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What Is a Normal Testosterone Level For Sexually-Active Man?

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What is a Normal (or Good) Testosterone Level for Men?
(All About Testosterone Part 1)

This is the first installment in our three part series about Testosterone-

Even though all of these articles are written by an licensed pharmacist who was also a bodybuilder- none of these articles should be considered medical advice or a suitable replacement for a physician's professional opinion. These articles are subject to our medical disclaimer.testosterone word in letterpressForward by Good Looking Loser

When kids were out drinking and hooking up with girls in college, I was in my own nicely furnished apartment studying testosterone levels and anabolic steroids. Once in a while I'd take a top-less picture of myself and post it on Facebook, which was new at the time.

While I've lived my 20's in reverse, a lot my time spent in my early 20's sitting on the Internet doing "research" paid off.

(most of it was a colossal waste of time)

If masculinity were biologically quantified into a single number- it would your testosterone level.

While that would be an absurd generalization, masculinity is largely an attitude/mindset/vibe, we can't underestimate the importance of this level and the likely influence it has on behavior of the elite group of goal-driven males that we call the "Top 10%".

Allow me to generalize and back it up with absolutely no proof -

(we'll have plenty of science soon)

  • Attractive masculine guys, by appearance and mindset, that are physically fit, have a sex drive, killer instinct and embrace competition - probably don't have low testosterone. 
    It might not be in the highest percentile, but it's unlikely (but not impossible) that it's below average.
  • Significantly lesser masculine guys, by appearance and mindset, that are not physically fit or unable to become, have a low sex drive, that are unable to project strength, find courage and fear competition - probably don't have high testosterone.
    It might not be in the lowest percentile, but it's unlikely that it's significantly above-average.

Your testosterone level is critical. 

During my brief stint as a personal trainer in Los Angeles and several years in college working intermittently as an underground "consultant" to random Division I college athletes - the VERY FIRST number I needed to know their testosterone level.

It didn't matter how hard they trained, what supplements they took or how much clean food they ate- if their testosterone was low, it will be PHYSIOLOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE to build or maintain significant amount of muscle mass (or lose significant amounts of fat without losing muscle) if their testosterone was low.

For the average person, the number is just as critical and the way that most doctors the issue is absurd.

For example-

  • If you were 20 years old and had a testosterone level of a 60 year old - most doctors would tell you that you were "just fine".
    (the same is true for thyroid levels)
  • If you were 60 years old and began to feel sluggish, scatterbrained and couldn't maintain an erection - most doctors would tell that you were "just fine" and it's "natural" so long as your testosterone level fell into the very liberal ranges (as much as ~260-1200) that are considered "normal".

It will be up to you to ask the doctor for the EXACT number and interpret it. Ask us in the forum if you need help.

In general, we recommend that you have the highest testosterone level you can have, while still falling in approved medical range of (350-1200).

In my non-medical opinion, there is NOTHING WRONG with having the testosterone level of a 19 year old, so long as your blood work is also within the healthy ranges and you are under a physician's care.

A lot of doctor's will say, "that isn't natural."

By natural, they mean- healthy males are naturally supposed to progressively feel and look like shit as they get older.

I don't see the point of feeling (or looking) like you are older than you are if you don't have to.

I keep my testosterone levels at about 1000ng/dl (+/- 150).

My doctor approves.

Hand mit Stift zeichnet chemische Strukturformel von Testosteron

What’s a Normal Testosterone Level for a Healthy, Sexually-Active Male?
(By: Good Looking Pharmacist)

As a man, there is no doubt that you’ve heard more than your fair share about testosterone.

But what exactly is it?

Do I need more of it?

Or more importantly, what effects does a lack of it have on my body?

Let’s delve into some of the biggest misconceptions about testosterone and do some serious myth-busting.

So What is Testosterone?

Quite aptly put, it is the hormone that makes a man a man.

Testosterone is a steroid (uh-oh), and is responsible for the masculine effects, such as hair growth, increased muscle mass of males, and very importantly, sexual function and libido. Testosterone is frankly the most important hormone in men, with a low level impairing many physiological processes.

Testosterone chemical structure formula on blackboard

What Are The Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Men?

