Quick and Easy Guide | Testosterone Boosting Exercises Without Weights

Who said you need to go to the gym to boost testosterone?

While lifting heavy certainly has its benefits, such as stronger bones, more muscle mass, and huge anabolic response. Exercises without weights will give you a testosterone increase of their own. [3]

In fact, if you do these exercises right and combine them with some of the tips I’ll give you, you’ll experience pretty much the same benefits as from training in the gym.

 

See for yourself, these are the most effective testosterone boosting exercises without weights:

  1. Sprints
  2. Squats
  3. Pull-Ups
  4. Push-Ups

These movements are all extremely effective at raising your anabolic hormones. And I’m not just talking about testosterone. Growth hormone gets spiked up too!

Other methods of raising your T levels include getting 7-9 hours of sleep, avoiding sugars, eating zinc-rich foods, and taking supplements such as Ashwagandha which reduces cortisol – the enemy of testosterone.

Read on to have a deeper look at how these anabolic benefits occur.

We’ll explain how certain movements such as bodyweight squats raise your testosterone and Human Growth Hormone.

We’ll also give you a sample bodyweight workout plan, so you can start raising your testosterone as soon as you finish reading this article!

Benefits of Exercising Without Weights

Squats, push-ups, pull-ups, etc. are all exercises that require no weights. As such, they fall into a category of movements called CKCE. It stands for “closed kinetic chain exercises.”

What does this mean?

Basically, CKCE are types of exercises where the hand (if training upper body), or the foot (if training lower body) keeps constant contact with a surface without moving.

Think of push-ups where your hand stays in contact with the floor while doing the exercise – this is one example of CKCE.

On the other hand, exercises you do in the gym, such as pull-downs, bench press, etc. are called “open kinetic chain exercises.” Or simply OKCE. This is where your hand or foot moves when performing the exercise.

There a number of benefits that CKCE offer compared to open kinetic chain exercises. These include;

  • Engaging more muscles and joints.
  • Can be done anywhere.
  • They are more functional.
  • Greater neurological and muscular response.
  • Improve coordination and stabilization more than OKCE.

Not only this, but CKCE offer better flexibility when performing some of these exercises. For example, transitioning from one exercise to another with CKCE is much easier than with OKCE. This is especially important if you’re looking to melt body fat.

With shorter rest periods, CKCE offers superior results in terms of keeping the metabolism firing and helping you lose weight.

Do Bodyweight Exercises Raise Testosterone?

You might be saying; “Okay, these benefits are great but I came here to learn about exercises that boost my testosterone.” 

Can CKCE, aka, bodyweight movements do that for you?

According to the science, yes they can! [1, 2]

Exercises without weights, such as sprints, are shown to greatly elevate anabolic hormones in men. These include testosterone, DHT, and HGH.

The largest spike in these hormones happens 15-30 minutes after exercises. They stay elevated for an hour or even longer, depending on an individual.

Key point: Bodyweight exercises belong to a category of movements called CKCE. These offer benefits such as improved coordination, stability, along with raised anabolic hormones.


Testosterone Boosting Exercises Without Weights

#1 Sprints

It doesn’t take a doctor to tell you that exercise of any kind is good for your health.

But sprints have specific benefits that only a few exercises can match.

Here they are:

Sprints Improve Your Metabolism (And Fat Loss)

For starters, a good sprinting session will ramp up your metabolism. When you do this exercise, you put enormous amounts of pressure on your body for a short period of time.

This yields a massive metabolic response from the body, which means, it starts to expend a lot more calories than it normally would. With more calories burned, you’ll find it much easier to burn fat and stay lean.

Now, here’s a fascinating thing: Even after you finish sprinting, your metabolism will stay burning massive amounts of calories for hours post-workout.

Meaning, these fat burning benefits last even after you’ve finished working out. This is a benefit that only a handful of extremely intense exercises offer – and one of them are sprints.

Sprints Increase Anabolic Hormone Secretion

If you thought that an improved metabolism from sprints was impressive, have a look at this;

Sprints are shown to drastically increase anabolic hormones post-workout. This includes testosterone and human growth hormone. [14, 5, 6]

Citing a study from NCBI“After the training period, plasma TT concentrations increased significantly at the end of the sprint and during the recovery.”

To show you the exact numbers. Research has shown that Human Growth Hormone, which is responsible for keeping you young and strong, gets elevated by a whopping 771% after a 20-minute sprinting session. [7, 8, 9]

You Might Like: Most Effective Testosterone Enhancers Guide

Sprints Help You Grow New Brain Cells

You read that right; sprints will not only improve your physical abilities. They will also improve your cognitive function by causing new brain cell growth. [10]

This happens because when you’re sprinting, your body responds by producing large amounts of BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This is a protein that stimulates the growth of new brain cells.

In essence, sprinting will make you smarter. It will improve your memory, thinking, focus, and reaction time via the growth of new brain cells induced by BDNF.

Now, if you thought that was cool, there’s another, arguably even more important benefit that sprints offer in terms of brain health.

See, when BDNF gets produced after sprints, your brain becomes much tougher and resilient. BDNF is known for protecting the brain against oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress causes damage in all your tissues; it’s a natural process which many experts believe is one of the main causes of aging. Over time, it wears your body down.

By combating oxidative stress processes, BDNF makes your brain younger and more resilient to damage and aging.

If you needed one more reason for doing sprints, there you have it.

Sprints Cause Muscle Growth

In addition to raising anabolic hormones, sprints also directly affect muscle growth. [11]

A 2012 study done by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute did a test on a group of men and women. Researchers had them do 30-second sprint intervals with 20 seconds of recovery between exercise. A typical HIIT workout.

Immediately after the workout, researchers took muscle biopsies from both men and women’s quads. They did the same 2 hours later.

Test results showed increased levels of enzymes that regulate muscle growth. In other words, sprints caused these men and women to trigger an increase in muscle mass.

However, this wasn’t the only positive result of the study. While performing tests, researchers also found that these test subjects showed improved ankle strength and bone density. Which was particularly impressive because they only did one sprinting session. Now imagine if they trained like this constantly; the benefits on their ankles and bones could be even greater.

Sprints Save Time

Let’s face it – not everyone has the time to train for 1 or 2 hours every day.

With our busy lifestyles, one of the main concerns in people who want to start training is the amount of time they’ll have to put in.

The good news is: sprints don’t require that much time at all! In fact, all of the benefits mentioned from above can be achieved in under 20 minutes of sprinting, just a couple of times per week.

A study from the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that just 15 minutes of interval sprinting yields the same benefits as 9-12 hours of moderate, prolonged exercise.

Sprints Make You Tougher

From reading this, you might get the idea that sprints are all fun and easy. But that’s far from the truth.

The fact is, this is an extremely difficult exercise. Even with all of these benefits, not everyone is willing to exert themselves so much with sprints.

This exercise demands huge amounts of willpower. The more you do it, the stronger you become – not just physically but mentally, too.

In essence, sprinting makes you harder to kill. It makes you more resilient to daily stresses. And above all, it makes you more motivated to tackle new challenges, due to improved mental toughness.

Key point: Sprints speed up the fat loss process, help you build muscle, raise testosterone, boost BDNF levels, and increase human growth hormone by up to 771%.


#2 Squats (Bodyweight)

Testosterone is the epitome of maleness, and so are squats.

In fact, what’s the one exercise that comes to your mind when you think of a huge muscular guy?

Okay, you might say the deadlift or bench press, but the fact is, squats stand shoulder to shoulder, and probably even above some of these exercises.

They are called the king of exercises for a reason – squats induce massive metabolic and anabolic response from the body. And I’m not just talking about heavy barbell squats.

Even the bodyweight squats can cause you to burn fat and gain muscle at the same time.

That’s correct; studies have shown that even light squats can cause your body to produce more testosterone, helping you build muscle. [14]

But squats can also be fairly ineffective, depending on your form.

Here’s the trick; since bodyweight squats are far easier than barbell squats, we need to train in a specific way to make them more intense.

First and foremost, you should train at a very high rep range. I’m talking 40+ reps per set, nonstop.

Also, no jerking or fast movements. You should have a slow and controlled form. Especially when squatting down; that’s when you should go extremely slow for maximum intensity (I’ll explain why this is important in a second).

If you do squats correctly, you can expect some massive testosterone gains. Studies show that squats boost up testosterone more than any other exercise. “The king of all exercises” also significantly increases your human growth hormone release. [12, 13]

So there you have it; squats day and testosterone is no myth.

Even if you can’t go to the gym, you can do this exercise pretty much anywhere. That’s why it’s among the most effective testosterone boosting exercises without weights.


Key point: Any type of squats (even bodyweight) are shown to cause a spurt of testosterone in the body. Squats also boost up the metabolism, helping you burn fat.

#3 Pull-Ups (And Chin-Ups)

Fun fact: pull-ups are often called the upper body squats. There’s a good reason why this is the case.

The truth is, pull-ups are hard. How many people have you seen that can’t do even one rep of pull-ups or chin-ups?

When you think about it, it makes sense that an exercise of that difficulty causes a huge anabolic response from the body. Pull-ups activate many muscle groups. Including the large latissimus dorsi (the back) and biceps.

As a result, your body stimulates the metabolism to work harder, along with increased testosterone production to help elevate your strength.

Research shows that pull-ups, just like any other compound exercise, yields a positive effect on your male hormone. [15]

But, unlike exercises such as bench press where you have to go to the gym, pull-ups can be done pretty much anywhere – even on a tree branch. (But don’t blame us if it cracks!)


Key point: Pull-ups and chin-ups are called squats for the upper body. That’s because they are extremely hard to do, and offer similar benefits as squats. Such as increased testosterone, growth hormone, and muscle mass.

#4 Push-Ups

 

Push-ups are another awesome movement you can do anytime, anywhere.

And they’re one of the manliest exercises out there.

The thing with push-ups is that they can be both extremely easy, and extremely hard to do. This depends on how you set the exercise up.

There are countless variations of this exercise, from one-arm push-ups to spiderman push-ups.

One thing they all have in common, though, is that push-ups naturally raise your testosterone levels. That’s correct; not only will your pecs improve but so will your male hormone. [16]

All in all, this is a great exercise if you don’t have access to the gym. And one of the easiest ways to boosting your testosterone without weights.


Key point: There are countless versions of push-ups. They can be done anywhere, are easy to do, and above all, cause a spike in testosterone levels.


How to Train For Optimal Anabolic Boost

If you want to get the most out of your bodyweight workouts, there’s a specific way in which you should train.

Here I’ll explain how to optimally perform exercises without weights. Along with showing you the science behind this technique.

First off, remember that intensity is key. Since you aren’t lifting weights, you’ll need to compensate by increasing the reps and reducing the rest between sets. This is crucial for getting your testosterone elevated.

You also need to ensure a proper form. This means, no swinging, no jerking, no fast movements. Whichever exercise you do, perform it in a slow and controlled manner.

Further Reading: Testosterone 101 – A Detailed Guide on the Male Hormone

Now here comes the most important part; during the eccentric (negative) part of the exercise, you should go extremely slowly – lasting 3 seconds or more.

For example, let’s say you’re doing squats. You want your eccentric (negative) part of the movement where you’re squatting down to last 3 or more seconds.

Doing squats this way is shown to induce a huge hormonal response by the body. This brings about a chain reaction where testosterone and growth hormone levels jump up.

And I’m not just spewing out some bro-science talk here. The method of training with slow negative reps has been tested in studies.

See for yourself:

The Science

 

In a study done by Brazilian scientists, 16 strength-trained men were split into two groups.

Both groups did the bench press, 4 sets of 8 reps at 70% of their maximum.

Here’s the difference though; one group of men lifted like your average gym Joe, with the negative part of the movement lasting 1 second.

The other group did it a little differently. Instead of going fast, they lowered the weight slowly. It took them 3 seconds to lower the bar down to the chest, instead of 1.

Brazilian scientists measured hormone levels of both groups of men before, during, and after the exercise.

The result?

15 minutes after the workout, men who did slow (3-second) eccentric reps had 17 times higher HGH levels than the first group who lowered the weight fast. [16]

The study concluded;

“These results suggest that slow eccentric bench press exercise prescribed by a specific muscular strength test (1RMecc) is an effective way to induce a significantly greater GH release.” – NCBI

Interesting fact: Human growth hormone is essential for the growth of new tissue. This includes muscle cells.

After the age of 30, HGH levels start dropping drastically. This decrease is even more dramatic than with testosterone.

Because of this, finding methods that will naturally keep your HGH elevated is of utmost importance if you want to stay vital and strong in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond.


Key point: When exercising, doing slow eccentric (negative) reps for 3 seconds or longer is shown to cause a massive spike in Human Growth Hormone. Leading to faster recovery, muscle growth, and raised anabolic hormone levels.


Sample T-Boosting Workout Without Weights

Intro

Take some of the exercises from above. Combine them with the guidelines we’ve shown you, such as slow negative reps, short duration of the workout, and high-intensity training. And you’ve got yourself a neat little workout that will boost your testosterone, as well as growth hormone.

But I wanted to take it a step further.

After digging a little deeper into the science of testosterone and bodyweight workouts, I’ve constructed a complete routine that will allow you to stay ripped and muscular, along with having supercharged testosterone levels at the same time.

Before you start though, I have to warn you. This is not an easy workout.

It doesn’t last long, but will require your utmost concentration, strength, stamina, and endurance due to the sheer intensity. With that in mind, it’s important that you properly warm-up before going into this workout. Otherwise, you might risk injuries!

The Workout

Many of the exercises in this workout are done in supersets and/or circuits. This means there’s very little time to rest between sets. If you feel like you can’t keep up the pace with the intensity of this testosterone-boosting workout, you can modify it to suit your needs and capabilities at any time.

Plyometrics

  1. Frog Hops, 5 reps (jumps) | rest 5 seconds | repeat 3-5 times
  2. Pylo Lunges, 15 reps each side | rest 10 seconds | repeat 3-5 times
  3. Reaching Reverse Lunge With Hop, 10 reps each side | rest 5 seconds | repeat 6-8 times
  4. Star Jumps, 8 reps | rest 5 seconds | repeat 3-5 times

Followed by:

Metabolic Conditioning Routine

  1. Sprints (60-80% of your max) | 10 seconds | rest 20 seconds | repeat 5 times
  2. Squat Jumps supersetted with Push-Ups | 10 reps each | rest 20 seconds | repeat 3 times
  3. Dips supersetted with Lunge Jumps | 10 reps each | rest 20 seconds | repeat 3 times

If you feel like you still have some energy left in the tank, you can do another round of sprints; run at your 60-80% max speed for 10 seconds, rest 20 seconds, and repeat 5 times.

What Else Can You do to Raise Testosterone?

Training is just one part of keeping your anabolic hormones high.

There are other factors that’ll determine how you’ll look and feel, as well as how strong your male hormone will be.

These include eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, keeping your cortisol low, and taking certain herbs and nutrients that can spike up your T and HGH production.

Shall we look at each one of these in more detail?

Diet

The fact is, foods that you eat have a massive impact on your health as a man.

If you’re looking to optimize your testosterone levels, you’ll need to follow a few simple rules with your diet.

The first rule is, avoid sugars as much as possible. Refined carbs such as table sugar and wheat are linked with plummeting testosterone levels.

Studies show that just a couple of sweet treat indulgences can lead to catastrophic consequences for your male hormone. [17, 18]

If that wasn’t enough, sugars also cause inflammation in the body. They raise blood glucose levels, and subsequently – insulin.

When your insulin is constantly spiked up, this triggers an unhealthy chain reaction in the body where inflammation takes root. This then leads to the infamous heart disease, diabetes, and other deathly ailments. [19]

Read this carefully; If you want to keep your T levels high, you want to minimize processed sugars, carbs, and even meats.

Instead, you want to eat wholesome, organic foods that are dense in nutrients. These include dark leafy greens, oysters, grass-fed beef, egg yolks, and avocados. Many of these foods are rich in zinc, a mineral that regulates testosterone production. [20]

By complementing your hard training with some of these foods, you can rest assured your T levels will stay high.

Key point: Sugars and refined carbs are enemies of testosterone. Grass-fed meat, organic vegetables, and good fats, on the other hand, are its most powerful allies.

Sleep

Hitting the sack on time might give you more than just a feeling of being rested.

Studies show that men who don’t get enough sleep experience seriously low testosterone levels.

In fact, just one week of inadequate sleep is shown to cause T levels to drop by 15%.  This number continues to rise the less time you spend sleeping. [21]

You hear it all the time from bodybuilders: eat well, train hard, and sleep tight. Because they know just how important these three factors are when it comes to building muscle.


Key point: Not getting enough sleep dramatically reduces testosterone levels. Ensure at least 7-9 of sleep each night to reap the benefits of elevated T.


