Boost Your Testosterone Levels While Training
Testosterone is the primary male hormone responsible for the development of the reproductive tissues and is an anabolic steroid. Testosterone is the sex hormone which plays a key role in promoting secondary sexual characteristics in men such as increased muscle and bone mass, and the growth of body hair.
A lack of testosterone can be the leading cause for the inability to gain muscle mass in men. Women can’t develop muscle mass like their male counterparts because of the lack of testosterone production in their bodies. If you’ve hit a plateau, boosting your test levels can help you achieve new gains.
Make the Time in The Gym Count
Many people spend longer in the gym than they should. If your goal is to build muscle while boosting your test levels, you should aim for keeping the intensity of your workouts high. Spending more time in the gym after a certain duration can be counterproductive.
Performing high-intensity workouts for a longer duration can spike your cortisol levels which can make your body enter the catabolic (muscle losing) state. Keep your workout intensity high and spend no more than 1-1.5 hours in the gym.
Limit Your Rest Time Between Sets
Taking a structured approach to setting your rest time between sets can improve your results. A one-minute rest period between sets can be way more effective than a three-minute break where you reply to texts and scroll through your Instagram feed.
Recent research shows that 90-120 second of rest between sets is optimal for boosting testosterone and lowering cortisol levels (1). You can opt for a 60-90 second rest time during isolation exercises and a 90-120 second rest while doing compound exercises like squats and deadlifts.
Perform Compound Exercises
While isolation exercises are great for building muscle definition, compound (multi-joint) exercises like the squat, deadlifts and bench press are what helps with building muscle mass and can naturally boost your testosterone levels.
Whenever you have an option, chose the free-weight exercises over machines as they recruit multiple joints and can boost testosterone production. Challenge yourself in the gym by performing difficult and heavy lifts.
Most people in the gym have the wrong notion of overtraining. People leave gains on the table by not pushing their limits for the fear of overtraining. Surprising your muscles by hitting failure every once in a while can spark new growth in your muscles and will ignite new test production.
When you target failure, you’re by default increasing the intensity of your workouts which is linked to higher testosterone production. You can use advanced training techniques like supersets, drop sets, BFR training to push past failure and shock your muscles into growing.
Just like what you eat and how you train, supplements too can affect your t-levels. Test-boosting supplements work by correcting nutrient deficiencies that harm testosterone production.
Majority of quality t-boosting supplements contains zinc (support overall test levels), Vitamin D (supports male reproductive function), fenugreek extract (support bioavailable testosterone within the body), longjack (support a healthy testosterone-to-estrogen balance in older men), etc. These supplements can also improve sleep and reduce stress, both of which can impact testosterone levels.
- Rahimi, R.; et al. (2011). “Effects of very short rest periods on testosterone to cortisol ratio during heavy resistance exercise in men”. (source)