In a perfect world, cheeseburgers would be calorie-free, minimum wage would be $100 per hour, and building muscle would be easier than gaining body fat. We unfortunately do not live in a perfect world. Junk food is bad for us and is loaded full of calories, gaining body fat is as simple as simply thinking about unhealthy food for some of us, and building muscle mass is tougher than quantum physics. We therefore have to make do with the cards that life has dealt us and if you’re trying to burn fat and/or build muscle, you may wish to consider looking into natural ways to boost your testosterone levels. People often ask the question of does working out boost testosterone, which is why we’re taking a detailed look at testosterone today. In today’s article, we’re looking at what testosterone is, how it is beneficial, how exercise impacts test levels, and how we can boost it naturally. So, without any further hesitation, let’s talk test.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone for a bodybuilder is as crucial as a set of dumbbells or a protein powder supplement. This sexual hormone plays a pivotal role in countless physiological processes within the human body every single second of every single day, even when you’re sleeping in your bed. This hormone is present in the bodies of both men, and women, though in men the concentrations are much, much higher. It is the primary sex hormone found in men that is responsible for the development of sexual characteristics such as pubic hair, sperm production, deepening of the voice, and libido. It is an androgen with anabolic properties which means that it also plays a vital role in the development of muscle mass and strength. Testosterone is primarily produced in the testes, after stimulation to the pituitary gland. Some is also produced via the adrenal gland. From a bodybuilding perspective, testosterone is vitally important because this hormone plays such an important role in the growth and development of muscle tissue. Men with high testosterone levels or on steroids, will typically build muscle very easily, they’ll naturally be bigger than average, they’ll be stronger, and they will possess superior athletic skills. All forms of anabolic steroid currently in existence are basically synthetic variants of testosterone.
What about the risks of low testosterone?
We now know that the more testosterone we have in our bodies, the bigger, stronger, and faster we will likely be. This is one of the main reasons why bodybuilders and athletes choose to inject themselves with steroids and various forms of testosterone. But what about if you have naturally low levels of testosterone. In males, testosterone levels begin rising in our mid-teens, which is when we go through puberty. They reach their peak in our late teens/early twenties on average. By the time a man reaches 30 his testosterone levels begin to decline. This means that things like building muscle, burning fat, and exercising in general, become more of a challenge. Some men have naturally low testosterone levels to begin with. A testosterone deficiency in men can be disastrous, which is why doctors may prescribe testosterone replacement therapy. Some common side effects and symptoms associated with a testosterone deficiency include:
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Muscle wastage
- Muscle weakness
- Low mood
- Mood swings
- Loss of bone mass
- Disturbed sleep
- Low levels of motivation and mental focus
- Low sperm counts and fertility issues
How to naturally boost testosterone
The good news is that there are a number of effective ways of significantly boosting your testosterone levels naturally, even if you are struggling with a testosterone deficiency. We’ll look at the question of does working out boost testosterone in just a few moments, but for now we’ll list a few tried and tested methods of boosting T counts naturally. These include:
Working out – Though we’ll expand upon this shortly, let’s just say that working out can in fact help to boost testosterone, as long as you are performing the right type of exercise at the right tempo for the right duration of time. Studies have found that high intensity exercise performed for durations no longer than an hour, can boost T counts. In particular, resistance training with weights was found to be very effective.
Clean up your diet – If you want to boost testosterone, eating the right foods and cutting out junk can significantly help. Bad diets are linked to obesity, which in turn is linked to low test counts. Instead try to consume plenty of veggies and protein sources, as well as foods rich in minerals such as zinc and iron, as these minerals do help to increase testosterone synthesis.
Sleep – If you aren’t getting the recommended 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night your T counts will also suffer. Try to get more sleep each night and you’ll soon begin to feel a difference.
Supplements – Natural supplements such as zinc and Tribulus Terrestris have also been found to help naturally increase testosterone. Combine supps with a balanced diet, plenty of sleep, and regular exercise and you’ll soon begin seeing improvements.
Does working out boost testosterone?
Okay, we’ve kind of spoiled the answer to this question already, because we’ve told you that it does. However, there is a catch.
High intensity exercise, especially with weights, can help to slightly boost testosterone production. After training, testosterone levels spiked and remained elevated for around 15 minutes before coming back down.
Over time however, these spikes may help to slightly elevate T levels, even while in a rested state. Endurance-based exercise, which lasts a long time, however, has the opposite effect.
After around an hour of relatively demanding training, we begin to secrete cortisol.
This is a stress hormone that unfortunately actually suppresses testosterone production. This is why stress reduces testosterone.
So, for boosting test, keep your workouts short and intense.