Keep Your Stress Under Control

 

Here’s the thing with stress: when you’re in this state, your body produces certain chemicals. The most well-known ones are adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol.

Cortisol is the one you want to minimize.

While having some cortisol in your body is a good thing, the stressful lifestyles we lead have seen men become constantly flooded with this stress hormone.

The result?

Seriously low testosterone levels, heart problems, diabetes, anxiety, and the list goes on…

You see, your body has room for either cortisol or testosterone: when one of these hormones gets high, the other plummets down. [35]

That’s why you want to avoid stress as much as possible. Because when you’re in this state, cortisol thrives and testosterone dies. And that’s the reason why stress causes muscle loss.

Some of my top tips for avoiding stress include:

  • Long walks – This is by far one of the best methods of reducing cortisol that I’ve found. Just try it out next time you feel stressed. Go out, take a long and relaxing walk, don’t think about any responsibilities, just enjoy each moment as you gently put one foot in front of another. Preferably, do it somewhere where it’s quiet and close to nature.
  • Meditation – Taking just 5-10 minutes out of your day to sit and do nothing can do a lot more than just calm you down. Meditation has been studied extensively and is shown to cause a huge reduction in cortisol levels.
  • Yoga – Similar to meditation, here you focus on your body and certain postures that release tension, leading to less stress.
  • Reduce caffeine – When caffeine enters your system, the body starts producing adrenaline and cortisol. More cortisol is the last thing you need if your goal is boosting testosterone levels.

Key point: When under stress, your body produces high amounts of cortisol. This leads to a chain reaction where your T levels drop, since testosterone can’t thrive in an environment where there’s an abundance of cortisol. Most effective ways of dealing with stress include meditation, yoga, reducing caffeine, and taking long walks.


Natural Supplements

 

Note: To see the full list of herbs and nutrients that can boost up your male hormone, be sure to check our in-depth guide; Men’s Health Enhancers Guide

There are certain supplements that can amp up your T production when taken in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.

These include:

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb known for its anti-stress and anti-anxiety qualities.

In some studies, ashwagandha has been shown to reduce cortisol by up to 35% in men.

In the process, it improves testosterone levels, sperm quality, immunity against cancer, mood, and muscle mass. It’s one of the best anti-stress herbs known to man. [22, 23, 24, 25, 26]

Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a key role in overall health, and that includes hormones like testosterone and HGH. Studies have shown that a lack of vitamin D leads to hypogonadism (clinically low T) in some men. [27]

We usually get vitamin D from the sun, but with our modern, sheltered lifestyles, rarely anyone gets enough of this vitamin nowadays.

When you couple that with the fact that there aren’t many foods rich in vitamin D, supplementation becomes mandatory.

Oyster Extract

If you don’t fancy eating oysters every day, an oyster extract might be just what you’re looking for.

It’s dried oyster meat stored in a capsule. It has all of its nutrients and qualities preserved, including absurdly high amounts of zinc.

Just one serving of oysters has over 1,000% of your RDI for zinc.

The impact this will have on your testosterone levels is pretty big. According to studies, oyster extract significantly improves testosterone, libido, and even the immune system. [28, 29, 30]

Fenugreek

Like ashwagandha, fenugreek is an ancient herb linked to a myriad of benefits. Including elevated testosterone levels, improved libido, and reduced inflammation in the body. [31, 32]

Fenugreek increases testosterone by reducing the sex hormone binding globulin, which renders free testosterone unavailable.

Fenugreek also inhibits the aromatase enzyme, which is known for converting testosterone to estrogen (the female sex hormone).

D-Aspartic Acid

There are good news and bad news to D-Aspartic Acid.

The good news is, it’s shown to drastically improve T levels in sedentary men or those who suffer from weak testosterone.

The bad news is, it doesn’t appear to work in men whose T levels are already high. [33, 34]

Conclusion

The gym isn’t the only place where you can boost testosterone.

In fact, you can start elevating your male hormone right here, right now. Just start doing bodyweight exercises which are linked to improved testosterone and human growth hormone levels.

Testosterone boosting exercises without weights include:

  • Sprints – Exert huge anabolic and metabolic response from the body. Boosting the HGH by 771%. Sprints also improve T levels, fat loss, and make you smarter by improving Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor.
  • Squats – Squats are the king of all exercises, for a good reason. They not only raise your metabolism work rate, helping you burn fat, but also significantly increase testosterone levels. And the best of all, you don’t need to go to the gym to reap the benefits of squats. Studies show that bodyweight squats, when done correctly, can be just as effective at raising testosterone as heavy barbell squats.
  • Pull-ups – One of the most intense upper-body exercises. It yields a massive response from the body, causing you to burn fat faster, along with raising anabolic hormones.
  • Push-ups – They are easy to do, there are countless variations of push-ups. And most importantly, push-ups are shown to increase testosterone levels in men.

In order to reap the full benefits from these exercises, you should train in a specific way. Make sure your negative (eccentric) portion of the rep lasts at least 3 seconds. This is the most important factor in raising your testosterone, according to research.

Also, make sure you keep the intensity levels high. Remember, we aren’t training with weights here, so you need to compensate by reducing rest times and increasing the number of reps!

Here’s more good news; these exercises aren’t the only way to raise your T levels. In fact, if you combine these movements with a healthy diet, 7-9 hours of sleep, and reducing stress, your testosterone and HGH levels will be much higher than from training alone.

Also, supplements are another great addition to your training. By taking certain herbs and nutrients that reduce stress and stimulate testes, you’ll keep your anabolic hormones high even long after the workout has finished.

Some of the most effective testosterone enhancers include:

  • Ashwagandha
  • D-Aspartic Acid
  • Vitamin D
  • Oyster Extract
  • Fenugreek

If you combine all of the advice we’ve given you here, you won’t have any problems with building muscle, staying lean, and having testosterone levels of a man in his prime.

Next up: Testosterone Enhancers For Men Reviewed

References for the article: Quick and Easy Guide | Testosterone Boosting Exercises Without Weights

[1] Androgen responses to sprint exercise in young men. (source)

[2] Dihydrotestosterone is elevated following sprint exercise in healthy young men. (source)

[3] Increased physical activity has a greater effect than reduced energy intake on lifestyle modification-induced increases in testosterone. (source)

[4] Variations in urine excretion of steroid hormones after an acute session and after a 4-week programme of strength training. Timón Andrada R1, Maynar Mariño M, Muñoz Marín D, Olcina Camacho GJ, Caballero MJ, Maynar Mariño JI. (source)

[5] The effects of short-term resistance training on endocrine function in men and women. Kraemer WJ1, Staron RS, Hagerman FC, Hikida RS, Fry AC, Gordon SE, Nindl BC, Gothshalk LA, Volek JS, Marx JO, Newton RU, Häkkinen K. (source)

[6] Human growth hormone significantly increases sprint capacity in healthy recreational athletes. (source)

[7] Boost Your Human Growth Hormone in 20 Minutes! Dr. Mercola. (source)

[8] Peak Fitness Boosts Your Human Growth Hormone by 771% in Just 20 Minutes. (source)

[9] The time course of the human growth hormone response to a 6 s and a 30 s cycle ergometer sprint.  Stokes KA, Nevill ME, Hall GM, Lakomy HK. (source)

[10] High-intensity interval training evokes larger serum BDNF levels compared with intense continuous exercise. Saucedo Marquez CM, Vanaudenaerde B, Troosters T, Wenderoth N. (source)

[11] Sprinting for Muscle - Travis Hansen. (source)

[12] Effects of progressive resistance training on growth hormone and testosterone levels in young and elderly subjects. (source)

[13] The Acute Hormonal Response to Free Weight and Machine Weight Resistance Exercise. (source)

[14] The effect of training volume and intensity on improvements in muscular strength and size in resistance-trained men. (source)

[15] Which Exercise Is Better for Increasing Serum Testosterone Levels in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction? Jeong Kyun Yeo, Seung Ik Cho, Sun Gu Park, Seok Jo, Jeong Ku Ha, Jeong Woo Lee, Sung Yong Cho, and Min Gu Park. (source)

[16] Acute effects of movement velocity on blood lactate and growth hormone responses after eccentric bench press exercise in resistance-trained men. (source)

[17] Hormonal changes in normal men under marginally negative energy balance. (source)

[18] Testosterone concentrations in young pubertal and post-pubertal obese males. (source)

[19] Controversies about sugars: results from systematic reviews and meta-analyses on obesity, cardiometabolic disease and diabetes. (source)

[20] Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. (source)

[21] Effect of 1 week of sleep restriction on testosterone levels in young healthy men. (source)

[22] A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults. (source)

[23] Studies on the immunomodulatory effects of Ashwagandha. (source)

[24] Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. (source)

[25] Antioxidant activity and apoptotic induction as mechanisms of action of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) against a hepatocellular carcinoma cell line. (source)

[26] Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimental study. (source)

[27] Benefits and requirements of vitamin D for optimal health: a review. (source)

[28] Effects of oyster extract on the reproductive function of zinc-deficient mice: bioavailability of zinc contained in oyster extract. (source)

[29] Variation in the Levels of Sodium and Other Minerals of Nutritional Importance in Louisiana Oysters (Crassostrea Virginica). (source)

[30] Cloning and mRNA expression of antioxidant enzymes in the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas in response to cadmium exposure. (source)

[31] Effects of a purported aromatase and 5α-reductase inhibitor on hormone profiles in college-age men. (source)

[32] Therapeutic applications of fenugreek. (source)

[33] Influence of a D-aspartic Acid/Sodium Nitrate/Vitamin D3 Dietary Supplement on Physiological Parameters in Middle-aged Men: A Pilot Study. (source)
[34] D-aspartic acid supplementation combined with 28 days of heavy resistance training has no effect on body composition, muscle strength, and serum hormones associated with the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis in resistance-trained men. (source)

[35] Relationship Between Circulating Cortisol and Testosterone: Influence of Physical Exercise. (source)

Testosterone Guides and Articles

At MaleTestosteroneBooster, it’s our aim to help you get the most out of your life by helping you boost your testosterone levels. We all know what it’s like to feel suboptimal in the bedroom, the gym, and in everyday life when your confidence is lacking. This is why I’ve put together the below guides to help you reach your goals! Why not check them out, you may find just what you’re looking for.

Learn How Squatting Can Increase Your Testosterone Levels

Looking for motivation to train legs?

We’ve all been there… get under the squat rack, do your reps, and get out as fast as possible.

Well, not that fast actually – if you’ve trained your legs well, you’ll be hobbling out of the gym with a pained grimace.

But is this a good enough reason to skip leg days?…

Definitely not!

You see, doing squats every week will significantly boost up your male hormone.

 

Doing squats is shown to ramp up the human growth hormone by 1700%. Other benefits of leg workouts include enhanced libido, metabolism, and fat loss. [1, 3, 4]

Studies show that intense leg training yields a massive anabolic response from the body. Resulting in raised testosterone levels. [2]

With elevated T and HGH levels, you’ll also experience improved protein synthesis after workouts. Leading to vascular and strong muscles.

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In this article, I’ll explain how squats affect your T and HGH. Along with showing you the optimal way of training legs for maximum anabolic response.

Does Training Legs Increase Testosterone

As I mentioned above, yes, training legs does increase your testosterone.

And it’s not just leg training. Any type of workout that’s intense enough will produce a hormonal and metabolic response by the body. Resulting in improved T, metabolism, and muscle protein synthesis. [2, 4, 7]

However, since legs (and glutes) are the biggest muscle group in the body, they produce the biggest response from the body when trained. [5, 6]

That’s why leg workouts are among the most effective ways of naturally raising testosterone. And that’s why squats day and testosterone is no myth.

Related: Testosterone Guide | Learn How The Male Hormone Works

Leg Workouts Boost Growth Hormone Release, Too

As I briefly mentioned at the beginning of this article, leg workouts don’t just boost your testosterone. They cause your human growth hormone levels to rise, too.

And while testosterone gains from training your legs are nothing to sneeze at, the HGH gains you get from doing squats blow everything else out of the water.

Studies have shown that intense exercise, such as squats, ramp up human growth hormone levels by up to 1700%. The best thing of all, this increase in growth hormone can last for hours. Long after you leave the gym. [1]

However, it’s important to know that getting your HGH levels boosted by 1700% takes a correct approach to training. This includes choosing the right exercise, reps, sets, and rest periods. All of which I’ll cover below in detail.

 

Other Benefits of Leg Workouts

A boost in anabolic hormones is just one part of the picture when it comes to leg training.

There are other, just as impressive benefits of doing your squats. These include:

Increased Muscle Mass

Yes, training legs will increase your overall muscle mass. And I’m not talking just about the leg muscle mass. I’m talking everything from chest to arms. [8]

See, when you’re working out really hard, let’s say squats. You’ll be causing an anabolic response from your body, where it starts producing extra testosterone and growth hormone.

This leads to improved muscle protein synthesis, and ultimately – bigger and stronger muscles. A direct result of raised anabolic hormone levels. [7]

A study published by the European Journal of Applied Physiology proved this. They tested the hormonal response in men after an intense resistance exercise.

The study found that men who lifted the heaviest, and most intensely, produced the biggest response in testosterone. 

So again, since T plays a key role in men’s health, elevated levels of the male hormone will allow you to build fuller slabs of muscle.

You’ll Burn More Calories (And Fat)

Your glutes and legs are the largest muscles in your body. As such, they burn a heck of a lot of calories. More than any other body part. [9]

There was an interesting study done by the Journal of Applied Physiology. They tested athlete’s calorie expense after a heavy and intense workout.

The results of the study showed that 90 minutes of doing squats and deadlifts skyrocketed athlete’s metabolic speed – increasing their caloric expenditure.

Interestingly, athlete’s metabolic rates stayed high for several hours post workout.

In other words, intense exercise will not only help you burn more calories on the spot. It will keep your metabolism firing long after you’ve finished your workout. [10, 11]

You’ll Stay Injury-Free

It’s true: working out your legs will reduce your chance of an injury.

See, muscle imbalances can cause many problems. Not only will you lack mobility, but you’ll also have problems with back pain and injuries – the most common one being an ACL injury.

By doing deadlifts, lunges, squats, or leg press, you’re building muscles around your joints and core, increasing their stability and endurance to pressure. [12, 13]

Let’s get one thing clear here. If you’re serious about looking good and feeling good, then you should start working on your legs. Weekly.

If you’re training three times per week, at least one of those training sessions should be a leg day. This will not only ensure your anabolic hormones stay high. But will also keep you strong, lean, and flexible.

How Testosterone Is Created With Squats

Okay, onto the big question: how is testosterone actually created with squats?

Let’s answer it by breaking down some science for you…

In the study published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, experts put two groups of men with similar training experience under a test.

The first group did 6 sets of 10 reps of squats. The second group did the same with the leg press.

Here’s what the study found;

“Blood samples were collected before (PRE), immediately after (IP), and 15 (P15) and 30 minutes (P30) after exercise, and analyzed for testosterone (T), growth hormone (GH), and cortisol (C) concentrations. Exercise increased (p ≤ 0.05) T and GH at IP, but the concentrations at IP were greater for the squat than for the leg press.” – journals.lww.com

In other words; both groups raised their T and HGH levels, with the squat group seeing the highest boost in anabolic hormones.

To be more precise,  the squat group raised their testosterone levels from 23.9 nmol/L to 31.4 nmol/L, while the leg press group saw an increase from 22.1 nmol/L to 26.9 nmol/l.

As for growth hormone, the squat group increased it from 0.2-9.5 μg/L. In contrast, the leg press group raised their HGH levels from 0.3 to 2.8μg/L.

Here are two graphs from the study, showing the T and HGH increases in more detail;

 

Key point: Studies show us that squats are the king of exercises when it comes to raising your testosterone and HGH levels.


How Testosterone Is Produced During, and After Exercise

When you train hard, you activate your endocrine system.

The endocrine system is responsible for regulating hormone production. This includes testosterone and HGH. [14]

Here’s the thing… when you’re pumping out those reps, you’re inducing a hormonal response from your body.

Your testosterone levels get up, and so do cortisol and growth hormone. [15, 16]

You might be thinking; “isn’t cortisol bad for your muscles?” And that’s true, but only when it stays elevated for longer than it should. Which is the case when you’re overly stressed – resulting in muscle loss.

However, the elevation in cortisol during exercise itself is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, it helps you continue training hard so you can get the most out of your workout.

And here’s the beautiful thing – after you’re done with the workout, your cortisol levels drop down. Your testosterone and HGH, however, stay raised for up to several hours.

This is what helps you to grow new muscle fibers, resulting in a strength and lean mass increase.

You Might Like: Men’s Health Enhancers Guide

Okay, okay… I know this sounds interesting, but you’re probably wondering where’s the science behind this. Where are the actual facts?

