.

Furthermore, no distinction is made between normal and optimal levels of testosterone. Yet surely, we should all be striving for optimal when it comes to health? Nope!

When it comes to hormones, and health in general, average doesn’t come into it. We are all biochemically unique, and this requires a more tailored approach.

Sadly, it appears modern medicine is utterly obsessed with averages.

Optimal is the Only Option

The blood tests my clients take have multiple reference ranges. This includes:

  • Below standard
  • Below optimal
  • Optimal
  • Above optimal
  • Above standardVitamin D optimal range

The aim for my clients is to get the majority of their markers into the “optimal” range.

For context, the doctor’s range is from below standard to above standard. So, he’ll only be concerned if your result comes back outside of those.

That leaves a whole lot in between!

Moreover, many lab tests don’t test enough markers. As a result, they fail to give you a comprehensive and accurate picture of your overall health.

Seldom do I see tests for folic acid (vitamin B9), zinc, free T3 (a thyroid hormone), progesterone (a precursor to testosterone), or even inflammatory markers like homocysteine.

These markers such as these are critical to your health, yet they’re completely overlooked.

Finally, even though blood tests have reference ranges, the data is only useful when interpreted properly.  Typical lab tests offer no interpretation of the data, i.e. the trends and what it could mean in the future if you don’t address them.

For example, if your blood tests show a trend toward cardiovascular disease, you can take preemptive action to prevent it. Modern medicine is extremely reactive and has no interest in preventative care.

Not Just Low Testosterone…

When this young man’s blood test came back, it was immediately clear there was more to it than just low testosterone.

This is why I always want to know about a client’s lifestyle factors, such as sleep, diet, exercise, and stress levels. They can have a dramatic impact, not only on your testosterone levels, but the rest of your health.

The trends on his blood test showed not only sex hormone dysfunction (which we knew), but also immune, cardiovascular, and blood sugar issues.

Today, there is a lot on the internet about low testosterone. More and more men are starting to understand its critical role to their health. Indeed, part of what I do is to educate and bring awareness to this topic.

However, there is also a tendency to compartmentalize things. As a result, people jump to the conclusion that low testosterone automatically means you need to undergo testosterone replacement therapy.

The body does not compartmentalize though. Everything in your body is linked. So if one area of your health isn’t optimal, this has a knock on effect elsewhere.

In this man’s case, there’s no doubt his low testosterone was partly explained by his blood sugar regulation, thyroid and immune system issues.

The Hormone Panel

First, let’s take a look at his hormone panel. As with previous tests, his testosterone was on the low side. Most doctors would likely say his testosterone was “OK,” simply because he was within the reference range.

However, if you’re in your early 20s then you are in the prime of life. You should not have 542 ng/dL (18.8 nmol/L) of total testosterone. Even for an older man, this is still pretty average.

His progesterone was very low. Low progesterone is often a sign of underlying inflammation. We’ll see more of this trend shortly.

In addition, his DHEA-S levels were slightly low – suggesting adrenal stress. He didn’t drink that much coffee, but his day to day life business work was highly stressful. Decreased DHEA-S levels are associated with low sex drive and low mood.

low testosterone


All Roads Lead to Insulin Resistance

One major thing that stood on his test was his elevated glucose (blood sugar) and fasted insulin levels.

His levels are high given the test was done fasted first thing in the morning. This indicates he has poor blood sugar regulation. And for some reason, he’s not metabolizing carbohydrates effectively.

These are the first signs of insulin resistance and the road to type 2 diabetes. Indeed, studies indicate that low testosterone is associated with insulin resistance and an adverse lipid profile.

We’ll see later that his lipid profile (i.e. cholesterol markers) is not great. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that he had low testosterone, as cholesterol is a necessary precursor for testosterone production.

fasted glucose levels

fasted insulin

High blood sugar and insulin resistance is the genesis of many disease states. In addition to low testosterone and diabetes; it’s also associated with obesity and heart disease. Evidence even suggests that high blood glucose levels correlate with tumor malignancy in cancer patients.

Dehydration and Low Stomach Acid

The blood test also indicated his kidneys were under stress. Specifically, he had elevated urea levels.

When the body breaks down proteins, they turn into carbon dioxide, water, and ammonia. Ammonia is toxic to the body, so the body converts it into urea. This urea is then transported to the kidneys and excreted through urine.

This young man’s urea was on the high side. Urea can be elevated in the presence of high dietary protein intake. However, his protein intake was not dramatically high.

High urea can also be due to dehydration and low stomach acid. And given he had immune system issues; low stomach could have been a possibility

Stomach acid is vital to kill pathogens in foods. This stops you from getting bacterial infections and viruses. So if you have low stomach acid, this can compromise your immune system. Evidence suggests that up to 70% of our immune system is found in our gut – so this makes total sense.

He also had elevated hemoglobin, further demonstrating that he was likely dehydrated.

elevated hemoglobin

I also had reason to believe that he had digestive tract issues due to decreased globulin levels. Globulin are proteins in the blood that serve as the body’s antibody system.

Decreased globulin levels are associated with digestive system inflammation and immune deficiency.

total globulin

As part of his diet, he mentioned that he was taking protein shakes every day. Protein shakes can work well – but they aren’t for everyone. In some individuals it can lead to inflammation in the digestive tract. This is especially true if you’re lactose intolerant. This can cause bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

Vitamin Deficiencies

The report indicated he had low alkaline phosphatase (ALP). ALP is a group of enzymes found in bone, liver and the intestines. Decreased levels are associate with zinc deficiency.

zinc deficiency

Zinc contributes to numerous vital functions in the body. Zinc deficiency is associated with low testosterone, low sperm count and immune system dysfunction.

Low zinc levels can also lead to sugar cravings. This means more you’re more likely to binge on sugar and junk food. Therefore, zinc’s importance cannot be overstated.

As part of his metabolic panel, we also did a test known as the “anion gap.” Basically, the anion gap checks the level of acid in your blood. Elevated levels are associated with metabolic acidosis and thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency.

Vitamin B1 is essential for glucose metabolism. Remember his glucose and fasting insulin levels? Among other things, thiamine deficiency may help explain why his glucose was high.

anion gap thiamine deficiency

We also discovered he was low in folic acid (vitamin B9). Folic acid deficiency can lead to fatigue, lethargy, and irritability. And guess what? He suffered from all these symptoms.

Now that’s not to say folic acid deficiency was solely responsible for how he was feeling. Nonetheless, it’s important to note it’s not just low testosterone that could contribute to the way he was feeling.

low folic acid


Cholesterol and Inflammatory Markers

Chronic inflammation is the underpinning of all disease. Although not all inflammation is bad. Acute inflammation is key to muscle growth, because it helps them grow back bigger and stronger.

This man’s lipid panel (cholesterol markers) and inflammatory markers pointed once again to high inflammation. Low testosterone is associated with high levels of inflammation.

When you’re inflamed, the last thing your body wants to do is produce testosterone.

His inflammatory markers showed elevated levels of c-reactive protein (CRP). Increased levels of CRP are associated with heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

In addition, he also had high homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid found in the blood. Elevated levels can increase the risk of heart disease, as it can damage the endothelial lining of the arteries.

High homocysteine is associated with vitamin B deficiency. And as we know in this case, he has multiple vitamin B deficiencies. Therefore, it’s no surprise that homocysteine is elevated.

high sensitivity c-reactive protein test

elevated homocysteine

The blood test showed he had low cholesterol. Low cholesterol is a strong indicator of inflammation and oxidative stress.

lipid panel

Decreased levels of HDL cholesterol are considered to be atherogenic, leading to the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries. This is the prelude to heart attack and stroke.

