Testostone affected my body dramatically when I first began hormone therapy in 1996. But I never expected my body to react to hormones as precisely as it does.
Example: Last June (2012) I shifted my prescription from Androgel gel packets to the Androgel concentrated pump. (Early in transition I used needles. Detested those needles. I also didn’t like the peak and trough nature of the two-week dosing cycle, either. But that story is for another day.) The dosage remained the same.
Over the last seven, almost eight months, I have put on about twelve pounds of muscle. Those twelve pounds represent about a 5% increase in weight. How do I know it is muscle?
My weightlifting totals shot through the roof.
- I can now deadlift 102% of my bodyweight, up from 90% last year.
squat 88% of my bodyweight, up from 70% last year;
benchpress went from 40% of my body weight to 50%.
Had I gained fat only, I would have experienced only about a 5% increase in weight lifting totals. But with each movement, I had a minimum 10% increase with my squatting increasing by almost 20%. That is almost surely muscle. So hazzah for me! At 48, too!
I had always imagined that at some point in time I would find myself settled with hormones both in terms of dosage and the effects a particular dosage had on my body.
Now, it seems, the delivery mechanism may also have an impact on my body.
Adapting to simply being bigger overall has presented the biggest challenge. I have certainly weighed more than I do now. But my overall shape, bigger chest, bulkier biceps, thicker legs with fat distribution around my stomach, well, let’s just say I did not look that way a year ago.
What pleases me the most is that my neck – always very scrawny – has grown 2 ½ inches. My chest has grown about 2 ¼ inches.
In an effort to productively track my weight lifting progress, I vow to lift weights three days a week and post relevant numbers here. I’ll post some pictures this weekend.