Well my friend, here’s your answer;

The Science

Study 1 – Raised T Levels From Moderate Exercise on a Bike

This study tested the effects of 45 minutes of moderate cycling exercise on a group of untrained men. These men had their T levels measured at the 15-minute mark of exercising.

The study showed that after just 15 minutes of cycling, these men started producing anabolic responses in their bodies. Causing their testosterone levels to shoot up. [17]

Citing the study; “Mean serum testosterone levels increased significantly over resting values at 15 min of exercise. Mean peak serum testosterone and free testosterone were significantly increased during the exercise period as compared to resting values. It appeared that bicycle exercise of moderate intensity significantly increased both free and total testosterone in untrained males.” – NCBI

Studies 2 & 3 – Effects of HIIT Exercise on Testosterone

The study from the above showed us the effects of moderate exercise on testosterone levels. But what about more intense exercises, such as HIIT?

Well, here we have two studies that looked into this topic. They tested two groups of men – one group included young males. And the other group were gentlemen in their 60s.

The young male group were medical students and were mostly sedentary. The researchers tested these men by putting them under a heavy training program where they attained a heartbeat of 125-150/bmp. They kept up this rate for 15 minutes.

It turned out that the group of young men experienced significantly higher T levels during the exercise. What’s more, their T levels remained elevated after 12 weeks of following this training routine. [18]

The group with older men also saw similar benefits. Just like the group of young males, these older gentlemen had their testosterone elevated after a period of HIIT exercise. The study concluded [19];

“The present data indicate a combination of preconditioning, and HIIT increases TT and SHBG in sedentary older males, with the HIIT stimulus accounting for a small but statistically significant increase in free-T.”

How to Train For Optimal T and HGH Release

After reading this, you might get hyped to work out and improve your testosterone and growth hormone. If that’s so, good on you!

But wait….

Before you go under that squat rack, there are a few things you’ll need to know to maximize your anabolic response from training.

You see, intense exercising in general will raise your HGH to a degree. But, lift weights in a specific way, and your growth hormone levels will spike up by 1700%.

Here’s how to do it.

Slow vs. Fast Reps – The Overview

Doing reps in a specific way plays a huge role in your anabolic hormone secretion, according to Brazilian scientists.

They tested the effects of the eccentric or negative portion of the exercise on human growth hormone levels.

Just to clarify: eccentric and concentric are two phases in a lift. The eccentric (or negative) phase is where you lower the weight down and your muscle lengthens. The concentric phase is where you lift the weight up and your muscle contracts.

Okay, so the eccentric part of the lift has always awoken curiosity among weightlifter fanatics. Some of them claimed that by doing a slow and controlled eccentric rep, you improve your testosterone and muscle growth.

Others claimed that it doesn’t matter; they instead just let the rep fall down like a rock off a cliff.

But what do the studies say? Well, apparently, controlled eccentric (negative) reps recruit more muscle fibers, causing a greater strain on the body.

This results in an elevated anabolic response, especially in Growth Hormone and IGF-1 levels. In other words, slower and more controlled reps bring about an increase in muscle mass.

Slow vs. Fast Reps – What Research Says

There was a study done by Brazilian scientists that I mentioned above. They gathered 16 men experienced in strength training and split them into two groups.

Both groups did bench press. They did 4 sets of 8 reps at 70% of their 1-rep maximum.

The first group did 8 reps in the ‘standard’ style where it took them around a second to lower the weight down.

The second group also did 8 reps, but it took them 3 seconds to lower the weight, instead of 1. They lowered the weight much more slowly and with more control.

The Brazilian scientists measured GH and lactic acid levels in both groups of men prior, during, and half an hour after the workout.

Here’s what they found;

Both human growth hormone and lactate levels were higher in men who did 3-second eccentric reps (slower). But, after 15 minutes, they tested their GH levels again, and found they were 17 times higher than in the first group of lifters who did fast reps. [20]

The study concluded [20];

Slow velocity eccentric muscle actions influence acute responses after bench press exercise performed by resistancetrained men, resulting in a greater metabolic stress and hormone response. These results suggest that slow eccentric bench press exercise prescribed by a specific muscular strength test (1RMecc) is an effective way to induce a significantly greater GH release.” NCBI

And here’s a chart from the study showing human growth hormone levels in both groups;

What This Means For You

One thing to conclude for the study above, is that doing slow and controlled negative movements leads to a huge growth hormone response.

If you’re still skeptical about this, despite the evidence, here’s my suggestion for you…

Try doing 2-6 week workout phases where you train with 3-second eccentric (negative) movements. Or maybe even slower. Try it for yourself and see if it gives you any significant muscle gains.

The fun part is; you can choose to do this method for any body part. Legs, chest, back, arms, shoulders, whatever it is that you need to grow.

This is actually an effective way of bringing out your weaker body parts. If you have stubborn calves, why not try this method and see if it improves your muscle gains over the course of several weeks.

Also, try doing slow and controlled exercises (3 or more seconds) during your entire workout. And see if these hormone boosting effects can be stacked up.

Whatever you choose, it’s a method worth trying. That is, if you’re looking to boost your HGH and muscle gains.

Key point: Slow eccentric (negative) reps cause a 7-times higher growth hormone spike than fast reps. Aim for your negative reps to last at least 3 seconds for maximum benefits on your GH levels.


Other Leg Exercises That Boost T and HGH

Okay, so far we know that squats are among the top exercises you could do for improving your male hormone.

But there are more exercises that are just as impressive at raising your anabolic hormones as squats. These include:

Sprints

Yes, running does increase testosterone. But not the type of running you’re thinking of.

You see, there are generally two most common types of running – marathons and sprinting. Only one of these will boost your T and HGH.

Can you guess which one it is?

Surprise, surprise… it’s sprinting!

That’s correct, short but intense bouts of running are much more effective at supercharging your anabolic hormones that long distance running. [30, 31, 32]

Long distance marathons will, in fact, rob you of your testosterone. That’s correct, these types of runs might be beneficial for your stamina, but they aren’t that friendly to your male hormone. [33]

This is because when you run for long distances, your body is in a prolonged state of stress. This screams cortisol and overtraining.

Again, cortisol is good for you in small amounts. But when it becomes chronic, that’s when it starts wasting your testosterone and muscle mass, since it’s a catabolic hormone. [33]

Sprints, on the other hand, actually raise your testosterone and HGH. We’re talking about an extremely intense type of running here.

With sprints, you’re putting your body under extreme pressure for a short period of time. Typically 20-30 seconds per sprint.

This produces a huge metabolic and hormonal response from your body. Meaning, it doesn’t only ramp up your testosterone and human growth hormone – but metabolism too. This, in turn, promotes faster weight loss. [34, 35, 36]

You could say you have ‘killed two birds with one stone’ here.


Key point: Sprints are one of the most effective ways of boosting your testosterone and growth hormone. Long-distance running, on the other hand, lowers anabolic hormones and is muscle-wasting.


Deadlifts

If there’s only one exercise I could do for the rest of my life, it would be the deadlift.

In terms of muscle building and raw intensity, deadlifts stand shoulder to shoulder with squats. And any other exercise for that matter.

This exercise has a tremendous impact on your musculoskeletal and hormonal system. If you perform it right, you can expect some massive testosterone and HGH gains.

That’s correct; heavy deadlifting is shown to increase anabolic hormones in men, resulting in an improved muscle protein synthesis. [37]

So if you’re looking to get jacked quickly, what better way to do it than incorporating some deadlifts into your routine.


Key point: Deadlifts stand shoulder to shoulder with squats and sprints when it comes to boosting testosterone and human growth hormone.


Bent Over Rows

It’s funny how the exercises we hate the most are usually the ones that bring us the greatest benefits.

Such is the case with bent over rows. To many, an exercise that they try to avoid.

Bent over rows work your whole body; from lats, legs, lower back, rhomboids, biceps, delts, to the core. You name it.

This puts a gigantic amount of pressure on your body. And as I’ve discussed, such high-intensity exercises yield a hormonal response from the body – increasing testosterone and HGH secretion. [38]


Key point: Bent over rows work on almost every muscle in your body, and produce a massive anabolic response.


Can You Train Too Much?

After reading all of this, you may get hyped to hit it hard in the gym.

And while intense workouts clearly have their benefits, constant hard training without proper rest leads to loss of testosterone and muscle mass.

Call it overtraining, or however else you want, but it’s no myth.

Studies show that too much exercise can backfire, especially when you don’t allow your body to rest and catch up with your demands.

Low testosterone levels, poor recovery, flat muscles, low sex drive, and weak erections are just some of the symptoms of overtraining. [21]

Let’s look more in-depth at why this happens, and the exact process behind overtraining.

Curious how testosterone works? See our Testosterone Guide Here.

Three Ways in Which Overtraining Affects Your Testosterone

#1 Cortisol Drains Your T Reserves

First and foremost, cortisol is a stress hormone. The body produces it when it’s under pressure. [22]

Many people paint cortisol as it’s some sort of devil. But the truth is, we need it in small amounts. Cortisol helps us wake up and get going.

The problem happens when you’re chronically stressed, and thus over-flown with cortisol. And this is a common sight in today’s hectic and fast-paced world. [23]

There are two types of stress – emotional and physical. If you’re under constant emotional stress, that causes your body to produce extra cortisol; resulting in hormone disbalance (weak testosterone and high estrogen). That’s why some men who are always stressed develop so-called man boobs. [24, 25]

Okay, so what does all of this have to do with overtraining?

Well, when you train too hard, you’re literally putting your body in a stressed state. And while that’s normally not an issue, constant hard training with little recovery leads to chronic stress.

Couple that with the everyday emotional stress, and all of your hard work in the gym actually backfires. Crashing your testosterone levels down, weakening your libido, and making you feel awful. [26, 27]

Cortisol literally eats away your muscle mass. And it drains your testosterone reserves. To avoid this, consider taking at least 2 rest days every week. This will help your body catch up with your hard workouts.

#2 Accumulation of Fat Around the Organs

As you’ve seen from the above, cortisol wreaks havoc on your testosterone. But there are even more problems linked to this stress hormone.

You see, cortisol is responsible for activating the hormone Adamts1. This hormone then creates fat beneath your skin and organs. [28]

This might have been useful for our ancestors, who needed to store extra energy during dangerous and stressful situations. But it’s not useful to a modern man who’s constantly bombarded with stress.

Read carefully; when you have too much cortisol, your body will start producing huge amounts of Adamts1 hormone. Leading to fat storage in your skin and organs.

Needless to say, this won’t just give you additional pounds but will also deteriorate your overall health. Fat around the heart and arteries can lead to a disaster.

#3 Muscle Wastage

When you’re doing those squats, you’re actually tearing your muscle fibers down.

It’s when you sleep that these fibers repair and grow stronger for the next squat session.

However, if you constantly train heavy, or don’t sleep enough, or both, you’re causing more damage than your body can repair.

That’s correct – by training too hard too often, you’re putting your body in a constant catabolic state, where it eats its own muscle tissue to keep up with your energy demands. [29]

This ironically leads to muscle loss, even though you were training hard hoping for the opposite!

Not only that, but since you’re in a constant catabolic state, your testosterone can’t survive as it’s an anabolic hormone.


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Key point: Your body produces cortisol (the stress hormone) during hard workouts. This isn’t an issue, unless you keep training hard without letting your body recover. In which case, excess cortisol floods your system, causing low T levels, fat gain, and muscle wastage.

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How Can You Further Improve Your Testosterone Levels

Sleep

There’s no denying the importance of sleep. When you hit the sack, your body starts producing growth hormone. In fact, the biggest growth hormone spurts happen while you sleep!

However, while sleep is important for your average Joe, it’s even more important for weightlifters. That’s because our muscles repair while we sleep.

If you train hard and don’t get enough sleep, your body won’t be able to repair your muscles and make them grow stronger for the next workout.

Without enough rest, you’ll enter into a catabolic state where you become lethargic and weak. A lack of sleep has even been linked with a decrease in testosterone and GH.

Studies have shown that just 1 week of insufficient sleep decreases T levels by 15%. And this number gets bigger the less you sleep. [39]

I’ll go as far as to say that sleep is more important than anything on this list. If you don’t have your sleep covered, you can squat as much as you want, but you won’t be seeing any testosterone gains.

So if there’s only one thing you get from this article, it should be that you need to sleep at least 8 hours every night. Preferably in a dark room with no noise.

Diet

“You are what you eat.” It’s a cliché saying, but couldn’t be more true.

The foods you put in your body don’t just govern how you’ll look and feel. They also impact your hormones big time.

Research has linked high-sugar diets with low testosterone levels. Not only that, but if you eat too many refined carbs, you could develop diabetes and heart disease. [40, 41]

And you know what else happens when you stuff yourself with sweets? You grow man boobs. [42]

This happens due to the fact that sugars cause a disbalance in hormones; promoting estrogen production while suppressing testosterone. [43, 44]

Sugar-rich diet basically turns a man into a woman.

Instead, what you want to do is eat plenty of green vegetables, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Along with lean proteins (fish, grass-fed meat, pasture raised eggs) and complex carbs to keep your health and hormones in harmony.

You might also want to include some healthy fats in your diet. Such as avocados, olive oil, nuts & seeds. Pumpkin seeds, in particular, are a well-known aphrodisiac that improves man’s health.

Many of these foods are rich in magnesium and zinc. Maintaining optimal levels of these minerals is key for keeping your testosterone high. [45, 46]

Men’s health-boosting foods include [47]:

Oysters

Zinc is a mineral that regulates testosterone production. Since not many foods contain optimal amounts of zinc, and since we lose Zn through sweat, a deficiency in this mineral is fairly common.

Men who have low T can experience massive benefits from taking zinc.

Oysters are one of the richest sources of zinc; just one serving contains up to 1000% of your daily intake of Zn. If you don’t like eating oysters, try oyster extract. It’s an extracted and dried oyster meat preserved in a capsule.

Grass-Fed Beef

Beef that comes from grass-fed cows is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It’s a natural B-complex and zinc source, nutrients which are building blocks for testosterone.

Beef liver is also an awesome food for raising your male hormone. It contains high amounts of vitamin D, one of the most potent testosterone regulators.

However, make sure not to over-do it with the red meat. Some studies show that it can cause cancer and other health problems, due to the high amounts of fat in it. Especially the kind of beef you find at a supermarket; avoid those at all costs and choose grass-fed, organic beef instead.

Pasture-Raised Eggs 

The myth that egg yolks are bad for you because they contain cholesterol is just that; a myth.

See, organic eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, if not THE most nutritious.

They contain a good kind of cholesterol which is essential for the production of testosterone.

Related: Most Effective Testosterone Enhancers Guide

Supplements

Got your basis covered? Sleeping well, training hard, eating a clean diet?

If the answer is yes, you can further improve your testosterone with natural herbs and nutrients.

Some of these ingredients have been shown to reduce cortisol by up to 35%, along with improving anabolic hormone production.

Here are some of them;

Korean Red Ginseng (AKA Panax Ginseng)

Call it however you want; Korean Red Ginseng, Asian Ginseng, or Panax Ginseng. The fact is, this short plant offers a wide spectrum of benefits to men – from improved sex drive to healthy testosterone production. [48, 49]

Ginseng root is the most beneficial part of the plant. It contains several bioactive compounds which directly raise T levels in men.

Studies have shown that Ginseng’s main compounds increase testosterone and luteinizing hormone production.

Luteinizing hormone signals to your testes that it’s time to spurt out some extra testosterone. As a result, both your total and free T levels increase.

Not only that, but research shows that ginseng also boosts fertility in men; improving sperm quality.

When you consider that ginseng also boosts the immune system, helps you lose weight, offers protection against stress and anxiety, and is anti-cancer, there’s no wonder why it’s dubbed as “the king of all herbs.” [50, 51, 52, 53]


Key point: Korean Red Ginseng increases the production of luteinizing hormone, which signals the testes to spurt out more T. Ginseng also reduces blood sugar levels, which indirectly enhances testosterone. That’s because high blood sugar is known to cause T levels to crash.


Oyster Extract

Oysters are a well-known aphrodisiac and men’s libido booster. But what’s less known, is that oysters also improve testosterone production.

This is due to the fact that they contain a high dose of zinc and B vitamins, nutrients that are building blocks for your testosterone. [54]

Not only that, but zinc is essential for keeping a strong immune system; helping you fight off pathogens.

Benefits of oysters include [55, 56, 57]:

  • Stronger Libido
  • Higher Testosterone Levels
  • Enhanced Vitality
  • Improved immune system

However, not everyone likes to eat oysters. Even if you do, they aren’t something you’ll be gulping daily. They are also expensive.

Another way of reaping their benefits is to take an oyster extract. This is dried oyster meat with all of its nutrients preserved in a capsule.

Not only is this more cost effective but it also doesn’t require you to actually eat oysters. Which is great for people who don’t like their taste.