For most people, the elevation of LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, is the issue. In this case however, LDL cholesterol is on the low side.Low LDL cholesterol is associated with anxiety and depression; two symptoms he also struggled with.

Due to a high saturated fat western style diet, many people have high levels of triglycerides. Interestingly, his triglycerides were on the low side. Triglycerides are a storage molecule for fat.

This points to a few possibilities. It could be the result of liver dysfunction, however his liver markers were good. It may also be the result of not enough dietary fat.

it appears he gets adequate levels of fat through his diet. The remaining alternative is guess what? Excess inflammation.

Inflammation is a recurrent theme with this gentleman. And if he doesn’t get it under control, it will lead to serious health problems.

Arguably, you could say he already has serious problems. But I contend this is just the tip of the iceberg. Remember, this guy is only in his early 20s!

Immune System Issues

The blood test pointed to issues with his immune system function. His monocytes and eosinophil levels were both elevated.



Monocytes are a type of white blood cell. They act as the body’s second line of defense against infection. They also facilitate healing and repair. High levels of monocytes can point to the recovery phase of an infection.

For example, if you have the flu a few days prior to taking the blood test, then this may elevate monocytes. Alternatively, this could mean you have a chronic infection.

Eosinophils are another type of white blood cell. They fight disease and are typically elevated in the presence of a parasitic infection, allergies, or cancer.

It’s possible something in his diet is aggravating his gastrointestinal tract. He may have an allergy or sensitivity to the food he’s causing, which may require further testing.

But given he has elevated monocytes, eosinophils AND low white blood cells, it’s possible he has a parasitic infection.

Many people suffer from parasitic infections without knowing it. H.pylori is the most common type of bacterial infection, and can be tested for via a stool test.

In my book Optimized Under 35, I wrote about how parasites and infections can actually disrupt hormone production:

Research suggests that, in addition to fungal infections, parasites such as roundworm and tapeworm can cause endocrine disorders. Multiple animal studies have shown parasitic infection to affect sex hormone production (i.e., lower testosterone) and dramatically affect sexual behavior. Anecdotally, in humans it can cause fatigue, joint pain, and anxiety.

This individual would require further testing to determine whether he had a parasitic infection.

Most stool tests check for h.pylori only. However, there are a whole host of parasitic infections out there. So it’s better to spend money on getting a thorough test done to rule out other possibilities.

Oxalates Are No Bueno

Remember how I said earlier that his diet looked great but it really wasn’t? Well, he was taking in raw spinach every day from a green smoothie. Most people think this is a great idea, because green veggies right?

Actually, eating raw spinach is a bad idea because it’s full of oxalates. These are natural pesticides produced by plants to ward off pests. However, research suggests that oxalates can have a very negative effect on your health, which include:

  • Neurological issues, leading to sleep disruption and memory loss
  • Increased calcium excretion

To find out more on the hidden dangers of oxalates, I recommend you read this excellent article: Health Dangers of Oxalates.

According to nutrition and functional health expert Paul Burgess, eating spinach every day with its oxalate content could do considerable systemic damage. This is potentially what’s happening here.

Research suggests oxalates can also impair mitochondrial and monocyte function. As we saw above, he had elevated monocyte levels. It could be a parasitic infection, or it could be due to his oxalate intake.

Final Thoughts

We didn’t cover every single blood test marker here. Many of this man’s results were very good. However, he had multiple underlying issues.

He had low testosterone, but as you an see, low testosterone was the least of his problems. And it was likely a result of everything else going on in his body.

Taking a medication like clomid or testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) would not have fixed things for him. It would have only masked the underlying problems he had.

This is why I say TRT is only for those who need it.

Time and again, I’ve seen guys go on TRT, only to still struggle with fatigue and other symptoms that they had before it.

Instead of worrying about TRT, this man needed to spend time on reducing the inflammation in his body. His stress levels need to be managed better, because that’s clearly having a profound impact on his health.

Similarly, we would have to look into what causing his immune system issues.

He would also need to address his probable low stomach acid, which would lead to malabsorption of nutrients. Even if your diet is immaculate – ultimately you aren’t what you eat, but you are what you absorb.

Getting this man into a good place could take anywhere from 6-12 months – possibly more. We’d have to overhaul many aspects of his lifestyle, including his nutrition, exercise regime, and improve his sleep.

But 6-12 months of getting this right is far better than the alternative:

Lifelong medication.

Taking medication isn’t going to fix you if you don’t address what got you into that state in the first place.

In the end, he chose not to work together with me. I understand he was very busy at work – and that’s fine. Although I dread to think how his health is going to be in the near future unless he changes something.

If you can relate to this story and recognize many of the symptoms, get in contact with me about my 1on1 coaching. We can take you through a comprehensive blood test and find out what’s really going on inside your body.


Ferrari C, Barbieri C, Caldara R, Mucci M, Codecasa F, Paracchi A, Romano C, Boghen M, Dubini A.”Long-lasting prolactin-lowering effect of cabergoline, a new dopamine agonist, in hyperprolactinemic patients.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1986 Oct;63(4):941-5.

Sachin V. Bendre, Pamela J. Murray, and Shehzad Basaria. “Clomiphene Citrate Effectively Increases Testosterone in Obese, Young, Hypogonadal Men.Reprod Syst Sex Disord. 2015 Dec; 4(4): 155. Published online 2015 Nov 13. doi: 10.4172/2161-038X.1000155.

Vakkat Muraleedharan and T. Hugh Jones. “Testosterone and the metabolic syndrome.” Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Oct; 1(5): 207–223. doi: 10.1177/2042018810390258.

Ge Cui, Ting Zhang, Fan Ren, Wen-Ming Feng, Yunliang Yao, Jie Cui,Guo-Liang Zhu, and Qi-Lin Shi. “High Blood Glucose Levels Correlate with Tumor Malignancy in Colorectal Cancer Patients.Med Sci Monit. 2015; 21: 3825–3833. Published online 2015 Dec 8. doi: 10.12659/MSM.894783.

Patel M, Yarlagadda V, Adedoyin O, Saini V, Assimos DG, Holmes RP, Mitchell T. “Oxalate induces mitochondrial dysfunction and disrupts redox homeostasis in a human monocyte derived cell line.Redox Biol. 2018 May;15:207-215. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2017.12.003. Epub 2017 Dec 15.






how to tell if you have ow testosterone

How to Tell If You Have Low Testosterone

how to tell if you have ow testosterone

How to Tell If You Have Low Testosterone

With the advent of the internet, people are becoming increasingly conscious about their health. And one topic in particular that has become popular among men is testosterone.

In the past, the word “testosterone” was stigmatized. This was because the media ran a long campaign demonizing testosterone, claiming it was the devil incarnate.

However, many now recognize the importance of testosterone to male health. Testosterone improves mood, immune system function, blood sugar regulation and brain function to name a few.

Therefore, it’s safe to say that when you have low testosterone, you won’t be at your best. But how can you tell if you have low testosterone?

In this article, I cover the main signs and symptoms of low testosterone, plus what you can do about it if you do have them.

Brain Fog

One hallmark symptom of low testosterone is brain fog – also known as mental fatigue. It appears brain fog isn’t necessarily a condition in itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying condition.

In this case, low testosterone.

Brain fog means you struggle to focus and concentrate for sustained periods of time. You may also have memory problems, and an inability to think clearly.

