According to the latest data, the TRT market is expected to rise to 2.46 billion USD by 2029. That represents a staggering increase that shows just how popular this treatment has become.
The question we’re interested in is why?
Why has TRT grown in popularity and is it something to worry about?
- 1. What is TRT?
- 2. Why is TRT gaining popularity?
- 3. Can testosterone replacement therapy build more muscle?
- 4. Can testosterone replacement therapy help you lose fat?
- 5. The big TRT caveat – does it work for everyone?
- 6. Will TRT continue to be popular?
- 7. Conclusion – Is testosterone therapy a viable fitness trend to follow?
What is TRT?
TRT stands for testosterone replacement therapy, which is a type of hormone therapy specifically targeting the main male sex hormone. As men go through puberty, high levels of testosterone are produced to change a range of physical features.
This is the hormone that gives men the following:
- A deeper voice
- Body hair
- Growth spurts
- Sperm production
The list goes on – and it can also play a role in various other bodily functions, such as fat distribution and red blood cell production.
An average person with male sex organs will produce high levels of testosterone well into their 30s. At this point, T-levels can drop. Testosterone replacement therapy is designed to come in and replace the lost testosterone. It acts as a natural way of boosting T-levels back to their old amount – possibly even generating more testosterone than before.
The hormone is injected into the body, so there’s no need for surgery or any magic pills to be taken.
Why is TRT gaining popularity?
Over the last few years, there’s been a spike in TRT use throughout America. The initial thought behind this was that people were using it for gender transitions. If a biological female wanted to transition to a male, they could theoretically use testosterone replacement therapy to give them more masculine characteristics.
However, this isn’t the main reason behind the growth in TRT. In the past, the primary reason for TRT existing was to treat men with low testosterone levels. Guys with erectile dysfunction or a declined libido looked to testosterone replacement to recapture what they felt they’d lost.
Still, this isn’t why TRT is so popular now! There hasn’t been a rise in men experiencing low T levels, so what’s causing this popularity spike?!
Funnily enough, like a lot of modern health trends, it revolves around fitness and muscle building. Many men have started taking testosterone as a way to build more muscle and lose more body fat. As a hormone replacement, it’s not an anabolic steroid and is almost being treated as another dietary supplement by some bodybuilders.
Can testosterone replacement therapy build more muscle?
To be clear, testosterone replacement therapy shouldn’t be treated as a dietary supplement. It’s not like protein powder where you should take some every day. Only ever get TRT from a qualified medical professional that knows what they’re doing and has run several tests on you beforehand.
With that being said, can this treatment help you build more muscle mass?
In short, yes – it can.
Many studies have looked into this and concluded that testosterone stimulates protein synthesis. It can also stop protein degradation, which combines together to promote muscle hypertrophy. That’s a fancy way of saying that testosterone can help your muscles grow bigger and stronger.
What’s more, increased T levels can encourage more production of human growth hormone. This is what helps your muscles get bigger as you train. Men with lower levels of testosterone are going to have a harder time building muscle when compared to those with higher levels. It’s one of the reasons you may struggle to see muscle gains in your 40s or 50s, compared to if you started working out in your 20s.
It’s also a key reason most women are unlikely to see the same muscle development as men. If you took an average man and woman and made them do the exact same workout and diet routine, the man would build larger muscles. This is thanks to the higher levels of testosterone.
Can testosterone replacement therapy help you lose fat?
This is where things get a bit complicated. In theory, higher levels of testosterone can help you lose more fat. There have been studies to back this up, with one review explaining that testosterone therapy increased lean body mass and produced significant weight loss.
The exact reasons for this aren’t 100% obvious, though many put it down to the muscle mass benefits of TRT. Bodies with a higher percentage of muscle mass require more energy to function. Burning more energy means the body uses more calories, which results in fat loss.
A therapy that can both increase muscle mass and decrease body fat without using anabolic steroids sounds almost too good to be true. It’s fairly obvious now why we’ve seen such an uptake in TRT over the last few years – particularly when tied into the general fitness boom following the pandemic.
The big TRT caveat – does it work for everyone?
All of this information sounds amazing, but there’s one huge caveat with TRT.
It’s not going to work for everyone. Some people respond differently to the treatment than others, but the main issue is that it’s aimed at people with low testosterone levels. A lot of the men undergoing TRT don’t suffer from this problem. They do it for the perceived fitness gains when really they’re unlikely to actually see any of the benefits.
Testosterone therapy is designed to replace testosterone made by the human body. If your body already makes good levels of this hormone, you should already be seeing the benefits of it! There comes a point where there’s more than enough testosterone in the body, so you have great muscle-building capabilities, you burn a lot of fat, but you also see some side effects. This can include excessive body hair, an increased appetite, or acne on your face/body.
Why are so many men undergoing TRT if they don’t have low testosterone and they’re unlikely to actually see any results?
Put simply, it becomes a placebo. If you’re told that taking something will help you build more muscle, feel more energized, and burn more fat, it manifests in your brain. There’s a high likelihood you start experiencing all of these perceived benefits. Guys with decent testosterone levels that undergo TRT could see improved muscle growth. However, this could be because they’re mentally pushing themselves further because of a placebo effect. It’s not actually the testosterone therapy that delivers the results, but rather an impact of harder training regimes or more dedicated recovery routines.
Will TRT continue to be popular?
Yes! As mentioned before, the industry is projected to keep growing over the next handful of years. A big factor in this will be the fitness industry. Bodybuilders are constantly going to look for anything that gives them the slightest natural edge. Even if they keep seeing placebo results, they’ll carry on undergoing testosterone therapy as they believe it works for them.
Alongside this, testosterone replacement therapy will keep being popular because it does genuinely work for a lot of men. It’s one of the only ways to combat erectile dysfunction without taking Viagra or raising T levels in men with low libido.
We should also note that this hormone replacement therapy doesn’t cure anything. It can lead to benefits, but when you stop taking it, these benefits disappear. This is yet another reason it’s primarily aimed at men with low testosterone. If you’re looking for a long-term solution to low T levels, this is the best approach to take.
Conclusion – Is testosterone therapy a viable fitness trend to follow?
We’ll preface this by saying you are free to try any fitness trends you like. It’s your life – and your body – so only you can decide what to do with it.
However, if you’re been thinking about TRT as a direct supplement to your fitness regime, you might want to think again. It’s not going to deliver incredible muscle growth results in men with adequate or high testosterone levels. That’s not what the therapy was designed for. You’re better off considering other fitness trends – like MK-677, which targets the growth hormone and encourages muscle growth without doing anything to testosterone levels.
With that in mind, we do have another caveat for you. If you experience low testosterone levels and are looking to build muscle in your 40s, 50s, or beyond, TRT suddenly becomes a more viable option. Why? Because your testosterone levels could naturally drop below the desired level, meaning you will benefit from elevating them slightly.
As you can see, it’s all very complicated. Hopefully, this article has shone a light on one of the growing trends within the health & wellness sphere. Testosterone therapy has increased over the years because people are using it to encourage muscle growth – alongside its normal usage.
We encourage you to always speak with a qualified physician before you embark on a fitness journey or start undergoing therapies of any kind. Getting a full physical examination can help you learn more about your body and identify what treatments will actually work for you. This ensures you don’t make any mistakes or start taking something that could present nasty side effects.