Key point: Oysters are a nutrient powerhouse. They are packed full of zinc, iron, and B vitamins. These nutrients not only promote T production but also enhance the immune system and overall health. Oyster extract is dried oyster meat with all of its benefits preserved in a capsule.


Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an ancient Ayurvedic herb.

It’s not only beneficial to your libido, testosterone, and muscle mass. It also improves your mood, lifespan, resilience against stress, fights off pathogens, and eliminates cancer cells from the body. [58, 59, 60, 61, 62]

It’s one of the most effective herbs when it comes to reducing cortisol. Some studies show that Ashwagandha has the power to significantly diminish the stress hormone – reducing it by up to 35%.

In an environment where cortisol levels are low, testosterone is able to thrive. Thanks to ashwagandha, this becomes a real scenario.

Ashwagandha also boosts your testosterone directly. It does this by stimulating your testes to produce higher levels of the male hormone, along with promoting pituitary gland activity. The pituitary gland plays a role in the secretion of testosterone and growth hormone.

The full list of benefits of ashwagandha is out of the scope of this article. If you want to know more about this ancient herb, check my in-depth article here; How Ashwagandha Benefits Men’s Health


Key point: Studies have linked Ashwagandha with a myriad of benefits. From raising testosterone levels, improving the immune system, to reducing cortisol and anxiety by 35%.


Vitamin D

Ah yes, the sunshine vitamin. Or should I say, a hormone…

You see, vitamin D is actually a steroid hormone. But for historical reasons, it’s called a vitamin.

This nutrient is found in almost every cell receptor in your body, and regulates countless functions. Including testosterone production. [63, 64]

Research shows that men who are deficient in vitamin D have low testosterone. Not only that, but their cognitive health suffers, their immune system is weak, and they might even lose interest in women due to a weak libido. [65, 66]

There are three main ways you can get vitamin D: from the sun, food, or supplements.

The sun is the best source of this steroid hormone. With the help of some cholesterol, our skin synthesizes it when under direct exposure to sunlight.

However, not a lot of people go out in the sun these days. As a result, vitamin D deficiency has become a global epidemic. [67]

Unfortunately, not many foods contain optimal quantities of this testosterone-boosting nutrient.

Fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified milk all contain vitamin D. But you’d have to consume large quantities of these foods every day to meet the vitamin D requirement.

If you can’t get 20 minutes of direct sun exposure every day, another option is to get a vitamin D supplement. It provides all of the benefits of this nutrient and is more convenient.


Key point: Vitamin D plays a key role in countless enzymatic functions. You’ve guessed it, this includes testosterone production. A lack of this nutrient leads to crashing T levels, weak libido, and poor immune system.


Other Natural Testosterone Enhancers:

Stress Reduction

We all know stress isn’t good for us. The health implications of being stressed all the time are grave; leading to plummeting testosterone, weak immune system, poor overall health, and even premature death.

This happens mainly because of cortisol, the king of all stress hormones. While it’s beneficial to us in small amounts, a constant influx of cortisol leads to health wreckage on many levels.

With this in mind, here are the most effective ways of dealing with stress [68];

  • Take long walks – When you’re constantly stressed, your adrenals have to work overtime to produce more and more cortisol, adrenaline, and other stress hormones. By taking long walks, not only do you reduce your stress levels but also nourish the adrenals.
  • Meditate – More and more people have integrated a meditation practice into their daily routine. The fact is, the benefits of sitting 10 minutes per day and doing nothing are huge. Lower cortisol levels, feelings of peace and calm, mental clarity, and mood boost are only some of them. By reducing cortisol, meditation can even raise your testosterone levels too!
  • Do Yoga – Doing just 10-20 minutes of yoga per day is shown to nourish both the mind, and the body.
  • Take Ashwagandha – Ashwagandha is one of the most potent anti-stress herbs on the planet. Studies show it can reduce cortisol by up to 35%!
  • Cut Back on Caffeine – When caffeine enters your body, it starts to stimulate cortisol production. I’m sure you know by now what the health consequences of too much cortisol are.
  • Take a Few Deep Breaths – Just try it. Do this the next time you feel stressed. 3-5 seconds inhale, hold it for 1-2 seconds, and then exhale for 4-6 seconds (longer than the inhale). You’ll feel refreshed immediately afterwards.

Sample Leg Day Workout

Not sure which leg workout plan is the most effective for raising your T levels?

No worries – we’ve got you covered!

Here’s a basic leg workout routine you can do today to boost up your anabolic hormones;

  • Barbell Squats – 3 sets of warm up with light weights, followed by 4 working sets of 4-6 reps. Concentrate on slow eccentric (negative) movements for maximum T and HGH release.
  • Leg Press – 3 sets of 12-15 reps. Do the exercise in a slow and controlled manner.
  • Lunges – 4 sets of 10-12 reps with each leg.
  • Leg Extensions – 3 sets of 16-20 reps. Go down slowly (3 seconds+)!
  • Seated Calf Raises –  4 sets of 12 reps.

Alternatively, you can switch between squats and deadlifts every two weeks. This helps prevent your body from adapting to your workouts; ensuring continual results.

Sample Testosterone Meal Plan

Combine this meal plan with the leg routine from the above for a maximum impact on your testosterone and growth hormone;

Breakfast

  • 4 large, pasture-raised whole eggs
  • Avocado
  • Oatmeal

Morning Snack

  • 4-8 oz. container low-fat yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • A handful of nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.)

Lunch

  • 4 oz. chicken breast
  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • 1/2 avocado

Pre-workout Snack

  • 1 scoop protein powder in water (alternatively, drink some liquid egg whites)
  • 2 slices white bread (high glycemic index, ideal for raising energy levels before a workout)
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter (healthy fats for additional energy support)

Post-workout Snack

  • 1 scoop protein powder in water (alternatively, drink some liquid egg whites)
  • A piece of fruit (Bananas, Apples, Berries, etc.)

Dinner

  • 6 oz. beef steak
  • Sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup cooked cauliflower

Pre-Bed Snack

  • 4-8 oz. cottage cheese
  • Oatmeal
  • 1 oz. mixed nuts

Conclusion

There you have it guys, that’s my wrap-up of the article “Does working out legs build testosterone?”.

In case you missed anything, here’s a quick recap;

Yes, doing squats will increase your anabolic hormone levels. This includes testosterone and HGH (Human Growth Hormone).

Studies show that squats not only improve T secretion, they also ramp up growth hormone release by up to 1700%. With increased levels of these hormones, you’ll find it much easier to pack on muscle mass.

Since legs and glutes are our largest muscle groups, they also spend a lot of calories when you train them. This induces a metabolic response from the body, helping you burn fat faster.

Other forms of exercise that boost up testosterone include sprinting, deadlifts, and bent over rows.

No matter which exercise you do, training hard will improve your health as a man. Just make sure not to overdo it, because training constantly without rest can actually cause more harm than good. Research shows that constant hard training actually diminishes your testosterone and muscle mass.

When you train too hard, you’re putting your body in a chronically stressed state, where it’s flooded with cortisol. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone, and as such, it eats away your muscle mass and wrecks your testosterone. Also, when you’re stressed, your libido gets weak and you lose interest in women.

That’s why it’s important to take a break from training a couple of times per week to let your body recover. Remember that you can train hard as long as you take rest days and recovery protocols.

How you can further improve your testosterone and HGH levels;

  • Get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
  • Eat a diet that’s packed with lean proteins, good fats, and minerals such as magnesium and zinc which promote testosterone production. Best sources of zinc include oysters, beef liver, and pumpkin seeds. Also, avoid sugars; they wreck your testosterone and cause excess estrogen production.
  • Minimize stress through relaxation and breathing techniques. Such as meditation, yoga, long walks, taking deep breaths with a long exhale, etc.
  • Taking natural herbs and nutrients that elevate testosterone production. These include ashwagandha (lowers cortisol by 35%), vitamin D, fenugreek, Korean red ginseng, and oyster extract (rich in zinc).

And that would be our wrap-up. Any more questions, be sure to let me know in the comments below!

Next up: A Guide on Natural Testosterone Enhancers

References for the article: Does Working Out Legs Build Testosterone?

[1] Acute effects of movement velocity on blood lactate and growth hormone responses after eccentric bench press exercise in resistance-trained men. (source)

[2] Effects of progressive resistance training on growth hormone and testosterone levels in young and elderly subjects. (source)

[3] The exercise-induced growth hormone response in athletes. (source)

[4] The Acute Hormonal Response to Free Weight and Machine Weight Resistance Exercise. (source)

[5] The human gluteus maximus and its role in running. (source)

[6] The effect of training volume and intensity on improvements in muscular strength and size in resistance-trained men. (source)

[7] Muscle protein synthesis in response to nutrition and exercise. (source)

[8] Increasing Lean Mass and Strength: A Comparison of High Frequency Strength Training to Lower Frequency Strength Training. (source)

[9] Minimal resistance training improves daily energy expenditure and fat oxidation. (source)

[10] Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults. (source)

[11] High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss. (source)

[12] Muscle Injuries: A Brief Guide to Classification and Management. (source)

[13] Core Stability Training for Injury Prevention. (source)

[14] Exercise and Hormones: 8 Hormones Involved in Exercise. (source)

[15] Effect of short-term physical exercise on serum total testosterone levels in young adults. (source)

[16] Exercise training improves free testosterone in lifelong sedentary aging men. (source)

[17] Increase of free and total testosterone during submaximal exercise in normal males. (source)

[18] Effect of short-term physical exercise on serum total testosterone levels in young adults. (source)

[19] Exercise training improves free testosterone in lifelong sedentary aging men. (source)

[20] Acute effects of movement velocity on blood lactate and growth hormone responses after eccentric bench press exercise in resistance-trained men. (source)

[21] Salivary testosterone and cortisol in rugby players: correlation with psychological overtraining items. (source)

[22] Stress and hormones; Salam Ranabir and K. Reetu. (source)

[23] Gynecomastia - a difficult diagnostic problem. (source)

[24] Gynecomastia: Clinical evaluation and management; Neslihan Cuhaci, Sefika Burcak Polat, Berna Evranos, Reyhan Ersoy, and Bekir Cakir. (source)

[25] Technical and clinical aspects of cortisol as a biochemical marker of chronic stress. (source)

[26] The relationship between cortisol, muscle mass and muscle strength in older persons and the role of genetic variations in the glucocorticoid receptor. (source)

[27] A comparative examination of cortisol effects on muscle myostatin and HSP90 gene expression in salmonids. (source)

[28] Researchers discover the role of hormone in 'creating fat'. (source)

[29] What Is Muscle Protein Synthesis? (source)

[30] Androgen responses to sprint exercise in young men. (source)

[31] Dihydrotestosterone is elevated following sprint exercise in healthy young men. (source)

[32] Growth hormone responses to treadmill sprinting in the sprint- and endurance-trained athletes. (source)

[33] Chronic Low Testosterone Levels in Endurance-Trained Men: The Exercise- Hypogonadal Male Condition. (source)

[34] The time course of the human growth hormone response to a 6 s and a 30 s cycle ergometer sprint. (source)

[35] Androgen responses to sprint exercise in young men; Derbré F, Vincent S, Maitel B, Jacob C, Delamarche P, Delamarche A, Zouhal H. (source)

[36] High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss; Stephen H. Boutcher. (source)

[37] Hormonal responses and adaptations to resistance exercise and training. (source)

[38] 4 exercises to boost growth hormone naturally and quickly! (source)

[39] Effect of 1 week of sleep restriction on testosterone levels in young healthy men. (source)

[40] Hormonal changes in normal men under marginally negative energy balance. (source)

[41] Testosterone concentrations in young pubertal and post-pubertal obese males. (source)

[42] Adolescent gynecomastia is associated with a high incidence of obesity, dysglycemia, and family background of diabetes mellitus. (source)

[43] Sugar-sweetened beverage intake and serum testosterone levels in adult males 20–39 years old in the United States. (source)

[44] Sex steroids and glucose metabolism. (source)

[45] Effects of magnesium supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustion. (source)

[46] Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. (source)

[47] 8 Testosterone-Boosting Foods. (source)

[48] A Double-Blind Crossover Study Evaluating the Efficacy of Korean Red Ginseng in Patients With Erectile Dysfunction: A Preliminary Report. (source)

[49]  Effects of Panax Ginseng C.A. Meyer saponins on male fertility. (source)

[50] Panax ginseng (G115) improves aspects of working memory performance and subjective ratings of calmness in healthy young adults. (source)

[51] Red ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction: a systematic review. (source)

[52] Ginseng berry reduces blood glucose and body weight in db/db mice. (source)

[53] The Effect of Ginseng on the Nutritional Status and the Immune Functions after Curative Operations on Gastric Carcinoma Patients. (source)

[54] SelfNutrition Data - Oysters. (source)

[55] Effects of oyster extract on the reproductive function of zinc-deficient mice: bioavailability of zinc contained in oyster extract. (source)

[56] Variation in the Levels of Sodium and Other Minerals of Nutritional Importance in Louisiana Oysters (Crassostrea Virginica). (source)

[57] Cloning and mRNA expression of antioxidant enzymes in the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas in response to cadmium exposure. (source)

[58] A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults. (source)

[59] Studies on the immunomodulatory effects of Ashwagandha. (source)

[60] Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. (source)

[61] Antioxidant activity and apoptotic induction as mechanisms of action of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) against a hepatocellular carcinoma cell line. (source)

[62] Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimental study. (source)

[63] The control of calcium and phosphorus metabolism by the vitamin D endocrine system. (source)

[64] The Role of Vitamin D in Human Health: A Paradigm Shift. (source)

[65] A review of the health consequences of the vitamin D deficiency pandemic. (source)

[66] Benefits and requirements of vitamin D for optimal health: a review. (source)

[67] Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults. (source)

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Testosterone Guides and Articles

At MaleTestosteroneBooster, it’s our aim to help you get the most out of your life by helping you boost your testosterone levels. We all know what it’s like to feel suboptimal in the bedroom, the gym, and in everyday life when your confidence is lacking. This is why I’ve put together the below guides to help you reach your goals! Why not check them out, you may find just what you’re looking for.

 

Does Too Much Rowing Lower Your Testosterone?

Does too much rowing diminish your testosterone?

That’s a real possibility!

But how much is too much?

The truth is, we’re all different, and what might be a normal rowing session for one person, it might be overtraining for another.

The general rule is: if you’re rowing more than 30 minutes every day, you’re likely putting too much stress on your body.

When you constantly train hard, you get flooded with cortisol – the stress hormone. This leads to crashing T levels, loss of muscle mass, and flat libido.

So yes, too much rowing will rob you of your male hormone. [1]

And if you don’t let your body catch up, it will lead to other issues as well.

Is Overtraining a Myth?

Let me tell you straight away, overtraining is no myth.

I’m talking from both personal experience, and years of digging into scientific studies.

So what exactly is overtraining?

It’s a state where your body can’t catch up with your physical demands anymore.

When you push past your physical limit, you’ll start producing huge amounts of cortisol.

It’s a hormone that gets secreted when your body is in a stressed state.

Cortisol is Responsible for Overtraining

The thing with cortisol is this: it’s beneficial for humans in small amounts, such as in the morning to wake you up.

But if your cortisol stays raised during the day, and night, you’ll start experiencing its dark side.

Excess cortisol is shown to eat away your muscle mass. That’s right, stress causes muscle loss. Along with reducing testosterone, libido, and the immune system. [2]

The list of cortisol’s damaging effects doesn’t end here. In excess amounts, this hormone also causes your body to store more fat. [3]

This is our body’s primal response that might have served our ancestors, but doesn’t serve us.

Food was scarce during ancient times. Our bodies adapted to this by preserving as much energy as possible when faced with a dangerous situation – thus producing cortisol which allows for fat storage.

But in today’s modern lifestyle, we’re constantly bombarded with this hormone, causing unwanted weight gain.

Coupled with too much physical stress from training, this leads to wrecked testosterone levels, poor sex drive, and fragile health. [4]


Key point: Constant hard training leads to muscle loss, low testosterone, and weak libido. This is due to cortisol which our body produces in response to physical stress.


How Much is Too Much?

The amount of rowing you’ll be able to do without overtraining depends on many factors, such as:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Stamina, Endurance, and Fitness Level
  • Rest & Sleep
  • Diet
  • Supplements

You see, all of these factors play a key role in how much you’ll be able to row without overdoing it.

For example, let’s say you’re rowing 6 days per week for 45 minutes. Your train with moderate weights and intensity.

If you’re a trained athlete, and if you have a solid recovery routine, this won’t be a problem for you.

But what if you’re just a regular gym goer? And what if you don’t take proper recovery routines in between your workouts?

Well, my friend, that’s when overtraining happens.