When I suffered from low testosterone in my 20s, I was persistently dogged by brain fog. I was working in investment banking at the time, and I needed to be at my desk every day by 8AM – sometimes earlier.

I recall that when I arrived at my desk it took me several hours to concentrate fully. Regardless of how much I slept, I struggled to feel alert alert first thing in the morning.

I had to chug down more than one cup of coffee to feel anywhere near “normal.”

It’s hard to describe exactly how brain fog feels. All I can say is that my brain felt like a kind spaghetti soup. Thoughts and ideas were in there, but it was like I couldn’t pick them out.

If my mind was a vault, then I was locked out with no access codes.

brain fog low testosterone

Suffice to say that my creative energy was sapped.

Around this time I also began to write. And as with any endeavor, in the beginning you are always going to suck.

That being said, whenever I sat down to write, I struggled to organize my thoughts in a coherent way. As a result, it often took days on end just to write a single blog post.

After this experience, I’m convinced “writer’s block” has more to do with physiological imbalances, rather than mental hurdles.

Fatigue and Low Energy

Feeling low energy and fatigued are also signs of low testosterone. And when you feel this way, sometimes all you want to is lie on the couch.

Even basic things like reading a book or going for a walk can be a major effort. Therefore, the prospect of doing something like going to a restaurant or the gym can feel overwhelming.

This fatigue can affect your life in a number of ways.

First, it can affect your performance at work – because you no longer have the energy to see things through. As a result, you may find yourself going from one thing to the next; unable to finish projects.

low testosterone low energy

Second, it can have a negative impact on your relationship with your partner. Simply because you don’t feel like doing anything! No self-respecting woman wants to be with a miserable, listless man.

Finally, it robs you of the enjoyment of life. When you have no energy, you quickly realize how many things in life require it.

But aside from this, low energy makes you feel like shit and a passenger in your own life.

Fatigue and Low Energy

Emotional imbalance is another symptom of low testosterone. Obviously, as men we have our own emotions and feelings to deal with as do women. However, we tend to express them in a different manner. Or as is often the case, don’t express them at all.

Is this down to societal conditioning or simply part of being a man? I would say a bit of both. That being said, men are meant to be able to keep their emotions in check. Indeed, there is a fine line between mastering your emotions and suppressing them.

But that’s a topic for another day…

Until you’ve been on both sides of the fence, you don’t realize how dramatically low testosterone can affect your emotional state.

Low testosterone can make you feel extremely emotionally imbalanced. And it can lead to mood swings and depression.

When I went through the misery of low T, I was snappy and irritable. My moods were sombre and I struggled to see the positive side of things.

depressed man

Trying to remain positive was akin to climbing a mountain every day.

Nonetheless, it’s not just lack of testosterone itself that leads to emotional imbalance.

Estrogen, another sex hormone, is as important as testosterone when it comes to emotional balance. Men produce estrogen through the conversion of testosterone via the aromatase enzyme – a process known as aromatization.

Therefore, often in men low testosterone levels will lead to low estrogen. And this can exasperate the emotional imbalance many men feel with low testosterone.

Research underlines the importance of estrogen, suggesting it mediates the mood-enhancing effects of testosterone. One interesting study looked at the anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and antidepressant-like effects of exogenous testosterone and estrogen on castrated male rats.

The authors of the study found when testosterone was administered alone and estrogen was inhibited, this also blocked protective effects of testosterone. But when estrogen isn’t blocked, it promotes the mood-enhancing and well-being effects of testosterone.

Indecision and Hesitancy

Studies show that low testosterone levels are associated with reduced cognitive abilities. Cognitive abilities include judgement, decision-making, evaluation and memory.

And multiple research papers show men with low serum testosterone levels perform below normal on verbal fluency, spatial awareness and memory. I discuss this topic at length in my book Optimized Under 35.

In many men, low testosterone leads to indecision and hesitancy. But you don’t need a scientific study to verify this one.

The average man today struggles to make a firm decision on virtually anything. Instead of drawing a line in the sand, he is wishy washy.

He prefers to sit on the fence, afraid to polarize opinion or to “offend” people. So he takes the easy way out and opts to make no decision.

Most men struggle to decide what to have for lunch. So getting them to make life-changing decisions is impossible.

I see this first hand with men who ask me for advice on improving their testosterone levels. They may even contact me about my coaching.

At which point, we’ll have a discussion about their lifestyle and nutrition habits. Often, I recommend that if they want to raise their testosterone and get their life back, then they’ll need to make big changes to their lives.

Many will go away to “think about it,” knowing all they won’t do anything about it. And unwittingly, due to their low testosterone, they live in a state of perpetual hesitancy.

As a result, they struggle to make decisions that really matter. A year later I’ll speak to them again, and discover they’re still in the same place.

In the end, these men rarely, if ever, address it, because of their indecision.

Now, this is not to say low testosterone renders you unable to make a decision. Because often guys with low T do make positive changes to lies.

This may mean undergoing testosterone replacement therapy, or reducing stress and improving sleep to boost their testosterone levels.

In my experience, if you are prone to indecision and hesitancy to begin with, low testosterone will only exacerbate it.


Anxiety is a further symptom of low testosterone. From what I’ve seen, most men with low testosterone suffer with anxiety to some extent.

Prior to testosterone replacement therapy, I used to suffer badly with anxiety. I would obsess endlessly over the most trivial things – sometimes for days and weeks on end.

My stomach would be in knots and I would struggle to sleep because I was so anxious.

Now, the anxiety may occasionally subside, but it would always be there lurking in the background.


It even got the point where I had full-blown panic attacks. My breathing became shallow, my airwaves constricted, I felt dizzy and my chest tightened.

On more than one occasion I went to the hospital. It seems silly in hindsight, but at the time I was genuinely worried.

They did x-rays and all sorts, but they would NEVER find anything wrong with me.

This would reassure me for a while, only to through the same process a few weeks later.

Ultimately, I went to see a therapist about my anxiety, which helped a lot. It helped get the panic attacks under control, but the anxiety never really went away.

In addition, I had regular heart palpitations. It was a strange sensation; and to be honest, it freaked me out. So much so that I went to a doctor to get an electrocardiogram (ECG) test done to check my heart was OK.

It was fine, of course, but these regular heart palpitations were really debilitating. I’m positive the palpitations were due to low testosterone.

And after I underwent testosterone replacement therapy, the palpitations disappeared altogether – along with the anxiety itself!

Low Libido

Having a low libido or poor sex drive is also a sign of low testosterone.

Once more, I can verify from first hand experience that low testosterone really does affect your sex drive.

You can go weeks without feeling any sort of sexual desire. It makes you feel like a shadow of yourself; especially if you had a strong sex drive in the past.

And on the rare occasion you do have a libido, the sex is not enjoyable. It’s almost to the point where sex feels like a chore, because it drains what little energy you do have.

I’ve consulted with hundreds of men with low testosterone, and many went through the same experience I did with low libido.

Studies show a correlation between testosterone levels and sexual desire. One study looked at the relationship between libido and testosterone levels in aging men. In total, 1632 men aged 40-70 years participated, with follow-ups at 9 and 15 years after the study.

The researchers found there was a significant association between testosterone levels and libido. Subjects that reported low libido had an “increased, but modest” possibility that they would also suffer from low T.

Erectile Problems

Aside from the fact low testosterone results in low libido, it can also lead to erectile dysfunction. Testosterone isn’t responsible for creating erections, but it has a direct effect on nitric oxide synthesis in the brain – a necessary precursor to erections.

