Muscle Sport Magazine

Does Working Out Increase Testosterone?

Ever noticed how some men just seem to ooze testosterone out of their bodies?

You know the ones – the big, jacked, hairy, manly men with majestic beards and chiselled jawlines.

Then there are others.

Guys that are small in stature, unathletic, baby-faced, and mild mannered. Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being like either guy, but in terms of health and well-being, the more testosterone your body produces naturally, the better.

That’s why today, we’re going to be looking at does working out increase testosterone. You see, there are some people out there that are convinced that the whole ‘working out boosts testosterone’ thing is a myth.

Then there are others that think the exact opposite.

There is a lot of extensive research that has been done over the years on this subject, but what is the truth?

Well, today we are going to attempt to find out.

Below we are going to be looking at testosterone in general, before looking at whether or not working out helps to naturally boost testosterone levels.


What is testosterone?


Testosterone is an androgenic hormone produced naturally by the body that is primarily designed to promote fertility and libido in men.

It also plays a very important role in the growth and repair of muscle tissue, as well as with athletic performance, strength, and post-workout recovery.

Androgens are basically natural forms of steroids. In fact, all derivatives of anabolic steroids used by bodybuilders are designed to serve as synthetic variants of testosterone.

Though it is the dominant male sexual health hormone, women also produce it naturally in their ovaries, just in very low amounts.

In men, the majority of testosterone is synthesized in the testes, with a small percent also being produced and secreted by the adrenal glands.

Testosterone secretion amounts are actually regulated by the brain, via the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus.

You see, the hypothalamus tells the pituitary gland how much testosterone is needed, then the pituitary gland passes this message on directly to the testes.

Testosterone levels peak at around 16 – 18 years of age, up until the age of 30 or so.

From there, testosterone levels gradually decline each year. Between the ages of 30 and 80, testosterone levels can plummet to as low as just 20% of what they were in their prime.


What are the signs of low testosterone levels


As mentioned, testosterone levels don’t remain high for long, and once we hit 30, they generally start to decline. Some men naturally have higher or lower levels of testosterone than others. Low testosterone however, can leave you susceptible to all kinds of ailments and health issues. Some signs that you have be suffering from low testosterone levels include:


  • Low or no sex drive
  • Trouble getting or maintaining an erection
  • Low volumes of semen
  • Hair loss
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Increases in body fat
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Trouble building muscle mass
  • Loss in strength
  • Mood swings
  • Stress, anxiety, irritability, or depression
  • Trouble sleeping




Does working out increase testosterone?


Now we’ll take a look at whether or not working out increases testosterone. Well, *spoiler alert, it does. Studies have foundthat exercise CAN increase testosterone production without running any steroids cycle such as anadrolcycle to get big, providing it’s the right type. You see, some exercise can actually result in a drop in testosterone levels. Here’s a better look at testosterone levels and physical exercise:


Muscle and testosterone –When it comes to testosterone production, it has been proven time and time again that heavy compound exercises can provide the most impressive increases in testosterone.

When training, studies have found that heavy compound lifts such as: barbell squats, bench presses, military presses, deadlifts, and pullups, all elicit the most impressive amounts of testosterone secretion.

Of course, isolation exercises are also very beneficial, especially when targeting a stubborn body part, but ideally you should stick to heavy compounds if you’re looking to increase natural testosterone levels.


Endurance exercise –So, does this mean you should spend hours in the gym lifting heavy barbells and performing heavy compound after heavy compound?

Well, actually, no it doesn’t. You see, a lot of people make the mistake of spending hours exercising each day, or perhaps training twice a day, seven days per week.

They seem to think that the more stress they put their muscles under, the more they will respond. Well, they will respond, but it’ll be in a negative manner.

When the body is stressed, or is placed into a stressful situation, a hormone known as cortisol is produced.

Cortisol is known as the ‘stress hormone’ and it is not beneficial.

Cortisol causes dips in immunity and suppressed cognitive function.

Now, remember how testosterone production is regulated by the brain?

Yeah, well, if brain performance is affected, so too will testosterone production levels.

Cortisol have been found to cause T levels in men of all ages to drop. What does this have to do with endurance-based workouts?

Well, even though we know that exercise is very good for us, the body still views it as a form of stress.

Research has found that when exercise lasts longer than an hour, cortisol secretion levels increase, which can therefore negatively affect your T-levels.

So, to elicit the most favourable responses in terms of testosterone, try to keep your workouts to below an hour, and aim for slightly higher intensities with fewer minutes of rest between working sets.


So, does working out increase testosterone? – To sum up if you haven’t been paying attention, yes, working out CAN increase testosterone. However, it can also LOWER testosterone if you aren’t careful.

To boost testosterone, stick with mainly free weight exercises and heavy compounds, up the intensity, get plenty of rest and recovery, and keep sessions to an hour or less.

Avoid too many endurance-based workouts as these can increase cortisol production, which then lowers testosterone.

Of course, you can still perform the odd endurance-based session here and there, but just try not to rely on them as your primary method of training.


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