Next Up: Men’s Testosterone Guide: How T Works

When you’re rowing, you’re basically causing micro-tears in your muscles. Your muscles then rebuild themselves and grow stronger during sleep.

However, if you don’t follow a high-quality recovery routine, your muscles won’t be able to catch up with your training.

Read this carefully; You need at least 8 hours of sleep, along with a recovery routine between workouts, and a diet packed with vitamins and minerals to help your body recover from constant rowing.

Also, avoid emotional stressors in your day to day life, as these cause an additional influx of cortisol in your system.


Key point: How much rowing is too much? This depends on your genetics and fitness levels. That said, 40+ minutes of rowing daily is too much for most people.


Signs That You Might Be Rowing Too Much

Whether you overdo it with rowing, or some other exercise, they all have some common symptoms of overtraining – here they are:

  • Constant fatigue – If you’re feeling fatigued even after a good 8 hours of sleep, it’s a sign that your body is chronically tired and needs adequate recovery.
  • Belly fat – Excess training leads to excess cortisol production. Cortisol signals your body to store extra fat. Ironically, the more you train, the more likely it is you’ll be in a chronically stressed state where your cortisol is high all the time.
  • Low libido – Since the stress from working out increases cortisol, and cortisol negates testosterone, you might feel a loss of sex drive due to low T levels.
  • Feeling moody – As your stress levels go up from too much exercise, you start to feel irritable and angry for no apparent reason.
  • Loss of Strength – When you train too hard too often, your muscles can’t repair properly, so they become weaker and weaker.

Effects of Too Much Rowing on Your Testosterone

Okay, so let’s say you disregard my advice from above, and decide to row hard every day.

What happens to your testosterone?

Studies show that those who train too much too often have low free and total testosterone levels in their body. [5, 6, 7]

Not only that, but those who over-do it with rowing also experience weaker muscles and loss of libido, as I explained above. Some even report having weak erections.


Key point: Research shows that too much rowing causes both free and total T levels to drop significantly.


How To Prevent Overtraining With Rowing

Here are the most effective ways to prevent a dip in your T levels from too much rowing:

Create a Recovery Routine

Getting optimal rest is possibly the biggest thing you could do to prevent overtraining from rowing.

By letting your body recover, you’ll be able to continue training hard without worrying about exercising too much.

So how do you do that?

Here are a few practical steps towards creating a healthy recovery routine:

  1. Stretch after workouts – When you do hard and intense rows, lactic acid accumulates in your muscles. By stretching after workouts, you reduce excess lactic acid build-up. [8]
  2. Sleep at least 7-8 hours per night – Some people might get away with only 6 hours of sleep, while some need 10. Find your sweet spot and stick to it. Sleep is vital for testosterone production and muscle recovery. [9]
  3. Take rest days – This is an obvious one, but I really want to nail it home here. You absolutely need to take days off from rowing if you’re training hard. At least 1 day off per week, 2 is even better.

Eat a Nutrient-Dense Diet

It doesn’t take us a medical expert to know that a balanced diet is key to not just recovery, but also overall health. [12, 13, 14]

Eat plenty of fruits, green vegetables, and good fats to keep your energy levels high. Also, throw in some complex carbs in the form of sweet potatoes, brown rice, and perhaps quinoa if you fancy it.

For proteins, a good amount of lean chicken meat, egg whites, and low-fat yogurt is the way to go. This will keep your muscles strong and popping.

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, then ensure you get enough protein from plant-based sources. Along with a vegan-friendly protein powder.

Last but not least, reduce the consumption of sugars and refined carbs. These are not only damaging to your testosterone but overall health too.

Reduce Stress

Keeping your stress levels low is just as important, if not even more important than everything else on this list.

We all know the consequences of stress. Insomnia, feeling restless and anxious all the time, and having a general feeling of being unwell.

That said, here are a few practical ways you can reduce stress;

  • Drink less caffeine – That gigantic mug of coffee might make you feel good in the morning, but if you drink it too much too often, you’ll drain your adrenals, which are responsible for producing various hormones, including cortisol. A disbalance in adrenals also means disbalance in cortisol levels – and your testosterone will not be happy about it. [15]
  • Meditate 10 minutes per day – There have been countless studies showing the positive benefits of meditation. It not only reduces stress but also improves cognition, mood, and sense of well-being [10, 11]. If meditation is not your thing, consider taking long walks in nature, spend time under the sun, do yoga, etc.
  • Take herbs that reduce stress hormones – There are a number of clinically proven herbs that help reduce your stress levels, along with boosting your testosterone. Such is the case with Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb that combats stress, fatigue, and anxiety. Along with improving your T levels, libido, and even muscle strength. [16]

Conclusion

To wrap this up: Yes, too much rowing will lead to crashing testosterone levels.

The problem lies in the fact that everyone is different.

So, what might be an easy workout for you, it might be over-training for another person.

The most obvious signs of overtraining are:

  • Loss of strength and muscle mass
  • Weak sex drive
  • A lack of motivation
  • Fat around the belly
  • Feeling fatigued constantly, even after a good night’s sleep
  • Mood changes (anxiety, irritability, depression)
  • Insomnia

When you train too much, your stress levels go up. A bunch of cortisol starts flooding your body.

And since cortisol is muscle-wasting and damaging to testosterone, it will lead to the symptoms from the above. That’s why these symptoms are usually an obvious sign of low testosterone.

In order to prevent overtraining symptoms from rowing, do the following;

  • Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night
  • Create a recovery routine after workouts
  • Reduce stress (meditate, do yoga, spend time in nature, etc.)
  • Eat a healthy diet (a bunch of fruits and vegetables, avoid sugars, and reduce caffeine)
  • Take Ashwagandha, a herb that enhances testosterone and men’s health. Along with reducing cortisol by up to 35%.

There you have it guys, I’m signing off for now! Any questions, let me know in the comments.

You Might Like: A Guide to Men’s Health Enhancers

References for the article: Does too much rowing diminish your testosterone?

[1] Hormonal response to maximal rowing before and after a heavy increase in training volume in highly trained male rowers. (source)

[2] Central effects of stress hormones in health and disease: understanding the protective and damaging effects of stress and stress mediators. (source)

[3] Stress, cortisol, and obesity: a role for cortisol responsiveness in identifying individuals prone to obesity. (source)

[4] The effects of chronic stress on health: new insights into the molecular mechanisms of brain–body communication. (source)

[5] Does overtraining exist? An analysis of overreaching and overtraining research. (source)

[6] Blood hormones as markers of training stress and overtraining. (source)

[7] Hormonal response to maximal rowing before and after heavy increase in training volume in highly trained male rowers. (source)

[8] Effect of Lactate Accumulation during Exercise-induced Muscle Fatigue on the Sensorimotor Cortex. (source)

[9] Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men. (source)

[10] Meditation: Process and effects. (source)

[11] Meditation induces a positive response during stress events in young Indian adults. (source)

[12] Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables. (source)

[13] Essentials of Healthy Eating: A Guide. (source)

[14] Nutrition for post-exercise recovery. (source)

[15] Caffeine Stimulation of Cortisol Secretion Across the Waking Hours in Relation to Caffeine Intake Levels. (source)

[16] A Standardized Withania Somnifera Extract Significantly Reduces Stress-Related Parameters in Chronically Stressed Humans: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. (source)

Testosterone Guides and Articles

At MaleTestosteroneBooster, it’s our aim to help you get the most out of your life by helping you boost your testosterone levels. We all know what it’s like to feel suboptimal in the bedroom, the gym, and in everyday life when your confidence is lacking. This is why I’ve put together the below guides to help you reach your goals! Why not check them out, you may find just what you’re looking for.

Does Running Increase Testosterone?

Does running increase testosterone?

The answer: it depends.

See, there are different types of running – each one offers different results.

Do you like going for a jog around the neighborhood? Or maybe you prefer sprints?

Depending on which type of running you do most often, you’ll either experience a decrease or increase in your T levels.

To answer your question: Yes, running does increase testosterone levels. But this only applies to sprints. [6, 7, 8]

Long-distance running doesn’t offer the same benefits. It, in fact, lowers your testosterone levels and is catabolic (muscle-wasting). [9]

Just look at the pictures of sprinters and marathon runners. Which one has higher T levels? It’s sprinters, of course.

In this article, I’ll dig deep into the science behind sprints and marathons. And explain how each one affects your hormones and muscle mass.

Effects of Running on Health and Testosterone

Running every day is not a bad idea. It, in fact, offers plenty of benefits.

Looking at studies, we can see that running just 5-10 minutes per day helps reduce the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular problems. [1]

Just 5 minutes of daily running is also shown to improve mood, and reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. [2, 3, 4, 5]

And yes, according to studies, running increases your testosterone too. [24]

Further Reading: Men’s Health Enhancers Guide

Is More Better?

So, does running more than 10 minutes per day bring more benefits? It might, but only up to a certain point.

Let me explain what I mean…

See, research suggests that benefits from running stop at around 4.5 hours of running per week.

In fact, if you run more than this and you aren’t an elite athlete, you might get overtraining symptoms. [9]

That’s correct – by running too much and too often, you’re putting your body at risk. Not only does this increase the risk of injuries, but your muscles become weaker too.

This happens because when you run, or do any strenuous physical exercise for that matter, you’re putting your body under a stressed state.  Normally, this isn’t a problem.

But when you train too much and too often, that’s when your body can’t catch up anymore. This is where stress leads to muscle loss.

When you’re stressed, your body produces extra cortisol, which is a muscle-wasting hormone. Not only that, but cortisol also suppresses your T levels. [9]

How Much Should You Run?

The amount of running hours you should put in every week depends on several factors.

First off, it depends on your level of fitness.

Are you an athlete? Or someone who just likes to train here and there? Or maybe you don’t train at all?

Secondly, which type of running do you prefer?

If you like long distance running, then you can do more than 4.5 hours of light running per week.

If you’re a sprinting type, then training no more than once or twice per week is enough to give you a punch in testosterone and growth hormone levels (I’ll explain how sprints boost your anabolic hormones in a second).

 

Running for just 5-15 minutes per day improves your testosterone, mood, and heart health. However, you don’t want to run too often. Constant hard training leads to muscle wastage and can also wreck your T levels. Have no more than 1-3 sprinting sessions, or 4.5 hours of light running a week.


Types of Running

As I’ve said before, there’s a short distance and long distance running.

Short distance runs tend to be more intense. For example, sprints really ramp up your metabolism and cause you to burn fat faster.

Sprints also boost your human growth hormone levels. I’m talking a 771 percent increase in HGH – as shown in some studies. [10]

But the list of benefits doesn’t end here. Sprints also cause a huge spike in your testosterone release, which will lead to bigger and stronger muscles. [6]

On the other hand, long-distance running is more of a cardiovascular exercise. It improves stamina, heart health, and makes your bone marrow younger. [11]

However, long-distance running tends to produce chronic stress in your body. This is a prolonged type of stress, where your body doesn’t have a lot of time to rest. [12, 13]

During periods of chronic stress, you’ll produce excess cortisol, which is muscle wasting and damaging to testosterone.

You see, cortisol and T work in a seesaw manner. When one hormone goes up, the other one crashes down.

Sprinting (Short-Distance Running)

These days, not many people have time for a long run or training session. [14, 15]

If that sounds like you, you might want to try HIIT.

You see, HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training, and it’s a form of exercise that involves short bursts of intense physical activity followed by rest periods.

HIIT workouts only last for 15-20 minutes. And they give you the same, possibly even better benefits than regular exercise. This makes them extremely time-efficient. [16, 17]

Sprints are one of the most effective HIIT exercises. They not only burn a bunch of calories but also keep your metabolism firing for hours after exercise.

And if you thought that was cool, check this out: Sprints are shown to dramatically raise anabolic hormone secretion – including testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone). [6, 18, 19]

In some studies, Human Growth Hormone secretion was boosted by 771% after a short burst of intense exercise.

Human Growth Hormone is vital for keeping you young and strong.

After you hit 30, it starts reducing drastically, even more than testosterone. This makes it important to do exercises such as sprints to keep HGH elevated. [20]

a graph showing a decline of human growth hormone levels as we age

            Image courtesy of: American HGH Clinics

Other benefits of sprints include:
  • Boosts Brain Function – Sprints cause a release in BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), which stimulates the growth of new brain cells. Not only that, but BDNF also protects your brain from oxidative stress and free radical damage.
  • Saves Time – Research conducted by Journal of Applied Physiology found that just 15 minutes of sprinting results in same endurance benefits as 9-12 hours of regular exercise.
  • Makes You Harder to Kill – Sprinting might be fun, but it’s not easy. These short bursts of intense activity require a huge amount of willpower and mental strength. The more you do them, the tougher you become both mentally, and physically.

Marathons (Long-Distance Running)

Long distance running might not be beneficial for your testosterone, but it has its place in terms of boosting overall health.

See, when you run for long distances, you’ll have higher levels of stamina. Your heart health will also improve.

However, there’s a fine balance between running just enough, and running too much.

See, long-distance runners have higher levels of cortisol during marathons. [12, 13]

Some studies show that this cortisol stays elevated long after they’d finished a marathon. It doesn’t take us a doctor to know that this isn’t good.

Cortisol is a stress hormone, and normally, it serves to wake us up in the morning and get us going.

However, when you’re in a constant state of cortisol influx, that’s when things go south.

You start to feel stressed, your muscles become flat, your libido gets weak – and your testosterone levels plummet down. [21, 22, 23]

That said, if boosting testosterone is not your top priority, here are the benefits you’ll get from running long distances[1]:

  • Improved Stamina – You’ll be able to run for longer without getting out of breath. Your stamina levels will be higher than sprinters.
  • Enhanced Mood – Ever heard of runner’s high? It’s a euphoric and elated feeling you get after running for long distances.
  • Reduced Risk of Cancer and Heart Diseases – Going for a morning jog will improve your cardiovascular health, and make your resistant to diseases such as a stroke, heart attack, and even cancer.
  • Improved Cognition & Sleep – After you’re done with an exhaustive long run, you’ll not only sleep better but your brain function will be improved too. Long distance running is also shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

You Might Also Like: Men’s Testosterone Guide

Which Type of Running Boosts Your Testosterone The Most?

Read this carefully; Short distance running such as sprints are the most effective way of boosting your T levels.

Sprints also raise your HGH levels, which are responsible for making you look young, strong, and lean.

On the other hand, long-distance running is not friendly to your male hormone.

Running for too long causes your body to produce extra cortisol, which negatively impacts your T levels.


Key point: For raising testosterone and HGH, sprinting is the most effective type of running. For boosting stamina and mood, long-distance running is a better option.



How Testosterone is Produced During Sprints

One thing is clear; sprints come out on top every time when it comes to boosting testosterone.

But how is testosterone produced during sprints? And in what amounts?

Well, first and foremost, the response to this question varies a lot, depending on the individual.

It’s near-impossible to give a generalized answer to the question, but we can have a look at how the brain works and how it influences the production of testosterone.

That’s correct, the pituitary gland in your brain is responsible for signaling your testes to produce testosterone. This happens during sprints or other types of vigorous exercise. This is your body’s response to stress.

After getting the signal from the brain, the testes then use their own Leydig cells to produce the male hormone. This results in increased blood TT levels.

Now, this is just a rough overview of how testosterone production during sprints works.

Let’s now break down the science behind this process to see it in more detail.

The Science

Here we have two studies which have tested the effects of sprints on testosterone levels.

Study 1 – Raised Androgen Hormones After Sprints

This study tested the effects of a sprint training program which was done over a 6-month period.

The researchers measured concentrations of androgen hormones in the blood of healthy young males, including their plasma total testosterone.

Androgen hormone concentrations were measured at rest, after a warm-up, right after 6-second sprint intervals, and post-workout (5 and 20 minutes).

During the initial stages of warm-up, there were no changes in total testosterone levels. The same happened during sprints – no significant increase in testosterone.

But then, when the test subjects finished sprinting, their testosterone levels shot up significantly. What’s more, these men displayed high plasma TT concentration even 20 minutes after the workout, during the recovery phase. [6]

The study concluded;

“These results suggest that sprint training increases plasma TT concentrations in response to sprint exercise. Plasma A and plasma La concentrations increases in response to sprint exercise could be involved in this elevation of plasma TT concentrations.”  – NCBI

What this study tells us, is that testosterone isn’t produced before and during the sprints, but right after.

Once the brain recognizes that the physical stress reduces, it signals the testes and Leydig cells to start producing more of the male hormone.

Onto the next study.

Study 2 – Dihydrotestosterone and Testosterone Elevation After Sprints

Researchers in this study wanted to test the effects of repeated sprints on circulating DHT and TT levels. They chose 14 healthy young men to participate in the study.

These men did several bouts of repeated sprint exercise. The researchers took their blood to measure their anabolic hormones pre- and post- workout.