To appreciate the benefits of optimal testosterone levels (and not normal), it might be practical for you to get an understanding of what low Testosterone levels cause. These may include;

  • Depression- while it has not been conclusively determined, there is a definite association between depression and low T levels. It may be that it is depression that is lowering the T, or low T bringing on the depression, but there is a definite relationship.
  • Increased Storage of Body Fat- testosterone plays an important part in balancing glucose and fat metabolism, and regulating insulin function. When T levels are lower, fat and glucose metabolism stalls, and leads to storage of more fat. To make matters worse, fatter men have higher levels of estrogen, via more conversion of testosterone to it. Fat cells carry aromatase enzymes, which converts even more testosterone into estrogen.
  • Muscle Breakdown- while diet plays a big part in preventing muscle atrophy (breakdown), there’s a reason why women just don’t have as much muscle mass as men, and that reason is testosterone. It is a well-known fact that supra-physiological levels of testosterone bring about rapid muscle growth, and prevent its breakdown at the same time, a feat not accomplished by many men with seemingly “normal” testosterone values.
  • Decreased Sexual Capacity- this is a big one- men with lower levels of T are actually much more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction, along with low libido. Low T levels are much more prevalent than thought, owing largely to the fact that physicians have failed to properly address what a good reading should be.

Ignorance can be dangerous too.Ignorance can be dangerous too.

Should You Trust Your Doctor When He Says Your Testosterone Level Is "Fine"?


That’s to say it bluntly and now I’ll tell you why.

If your doctor says the "f-word" (fine), ask to see the numbers. It is your legal right to see them. Sometimes you'll need to shout at a brain-dead receptionist that doesn't want to fax your numbers - but it's worth it - it's your life.

To start with, keep in mind that the test doesn’t lie (unless you do the cheapest, most inferior method that exists), but is subject to individual perception. What that means is that you are likely to be told different things depending on the laboratory and doctor that does it.

Let me give you an example -

Many labs have a reference range of 350-1200 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter) for total testosterone as being fine.

So according to that, theoretically if you are 18 years old and score 370, you would be in the prime of your life, right?

Well here’s the MAJOR problem; that range was devised based on averages from men of all age ranges; normally from around 23 way up to 80.

So you’re 370 might be "normal", but not normal for your age.

You could possess the normal level for a 70 year old man! And that’s where the major problem lies that physicians everywhere have been failing to address.

But before we delve further into unshrouding the testosterone mystery, let’s clarify how a test typically looks.

When you do a T level test, there are two kinds you can get;

A Total Testosterone Test, which is only concerned with giving you the overall reading of your value. Most of these tests focus on total, as the other test, “Free Testosterone Levels” is extremely minute, and often times difficult to predict accurately.

  • A Total Testosterone Test measures all the testosterone in your body, including the bound (or inactive testosterone) that is already being used.
  • A Free Testosterone Test measures the testosterone that your body can actually use for things like building muscle, sex drive and supporting energy levels.

Both numbers are significant, although if you have a high level of Total Testosterone, it's unlikely that you will have a low level of Free Testosterone, and vice-versa.

More information can be found here-

doctor dunno
So What Is A Normal Man's Testosterone Reading?

A 'normal' reading depends on your age.

If you are 30, and have gotten a reading of 370, then you are normal according to the “accepted reference range”, while really and truly you are sorely under what is should be.

To give you a good idea of what it should be, based on age, there were a number of studies conducted to determine what the average was at different age ranges;

We have taken the mean of several studies and found averages.

Men less than 25 years old

Men 25-34 years old

Men 35-44 years old

Men 45-54 years old

Men 55-64 years old

Men 65-74 years old

Men 75-84 years old

Men 85 and older

Now that you’ve seen this, it should be clear that a mediocre reading based on a wide cross section is not only inaccurate, but could directly contribute to a nation’s health burden.


Is It Better to Be High-Normal, as Opposed To Just Normal?


As seen above those are the average levels of men within those age ranges.

However, there is an upper and lower limit as well, with it being better to strive for the upper end whenever possible.

Of course, there are individual differences as well; it all depends on your “feel”. Some men may feel perfectly normal at a lower level than you may; doesn't necessarily mean there’s something wrong with them, just that maybe their optimal zone is lower than yours.

