While it’s no secret that testosterone is associated with muscle mass, the health benefits of testosterone reach far beyond muscle building. Even so, it’s popularity among weightlifters and exercise gurus have caused an onslaught of not so safe supplements aimed at boosting your levels- some legal, some not so legal.
You can increase your testosterone naturally, without the need for potentially harmful supplements. All you need is exercise and a little hard work. Here are 5 great exercise tips to increase your testosterone.
Squats, Squats, Squats!
Leg exercises can sometimes be forgotten in our quest for a bigger chest or biceps, but the legs are a great muscle source to target since they contain your largest muscle groups. The bigger the muscles, the bigger the impact on hormone levels.
If squats aren’t your thing, another leg exercise of your choice will suffice. Deadlifts and lunges are other great options. Try devoting a little time during each workout session to your legs.
Skip the Marathon
Marathons and other cardio exercises that require the body to endure heightened performance for a lengthy period of time are known as endurance cardio. This type of cardio has been shown to decrease testosterone levels. Since the aim is to increase testosterone, it’s best to avoid running any marathons or signing up for any iron man competitions.
Endurance cardio is great for weight loss, but when it comes to increasing testosterone, it’s counterproductive.
Ready, Set: Sprint!
Marathon runs may be off limits, but sprints are great at building up leg muscles- particularly those in your thighs. For optimal results, studies point to short, intense bursts. Aim for 15-20 seconds of full intensity sprinting, followed by a minute of rest. You can repeat this process up to 5 times per day.
Do Some Heavy Lifting
Not only do larger muscle groups create more testosterone, the amount of weight that you lift is also linked to the amount of testosterone produced. Resist any temptation you have when lifting to take it easy. Know your limits, but push yourself.
As your body begins to realize that it can take on larger tasks, it will lead to an increased level of testosterone production. This helps you build muscle, and the bigger those muscles get, the more testosterone you will be producing.
Exercise Smarter, Not Harder
You need an exercise plan. Haphazardly showing up and flexing your muscles may not yield the results you want (if they yield any at all.) Since increasing testosterone requires targeted exercise and testosterone is required to build more muscle, having a plan in place to execute is critical to success.
While testosterone replacement therapy can be useful, if your focus is on muscle building alone, exercise is a great way to boost testosterone naturally (here are others). Using testosterone supplements may offer a temporary muscle fix, but through exercise you can increase your testosterone naturally. Instead of putting testosterone before muscle building, build your muscles, engage in targeted exercises, and the testosterone will follow.
Jack Gibbs is a personal trainer and wellness coach. He helps others meet their fitness goals daily and enjoys sharing his knowledge with others. When he’s not at the gym, Jack can be found spending as much time as possible in the great outdoors.