It turned out, that all of these men had significantly raised total testosterone, free testosterone, and DHT right after exercise. [7]

Not only that, but this elevation stayed for 1 hour after workout. This shows that even after the sprints are done, anabolic hormones stay high.

Citing the study;

“Five minutes after exercise, there were significant elevations in total testosterone (TT; P < 0.001), free testosterone (FT; P < 0.001), and DHT (P = 0.004), which returned to baseline after 1 h. Changes in DHT with exercise (5 min postexercise – pre-exercise) correlated significantly with changes in TT (r = 0.870; P < 0.001) and FT (r = 0.914; P < 0.001). Sprinting cadence correlated with changes in FT (r = 0.697; P = 0.006), DHT (r = 0.625; P = 0.017), and TT (r = 0.603; P = 0.022), and habitual training volume correlated with the change in TT (r = 0.569, P = 0.034).” – NCBI

The researchers concluded that sprints increase both total T levels and DHT, along with other androgen hormones. The biggest changes occur right after exercise, and last for up to an hour.

However, let me emphasize again that a lot of these results depend on an individual. For some, these elevations might last over 1 hour. For others, less than that.

One fact remains true though, and that is: sprints cause your body to produce more testosterone after exercise, making them one of the best ways of naturally raising the male hormone.

Other Methods of Raising Testosterone

Here we’ll cover only the safest and most effective methods of raising your male hormone. I won’t be talking about synthetic testosterone, which actually does your body more harm than good.

Okay, so what are these methods of naturally raising your T?

Glad you asked! Here they are;

Squats

You heard it right; sprints aren’t the only exercise that will boost up your HGH and T levels. In fact, squats stand shoulder to shoulder with sprints in terms of their benefits on anabolic hormones.

It’s shown that squats significantly raise testosterone and human growth hormone, along with promoting fat loss via faster metabolism. [25]

However, you have to do squats right to reap the biggest benefits. Slow and controlled reps win the race here.

Specifically, you want your eccentric (negative) part of the squat to last minimum 3 seconds. And then shoot up explosively.

This means you should squat down slowly, and move back up explosively. This, according to Brazilian scientists, is what will make your anabolic hormones go wild – spiking up the growth hormone by up to 1700%. [26]

Sleep

It comes as no surprise that sleep plays a big part in how you’ll look and feel.

But did you know that sleep is also vital for keeping your testosterone levels high?

That’s correct; too little sleep is shown to drastically reduce T levels.

In fact, just one week of sub-optimal sleep reduces circulating testosterone in the blood by 15%. And this number rises higher the more hours you go without sleep. [27]

The problem with this is, when your testosterone levels drop, estrogen goes up. And since estrogen is a female sex hormone, it will make you attain certain characteristics of a woman. Such as ‘man boobs’.

So unless you want this to happen, ensure you get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every day.

Diet

Just by looking at your daily nutrition, you could tell how well your testosterone is doing.

A diet rich in sugars, refined carbs, and processed meats is shown to reduce testosterone levels. Not only that, but this kind of diet also raises estrogen in males, causing them to turn into a woman in a way – promoting mood changes and man breasts (gynecomastia). [28, 29, 30, 31]

Instead, what you want to do is throw the sugars away, and start eating foods rich in protein, good fats, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

Specifically, if you’re looking to have your T levels high, eat foods rich in zinc, magnesium, and B vitamins. These include oysters, beef, and nuts & seeds. [32, 33]

Natural Supplements

There are a number of herbs and nutrients you can take to improve your testosterone levels.

I’m going to mention only a few of them here, but if you wish to see a full list, check my in-depth article here; Men’s Health Enhancers Guide

Okay, so here are some of the safest and most effective testosterone enhancers for men;

  • Ashwagandha – it’s known as one of nature’s most powerful anti-stress agents. Ashwagandha reduces cortisol by up to 35%. This has numerous health applications, from helping you lose fat (cortisol does the opposite; it makes you gain fat) to increasing your testosterone level via reduced stress. Not only that, but ashwagandha also directly boosts the male hormone by signaling the testes to get into action. [34, 35, 36, 37]
  • Vitamin D – It’s called the sunshine vitamin because our skin makes it when under direct exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is essential for survival, and it affects countless processes in the body. From the immune system to testosterone production. A lack of vitamin D is shown to cause low testosterone levels, weak immunity, and poor recovery. [38]
  • D-Aspartic Acid – there’s good news, and bad news when it comes to D-Aspartic Acid. Let’s start with the good news first… D-AA is shown to significantly boost testosterone levels in men with hypogonadism (clinically low T) and those who are inactive. The bad news is: D-AA doesn’t offer these benefits to men who already have optimal testosterone levels. [39, 40]
  • Fenugreek– Fenugreek is shown to lower inflammation, improve hormonal balance (read: raise testosterone and reduce estrogen in men), and increase muscle mass. It’s a potent libido booster, too. [41, 42]
  • Asian Ginseng – Korean Red Ginseng, AKA Asian Ginseng, raises testosterone levels by improving blood flow to the testicles, decreasing blood sugar, and having a direct effect on Leydig cells which produce the hormone testosterone. [43, 44, 45]

Key point: Keeping your T levels high comes down to sleeping 7-9 hours per day, having a clean diet, doing squats, and consuming specific herbs and nutrients.


Conclusion

Running is one of the most effective ways to boost your health as a man.

There are two main types of running – sprints and marathons. Also known as short distance and long distance running.

If you’re looking to maximize your testosterone levels, then sprints are for you.

Research shows that short and intense bursts of running cause a huge release in testosterone and human growth hormone.

Unlike sprints, long-distance running will not boost your T-levels.

It will, in fact, negatively impact your male hormone, since long runs raise your cortisol production. When cortisol levels get high, testosterone crashes down.

However, if maximizing T levels is not your biggest priority, then long distance running might offer you some powerful benefits. Including improved mood and cognition, higher stamina levels, and reduced risk of a heart disease.

Other ways of raising your testosterone naturally include;

  • Getting enough sleep (7-9 hours per day)
  • Eating a clean diet (cut back on refined carbs and sugars, consume zinc and magnesium foods)
  • Squats (they help boost your T and HGH by up to 1700%)
  • Natural Herbs and Nutrients (Ashwagandha, Vitamin D, Fenugreek, D-Aspartic Acid, Asian Ginseng…)

Next up: A Look At Men’s Health Enhancers

References for the article: Does running increase testosterone?

[1] Running as a Key Lifestyle Medicine for Longevity. (source)

[2] Physical Exercise For Parkinson’s Disease: Clinical And Experimental Evidence. (source)

[3] Late running is not too late against Alzheimer's pathology. (source)

[4] Qualitative and quantitative effects of running on mood. (source)

[5] Effects of a 12-week running programme in youth and adults with complex mood disorders. (source)

[6] Androgen responses to sprint exercise in young men. (source)

[7] Dihydrotestosterone is elevated following sprint exercise in healthy young men. (source)

[8] Growth hormone responses to treadmill sprinting in sprint- and endurance-trained athletes. (source)

[9] Chronic Low Testosterone Levels in Endurance Trained Men: The Exercise- Hypogonadal Male Condition. (source)

[10] The time course of the human growth hormone response to a 6 s and a 30 s cycle ergometer sprint. (source)

[11] Specific Modulation of Vertebral Marrow Adipose Tissue by Physical Activity. (source)

[12] Relationships between Training Load, Salivary Cortisol Responses and Performance during Season Training in Middle and Long Distance Runners. (source)

[13] A randomized cross-over study of the acute effects of running 5 km on glucose, insulin, metabolic rate, cortisol and Troponin T. (source)

[14] The role of perceived personal barriers to engagement in leisure-time physical activity. (source)

[15] American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, and flexibility in healthy adults. (source)

[16] Is high-intensity interval training a time-efficient exercise strategy to improve health and fitness? (source)

[17] High-Intensity Interval Training for Maximizing Health Outcomes. (source)

[18] Impact of acute exercise intensity on pulsatile growth hormone release in men. (source)

[19] Effect of low and high-intensity exercise on circulating growth hormone in men. (source)

[20] Growth hormone in the aging male. (source)

[21] Central effects of stress hormones in health and disease: understanding the protective and damaging effects of stress and stress mediators. (source)

[22] The impact of stress on body function: A review. (source)

[23] Relationship Between Circulating Cortisol and Testosterone: Influence of Physical Exercise. (source)
[24] The effect of a brief sprint interval exercise on growth factors and inflammatory mediators. (source)
[25] Effects of progressive resistance training on growth hormone and testosterone levels in young and elderly subjects. (source)

[26] Acute effects of movement velocity on blood lactate and growth hormone responses after eccentric bench press exercise in resistance-trained men. (source)

[27] Effect of 1 week of sleep restriction on testosterone levels in young healthy men. (source)

[28] Hormonal changes in normal men under marginally negative energy balance. (source)

[29] Testosterone concentrations in young pubertal and post-pubertal obese males. (source)

[30] Adolescent gynecomastia is associated with a high incidence of obesity, dysglycemia, and family background of diabetes mellitus. (source)

[31] Sugar-sweetened beverage intake and serum testosterone levels in adult males 20–39 years old in the United States. (source)

[32] Effects of magnesium supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustion. (source)

[33] Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. (source)

[34] Withania somnifera Improves Semen Quality in Stress-Related Male Fertility. (source)

[35] Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. (source)

[36] Body Weight Management in Adults Under Chronic Stress Through Treatment With Ashwagandha Root Extract. (source)

[37] A Standardized Withania Somnifera Extract Significantly Reduces Stress-Related Parameters in Chronically Stressed Humans: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. (source)

[38] Benefits and requirements of vitamin D for optimal health: a review. (source)

[39] D-Aspartate, a Key Element for the Improvement of Sperm Quality. (source)

[40] D-aspartic acid supplementation combined with 28 days of heavy resistance training has no effect on body composition, muscle strength, and serum hormones associated with the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis in resistance-trained men. (source)

[41] Physiological aspects of male libido enhanced by standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum extract and mineral formulation. (source)

[42] Effects of a purported aromatase and 5α-reductase inhibitor on hormone profiles in college-age men. (source)

[43] A Double-Blind Crossover Study Evaluating the Efficacy of Korean Red Ginseng in Patients With Erectile Dysfunction: A Preliminary Report. (source)

[44] Ginseng Helps Regulate Blood Glucose. (source)

[45] Effects of Panax Ginseng C.A. Meyer saponins on male fertility. (source)

Testosterone Guides and Articles

At MaleTestosteroneBooster, it’s our aim to help you get the most out of your life by helping you boost your testosterone levels. We all know what it’s like to feel suboptimal in the bedroom, the gym, and in everyday life when your confidence is lacking. This is why I’ve put together the below guides to help you reach your goals! Why not check them out, you may find just what you’re looking for.

Does Constant Hard Training Reduce Your Testosterone?

Low testosterone levels due to overtraining – is it possible?

It definitely is!

You know that saying, “everything in moderation?” 

Well, the same thing applies to your workouts.

By training too hard and too often, you might actually do yourself more harm than good.

That’s correct – too much exercise with short recovery times can actually backfire, resulting in overtraining. And let me tell you straight away, overtraining is no myth.

Studies show that intense training without proper rest leads to a major decrease in testosterone levels. [1] Overtraining also leads to:

  • A drop in performance
  • Insomnia (Inability to fall asleep, or stay asleep)
  • Feeling fatigued in your workouts
  • Irritability

In this article, I’ll explain why overtraining happens. Along with showing you proven methods to boost your performance without having to go nuts in the gym.

Testosterone and Physical Performance

Let’s get back to the basics: what is testosterone?

It’s a steroid hormone that both men and women have. However, men naturally have much higher T levels. This is why guys are able to build slabs of muscle while girls have a much harder time doing so.

Why is testosterone the key to optimal physical performance?

First and foremost, testosterone is essential for both growing and maintaining your strength and muscle mass. [10]

Not only that, but you need optimal levels of the male hormone to keep your bones dense and strong.

Research shows that low T levels lead to weak and fragile bones which can easily fracture. [8, 9]

Testosterone is also important for keeping you in an anabolic state (where you’re building muscle), as opposed to a catabolic one (where your muscle tissue breaks down).

Optimal levels of the male hormone are also crucial for keeping your memory and learning abilities sharp – which is key if you’re an athlete.

Last but not least, your testosterone also affects your mood. In other words, if your T levels are down, you’ll feel ‘down’ as well.

Overall, one thing is clear – you need to ensure your T levels stay high if you want to perform at your best. Whether you’re a professional athlete, a bike riding enthusiast, or a regular gym goer.

Is Stress the Culprit For Low Testosterone?

In an average male, his testosterone peaks at around the age of 19. It stays there until the age of 30 or so. After this, it begins to decrease by 1-2% per year. [3, 4]

However, in today’s world, it’s not uncommon for T levels to drop much earlier than the age of 30 – due to stress. [2]

We all know that stress negatively affects our health. But what exactly happens in your body when you’re overly stressed?

One of the first things that happens is that your body starts producing extra cortisol. This is one of your fight-or-flight hormones. Along with adrenaline, norepinephrine, and others.

Your T-levels are directly correlated with your cortisol levels. When cortisol gets high, testosterone drops down – and vice versa. [11]

So when you’re chronically stressed out, you’ll experience weak erections, low testosterone, and muscle loss. Stress also causes your performance to suffer. [5, 6, 7]

You might be asking: what does all of this have to do with overtraining? Well, my friend, when you’re training too much – you’re putting your body in a stressed state. Resulting in even more cortisol being produced by the body.

You’re rubbing salt into the wound, so to speak. When you add all of the daily stresses on top of over-training, you’re creating a recipe for disasterweak muscles, poor recovery time, a drop in performance, and plummeting testosterone levels.


Key point: Testosterone is the key to achieving optimal physical performance. However, the male hormone is negatively affected by stress, aka, cortisol. Overtraining causes stress, and consequently, low T.


Signs of Low T Levels

If you’re suspecting you have low T levels, there are a few signs to look out for. Here are the most common ones:

Loss of Sex Drive

If your male hormone doesn’t work properly, you’ll feel a loss of interest in women.

Studies have shown a direct link between low testosterone and erectile dysfunction, plummeting sex drive, and other health issues. [12, 13, 14]

Flat Muscles

As I mentioned above, testosterone is key to keeping your muscles strong.

One of the obvious signs that something’s not right with your male hormone is a decrease in muscle mass. [15]

If you’re training hard, and your muscles aren’t growing, that’s a clear indication of low testosterone.

Poor Recovery

Another obvious sign of low testosterone is poor recovery and low energy levels. [15]

If you’ve ever felt sluggish even after a good 8 hours (or more) of sleep, that’s a dead giveaway of crashing T levels.

Related: Learn How Testosterone Production Works

Erectile Problems

Testosterone signals your brain to produce extra nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is responsible for dilating your blood vessels, improving blood flow.

And you know where this leads… literally.

If your T levels are low, so will be your nitric oxide levels in the blood. Resulting in flat erections. [15]

Mood Swings

Not having high enough levels of the male hormone can have a huge impact on how you feel. [15]

If you’re constantly experiencing mood swings or feeling irritable, low testosterone could be the cause.

Belly Fat

When your T levels are low, your muscle tissue undergoes a process of catabolism (breakdown).

The less muscle you have, the fewer calories you’ll burn. Resulting in weight gain.

So if you notice some extra fat hanging around your waist, it might just be low testosterone that’s causing the issue. [15]


The most common signs of low testosterone are weak libido, flat muscles, poor recovery, belly fat, mood swings, and erectile dysfunction.


How Overtraining Affects Your Testosterone

Cortisol Eats Away Your Muscle Tissue

There are two main types of stress: physical and emotional.

We all know what the emotional stress is, when your neighbors don’t let you sleep at 2 A.M. at night.

On the other hand, physical stress comes from excessive physical strain. This is usually a result of training too much or too often. Or both.

You see, no matter which type of stress you go through, your body will start producing cortisol during this state.

This is bad news for your muscle, because stress and cortisol are catabolic (eating away your muscle mass). [16, 17]

A scientific study from the Netherlands showed that men with higher levels of cortisol had less strength. Quoting the study;

“A relationship was found between both morning and evening salivary cortisol, and loss of grip strength: participants in the highest quartile of cortisol concentration had a twofold higher risk of loss of grip strength than participants in the lowest quartile (P < 0.05).” – PubMed NCBI

The weaker you are, the harder it is to gain muscle.

On top of that, your testosterone suffers too, since cortisol is damaging to your male hormone. It’s a downward spiral no one wants to get in.

Cortisol Creates Harmful Fat Around Organs

Cortisol activates the production of a hormone called Adamts1.

