For anyone trying to see big gains in the gym, they would understand how important testosterone is. It increases muscle protein synthesis resulting in increased muscle mass, along with several more functions to maximize hypertrophy.
Obviously a boost of testosterone would be very beneficial for anyone seeking gains in strength or muscle mass. But unfortunately, as we age, our testosterone levels start to decrease. The highest levels of testosterone are produced in our 20’s & early 30’s. As our testosterone levels start to decrease, our ability to effectively increase muscle mass decreases as well. This problem creates the question, “how can I increase my testosterone?”
Testosterone & Steroids
While it may be tempting to use anabolic steroids to increase testosterone levels, the effects of using are disastrous. Using anabolic steroids will speed up the production of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. This increase may temporarily boost strength and mass. However, eventually the unnatural increase in hormone levels will make your body stop producing testosterone later on in life. Therefore, because of this risky side effect, I have put together a list of ways to naturally increase testosterone. With no side-effects other than a major increase in muscle mass!
The first tip to increase testosterone, while also decreasing estrogen is to eliminate excess body fat. Studies show that more body fat creates higher estrogen levels due to the ability of fat cells to store estrogen. Along with the storage of estrogen, fat soluble cells also cause a dramatic drop in testosterone levels. In order for this to happen, body fat percentage of 15% and above are generally required. Why not increase your testosterone levels and get more ripped as well?
When trying to eliminate excess body fat, most of us would attempt a “crash diet”. This is going from your normal diet to a completely different diet within a short time. Making a large change in calorie intake in a short time makes the body enter into a starvation mode. Your body is smart. When it feels it’s starving, it will lock in the nutrients you have and enter a defensive state. While in a defensive state, your body doesn’t think offense. This means that your body will not continue to produce testosterone. Instead your body will maintain and decrease testosterone levels.
Testosterone & Calories
So basically, a crash diet is defined as a loss of more than 15% of normal calorie intake in a short time. A simple example is a 2000 calorie diet, eating below 1700 calories would shut off testosterone production. In order to effectively lose fat and increase testosterone levels, create a deficit by not eating a lot less, but just workout more! Slowly decrease calories, add more exercise and that will result in great fat loss and muscle building at the same time!
When you exercise with weights, the more weight you use, the more stress is applied on your muscles and your body. Therefore the more stress applied on a muscle, the more testosterone is released. Doing compound movements will increase this stress even more. For example, before a bicep workout, start with legs. Studies show bigger muscles have more testosterone to release and this release of testosterone will circulate your full body. Here is a good metaphor. If you were to build a house for 8 hours by yourself, there is only so much work (testosterone) that can be produced by working alone. But if 10 people (muscles) were at work, a lot more work can be produced on the house. Meaning that the more muscles at work, the more testosterone that is released.
Slow Negative Reps
Another way to increase the stress on muscles is to maximize the time of your reps. This means slow down the timing of your reps to increase the stress on a muscle. A great method to use while performing a repetition is to extend the negative portion of the rep to a 4 second count. On the other hand, while doing the positive part of the repetition, perform it for 2 a second count. A rep range should be around 5 heavy reps that you can properly control.
Compound Exercises & Testosterone
For a great testosterone raising workout, start with compound movements. Only then should you perform isolation exercises. Studies show that the more testosterone circulation, the muscle repair has a better result. Remember that form is the bedrock of bodybuilding, perfect form first. Because of this strict form, don’t worry about weight to impress anyone. Perfect form allows the maximum stress on the muscle, therefore the maximum amount of testosterone production as well.
I believe that when training, there should be a 48-hour rest period minimum before working out the same muscle again. Working out a muscle twice in the 48 hour period is considered overtraining. Remember, we grow outside of the gym not in it. I do a 5 day split so that all my muscles are completely recovered before the next training session. Recent studies showed that there was 40% lower testosterone levels for people training a muscle twice in a 48 hour period.
Testosterone & Sleep
Studies show that getting 6 to 8 hours of consistent sleep increases testosterone levels by over 40%. Not getting enough sleep causes a 40% loss in testosterone levels. In order to increase testosterone levels, 8 hours of rest needs to be applied every day. Not just a few times a week. This is because it takes about two weeks of consistent sleep for your body to start producing additional testosterone. Rest at night charges up your testosterone like how a cell phone is charging on a charger. As for rest during your workout, take at least a minute and a half rest in between heavy sets to allow testosterone circulation.
The Role Of Fat
Testosterone needs fat in order to be produced. You should make your fat portion of your diet 30% of your overall calorie intake. Not all fats help testosterone however, only good fats such as mono-unsaturated. For a person who consumes healthy nuts like almonds in their diet, studies show testosterone is 30% higher. You should have enough fat for your body to use but not enough to gain fat. This is because estrogen is stored in fat. Prevent gaining fat by eating certain foods, such as raw veggies, broccoli, and cauliflower.
These foods are important to destroying estrogen levels because they contain a chemical called D-I-M, which flushes estrogen levels out of the body. Fiber based veggies flush estrogen levels out the body. Processed foods hold estrogen called Xeno , which is stored in fat. Also especially man-made chemicals cause an increase in estrogen levels as well, such as pesticides. Raw veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, and also eating nuts produce testosterone in the body.
Estrogen & Vitamins
There are some vitamins and minerals that help increase testosterone and flush out estrogen. An amino acid that is produced in the testis called D-aspartate creates a huge booster in test levels. The recommended dose is approximately 3 grams a day. Aromatase, which is stored in fat cells, is an enzyme that takes testosterone and converts it to estrogen, which is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what we are trying to accomplish. Certain vitamins such as zinc, kills that enzyme, so take a big dose of zinc. Also vitamins A,B,C & E help as well. So get a daily amount of those vitamins, plenty of zinc, and 3g amino acid D-aspartate a day.
When we stress, our bodies produce cortisol, which is an anti-stress hormone that shuts testosterone down. This cortisol release also happens in physical stress, so don’t do a 5 hour workout. A 1hour –hour half workout is ideal because after the muscle glycogen is burned off, cortisol is released. A good way to relieve mental stress is meditation. Take a minute, turn off lights, relax and meditate, just clear your mind and concentrate on breathing. These 15-20 minutes creates rejuvenation like an 8 hour nap, and feels amazing. A study of stress was performed during a football game. 20 people were monitored, 10 wanted one team to win, the other 10 wanted the other team to win. After the game, for the 10 people whose team lost, their testosterone levels went down 50%.
In the consumption of alcohol, the endocrine cycle, which produces testosterone, is offset. Once you consume alcohol it is an immediate response when it hits the liver. Acetate is a by-product of alcohol by your liver. It’s used for energy which stops the fat burning process. So cut out the alcohol and gain more mass and have less hangovers!
An erection is known to increase testosterone, that’s why we have “morning wood. This is because our testosterone levels are at their highest during sleep which continues to the morning causing “morning wood” the. There was a study of guys watching porn for 15 minutes, their testosterone levels increased over 100% in 15 minutes. So before you work out, consider having some alone time with your spouse!
Although these are small tips, I believe it’s the small things that matter. The inches make the difference between being a champion and not. Apply these NATURALLY simple tips into your search for more muscle mass for big results!