Now, you may be able to get erections when you have low testosterone. However, it’s unlikely the erections will be firm. This can make for disappointing sexual encounters and unsatisfying intimacy with your partner.

One study looked at how testosterone levels alter erectile function in 47 castrated male rats. The authors of the study concluded that erectile function is dependent on testosterone levels, and mediated via nitric oxide.

As a side note, from research there appears to be a correlation between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular risk. In other words, if you struggle to get a boner, that could be an early indicator of heart disease.

The Massachusetts Male Aging Study was a random sample observational study that included 1290 men aged 40-70 years old. The researchers took blood samples, psychological indexes, medication details and other information about participants’ health. Overall, they found diabetes and heart disease to be strong indicators for erectile dysfunction.

I don’t think erectile dysfunction is always an indicator of heart disease among low testosterone men, especially young men. However, it could indicate that not only do you have hormonal imbalance, but you also have poor circulation.

Therefore, in addition to investigating the possibility of low testosterone, it’s worth taking steps to improve your lifestyle. That means eating a better diet and doing more exercise to promote blood circulation.

Increased Body Fat and Low Muscle Mass
Another common symptom in men with low testosterone is an increased body fat and low muscle mass.

It’s like a double whammy.

Before I was diagnosed with low testosterone, I trained like a demon in the gym. I really wanted to get stronger, so I spent a lot of time squatting and deadlifting.

And at one point I was even squatting three times a week! Yet, for all my hard work and effort, I saw meager results.

Now, I didn’t have low muscle mass per se. But I simply couldn’t gain any muscle mass no matter what!

But I couldn’t figure out why. I concluded that I had maxed out my “genetic potential” at the ripe old age of 28. I

I also had a layer of belly fat that I couldn’t get rid. This was in spite of how much I dieted or how much cardio I did.

You only have to look at my picture below to get an idea. The picture on the left was me just before I started testosterone replacement therapy. I was nervous AS HELL (and it shows on my face)!

The picture on the right is me six months later. My body composition has changed dramatically; I have more muscle mass and less body fat.

But here’s the thing. I didn’t drastically change the way I trained, dieted, or how I lived my life. The difference? Optimal testosterone levels.

If you have low testosterone, a hardcore workout can leave you beat for DAYS. Whereas once you optimize your testosterone levels, it’s amazing how quickly you can recover from a brutal workout.

before and after trt

Furthermore, ever notice how elderly people tend to have low muscle mass (also known as sarcopenia)?

Not only do they fail to do any kind of resistance training to retain muscle mass, but they also have low testosterone levels. That means any muscle mass they do have gradually disappears.

And guess what? Low muscle mass and high levels of body fat are strongly associated with all cause mortality.

The Only Way to Tell If You Have Low Testosterone

So aside from the symptoms we discussed above, how can you tell if you have low testosterone?

In truth, the only way to tell if you have low testosterone is to take a blood test.

The main benefit of taking a blood test is that it never lies. By comparison, saliva test kits are not as accurate as blood test, and may provide false readings from food or drink.

Your blood work is a snapshot at any given time into the state of your health. However, hormones can fluctuate depending on stress levels, the time of day, how much you slept and other factors.

Therefore, at any given time you may get a varied reading on your blood test. That’s why it’s worth getting regular blood tests to get a benchmark of your health.

As a minimum, I recommend you take a blood test with the following markers:

  • Serum or total testosterone – this is the total amount of testosterone in your blood. In most labs, the reference range is typically between 250-1000 ng/dL (8.7-34.7 nmol/L).
  • Free testosterone – this is the bioavailable testosterone in your blood that is available for your body to use. This is typically between 2-4%.
  • SHBG – Sex hormone binding globulin or SHBG is a carrier protein responsible for controlling levels of sex hormones in the blood – hence the name. It's important to measure because it can directly affect your free testosterone levels.
  • Estradiol – Estradiol is a form of estrogen and is the main estrogen found in the male body. As mentioned earlier, estrogen is key to male health, so it’s a good idea to understand where your level is at.

If you’re in the UK, I recommend you take the Male Hormone Check. The test includes all of the above markers and is very reasonably priced.

In addition, as a patient you get a cool online dashboard with a breakdown of your test and what it all means. Use the discount code OPTIMIZE10 at checkout to get a 10% discount!

The Results

If your serum or total testosterone is below the reference range above, then you are classed as hypogonadal. However, in recent times doctors have become fixated on treating patients based on lab tests only.

This means that even if you have the symptoms of low testosterone

But your blood results are within the reference range, you don’t qualify for treatment.

Your doctor should treat you based on a combination of symptoms AND blood work. Indeed, emerging evidence suggests that men can have the symptoms of low testosterone between 500-600 ng/dL.

Whereas, if you have a testosterone level of 250 ng/dL; you’re basically on death’s door. At least in terms of the way you feel.

Final Thoughts

This article covers the main signs and symptoms of low testosterone. But you don’t necessarily need to have all of them to class as low T.

Personally, I had most of them. However, I’ve met men who only have some of these symptoms.

For example, their performance in the gym might be good, but their performance in the bedroom is dire.

Ultimately, low testosterone goes by symptoms FIRST – not by a lab test. Any numbers on a piece of paper come to secondary to how you feel.

If you identify with many of the symptoms described in this article – fear not. The realization that you have low testosterone may come as a surprise.

It certainly did for me at the age of 28 years old. In truth, it made me feel hollow inside.

But it was also a blessing in disguise.

I had been living with the symptoms of low testosterone and didn’t even realize it. It forced me to take action and change the course of my life.

There are a few ways to restore your testosterone levels to normal. One option is to undergo testosterone replacement therapy as I did.

Although I feel nowadays many men are quick to jump on TRT – a lifelong medication – without understanding the consequences.

TRT is incredible and changed my life – but it’s not for everyone.

The vast majority of men can boost their testosterone levels by taking steps to improve their nutrition, exercise routine, and overall lifestyle.

If you’re sick of struggling with the symptoms of low testosterone and want to get your life back, get in touch with me about my 1on1 coaching. We’ll come up with a customized strategy for you to regain your health – without the need for medication.

The Anti-Aging Blueprint: How to Beat Aging [Review]

It’s a sad indictment of our society that as many people enter their later years, they end up in care homes. That doesn’t mean I have anything against care homes. Because for some people, that’s the right option.

However, growing old doesn’t mean you need to retire to a care home and lose your health and your mind.

Far from it, in fact. Yet because so many people end up like this, we think it’s the norm.

There are several anti-aging strategies that you can follow to ensure this doesn’t happen to you. And in this article, I’ll share some of the strategies I learned from PD Mangan’s Anti-Aging Blueprint.

Man vs Machine

A machine can’t repair itself.

At the beginning of his course, PD Mangan poses the following question:

What’s the difference between a machine and a person?

It’s a great analogy and one that makes you think about the traditional view we have of aging. Many people think the human body is like a car that gets rusty and eventually gets worn out. A

However, what people fail to recognize is this:

Human beings get worn out too. But we can repair ourselves through mechanisms such as autophagy.

Although the key point Mangan emphasizes is that you must allow yourself to do so. And living an atypical couch potato, Netflix-binge lifestyle actually ages you faster.

Whereas the opposite (and you’d do well to do EXACTLY the opposite of mainstream health advice); i.e leading a fit and active lifestyle, protects against aging.

Indeed, the aging process can be likened to a computer that needs servicing. The components are faulty, and may need repairing or replacing. If nothing is done, eventually the system ceases to function entirely. In your case – that means death.