The main purpose of this hormone is to create fat under your skin and organs. Both adipose tissue fat (under the skin) and visceral fat (one that accumulates around your organs and skin). [18]

Whenever you have too much cortisol (read: stress) flowing in your body, Adamts1 is produced in huge quantities by your fat cells, leading to even more fat production. And so the vicious circle goes on and on…

It doesn’t take a doctor to tell you this is bad for your testosterone – as well as your health. No one wants to look fat. Let alone have toxic, visceral fatty tissue around their organs.

Quick reminder: Both cortisol and testosterone are steroid hormones. Testosterone is anabolic to muscle growth, while cortisol is anabolic to fat cell growth. The type of cells you’ll grow depend on which hormone is dominant in your body.

Overtraining Causes Muscle Wasteage (And Wrecks Your T)

Let’s get one thing clear… when you’re training hard, you’re wasting muscle, not building it.

During training, your muscle fibers get torn down, but when you go to sleep, they repair and grow stronger.

However, if you’re over-training, that’s when your muscles can’t catch up with your pace anymore. [19]

Your muscle cells are trying to repair themselves while you cause more and more damage. Over time, this results in muscle loss.

It’s clear that over-training leads to catabolism. But what happens with your testosterone? Well, it gets pushed out of the picture as well.

Since you’re in a catabolic state, your body gets flooded with cortisol, leading to a depletion in testosterone reserves.


Key point: Training too hard and too often results in excess cortisol production. This causes you to enter a catabolic state, where your muscles can’t catch up with the repairs. On top of this, your testosterone levels start crashing down due to high cortisol levels.


How to Get Your Performance Back on Track

Want to improve your performance and testosterone levels? Here’s the magic formula:

Stress less.

It’s that simple.

I know, easier said than done, but let me remind you of what stress, aka cortisol, does to your body. Perhaps that will motivate you to take care of your stress levels.

So again, stress causes you to:

  • Lose muscle, strength, and energy
  • Gain fat around skin and organs
  • Have your testosterone levels fall like rain

That said, here are the most effective ways of reducing stress and boosting your performance:

Train Less Often

Yes, I know how good training feels. What I’m saying here is not to reduce the intensity of your workouts, but instead, the frequency.

Here’s the thing… you can train as hard as you want, that’s no problem – as long as you let your body recover from your workouts.

However, if you’re training too hard and too often, that’s a recipe for poor performance.

Again, reducing the frequency of your training sessions is how you’ll get your performance back on track.

If you’re feeling really tired and run down, take a week off from training. This will let your body catch up.

By allowing your body to recover, you’ll start feeling better and stronger in no time.

Consume Less Caffeine

Anything that contains caffeine wears your adrenals out. This includes coffee, pre-workouts, and caffeinated teas.

Caffeine also stimulates your body to produce more cortisol, and by now, you know what cortisol does to your testosterone. [20]

I’m not saying you should completely remove caffeine from your life. Just make sure not to overdo it.

Take A Walk in Nature

Staying indoors will deprive you of healthy movement, fresh air, and sunshine.

These things help you achieve relaxation and harmony in your body. Especially sunshine which promotes vitamin D production.

(Quick tip: If you’re looking to increase your T levels, ensure you get plenty of vitamin D.)

Going out for a bike ride, or just spending some time in the sun allows you to absorb your natural surroundings, which is shown to calm the mind, reducing stress. [21]

Cut Back on Sugars

A diet packed with sugars and low in fiber is shown to drastically reduce testosterone. [22]

A study published by the Reproductive Endocrine Unit of the Department of Medicine in Boston said;

“Glucose ingestion induces a significant reduction in total and free T levels in men, which is similar across the spectrum of glucose tolerance.”

This means: Eating sugars will directly cause your male hormone to crash, leading to feelings of weakness, lethargy, and low energy.

Sugar also affects your overall health by creating inflammation and wreaking havoc on your organs and hormones.

But perhaps the biggest victim of a high-sugar diet is the gut. A place where billions of bacteria are stored.

There are two types of bacteria in your gut – good (healthy) bacteria, and bad ones. Which type of bacteria sleeps within your gut depends on the types of foods you eat.

If you’re eating tons of sugars, your intestines will be colonized by billions of harmful bacteria that cause inflammation and disease. [23, 24]

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

Having a good sleep hygiene is probably the most effective way of improving your testosterone, performance, and energy levels.

If you find yourself binging on your favorite TV show late at night, you might want to rethink your habits.

A chronic lack of sleep is linked to illnesses, poor performance, and long recovery times. Testosterone is another victim of sleep deprivation, too. [25]

Avoid Negative People and Situations

Feeling stressed at work? Is your boss annoying you with constant complaints? Is your partner constantly negative about things, dragging you down into pointless and often heated arguments?

Many of us find ourselves in such situations far too often – more than we’d like to admit. But, if you’re looking to improve your testosterone & performance, then it might be time for a change.

Stay away from toxic people, and surround yourself with positive situations and individuals. This will create balance in your life and will lead to less stress. [26]

Take Ashwagandha

Taking natural herbs that are shown to reduce stress can greatly improve your performance.

One of these herbs is ashwagandha, an adaptogen shown to reduce cortisol levels in chronically stressed people. [27]

Ashwagandha also boosts immunity, improves testosterone, raises energy levels, and even increases lifespan. [28, 29, 30]

The list of benefits of this amazing herb just keeps going on and on… No wonder it’s been used in traditional Indian medicine for thousands of years.

Want to know more about ashwagandha? See my full review here; Ashwagandha: A Natural Testosterone Booster?

Doing these things will improve your performance and reduce stress: Train less often (not less intense), drink less caffeine, take a walk in nature, cut back on sugars, sleep well, avoid negative people, and take an ashwagandha supplement.


Conclusion

Let’s wrap this up, and recap quickly;

Low testosterone levels could very well be due to overtraining.

If you’re pushing your body past its limits and not letting it recover, it will produce extra cortisol.

Cortisol is a hormone that eats away your muscle tissue, along with suppressing testosterone.

When you train, you put your body in a stressed state where it’s flooded with cortisol.

This is not a bad thing necessarily, but it does become one if you keep doing this every day without letting your body rest.

The most effective ways to boost your performance and testosterone are:

  • Train less often – let your body catch up with your intense workouts-
  • Avoid stress – take a walk in nature, do yoga, meditate
  • Drink less caffeine – caffeine wears your adrenals down and promotes cortisol production
  • Cut back on sugars – refined carbs and sugars are shown to drastically reduce testosterone levels. They also cause inflammation in the gut, killing friendly bacteria.
  • Sleep, sleep, sleep – Getting at least 8 hours of deep sleep is a must if you’re training hard, so that your cells can repair.
  • Avoid negative people and situations – Surround yourself with individuals who give you energy, instead of depriving it.
  • Take Ashwagandha – Ashwagandha is a natural herb that directly enhances testosterone production, boosts the immune system, and reduces cortisol (up to 35%!)

So there you have it, these are the best ways to improve your performance and reduce stress level.

Again, make sure to give your body enough rest so it can heal up, and you won’t need to worry about overtraining ever again!

Next up: Men’s Health Enhancers Guide

References for the article: Low Testosterone Levels Due to Overtraining?

[1] Salivary testosterone and cortisol in rugby players: correlation with psychological overtraining items. (source)

[2] Longitudinal changes in testosterone over five years in community-dwelling men. (source)

[3] Prevalence of hypogonadism in males aged at least 45 years: the HIM study. (source)

[4] Testosterone for the aging male; current evidence and recommended practice. (source)

[5] Study of the Effect of Stress on Skeletal Muscle Function in Geriatrics. (source)

[6] Salivary Testosterone Levels Under Psychological Stress and Its Relationship with Rumination and Five Personality Traits in Medical Students. (source)

[7] Relationship between stress hormones and testosterone with prolonged endurance exercise. (source)

[8] Male Hypogonadism and Osteoporosis: The Effects, Clinical Consequences, and Treatment of Testosterone Deficiency in Bone Health. (source)

[9] A concise review of testosterone and bone health. (source)

[10] Effect of testosterone on muscle mass and muscle protein synthesis. (source)

[11] Relationship Between Circulating Cortisol and Testosterone: Influence of Physical Exercise. (source)

[12] The relationship between libido and testosterone levels in aging men. (source)

[13] Review of health risks of low testosterone and testosterone administration. (source)

[14] Testosterone deficiency in the aging male. (source)

[15] Diagnosing and managing low serum testosterone. (source)

[16] The relationship between cortisol, muscle mass and muscle strength in older persons and the role of genetic variations in the glucocorticoid receptor. (source)

[17] A comparative examination of cortisol effects on muscle myostatin and HSP90 gene expression in salmonids. (source)

[18] Researchers discover the role of hormone in 'creating fat'. (source)

[19] What Is Muscle Protein Synthesis? (source)

[20] Caffeine Stimulation of Cortisol Secretion Across the Waking Hours in Relation to Caffeine Intake Levels. (source)

[21] It's official -- spending time outside is good for you. (source)

[22] Abrupt decrease in serum testosterone levels after an oral glucose load in men: implications for screening for hypogonadism. (source)

[23] Fructose: A Dietary Sugar in Crosstalk with Microbiota Contributing to the Development and Progression of Non-Alcoholic Liver Disease. (source)

[24] Influence of diet on the gut microbiome and implications for human health. (source)

[25] Sleep loss dramatically lowers testosterone in healthy young men. (source)

[26] Eight simple ways to boost your happiness instantly; from walking in a certain way to forcing a smile, these are the tips you need. (source)

[27] A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults. (source)

[28] Studies on the immunomodulatory effects of Ashwagandha. (source)

[29] Withania somnifera root extract extends lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans. (source)

[30] Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. (source)

Testosterone Guides and Articles

At MaleTestosteroneBooster, it’s our aim to help you get the most out of your life by helping you boost your testosterone levels. We all know what it’s like to feel suboptimal in the bedroom, the gym, and in everyday life when your confidence is lacking. This is why I’ve put together the below guides to help you reach your goals! Why not check them out, you may find just what you’re looking for.

It’s No Myth | Squats Day And Testosterone It Does Exists

Squats are hard.

So hard in fact, that some people get dizzy and unwell after an intense leg session.

But is this a good enough reason to shy away from this exercise?

No, it’s not. By avoiding squats, you’re missing out on huge testosterone gains. Studies show that squats ramp up your T-levels more than almost any exercise. [4]

Not only that, but squats also improve your growth hormone levels, boost libido, and improve fat loss. They are arguably the best muscle-building movement there is. [1]

Squats day and testosterone is no myth – it’s actually one of the best ways to improve your health as a man. Read on to find out more…

Why is Testosterone Important?

Before explaining how squats boost your testosterone, let’s quickly cover the role of the male hormone in the body. And how it works.

So what is testosterone?

First off, it’s a male steroid hormone which plays a key role in your libido, muscle growth, and many other bodily functions. As such, testosterone is associated with these benefits;

  • Improves muscle mass
  • Keeps your sex drive high
  • Enhancers strength and energy levels
  • Helps regulate mood and well-being
  • Improves confidence

This incredibly important hormone is produced by Leydig cells, which are located in testes in men.

Testosterone belongs to the androgen group. Other androgen hormones include DHT, DHEA, androstenediol, and androstenedione.

In total, androgens are just one out of five steroid hormone groups. Other include estrogens, progestogens, glucocorticoids, and mineralocorticoids.

Believe it or not, but vitamin D is also classified as a hormone – it plays a key role in testosterone production.

Related: Men’s Guide To Testosterone

Effects of Low Testosterone

Low T levels are no joke.

Not only does a decrease in this vital hormone bring your physical performance down, it also leads to serious health side effects. [2, 3]

For this reason, it’s important to notice signs of low testosterone early. So you can prevent a further drop in the male hormone.

Here are the 5 most common signs of low testosterone;

  1. Muscle loss
  2. Fat around the belly
  3. Feeling weak and sluggish
  4. Low libido and sex drive (loss of interest in women)
  5. Mood Swings

Although not extremely common, weak T levels can also lead to erectile dysfunction in some men.


Key point: Keeping your testosterone high is the key to strong muscles, healthy sex drive, and sharp mental abilities. Effects of low T levels include loss of libido, belly fat, and low energy levels.


How Squats Boost Your Anabolic Hormones

Okay, now that you know the importance of testosterone, let’s look at one of the best ways you can boost your male hormone – squats.

There’s a good reason why squats are called ‘the king of exercises.’ They work on your largest muscle group – legs – and induce a massive hormonal response.

That’s right, doing squats will improve your anabolic hormone release – both testosterone and GH.

Below is scientific evidence showing how squats improve your T levels.

Squats Boost Growth Hormone and Testosterone Secretion

A study published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning tested two groups of men with similar experience in strength training. One group did squats, and the other did leg press.

The study showed that men who did squats increased their testosterone from 23,9 nmol/L to 31,4 nmol/L. The group who did leg press increased their T levels from 22,1 nmol/L to 26,9 nmol/L. [1]

Furthermore, the squat group experienced a much higher increase in the growth hormone (from 0,2-9,5 μg/L), as compared with the leg press group (0,3 to 2,8μg/L).

Both groups of men did 6 sets of 10 reps for each exercise, and their starting weight was 80% of their 1-rep max. The rest between sets was also the same for both groups – 2 minutes.

Here’s a graph showing the increase in anabolic hormones in these men;

A chart showing an increase in testosterone levels after squats and leg press

 

A chart showing an increase in growth hormone levels after squats and leg press

                         Image courtesy of: journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr

As we can see from the above, while leg press is certainly a great way to boost your anabolic hormones, squats are even more effective.

But that’s not all. Research shows that if you train like this several times per week, your testosterone levels will stay elevated long-term – leading to continual muscle growth. [5]

Light vs. Heavy Squats, Does it Matter?

Light or heavy squats – which boost testosterone the most?

Studies show us that it doesn’t matter much. In fact, any type of exercise appears to boost your anabolic hormones. But the question is, to what degree? [10]

Well, a study from Medicine and Science in Exercise and Sports tested the effects of light vs heavy squats. They had two groups of men whose testosterone levels were tested prior to doing squats, and after.

Both groups were asked to do squats in 4 sets of 6 reps. But here’s the interesting part: one group used heavy weights when squatting, while the other group did light squats.

The result? Both groups experienced an increase in testosterone levels. It didn’t matter if they did heavy or light squats.

This is great news if you can’t do heavy squatting, for example, if you have knee issues. This study shows us that even by using light weights, you can still improve your male hormone.

That said, remember that the intensity needs to be kept high in order for you to reap the benefits from the exercise.

Squats day and testosterone – this doesn’t mean doing 5 bodyweight squats and expecting your T levels to increase. If the exercise isn’t intense enough, it likely won’t lead to any benefit.


Squats boost your anabolic hormones, regardless of whether you do heavy or light squats. However, it’s important that the exercise is intense enough for you to feel ‘the burn.’ This is what causes the response in the body to produce more testosterone.


Other Leg Exercises Improve Testosterone Too

Looking at the studies from above, it’s clear that squats are among the best ways to naturally boost your testosterone.

However, it’s also apparent that they aren’t the only exercise that will raise your anabolic hormones. As we’ve seen, the testosterone gains from leg press are nothing to sneeze at.

So if for any reason you can’t do squats, good news: you can still significantly improve your T and GH secretion with other exercises. [7, 8, 9]

HIIT (High-intensity Interval Training) has also been shown as an effective method of raising your T levels. Along with improving peak power output. [6]


Key point: Your body produces a huge hormonal response when doing squats – boosting T and GH levels. Other exercises such as HIIT and leg press achieve similar results, though not to the same extent.


How to Maintain Elevated T Levels With Exercise

Okay, it’s clear that doing squats will boost your testosterone levels – but for how long?

In most cases, this increase only lasts for a couple of hours post-workout. So what can you do to maintain it?

Well, studies show that by training consistently in the gym, at least 3 times per week, you will keep your anabolic hormones raised long after the workout is over. [8, 11, 12]

So even if you’re busy, it’s still possible to keep your T levels elevated by training just a couple of times per week.

But again, the intensity is key. If you’re working out and not feeling any resistance, then the workout might be too easy for you.

Always aim to keep the intensity levels up – this is what will improve your testosterone and muscle mass.


Although a boost in T levels after exercise is only temporary, it will stay raised if you train consistently in the gym.


Wrap-Up

Research shows that squats indeed do boost testosterone levels. Even more impressive is the boost in Growth Hormone after a squat workout.

However, squats aren’t the only exercise that will improve your anabolic hormones. In fact, any exercise is good for your testosterone health.

This includes HIIT (high-intensity training), bench press, and deadlifts. Basically, anything that keeps your heart rate up and makes you sweat.

Exercise is shown to not only benefit your testosterone directly, but also indirectly. It does this by boosting mood and reducing cortisol levels. And cortisol is the arch-enemy of testosterone.

