C’mon, admit it! The real reason you train is so you can get babes, lift heavy stuff and one-up your counterparts. It’s in our DNA, people, whether you like it or not. And if you have lost those desires, I’m willing to put it out there that your testosterone levels are kinda low. So put down the soy, take those Crocs off, and hear my call!
Testosterone elicits decreased body fat, increased muscle mass, a higher libido, better athletic performance and vigor for life — what broseph wouldn’t jump at that? Testosterone is the fountain of youth, the magic hormone that we produce naturally. It fuels our muscle growth. If we are training for positive physiological adaptations, we need to be thinking about testosterone. So how can we maximize this? What types of activities and lifestyle habits both in and out of the gym can contribute to our natural production of testosterone? I have compiled a list of the top tips to get the most out of your most important hormone.
1) Lift Heavy Things!
If your eyeballs are popping out, if your veins are trying to explode, if you feel as though you’re going to either pass out or poop yourself after a lift, you are probably eliciting the magic hormone to respond. Deadlifting and heavy squatting should be your staples when it comes to training for testosterone production. These movements recruit a tremendous amount of musculature, both upper and lower body. When it comes down to creating the stimulus to elicit that neuroendocrine hormonal response from our training, you are not going to do better than these two movements. One to 20 reps, mix it up! Mess with the different energy pathways and time domains. As long as you feel like you’re going to pop on that last rep. Keep rest short and get back on the bar!
2) Get yo’ sleep!
I love sleep! I wish I could sleep 14 hours a day, but then I would be back in college. Sleep is fun and exciting; it reminds me of Christmas. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring: PRs, new toys? Who knows! I like to make sleep a ritual. I get into my jammies, brush my teeth and write down all the things I want to do in the next day. But sleep is also very important for performance. Testosterone levels can be decreased by up to 40 percent by a poor night’s sleep. Tips to improve your quality of sleep include:
- Keeping the room cool. A good sleeping environment should be neither too hot or cold, go for optimum temperature for the best night’s sleep.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and other chemicals that interfere with sleep patterns.
- Don’t stare at the clock. The more you think you need to get to sleep, the harder it will be.
- Take supplements, such as ZMA and melatonin, that promote sleep.
3) Eat red meat, veggies and fats!
Red meat and fats are good … and very anabolic. Meat has branched-chain amino acids, essential to lean muscle mass. Fat gives you a sense of satisfaction and supports brain health and connective tissue in the body. Essential fats are important to testosterone production. Good sources for essential fats are nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts and nut butter as well as fish/cod-liver oil. Then there are the not-so-essential fats that I really love ending in acon, utter and ausage. While these are not the most favorable, I find them the most tasty! Veggies contain lots of micronutrients, vitamins and minerals. They are also important for digestive health and the utilization of the proteins we eat. Fill your plate with meat the size of your hand, a little fat and as much greens as you can handle.
4) Have lots of sex
Bow-chicka-wow-wow! I don’t know the meaning of life, but I’m pretty sure that sex is a major part of it. Sex plays an important role for testosterone; after all testosterone is the primary sex hormone in males. It’s important to have intercourse to keep a healthy level of testosterone and to keep your testosterone levels functioning properly. One fantastic supplement for balancing hormonal level in the body in a root known as maca, also referred to as Peruvian ginseng. This is commonly used as the active ingredient in virility therapy for men and women.
These tips are my recommendations of a lifestyle, training and behavioral model for maximizing your natural levels of testosterone as well as tips for general awesomeness. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.
— David Lipson