Finding yourself on the upper side can have profound positive effects, such as;

  • Increased libido and spontaneous erections- nothing says that you have a healthy testosterone level more than your erection potency and frequency, as well as your desire to have sex.
  • Improved brain function- there has been a definite association between low testosterone levels and a decline in cognitive function, such as is common in men with Alzheimer’s disease. Men with higher levels have better men and make wiser decisions as well.
  • Improved bone strength- this effect is in part due to testosterone’s own ability to enhance bone mineralization, prevent resorption, and in part to the effect of estrogen’s protective effect on bone. In case you are wondering how estrogen reached in this picture, remember higher testosterone levels also means higher rate of natural aromatization to estrogen.
  • Decreased fat mass and increased muscle mass- we all know the primary reason athletes use testosterone; its effects on muscle growth and fat loss are phenomenal. And while your values are likely to not be supra-physiological, you will enjoy the benefits of a lean, muscular physique with higher levels of test.


What Testosterone Level Do We Recommend?

We recommend having your testosterone level as high as possible, 900-1000 (+/- ~100) ng/dl so long as you are under a physician's care, within acceptable ranges and are not experiencing any side effects.

How Do I Find Out What My Testosterone Level Is?

You actually have several options and you don't even need health insurance.

See your doctor.

If you have health insurance- go see your doctor and complain about "fatigue" and ask him to find your testosterone level.

(you might as level get a thyroid test too)

"Fatigue" is a general symptom that nearly all health insurance will permit (and cover) testing for. You might want to ask your doctor and health care provider to confirm this but I (Chris) learned this from my own doctor. Anytime I wanted bloodwork for a specific hormone, the doctor indicated "fatigue".

Remember, if your doctor is a general practitioner or he sucks- you will have to demand to hear your numbers. Most endocrinologists (hormone doctors) are better with this stuff. It usually takes a referral (and money wasted on regular doctor's visits) to see this type of specialist however.

If you don't have health insurance (or even if you do and want to save money), there's 2 other things that you can do-

Get the bloodwork done yourself.

Most people don't know that it is perfectly legal and possible to get virtually anything tested from an independent laboratory and not report it to your doctor or insurance. It's quite simple and this little "trick" is something that most dedicated bodybuilders or competitive athletes know about.

It goes like this-

  1. Purchase a basic testosterone test or a more extensive men's hormonal panel online.
  2. Print out the papers. (they will tell you)
  3. Bring the papers to a nearby lab or blood draw center and get the test done.
    (they will tell you the labs in your area, there are usually several within 5 miles)
  4. Wait 24-72 hours and receive your results via email.
  5. Interpret the results (and/or show them to your doctor).

Often doing this is cheaper and faster than going to a doctor. I highly recommend it if you live in a country that still allows you to make your own medical decisions.

Get a credible at-home testosterone test.

This is not my first recommendation but I know some intelligent meatheads that swear by this specific inexpensive saliva test that can measure both free and total testosterone.

Basically you spit on it and send it to a laboratory in the pre-paid container and they hit you up with a detailed analysis.

Pretty simple and the least expensive of all the options.

(these tests are actually quite popular, more than I knew)

Continued in-

Hi, Chris from Good Looking Loser. "Get a Life" is our safe for work, non-adult site that features lifestyle, health/fitness and style information. Feel free to leave a comment!

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  • WES

    I'm 56 and found myself weak, fat and unable to maintain a good erection. I started 100mg a week of testosterone cypionate and after three weeks my total tes. came out to 627. My erections are a little bit better, but I want to have those spontaneous ones like before. I should have known something was wrong because I stopped having nocturnal erections. I'm working out everyday, have lost a little weight and firmed up a little. I have a history of depression and anxiety to go along with this which makes it very difficult to make it thorough each day. I'm praying for a good outcome.

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  • Dave Watts

    I'm 59 and have a testosterone level of 320. This is described as 'normal' but puts me in the lowest 5% of men of my age range (and all age ranges). I have a healthy lifestyle, eat well, and train with weights so this result is far less than I was expecting. I don't think I can raise my levels naturally any further than they are as I'm already doing all the right things. I'm naturally skinny but don't have obvious physical symptoms of low testosterone (apart from not being as strong and robust as I used to be) but my mood seems to be deteriorating and is quite erratic. Should I be going on to TRT?