So there you have it, that’s our answer to whether squats day and testosterone is a myth – no, it’s not!

By doing squats, or any exercise for that matter, you’ll improve your testosterone, growth hormone, and overall health as a man.

Next up: A Detailed Testosterone Enhancers Guide

References for the article: It’s No Myth | Squats Day And Testosterone It Does Exists
[1] The Acute Hormonal Response to Free Weight and Machine Weight Resistance Exercise. (source)

[2] Review of health risks of low testosterone and testosterone administration. (source)

[3] Revisiting the role of testosterone: Are we missing something? (source)

[4] Effects of progressive resistance training on growth hormone and testosterone levels in young and elderly subjects. (source)

[5] Acute testosterone and cortisol responses to high power resistance exercise. (source)

[6] HIIT produces increases in muscle power and free testosterone in male masters athletes. (source)

[7] Physically active men show better semen parameters and hormone values than sedentary men. (source)

[8] Serum testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor-1 levels, mental reaction time, and maximal aerobic exercise in sedentary and long-term physically trained elderly males. (source)

[9] Increased physical activity has a greater effect than reduced energy intake on lifestyle modification-induced increases in testosterone. (source)

[10] The effect of training volume and intensity on improvements in muscular strength and size in resistance-trained men. (source)

[11] Effect of Exercise on Serum Sex Hormones in Men: A 12-Month Randomized Clinical Trial. (source)

[12] Which Exercise Is Better for Increasing Serum Testosterone Levels in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction? (source)

Testosterone Guides and Articles

At MaleTestosteroneBooster, it’s our aim to help you get the most out of your life by helping you boost your testosterone levels. We all know what it’s like to feel suboptimal in the bedroom, the gym, and in everyday life when your confidence is lacking. This is why I’ve put together the below guides to help you reach your goals! Why not check them out, you may find just what you’re looking for.

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Pre-Exhaust Training | Everything You Need To Know

There is nothing more frustrating for a bodybuilder than hitting a dreaded plateau – reaching that point when you are no longer making any noticeable progress and feeling like you are just wasting your time in the gym – and so you begin searching desperately for a solution.

Pre-exhaust training is an advanced discipline which can reignite the dying embers of any stale routine and set you back on track towards lean muscle growth.

What is Pre-exhaust training?

The basic concept of this training method is to begin your workout by burning out your target muscle group, incorporating Isolation exercises and single joint movements to fatigue your muscle
fibers.

You then move onto the crux of your session, beginning your compound movements and multi-joint exercises, now forcing your muscles to work doubly hard during each set having already been pre exhausted. This may seem like an alien approach and you may be scratching your head thinking: ‘But surely this will limit my ability to lift heavy weights?’ And you’d be correct in your assumption.

Pre-exhaust training is not for powerlifters or for anyone looking to set new 1RM’s every session – it is simply a tool that if correctly implemented can stimulate gains in strength and muscle quickly and effectively.

Not only is this method tried and tested for stimulating growth, it is also great for minimizing the risk of injuries and joint pain. By starting out with low weight, high volume set’s; you can warm up your muscles efficiently and make them more pliable as you enforce a full range of motion with every repetition.

What are the main advantages of Pre-exhaust?

There are several key benefits of this advanced training method which make it so popular amongst bodybuilders and athletes alike.

As I have already touched on, Pre-exhaust training is great for optimal warm-ups – getting your muscles firing effectively before starting on Compounds and thusly improving your overall flexibility.

It is also fantastic for developing symmetrical definition – as opposed to conventional training which sometimes causes muscle imbalances and for you to feel stronger on one side than the other – by isolating and fatiguing your target muscle group initially you reduce the reliance on assisting muscles during compound movements.

Above all else though, the number one perk of using this technique is the fact that you can cause maximum damage to your muscle fibers; pushing yourself to the point far beyond failure when your muscles are full of blood and neurologically you are fatigued to the greatest possible extent.

By pushing your body to such extremes and forcing your muscles to work harder for longer periods of time, you will be able to stimulate significant growth and increase your strength levels exponentially.

How To Pre-Exhaust

Pre-exhausting is so taxing on your body that I do not recommend using it for each and every exercise in your session, simply incorporate it as a starting point or intermittently throughout a workout and listen to your body.

If at any point you feel unable to continue or keep up such a high intensity, reduce your workload and increase your rest times in order to recover effectively between sets.

Here I will outline a simple example of how to implement this method into your routine, specifically for a Chest related session:

EXERCISE 1: INCLINE DUMBBELL CHEST FLYS – Use a low weight that you can manage to lift for 15-
20 repetitions whilst maintaining strict form.

Perform 3-4 sets, focusing on the contraction in the eccentric (downward) phase of the lift and
exploding powerfully in the concentric (upward) phase.

EXERCISE 2: FLAT BENCH BARBELL PRESS – Having already fatigued your target muscle, bear in mind
that when moving onto your compounds you will be unable to lift as heavy as you might normally be
able.

Load up a weight you can manage to lift for 6-8 repetitions over 4-5 sets. Push through the pain barrier and try to push out 1 or 2 extra reps in and around the point of failure.

As you can see here, the goal initially is to aim for volume and produce a full pump in your target muscle group before starting the heavy lifting. Remember these principles whenever you are pre exhausting and be sure to mix it up and use this technique on different muscle groups every week.

Exercise Pairings For Pre Exhaust Training

Sometimes differentiating between isolation and compound exercises can be tricky, so it’s helpful to have a rough idea in your mind about the main different movements for each category and how they work best in tandem for the pre-exhaust method.

Below are the best pre-exhaust pairings for each muscle group:

QUADS:

Isolation – Leg Extensions and Leg Curls
Compounds – Squats & Lunges

HAMSTRINGS:

Isolation – Hamstring Curls & Flat Bench Leg Curls
Compounds – Romanian Deadlift & Dumbbell Back Extensions

SHOULDERS:

Isolation – Single arm lateral raise & Cable front raise
Compounds – Arnold Dumbbell Press & Military Barbell Press

BICEPS:

Isolation – Concentration curls & Single Arm Cable Curls
Compounds – Standing Barbell Curls & Standing Alternating Rotating Dumbbell Curls

TRICEPS:

Isolation – Cable Triceps Kickbacks & Single Arm Seated Triceps Extension
Compounds – Triceps Dips & Close Grip Bench Press

CHEST:

Isolation – Chest Flys & Pec Dec Machine Flys
Compounds – Dumbbell Bench Press & Incline Barbell Bench Press

CALVES:

Isolation – Single Leg Dumbbell Calf Raises & Single Leg Machine Toe Press
Compounds – Lunges & Jump Squats

ABDOMINALS:

Isolation – Lying Leg Raises & Kneeling Weighted Cable Crunch
Compounds – Plank & Medicine Ball Rollout

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon can I expect to see results using the Pre-exhaust Method?

Varying the stimulus in your workouts is a sure-fire way to stimulate real muscle growth quickly, so incorporating Pre-exhaust is a great way to spice up a stagnant routine and start to see real progress.

Expect to see noticeable gains in lean muscle mass within 2-4 weeks and a vastly improved pump during workouts instantly; however not without putting in the hard work necessary outside the gym walls too. Yes, I am talking about dieting and recovery.

Make sure you are eating enough and make sure the calories you are ingesting are high quality and rich in nutrients.

Never neglect or underestimate a good night’s sleep – during a deep sleep, your body releases GH (Male Growth Hormone), which is vital in the muscle building process.

Finally, make sure you stretch thoroughly pre and post workout – a vital component of any good recovery plan – because the last thing you need is for your progress to be scuppered by injury or joint pain.

How often should I use the Pre-Exhaust technique?

I discussed earlier the fact that this method of training is especially grueling and can take a huge toll on your body if you are not careful. Therefore, I would not suggest pre-exhausting before every single compound or during every single session you do after reading this.

4-5 times a week would suffice, maybe using it once per session and ideally as the opening to your workout when you are feeling fresh and energized. Once your body adapts and your strength levels increase, push it to twice per session but be conscious not to over-train.

With that in mind, including intra-workout supplements can be a great way to keep your energy levels up and ensure that your body is always primed for muscle growth. Protein shakes and BCAA’S (branch chain amino acids) are two very popular supplements that can be easily prepared and taken during a session.

Final Comments

This article should have given you the impetus to begin including Pre-exhaust training into your bodybuilding routine because, in terms of causing damage to your muscle fibers and stimulating growth, it really is right up there as one of the most effective techniques in the sport.

I would also suggest researching other advanced training methods and starting to use several in conjunction with each other on a weekly basis. The number one way to avoid hitting the wall in the gym and failing to make the gains you crave on a steady basis is to keep your routine varied.

Never stick to the same training plan for longer than 6-8 weeks and always try to keep things fresh incorporating different ways of training. Your muscles adapt quickly and remember how you train and to what degree of intensity; so, it is absolutely necessary to shock your body and push yourself to new limits in order to stimulate muscle growth and achieve the physique of your dreams.

How Kettlebell Swings Increase Your Growth Hormone

kettlebell swings for increased growth hormone levels… yes it actually exists! By swinging this ancient metal object around in a series of movements, has a huge impact of your testosterone and growth hormone levels.

This guide – ‘kettlebell swinging for growth hormone production‘ – will give you all the insight you need to step into a gym (or at home) and comfortably swing to your heart’s content. Just don’t get me confused with a different type of swinging if you know what I mean.

I’m guessing you’ve either picked up a kettlebell before, or you haven’t and want to know how, hence the reason why you’re here. So, if you’re a newbie or vet, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered either way.

Let’s get into it, because I can hear your raging testosterone bursting to get out. But first…

What Is Growth Hormone?

what-is-growth-hormone

How Growth Hormone Helps The Body

What is the crazy thing called growth hormone anyway? Growth hormone is closely linked to cell growth, repair, strength and vitality – some would say it’s a miracle hormone.

growth-hormone-chemical-structureGrowth hormone – GH – which is also known as somatotropin, or more commonly known as HGH human growth hormone is a peptide hormone which is responsible for promoting muscle growth.

It also plays a vital role in cell reproduction and cell regeneration. Basically, it can make you younger. You can find out more about Growth Hormone here at – WikiPedia Growth Hormone.

In the science of it, growth hormone is a type of amino acid, 191-amino acid to be exact.

GH is effectively a stress hormone which boosts the amount of glucose and free fatty acids in the body helping it to repair itself and promote new cell growth. Numerous testosterone supplements can help replicate this effect or even promote more GH production. 

“But how does this fit in with kettlebell swings” I hear you ask… let me tell you!

How Kettlebell Swings Boost Growth Hormone

This is the interesting part. By swinging kettlebells you can boost your HGH levels dramatically, and your body does this by pumping out growth hormone levels during and after your workout to repair torn muscles.

Okay, I know you already guessed that part, so let me explain…

There’s a process in the body that takes place via somatotrophs, which is situated in the anterior pituitary gland which is found in the brain.

Originally, a large amount of HGH was already formed when you were going through puberty, however, this doesn’t mean to say that you can no longer manipulate extra growth hormone production with kettlebell swings – you certainly can!

When Your Body Promotes Growth Hormone

The times when your body will secrete growth Hormone the most is when you are asleep, under stress… and pay attention to this one now – ‘when you exercise and combine that with low levels of sugar/food in the blood’ – AKA: fasted training!

Many athletes and entrepreneurs such as Time Ferris from the 4 Hour Body & Chef have reported great benefits in fat loss, muscle gain, and overall health. All because they undertook fasted workouts using ONLY kettlebell swings.

Okay, now we know the trick to stimulating extra growth hormone production – via fasted exercise with kettlebell swings. We can now look at how to implement this into your routine.

Kettlebell Swing Growth Hormone Workout

kettlebell-swing-growth-hormone-workout

Once you begin working out using Kettlebell swings, you will be amazed. This type of exercise will rock your body into growth hormone production overdrive when done correctly.

In the beginning, assuming you’ve never used kettlebells before, I would recommend by doing 3 morning sessions per week before breakfast.

These sessions don’t have to be long, and if you can only do 20 kettlebell swings with a 5 or 10 kg kettlebell, then that’s great.

Working out in the morning is not for everyone. So if you want to get the best results from kettlebell swings for growth hormone production, you can always train fasted at other times of the day. It’s all about finding your rhythm and what motivates you.

If you’re still not sold on the idea of working out fasted, read this article on fasting and growth hormone production here at www.ncbi.nlm.gov.

As you progress, you can slowly use a heavier kettlebell, and at the same time, increase the intensity and amount of swings you do.

Kettlebell Swing Routine For GH Production

Follow this basic routine and guidelines for extra growth hormone production using kettlebell swings:

  • Workout 3 days per week before breakfast (eg. Mon, Wed, Fri).
  • Keep the exercises short and sweet (think high burst intensity doing 20/50 swings to start with).
  • Build up the intensity, weight, and amount of swings performed.
  • Workouts should last no more that 20 minutes to see optimal results which includes a warm up.

Eating Right For A Growth Hormone Boost

With any activity program, you have to watch which nourishments you put into your mouth to get the best results. Especially is you want to boost your growth hormone levels.

An excessive number of people will start using kettlebells, but as they don’t change their diet, they give up and become discouraged. Especially if they wanted to be ripped and muscular and the results weren’t showing.

But not you my friend, you can do this!

A truer word has never been spoken in that; ‘you are what you eat.’ If you continue to eat greasy food, then guess what? You’ll become a ball of grease – just kidding, but you get my point.

So, armed with this knowledge we call common sense, it only leaves room for one thing when it comes to dieting, and that’s; eat clean whole foods as often as possible.

If you can change your dietary patterns and increase the amount of healthy habits every day, then you’ll boost growth hormone levels sky high when combined with kettlebell swings fasted.

Breakfast:

Okay, we’ve all heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that is absolutely true! But…not all breakfasts have to be the same. Let me explain.

If you prefer working out at 5am and you don’t get hungry until 11am that’s fine! The whole meaning behind breakfast is to; ‘break a fast’ in which you have not eaten for many hours during the night.

So, whatever time you choose to eat, it’s all up to your personal preference. It makes very little difference if you workout before eating, or after. The important thing to remember is; you just have to be in a totally fasted, or slightly fasted state after several hours of eating. So, my HGH seeking friend, test out what works best for you and find your rhythm.

Increased Protein:

Adding more protein to your eating routine can help to reduce food cravings, and at the same time, control blood sugar. Which is another important element when it comes to improving growth hormone levels.

Many people don’t eat enough protein with every meal, and making this small change, can result in tremendous improvements in a very short space of time.

Apart from protein, there are other foods you should add into your diet if you don’t already do so. Such as nuts, seeds, and dark green vegetables – which are all good for improving hormone health, HGH levels, and testosterone.

I promise, if you start eating more vegetables and proteins, your body will appreciate it. Numerous studies have been done on the benefits of dark green vegetables and growth hormone production.

Vitamins & Minerals

If you really want to boost your testosterone and growth hormone levels, you need to make sure you’re eating the right minerals and vitamins on a daily basis.

Minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B6 all play a vital role in overall hormone health and production. If you want to see supplements containing these ingredients, see our HGH and testosterone supplements here – testosterone supplements.

Summary:

There are a wide range of Kettlebell routines that you can do, such as the Turkish get-up, clean & press, and many more – not only kettlebell swings for growth hormone production. So, you’ll never be short of exercises to improve your growth hormone levels using a kettlebell.

The best advice I can give you is to start with three days fasted training per week, building up the intensity and volume – and watch your HGH levels rocket!

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Testosterone Hacking Guides and Articles

At MaleTestosteroneBooster, it’s our aim to help you get the most out of your life by helping you boost your testosterone levels. We all known what it’s like to feel sub optimal in the bedroom, the gym, and in everyday life when your confidence is lacking. This is why we’ve put together this websites, with hours of researching taken from websites such as pubmed, has been to help you reach your ultimate goals! Whatever they may be. Why not have a look through some of the below articles, you may find just what you’re looking for.

  • Testosterone Guide – A complete (easy to digest) guide on how testosterone production works.
  • Testosterone Enhancers – A list of all the main ingredients found in testosterone enhancers, along with my favourite and what I’m currently using.
  • Vitamin D – A rundown of Vitamin D associated with how it can increase your testosteron levels.
  • Ashwagandha -Ashwagandha is well versed when it comes to increasing testosteron. find out more about this amazing adaptogen.
  • Ginseng – Another useful adaptogen that has been linked to lowering cortisol and improving male fertility.
  • Fenugreek – Not many people that Fenugreek is not just a cooking ingredient, it’s also a healthy testosteron enhancer.
  • How To Raise Growth Hormone Levels With KettleBell Swing – If supplements aren’t your thing, then you might want to se how you can raise your testosterone, and growth hormone levels with KettleBell Swings.

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