Testosterone, a naturally produced steroid hormone, that is an essential part of our biochemistry. It helps us to increase lean muscle mass and bone density, and it’s not all about looking good because testosterone is also vital to our health. Low levels, in both men and women, have been known to lead to a greatly increased risk of depression and osteoporosis as well obesity and low sex drives, and some men opt for low treatment. But it doesn’t end there, men who have testosterone levels below the normal range can have a higher chance of developing heart disease, depression and dementia. Men aren’t the only ones who can suffer though as women have testosterone too, and low levels can cause weight gain and a loss of muscle mass.
There are a whole menagerie of pills, lotions, patches, gels, capsules and herbal remedies available on the market to increase testosterone levels, but there’s a natural way to do it too. Exercise isn’t just something we do to lose weight or release endorphins; it has actual quantifiable benefits that include naturally increasing testosterone levels. Weight training exercises are the best way to achieve a higher testosterone production, and we’re going to tell you exactly how to do it.
Go Big or Go Home
While some people choose to do a high number of reps with lower weights, studies show that it takes significantly heavy weights to make a noticeable impact on your testosterone levels. So, if you want to increase your testosterone, opt for a lower number of reps with a heavier weight rather than a higher number of reps with a lighter weight. Full body exercises using weights, such as squats, deadlifts, Olympic lifts and bench presses are the best methods to use – although at least 2-3 full workouts will be required each week to see a significant boost. For beginners, there’s no need to be scared off by the heavier weights. Gym machines emulate a lot of these exercises and can be used until you’re confident enough to use free weights.
Relax, Take a Break
Scientists have studied the effects of very short rest periods on testosterone and found that longer rest periods of around 120 seconds between sets are better for building testosterone (although you can still build other hormones, such as growth hormone, with shorter rest periods). Studies show that while short rest periods can be great for some things, such as metabolism and growth hormone production, testosterone production is best achieved with longer rest periods. Try to have rest periods of at least 2 minutes between each set, either have a breather or do an alternative exercise stimulating other muscles.
Get Some Help
There’s research showing that forced repetitions can significantly boost testosterone levels. A forced repetition is the term used for the extra repetitions which you require assistance with. You do as many repetitions as you can do by yourself, then have a spotter help you do 1-5 more. These extra reps can really help with testosterone production.
Use Your Legs
In another study that investigated the hormonal response to weight training, participants were split into an arm-only training group and a leg-plus-arm training group. Testosterone increases were significantly higher in the group that added lower body training to their upper body training. While it can be tempting, especially for guys, to focus on exercises like biceps curls and bench pressing, you’ll notice far better results for lean muscle mass, energy, sex drive, and fat loss when you include multi-joint leg exercises such as lunges and squats into your regimen.