Mangan refers to this as the “Garbage Catastrophe of Aging.” That is, the detrimental effects has on the body if left unchecked.

Keep this idea at the forefront of your mind whenever you think about not taking care of your body. Because the less you do about it, the worse it gets.

Inflammation is necessary mechanism for the body to be able to repair itself. However, chronic low-level inflammation is terrible for your health.

What do most diseases have in common? Inflammation. And it’s also a characteristic of aging.

Mangan says that chronic Inflammation is: “like driving down the road with your feet on the accelerator and the brakes simultaneously.”

To reduce your chances of age-related disease, it’s important to reduce inflammation. And in a moment, we’ll see some of things you can do to reduce inflammation.

According to Mangan, in addition to inflammation, to fight aging, we must also stop oxidative stress. That means damage induced by free radicals.

There is no doubt about it that oxidative stress leads to the many of the diseases we find in aging.

In my book, Optimized Under 35, I wrote about the effect of oxidative stress on the testes. It appears that oxidative stress can be induced by poor lifestyles – not merely the result of “aging.”

And I believe this is why we have an untold epidemic of young men with low testosterone. Because their poor lifestyles (among other things) result in oxidative stress and damage to their sexual organ function.

Our bodies have their own protection to oxidative stress in the form of antioxidant. And among these antioxidants, one of the most noteworthy being glutathione, which declines with age.

The Big 5 of Long Life

In the Anti-Aging Blueprint course, there is a segment called, “The Big 5 of Long Life.” These are 5 basic anti-aging principles you should follow to ensure a long and healthy life.

  • No smoking
  • Lean and not overweight
  • Moderate alcohol consumption
  • Regular exercise (and being strong)
  • Eat a healthy diet

And by following these basic rules; both men and women can several years to their life span.

You might be thinking: “These 5 anti-aging measures are obvious!” But ask yourself this – how many people actually apply them?

Very few.

And that’s exactly why so few people remain in good health as they age.

Instead, the vast majority of people (in the west at least) age horribly. Walk around any shopping center and you’ll see elderly people struggling to walk. Many are keeled over their zimmer frames and don’t even know their own name.

Now, is it simply because of their age? Or perhaps it has something to do with how they took care of themselves?

Want proof? Check out PD Mangan’s physique below. He’s in his 60s, an age when most people are retiring, ready to go quietly into the night. Yet he has a better physique than most men in their 20s.

How many people do you know in their 60s that are in that kind of shape? Likely none.

pd mangan physique

It comes as no surprise then that most people are in terrible condition when they enter their twilight years.

Make no mistake, following these principles will put you into the top 1% of people. This way, you’ll avoid the disastrous fate many find themselves in during old age.

As I’ve always said; maintaining good health is not difficult. It simply requires consistent, applied discipline.

We all grow old – that’s a fact of life. But it’s up to you whether you do it gracefully or in sickness.

And as Mangan says:

Average people have average lifespans.

They also have average health. And today, “average health” means sickness and dependence on multiple medications.

That’s no way to age gracefully.

So if you want to age well and avoid the disease of average; follow the Big 5 of Long Life.

Does Alcohol Age You?

Another interesting part of the course concerns alcohol and aging. This is a big topic for most people, particularly because our culture glorifies alcohol.

Drinking alcohol in our society is so widespread, that it has become a religion unto itself. Alcohol is so ingrained into our culture that expressing a desire to abstain is almost akin to heresy. I call this: “The Cult of Alcohol.”

alcohol and aging

I’ve written in the past about my own experience of quitting alcohol. Suffice to say, I gave up drinking alcohol altogether and this had a positive on both my health and quality of life.

However, many are simply not ready to give up alcohol. Now, we know that excessive alcohol consumption is bad news for your health.

But the question here is – does alcohol age you?

According to Mangan, low to moderate alcohol intake is associated with longer life. He cites numerous studies that show that those who drink 1-2 drinks a day have a lower death rate than those who don’t drink at all.

And if you didn’t know already, excessive drinking is bad news for your health and is associated with:

  • Higher death rates
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Low testosterone
  • Low sperm count
  • Depression

Mangan says that moderate alcohol drinkers is have up to an 18% lower death rate. That’s pretty big. Although he is quick to point out here that association doesn’t necessarily mean causation.

He goes on to say that maybe health causes drinking, not the other way round. In other words, healthy and intelligent people choose to drink alcohol in moderation.

What’s more, there is a broad definition as to what constitutes “non-drinkers.” Indeed, non-drinkers may be less health conscious and simply don’t drink. A non-drinker may also be a former alcoholic that damaged their health through excessive drinking.

However, in the studies once former alcoholics were removed the category of non-drinkers, there was still a positive association with alcohol intake and good health.

It appears that moderate alcohol consumption can improve a number of health markers. These include; lower cholesterol, increased insulin sensitivity

This all comes back to hormesis – fascinating concept that PD Mangan discusses at length in the course. Hormesis basically means toxins in small amounts can actually be good for you. And in this case alcohol.

Another example is broccoli. It contains a substance called sulforaphane, which in large enough amounts can lead to cancer. In small amounts, however, it can be very beneficial to your health.

Alcohol and Aging: My Grandfather’s Story

My grandfather Bill was born in the 1930s before the outbreak of WW2. Like many of his generation, the events of those times became etched deep into his psyche. I fondly remember him telling stories of those times, such as the Battle of Britain.

He was definitely a child of his time. And at that time in post-war Britain, regular alcohol consumption was the norm.

My grandfather had a lifelong career in large British firm (imagine that today!). Eventually, he worked his way up to management, and was fortunate enough to retire in his 50s.

This was great in many ways, because it meant that he could travel and enjoy life to the fullest. But that also meant he had a lot of time on his hands.

And what did people from his generation do to pass the time? Drink alcohol.

does alcohol age you?

Now, my grandfather was by no means an alcoholic, but he drank daily. As I recall, he drank 2-3 drinks – maybe more. And doing this over the course of several decades did serious damage to his body.

By the time he reached his 70s, Bill already had type 2 diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver. I’m convinced that his daily alcohol habit made him age significantly and played a big part in his poor health

Indeed, alcohol does age you, but as PD Mangan points out in the course; the type of alcohol you drink matters. My grandfather drank beer and whiskey. Whereas from the scientific literature, it appears the protective effects of alcohol derive mainly from red wine.

Nonetheless, it wasn’t just alcohol that contributed to the demise of his health. In his younger years, my grandfather was a fit and active man and often went cycling.

While he didn’t smoke, as he grew older he exercised little and paid scant attention to his diet. In short, he failed to follow the Big 5 of Long Life.

As a result, in 80s and in his final year of life Bill admitted himself to a care home. Mentally, he was still sharp, but at this point he had sarcopenia (muscle waste) and was very frail.

He was also on a laundry list of medication that he needed to manage his diabetes and other conditions. And I’m positive he had low testosterone, which contributed to his low muscle mass and sombre moods.

It was sad to see a proud, kind and intelligent man reduced to such a poor state of health. And he passed away in 2015. Yet his health had nothing to do with his age and everything to do with his lifestyle.

I am convinced that had he followed the Anti-Aging Blueprint, he would still be here today.

Aging: A Modern Phenomenon?

There is no doubt that today, if you want to avoid the Garbage Catastrophe of Aging, you MUST follow some sort of anti-aging strategy.

There are no two ways about it.

Our environment is full of toxic chemicals and endocrine disruptors (EDCs) that conspire to lower your testosterone, lower sperm count and keep you in a poor state of health.

