Testosterone is such an important hormone, especially where physical conditioning, muscle mass and definition are concerned. It’s very integral to a man’s development, but surprisingly so for women too. Unfortunately, when you get into your thirties, your endogenous – or natural – levels of this valuable hormone start to decline.
This is why some people focus so much of their lifestyle on retaining optimal levels of testosterone for as long as possible. The main Bodybuilding website has over five hundred articles on or related to the optimization of your testosterone levels alone, whether it is through diet, training or other factors that the authors recommend.
That’s a lot of material to read through if you just want to boost your T. And, in truth, a handful of tips is all you need to make some positive changes and start to get the results you want.
That’s what this article is for. After reading this, you should have some insight as to how to get this anabolic, fat-burning, mood improving (and so many more benefits) hormone to start working for you in a big way.
Why Boost Testosterone?
This won’t be a lengthy section. If you want to increase it, then you probably already know why. There is a multitude of reasons:
- Increase Muscle
- Decrease Fat
- Improve Mood and general Cognitive Function
- Retain Bone Strength
- Heighten Sexual Function
- Reduce Risk of Diabetes
- Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
…and so on.
Is It Good For You Though?
First off, this isn’t about having more testosterone than the body needs or wants, as is in the case of taking synthetic testosterone injections and other illicit anabolic steroids.
When we say ‘boosting’ and ‘optimal’ levels it’s all in reference to your endogenous testosterone production. That means the Testosterone you make and not something you put into your body that has been synthesized in a lab, which confuses your system and can have a whole plethora of side effects that come along for the ride.
Those would be exogenous sources (injectables and pills of steroids and hormone replacement therapy HRT).
Even the supplements that we recommend on this site will only ever optimize your endogenous – natural production of – testosterone (the same goes for articles and advice related to Human Growth Hormone or HGH).
You Mentioned Women
Yes. While men are the main stakeholders in testosterone, it is still a valuable hormone for women, and for many of the same reasons as it is for men. Women have about a tenth of the production that men do on average
Given that estrogen – another vital hormone – is responsible in part for fat storage and retention, a poor showing of testosterone even in females can result in unwanted high est/test ratio, and thus weight gain in the form of fat, that is difficult to shift.
Get To It Then – Boost Our Testosterone
The age old advice of healthy exercise, diet and rest is a good basis for anybody to go from. There are some intricacies that you can focus on more, however, to gain further advantage.
We’ll begin with training.
Forget 20 minute sets of isolation curls on your biceps. If you want to stimulate the biggest testosterone release possible from weight lifting then the research says you need to incorporate as much muscle mass as you can into each lift.
This means hitting the big multi-joint movements such as: squats, deadlifts and benchpress.
All of these exercises are free weight movements as well, using a barbell and good technique. Similar research found that in comparison to the machine ‘equivalents’ like leg press and pec press, these free weight movements elicit the release of more testosterone.
Do the lifting sets of your workouts regularly last longer than an hour? And do you think that equates to better results?
If so, then you might want to reconsider how you are going about this. Rest intervals should remain quite short – no longer than 60 secs – between sets. And if you’re lifting weights for more than 60 minutes then it might increase cortisol, which is your main stress hormone – and the anti-testosterone! – and reduce the big T.
There’s nothing worse than putting work in that ends up being detrimental overall. Go to the gym, get the job done, and then hang around chatting afterwards, if you must.
Make it Worthwhile
It’s all good blasting an hour of multi-joint movements, but are you hitting the right intensity and adding the little variables that can help?
Try lifting around 3/4 of your one rep max (1RM = maximum weight you can lift for one single solid rep – no more no less – for any given movement) for multiple sets.
Also, where possible, add some extra reps on the last set, or do some drop sets, compounds or supers. Not all the time, but when you feel good, you can hit the muscle group a little harder.
Sticking partials on the end of your set is always a good way to get more out of it. Partial reps are where you don’t do the full range of motion of the movement. It’s important you do a set of full range before doing partials as it’s not good for your technique otherwise. They are for strengthening your full range NOT limiting it!
Diet – Fat Is Not The Enemy
You have to keep up with nutritional news, otherwise you end up doing crazy stuff like avoiding cholesterol and saturated fats.
The scientists have done a bit of a 180 on both of these topics recently. Diets including higher ratios of monounsaturated and saturated fats correlate to higher testosterone levels.
Get re-acquainted with avocados, olive oil, nut butters, and almonds for some quality monounsaturated fats.
For the saturated kind, lean red meats, eggs, cheese, solid oils like coconut oil, and grass-fed dairy are good.
While we’re on the myth-busting theme, dietary cholesterol is necessary for good health.
Yes, testosterone is even derived from the stuff. What confuses most people is the differentiation between Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), which has been widely dubbed ‘bad cholesterol’ and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL).
The ratio of the two is what matters as LDL can be the cause of some artery blockage etc. What’s important is that dietary cholesterol is not the culprit when it comes to high levels of LDL. The real issue is bad fats like trans fats. Avoid them like the plague!
Ingredients and Supplements
There are known ingredients which boost our natural testosterone levels. Some are easy to get hold of like zinc, or vitamin D. Some are easier to get if you find a decent supplement.
There are those which combine good ingredients at effective dosages. They are not as abundant as those manufactured by profit hungry companies who overprice and under-dose their product.
However, we have done the hard work for you and researched and tested the best products for testosterone stimulation.
Sleep, No Really, Sleeeeeep!!
Stressed out, under slept? Neither are good for T levels. The biggest release of our anabolic hormones happens when we rest. The more rest the better.
You’ll perform better, you’ll feel better and you’ll look better if you stop burning the candle at both ends.
Use the links below to learn more about testosterone.