Increasing Testosterone Naturally
If you are involved in strength training and want to increase the size, density, and power of your muscles, one of the most important hormones that you must know about is testosterone.
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and the one that is responsible for allowing you to gain pounds of additional muscle mass.
The more testosterone you have present in your system, the more muscle you will build and the faster you recover from your workout session. In addition to that, men who have more testosterone typically experience a higher sex drive as well as a leaner body composition, so doing everything you can to elevate your levels up higher is definitely going to serve to your benefit.
A drop in testosterone is completely normal and natural for all men beyond the age of 30, so if you find that you are experiencing slower rates of muscle growth compared to when you were in your 20’s, it’s not just in your head. There is actually a physiological reason your gym workouts don’t seem to be paying off as much as they used to.
Fortunately, there is something that you can do about this. Here are some of the main things that will increase your testosterone naturally so that you can achieve the muscle building results that you desire.
See Also: Top 10 Test Boosters
At the Gym: Choose The Right Exercises With Sufficient Weight
First and foremost, you need to make sure you’re training properly in the gym. If your typical workout includes 8 sets of bicep curls, 10 sets of tricep movements, and a number of lateral raises to build up your shoulders, you need a new approach.
When it comes to boosting testosterone, the more muscle fibers you can work at once – and the more weight you can lift in a movement – the greater the release will be.
One study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports reported that when two groups were studied, one performing just arm exercises only and another performing both arm and leg exercises in the same session, the group performing both arm and leg exercises demonstrated that highest total increase in testosterone levels. The take home of this study then is to make sure you train legs.
Your focus should be on compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, leg press, and then adding the upper body compound exercises to that of the bench press, chest press, pull-up, and shoulder press. In addition to that, as you perform these, make sure that you are lifting as heavy as possible. Testosterone production also increases to a correspondingly higher intensity of exercise, as noted in a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.
Aim for a rep range of 5-8 reps, which is enough to stimulate size gains, but still going to optimize natural testosterone production.
Supplement Wisely With a Testosterone Booster
Perhaps the easiest and most effective way to enhance your natural testosterone production is to use a key supplement that contains proven ingredients that stimulate the body to increase total testosterone production.
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Aliments To Increase Testosterone
When it comes to your diet, you need to remember three key things. First, make sure you get sufficient total calories in. Very low calorie dieting will crush testosterone levels faster than anything else, so avoid going this route whenever possible.
Second, make sure you are getting enough saturated fat. While you don’t want to take your intake sky-high, you do need to get in enough dietary fat to maintain proper hormonal levels.
Aim to eat at least 30% of your total calorie intake from fat, and have saturated fat representing at least 15% of that 30%. Good food choices include grass fed beef, whole eggs, avocado’s, coconuts, nuts and nut butter along with fatty varieties of fish.
Finally, avoid processed carbohydrates. These will cause much strain and stress on the body as it robs your digestive system of proper good bacteria, sends insulin levels soaring, and will put you at risk for added fat gain. Choose wholesome grains such as quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes and you’ll do far better with maintaining proper testosterone levels.
Prioritizing Shut Eye
Sacrificing sleep to climb the corporate ladder? Or perhaps you just have a bad habit of spending a little too much time in front of late night TV.
Whatever the case, it’s time to start prioritizing sleep. Nothing will derail your progress faster than lack of sleep both in terms of testosterone release as well as overall recovery and strength gains.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association noted that losing even just 1 to 2 hours of sleep each night can have a profound influence on testosterone production in just one week’s time.
Don’t let yourself think that you need to go for weeks on low sleep to see negative decrements taking place. Even just one night could potentially influence your progress.
When you don’t sleep enough, your energy level will go down, meaning you won’t put as much intensity into your sessions and worse, your cortisol levels will increase, promoting muscle mass breakdown.
This can also promote fat accumulation around the midsection, so clearly something you want to avoid.
Start getting at least 7 hours of sleep at night, if not 8 if you can manage it.
Lowering Your Stress Level
Stress. It’s something we all face at some point or another – some of us more than others. If your level of stress is chronically high however, this is zapping your testosterone production. Stress is one of the most detrimental factors to testosterone production.
In a study published in the Experientia journal, K.T. Francis noted that males who were classified as being high psychological stress (which included measures of anxiety, hostility, and depression), experienced significantly lower testosterone levels than did their low stress counterparts.
Remember that all forms of stress count here as well. Financial stress. Relationship stress. Career stress. Even time related stress if you lead a very hectic schedule can mess with your natural testosterone production.
Do whatever you can to lower your stress and it will make a big difference in the results that you see.
See Also: Top 10 Stress Reducers
Shedding Excess Body Fat
If you’re carrying around excess body fat, it’s time to finally go on that diet you’ve been putting off. Excess body fat wreaks havoc with normal hormonal production and can make it incredibly challenging to build even a little muscle mass.
Taking steps to reduce you calorie intake slightly and increase your movement will help get you where you want to be. The good news as well is it’s a self-fulfilling cycle because as you start losing weight, your testosterone levels will increase and you’ll then build more muscle. That new muscle will then assist with burning up more body fat due to a higher metabolic rate, so you then get even more testosterone release.
All you need to do is get the ball rolling.
Just note that you should avoid all crash diets as we noted above. This is not the way to approach this as too low of a calorie intake as well as too low of a dietary fat intake both have extremely detrimental effects on testosterone production.
Getting Sufficient Vitamin D
Finally, make sure you aren’t falling short on your vitamin D intake. Vitamin D plays a key role in testosterone production, as was noted in a study published in the Hormone and Metabolic Research journal. Researchers noted that when subjects received 3 332 IU’s of vitamin D daily, they showed a higher increase in total, bioactive, and free testosterone levels compared to those who received the placebo.
Sadly this is one nutrient that many people aren’t getting enough of.
Your body will manufacture vitamin D whenever you go out in sunlight, but with more of us working long hours at the office and staying until dark, we just don’t get the sunlight we need.
Supplementation is a wise solution and this is one reason why Vitamin D has been included in TestoFuel as well. If you choose to use this product, you’ll have your needs covered.
So there you have the most important steps to take if you want to increase your testosterone levels to build more muscle mass tissue. If you are currently suffering from less than optimal progress, chances are your testosterone is to blame but fortunately, there is help. It simply doesn’t have to be this way if you make sure you put some key steps into action to help elevate your levels back up again.
Hansen, S. et al. (2002). The effect of short-term strength training on human skeletal muscle: the importance of physiologically elevated hormone levels. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. Vol. 11, Issue 6.
Cauter, E.V. & Leprout, R. (2011). Effect of 1 week of sleep restriction on testosterone levels in young healthy men. The Journal of the American Medical Association. Vol. 305, No. 21.
Alen, M. et al. (1988). Daily Hormonal and Neuromuscular Response to Intensive Strength Training in 1 Week. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 09(6): 422-428.
Dreier, J. et al. (2011). Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation On Testosterone Levels In Men. Hormone And Metabolic Research. 43(3):223-225.
Francis. K.T. (1981). The relationship between high and low trait psychological stress, serum testosterone, and serum cortisol. Experientia. Vol. 37, Issue 12. Pp. 1296-1297.