Poor nutrition choices – such as the western diet – and lack of exercise have led to an obesity epidemic. Yet this is in spite of all the information and technological advances we have made.

So what went wrong? We forgot how to take care of ourselves.

If you’re not convinced that aging in its current form is an entirely modern phenomenon, check out the pictures below.

These images are of veterans from the Napoleonic wars in the 1800s. When the photos were taken, these men were in their 70s and 80s. Yet they still manage to fit into their original uniforms. And they look as fierce as when they marched with Napoleon.

Does it look like “age” was a problem for these men?

Final Thoughts

There are two things that I enjoyed above all in both about this course.

Mangan backs up his assertions with scientific evidence. However, he like many “evidence-based” people today, he doesn’t simply take the studies at face value. He interprets them in an intelligent manner, tells you how they may be flawed and crucially; how they apply to you.

In addition, he breaks down complex scientific subjects and makes them easy to understand. And even as someone who had good understanding of anti-aging prior to the course, I got plenty of new insights.

The best thing about the Anti-Aging Blueprint is that it makes anti-aging interventions available to you from the comfort of your own home.

And that’s the incredible thing about the time we live in. Knowledge that was once only accessible to the rich and famous is now available for all.

No longer do you have to go to an expensive anti-aging clinic in Beverley Hills or Harley Street, and pay thousands of dollars for the privilege.

The quality of information contained in the Anti-Aging Blueprint is well worth the admission price alone. And what’s more, the bonuses in the course are fantastic. They include three of his best selling books, as well as a fascinating interview with physician Leo Zacharski.

This makes it an offer, you simply can’t refuse.

Remember, if you want to remain in average health, do what average people do. I believe in paying it forward when it comes to your health. Either way, you’re going to pay.

You can either do it now by paying for a gym membership, expert coaching, eating organic food or education.

Or you can pay for it later with care home fees and medication.

Invest in your health today by signing up for the Anti-Aging Blueprint here.

The Truth Behind Your Lack of Motivation

The Truth Behind Your Lack of Motivation

Motivation is one of the biggest buzzwords on the internet. Indeed, the whole concept of motivation has spawned an entire industry in itself. Countless motivational speakers and books tell us that we need to be “motivated” to accomplish anything in life.

As a result, when you experience a lack of motivation, you conclude something must be wrong. You look at successful people on the internet who appear highly motivated. And so you say to yourself:

“Why do I have no motivation to do anything?”

Most people think that motivation is purely psychological. Now, there is a mental element to being self-motivated. However, the physical aspect is just as important.

In this article, I’m going to show you the truth behind your lack of motivation. I’ll also show you why your low motivation has as much to do with your physical fitness as it does your mindset.

No Motivation to Do Anything: My Story

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a go-getter. Energy has never been a problem for me. I always knew that if I wanted to achieve something, as long as I had enough energy I could do it.

This was the case throughout my life until I reached my late 20s. I was 28 years old and had everything going for me. I was in a fulfilling relationship, and had a promising career in London at an investment bank.

On the surface everything seemed great. But in the background of my life, something was not quite right. Over the course of a year I gradually became less interested in life.

Things I used to feel passionate about were no longer enjoyable for me. Before, I was a very sociable person. I enjoyed going for meals and drinks with friends. Whereas now, I preferred to stay at home and be alone.

The worst thing about the whole thing was that I couldn’t explain where my low motivation came from.

I recall lying in bed one Saturday morning with my girlfriend. We had made plans to go into London for the day, and she was trying to motivate me to get out of bed. But I didn’t want to. All I wanted to do was lie there.
I felt so listless and empty; as though I had been enveloped by a black cloud.

This feeling stayed with me for months on end. It followed me around everywhere I went. And it got to the point where I was just going through the motions in life:

The standard existence for most city dwellers goes something like this:

Wake up, go to work, go to the gym, go home, eat dinner and sleep.

Except in my case, I was living, but I didn’t feel ALIVE; I felt like a passenger in my own life.

I was a shadow of my former self, and I desperately wanted to go back to who I was – the happy go lucky, driven man I knew myself to be.

Yet, I had no motivation to do anything and felt powerless to change the situation. I did have moments of drive and inspiration. However, they never lasted long enough for me to harness and make meaningful change.

Low Testosterone: The Cause For My Lack of Motivation?

I had resigned myself to my situation. I concluded I was just not a “motivated” person. Perhaps I was simply a negative person and this was my default state of mind?

But that didn’t stop me from trying to change it.

I had felt this way for several months, and couldn’t carry on living like this. Although now it was not just the lack of motivation that was the problem – I felt utterly depressed about the whole situation.

I spent countless hours reading books and trawling the internet to find out why I lacked motivation. Maybe I was depressed? Nevertheless, I knew what depression felt like and this wasn’t it. It had to be something else.

One thing that came up during research as a potential cause for my low motivation was hormonal imbalance. Specifically; low testosterone. Apparently, low testosterone (low T) or hypogonadism, could cause you to feel depressed, unmotivated and feel like you no longer enjoy life.

That was me down to a tee.

Although part of me secretly hoped this wasn’t the issue. I mean, how could a young man in the prime of life possibly have low testosterone?

Testosterone Replacement Therapy For a Guy in His 20s?

In the end, I decided to take a blood test to find out if low testosterone was the cause of my problem. I went to the local hospital and got the results back a few days later.

But I wasn’t prepared for what came next…

I had the testosterone levels of an 80 year old man!

I was dumbfounded and lost for words. Nonetheless, to make sure it wasn’t an anomaly, I went and took another blood test.

A similar result came back. I knew it was likely I would have to go on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). In fact, I was sure it was the only way I could regain my motivation for life once again.

I simply had no motivation to do anything – I needed to do something.

Subsequently, after much deliberation and soul-searching, I decided to undergo TRT. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was the right one ( I go into more detail about the process in my book Optimized Under 35).

Suffice to say, I had exhausted all other options available to me. My diet was good, I didn’t drink alcohol, smoke, nor take drugs. I also lifted weights multiple times a week.

Yet here I was with low testosterone.
Eventually, I went to see a doctor and got a prescription for testosterone replacement therapy at the age of 28.

To say that undergoing TRT was life-changing would be an understatement.

My libido, strength in the gym, overall energy levels; pretty much EVERYTHING improved.

But one of the main things that improved once I optimized my hormonal profile was my motivation. I felt alive once again and driven to go out and accomplish things.

No longer did I want to stay in bed and bemoan my situation or pity myself. I was energized from the moment I woke up until my head hit the pillow at night.

Of course, like any human being, I still had my down days. That’s simply a fact of life. However, they became few and far between. Loss of motivation couldn’t hold me back anymore.

Ever since then, my life has gone from strength to strength.

Your Lifestyle is Killing Your Motivation

There is absolutely a physiological component to motivation. For example, if you have low testosterone; no matter what you will have no motivation.

However, I want to stress while TRT was the right choice for me, that doesn’t mean it’s right for you. I get messages daily from guys who want to take testosterone because they think it’s going to change their lives.

But here’s the thing:

Taking testosterone, or any other pill or supplement for that matter is not some magic bullet that will make all your problems disappear.

What these people don’t realize is that their terrible diet and lifestyle habits are the reason they lack motivation. Your body was not designed to consume sugar-laden, processed crap.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that you’ll feel unmotivated and depressed if you put garbage in your body.

Eating natural, whole foods is the key to feeling energetic and motivated.

Your health is your currency and determines your source of, or lack of motivation.

Similarly, if you’re not exercising regularly and generally looking after your body, I guarantee you’re going to feel like shit.