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  • Carl Davis

    Hi, I am a 66 year old male currently taking 40.50 mg (2-pumps) of AndroGel (1.62%). I also am on a ketogenic diet. I just ordered a saliva test because I read about the importance of balancing all hormones especially progesterone and estrogen, etc.. I also have read that pellet implantation is the best method as it gives one a steady rate of testosterone as opposed to the Andro Gel that doesn't absorb more than 10-20 percent of the stated dosage. I feel very good and am leaned out @ 154 lbs (5'9") but want to optimize my potential.

    Thanks for any of your opinions.

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  • Daniel Moran

    I dropped from 600 to 346 from age 54 to 59. Fat, muscle weakness, joint pain, tripping, could not whistle anymore (neuromuscular control), poor balance, fearful of ladders, no libido, ED, pain in old surgeries, poor urine flow, poor quality of life though all things were fine. Dr. knows he cannot give me T until I am under 250 or insurance will not pay. I found an Australian sources of bioidentical T at 5% as a cream and all of these things have reversed including stronger singing voice. I still have ED but then I am only on the med for 70 days. T is up to 460 and I want to push it a bit higher.

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  • bossplaya

    Got my test lvls checked a scored 1 point higher then an ovulating women and I am 33 and workout and eat clean, though I have taken steroids in the past. Bought a bottle of testosterone and started injecting 200ml a week until I get a doctor appointment to start TRT. Felt like shit so I could not wait. Just hope the doctor dont complain I started on my own but if they do I will just go to dr to dr in my city until I find one who will treat me. Great thing is im canadian so the blood work and the steroids are all free.

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  • Nick Alvis

    I think you have a great website. My concern with this is that I read testosterone supplementation can cause prostate cancer? I'm 64 years old and my physical last year showed a level of 444. I've been retired for a year and granted don't exercise, but my fatigue has been off the charts. I've got fatty liver and sleep apnea, so I don't know what's causing what, but by what you've written, very obviously my numbers aren't what they should be.

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  • Champz

    Im 21 and tested my testosterone, results were 497ng/dL, but the range from my lab was 250-800. Is it the same as a test from the range of 1200 or its more because of the lower range numbers?

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  • Alan

    I had 147 total testosterone and my endocrinologist is having me take Chlomid... After 10 days I am up to 380. Both test were done in the morning. I feel a lot more energy. Hopefully, my numbers will keep going up. Low T is an awful feeling.

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  • Alan

    Further - 60 yow.

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  • Alan

    Male - 5.9 tall - 148 lbs - smoker - testosterone tested today - result 825.
    I have acute ED. I do not understand nor know my next step.
    Thank you.

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  • Hey so here's one went to docs had test came back extremely low...

    I'm 23 years old male have lived a good lifestyle 290 lbs and my level is 45 ng/dl. I've been trying to find info no info to be found doc has never seen anything like this. :, (

    What do I do. What if I run out what will happen.

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  • Chris

    I'm 24 just had my test checked out received my result and turns out mine is 154.... Just waiting on a response from my doctor to get me started. What should I expect?

    1 Short URL: Reply
  • Daniel

    i am 27yr old active duty Marine I recently had labs done and my Test was 500 ng/dl this Is way below what the average is for my age , I've noticed a big decline in strength while working out and loss of muscle mass. I don't know what to do? The navy dr's say I'm within the normal range so I'm basically shit out of luck?

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  • Ear

    Hello, I need a help! I am 25 years old, 68 kg bodyweight and I have only 535 ng/dl. I feel weakness that last 2 years and depression. I've been training judo for 12 years and couple years for powerlifting. I still can lift 120 kg bench press, 150 squat without equipment, but my test level is low. :? Ive never used synth test. Now I've bought boosters and planing more sleep and train. How else I can increase my test in my body? Thanks.

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  • R

    I am 22 years old and I got a testosterone level of 258 and I have numbness in my genitals is it really likely that Low-T would do this to me? I need serious responses ,because I am afraid for my life at this point. I feel different. :/

    Please respond ASAP

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