If you haven’t looked at your eating habits and lifestyle as the source of your low motivation, do so now.

The Cold Truth Behind Your Lack of Motivation

We’ve looked at the hormonal, dietary and lifestyle aspects behind lack of motivation. Now let’s take a look at the psychological component to motivation.

Nowadays, people use “lack of motivation” as an excuse for why they’re not doing the things they want.

However, in truth, motivation is not the source problem. Instead, people who complain they have no motivation are often busy playing victim.

They want to blame circumstances for their problems. Therefore, “lack of motivation” becomes a ready made excuse.

But the thing about motivation is this: it comes and goes. You can never rely on it, because often you may not have any at all.

Therefore, you must learn to act in spite of motivation. For example, if I relied purely on “motivation” to go to the gym, then I would never go. In most instances, I simply don’t feel like working out.

Most people are under the illusion that people who are fit have limitless motivation. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Even when I don’t feel like training, I make myself go anyway. Because I know the rewards are far greater than giving into the whims of my body.

And what’s the alternative? Stay home watch Netflix or jack off to some porn, then feel depressed like 95% of the population?

No thanks.

Here’s another thing. If you lack motivation, you need to stop trying to find it in external sources. Reddit motivation and YouTube motivational videos may give you a short boost for an hour.

But then what? You’re back to square one. The burning fire and drive that makes you go after the things you want in life comes from within.

Not from some magical motivation elixir. 

If you have time, I recommend you take 25 minutes out today to watch the video below. It may change your life. That is, if you take action on it.

The video is by Andrew Tate, a three time world kickboxing champion. He goes into detail about what it takes to develop a successful mindset. And that means a mindset doesn’t rely exclusively on self-motivation.

Tate’s message is not for everyone, because he talks in an extremely direct and unfiltered manner.

In my opinion, people are only turned off by it because he tells the truth. And that’s life – most people simply don’t want to hear the truth.

Final Thoughts

By now you should have a clear understanding that your lack of motivation is as much physical as it is mental.

Your level of motivation to succeed and accomplish things in life is directly correlated with your health and fitness.

That means, if you don’t take the time to look after your body through proper nutrition and exercise, you will be depressed and have no motivation.

In addition, you must cultivate the kind of mindset that means you can act even when motivation is not present. And most of the time it won’t be.

But when it does appear, it will be like a shot in the arm for you. Because you’re already used to operating and succeeding without it.

If you think that low testosterone, brain fog, low energy are holding you back in life and you want to fix it without resorting to medication, contact me about my coaching.

We’ll come up with a strategy to get you motivated and back on track through diet and lifestyle changes.

P.S. Check out my 28 Day Transformation Program to help you get your motivation back.

6 Reasons to Avoid Low Testosterone Treatment on the NHS

6 Reasons to Avoid Low Testosterone Treatment on the NHS

The National Health Service, also known as the NHS, is one of the UK’s most cherished institutions. It was the brainchild of Aneurin Bevan, who launched it in 1948.

His vision was to unite medical professionals such as doctors, dentists, nurses, etc. all under one umbrella. Financed by taxation, it would be free for people to use.

The original vision of the NHS was a noble one. As an institution, it has served the UK with distinction for decades. However, one of its downfalls is its highly centralized model.

As a result, it tends to use a “standard model of care” for most conditions. This may be OK for some things. But when it comes to a highly individualized treatment, such as testosterone replacement therapy, the NHS is completely out of its depth.

I myself have been through the NHS grinder seeking treatment for low testosterone. And overall, I found the NHS to be completely out of its depth when it comes to treating hypogonadism.

In this article, I give 7 reasons why you should avoid treatment for low testosterone on the NHS.

#1 Dismissive Doctors

When seeking treatment on the NHS for low testosterone, one of the problems many patients come across is dismissive doctors.

Indeed, I recall the first time I went to see an NHS doctor about low testosterone. Despite having all the hallmark symptoms of low testosterone, he told me I was “too young to worry about low testosterone.”

He did no further investigation on the matter. Although he did prescribe me medication, but I never took it because I knew taking pills wouldn’t solve anything.

I’ve seen this happen time and again to other men. They suffer with depression, anxiety, low libido and a host of other symptoms.

After doing research, they conclude it might be to do with low testosterone. As a result, they take their low testosterone symptoms to an NHS doctor in the hope of finding someone sympathetic to their plight. But more often than not, they’re told their symptoms have “nothing to do with testosterone.”
dismissive doctor
How dare a patient speculate on what’s wrong with their own body! A preposterous idea indeed…

Doctors are held in high because they spend years studying medicine. Yet this doesn’t excuse the “holier than thou” attitude and disdain they have for patients who come to see them about low testosterone.

#2 Patients Treated Like Criminals

Often, men seeking low testosterone treatment with the NHS are treated like criminals. Doctors and nurses alike accuse them of wanting to take testosterone for bodybuilding purposes.

There is a small minority of men who try to get a prescription for testosterone for vanity purposes. But the vast majority of men seek treatment simply because they feel like SHIT.

When a woman seeks treatment for hormonal imbalance they are applauded for “taking control of their health!” Yet when a man does it, many doctors take an accusatory tone…

How dare you think about testosterone replacement therapy on the NHS! The fact you’re breathing is enough and you should be grateful!

If you’re a man over 50 years old, it’s more than likely doctors will tell you that low testosterone is “part of aging”. And you’ll simply have to get on with it.

And if you’re a young man with low testosterone? Forget it! You have a better chance of voyaging to Mars and getting a prescription there.

But is it a crime that a man should care about his own health?

Or should he live in the abject misery of low testosterone?

Apparently, being a man and looking after your health is a crime

I know men who have been turned away by NHS doctors. So they self-medicated with black market testosterone because they felt they had no other choice:

It was either self-medicate or suffer the anguish of low testosterone.

Many of these men use testosterone therapy diligently and in therapeutic doses. later when they try to get a prescription legally, because they chose to self-medicate doctors treat them like criminals.

However, doctors need to drop their self-righteous tone. And instead of accusing patients, they should consider why patients feel compelled to self-medicate in the first place.

#3 Obsessed with Numbers

Nowadays, instead of actually treating the patient, it seems doctors are more concerned with chasing lab numbers. And this is definitely the case with the NHS guidelines for the treatment of low testosterone.

In medicine, guidelines are there to ensure a high level of patient care and prevent malpractice.

The problem here though is that the existing guidelines are a joke. As far as the NHS is concerned, a “normal” level of testosterone is between 8-29.6 nmol/l (230 – 830 ng/dl).

So for example, if your blood test shows you have a serum testosterone level of 9 nmol/l, then congratulations – you are “NORMAL!”

These “clinical guidelines” are arbitrary numbers that have no basis in optimal health. But then again the NHS is in the business of treating the sick, and doesn’t care much for optimal health…

The guidelines dreamt up by CLUELESS academics and researchers who have no first hand experience of low testosterone. They do not understand the torment of low testosterone. If they did, they would not create ridiculous guidelines that condemn men to misery.
crazy doctor
As a result, doctors prefer to treat patients based on lab numbers rather than symptoms.

Here’s a typical scenario:

A patient might their doctor complaining with the symptoms of hypogonadism (low testosterone), i.e. depression, anxiety, low sex drive, etc. However, if the patient has a “normal” level of testosterone, then the doctor will send them away.

Because guess what? His testosterone level is absolutely normal! Although if he’s lucky, he’ll the patient some antidepressants for his troubles!

The patient goes away confused. He knows something is not quite right, but the doctor insists everything is OK. He suffers with terrible symptoms. And yet the one person he looked to for answers tells him nothing is wrong.

This only adds to his pain and despair. Eventually, he gives up hope and concludes there’s nothing he can do about it.

#4 Lack of Knowledge

The United States is the world leader in testosterone replacement therapy. There you can find the most progressive doctors and the best research on the topic.

In recent years, American treatment protocols have evolved considerably and have become more patient-centric. Leading American doctors, such as Dr. Keith Nichols and Dr. John Crisler recognize the importance of frequent injections (as a minimum 1-2 x weekly). Dr. Nichols has even developed his own protocol of scrotal application of testosterone cream with outstanding results.

These doctors developed these protocols, and adapted their approach after treating thousands of patients first-hand.
However, this patient-centric and approach has not yet filtered down to the UK. The knowledge and experience is simply not there.

Doctors still adhere to textbook guidelines from the 70s that say patients must inject once every 2-3 weeks.Even endocrinologists – “experts” in the human endocrine system – follow this approach.

However, injections once every 2-3 weeks result in an initial elevation of blood testosterone, followed by a significant drop. These are known as “peaks and valleys.”

The first week after the injection you feel great; energetic and positive. But in the second week you start to feel lethargic; your sex drive diminishes, and you feel depressed.

In contrast, frequent injections maintain stable levels of blood testosterone. This allows patients to receive the full benefits of testosterone replacement therapy, avoiding the rollercoaster ride when testosterone levels drop.

If your doctor tells to inject any less than once as a week; at MINIMUM, change doctor immediately.

The fact is, most doctors know nothing about hormone optimization or testosterone replacement therapy. Whether in the US or the UK. So expecting them to help you is like your car braking down and asking your grandma to fix it.

You need to find a specialist to treat you – I’ll address this at the end of the article.

#5 Bureaucracy and Micro Management

However, this patient-centric and approach has not yet filtered down to the UK. The knowledge and experience is simply not there.

Doctors still adhere to textbook guidelines from the 70s that say patients must inject once every 2-3 weeks.Even endocrinologists – “experts” in the human endocrine system – follow this approach.

However, injections once every 2-3 weeks result in an initial elevation of blood testosterone, followed by a significant drop. These are known as “peaks and valleys.”

The first week after the injection you feel great; energetic and positive. But in the second week you start to feel lethargic; your sex drive diminishes, and you feel depressed.

In contrast, frequent injections maintain stable levels of blood testosterone. This allows patients to receive the full benefits of testosterone replacement therapy, avoiding the rollercoaster ride when testosterone levels drop.

If your doctor tells to inject any less than once as a week; at MINIMUM, change doctor immediately.

The fact is, most doctors know nothing about hormone optimization or testosterone replacement therapy. Whether in the US or the UK. So expecting them to help you is like your car braking down and asking your grandma to fix it.

You need to find a specialist to treat you – I’ll address this at the end of the article.

The NHS is highly-centralized. As a result, patients have to go through a kind of chain of command in order to receive low testosterone treatment. Or any treatment for that matter.

First, the patient must make an appointment with their local GP. Depending on the area, he may have to wait several weeks to see the doctor.

Prior to treatment – that’s if his GP lets him take a blood test and he qualifies for it – he must be referred to an endocrinologist. It may take weeks or even months to see an endocrinologist.

I myself qualified for treatment on the NHS because my testosterone was akin to an 80 year old. But the waiting list to see the endocrinologist was up to five months.

I didn’t want to suffer the anguish of low testosterone for that long. So I decided to seek treatment privately instead. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, because I saw a doctor and got treated almost immediately.

Even if you do manage to get an appointment to see an endocrinologist – there are no guarantees. I have lost count of men who told me their endocrinologist turned them away because their testosterone was “normal.” (What the hell does normal mean anyway?).

This is despite the fact their GP originally referred them because they had SYMPTOMS of low testosterone.

If you are fortunate enough (debatable) to be treated by an endocrinologist, you may have to wait weeks for approval of your treatment by a panel.

Testosterone is so dangerous to men – because who knows, it might even make them healthy! Subsequently, any low testosterone treatment with the NHS must be approved by a special commission.

#6 Limited Resources

What a JOKE.

Despite its drawbacks, the NHS does the best it can be with its limited resources. Many doctors surgeries are bloated with too many patients. Therefore, appointment times may be limited to 5-10 minutes max.

Do you think that’s enough time to make a thorough diagnosis for low testosterone?

Of course not.

But it’s enough time to prescribe to antidepressants to cure the ‘depression’ you’re suffering from!

What’s more, limited resources mean doctors try to save money where possible. This means patients don’t get blood tests because their case is not “severe enough.” And when they do receive treatment, they don’t get proper treatment protocols – because that costs money!

For example, one form of treatment that the NHS favors for testosterone replacement therapy is Nebido/ This type of treatment means a big dose of testosterone, followed by another 12 weeks later.

It’s great in theory, as patients need to inject less frequently, meaning they use less resources. But what happens is; patients see an initial surge in blood testosterone, and they feel great for a few weeks.

But then testosterone levels start to drop off… And by week five or six they feel terrible. However, they still have to wait another six weeks until the next injection! I wouldn’t wish this kind of treatment protocol on my worst enemy.

To me, this is cruel and bordering on medical malpractice. But hey, it’s testosterone right? These men should be lucky just receive it!

Final Thoughts

After reading this article you may be forgiven for thinking I have an axe to grind with the NHS. But that’s far from the truth.

I respect the medical professionals within the NHS. They do the best they can, despite being let down by the political class.

Staff are underpaid, overworked, and expected to perform miracles. And with the way they’re treated, it’s a miracle they work at all.

But the fact is, the NHS remains in the STONE AGE when it comes to testosterone replacement therapy.

Everyday countless men suffer, because the NHS has no idea how to diagnose and treat low testosterone effectively. There is an epidemic of low testosterone, not just in the UK, but worldwide. And it isn’t going away any time soon.

Until the NHS chooses to drop its arrogant “know it all” attitude and becomes more progressive, you must avoid low testosterone treatment with the NHS.

Does this mean private treatment for TRT is far superior to the NHS? Not necessarily. In fact, because most doctors train in the NHS; they take this attitude with them to the private sector. Hence why it’s imperative you find the right doctor.

You’ll have to pay for private treatment. But nothing in life worth having comes without some kind of cost.

Sadly, many UK men are so indoctrinated with the idea of the NHS. Therefore, they simply cannot fathom paying toward their own health. Imagine that – investing in your own health.

Yet they pay for the NHS via taxes, but that doesn’t count right?

The private sector is by no means perfect. However, it’s more likely you will get the type of treatment you want.

The doctor is likely more experienced and specializes in hormone replacement therapy and low testosterone treatment. And what’s more, they can be more flexible in their approach to treatment. Whereas an NHS doctor will typically stick rigidly to treatment guidelines.

However, low testosterone does not necessarily mean you need testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). In my experience, many men are able to boost their testosterone levels through nutritional and lifestyle changes.

But the problem is, most guys have no clue where to start…

If you’re in the UK and are convinced that TRT is the right option for you, I recommend you get in touch with my friends over at Balance My Hormones.

However, if you want not only to testosterone treatment on the NHS, but also lifelong medication, get in touch with me about my coaching today.

I work 1-on-1 with clients to help boost their natural testosterone levels through nutrition and lifestyle changes.


If you haven’t already, sign up to my email list to get the first chapters of my book, Optimized Under 35, for free and daily emails on how to become the CEO of your own health.