Testosterone is a hormone produced by the human body. It is found in much higher levels in men than in women and is produced by the sexual organs. It plays a key role in the sex drive and sperm production in men.
As well as this, hormone levels have a major influence on mood and mental health. Lower levels of testosterone are linked to poor mental health.
Not only this, but low testosterone levels will impact the bone and muscle mass, decreasing the density. It also influences how fat is stored in the body and the production of red blood cells.
This means that low testosterone levels can cause weight gain, depression, lethargy, alopecia, and brittle bones. Testosterone levels will naturally begin to decline as the body ages, but medical problems can cause this to happen prematurely. These include testicular injuries, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.
Lifting weights has been shown to increase testosterone levels naturally. This is because it increases the muscle mass of your body. The more muscle you have, the higher your testosterone levels will be as the hormone production will increase.
Regular exercise will also help you to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity has been closely linked to reduced testosterone levels.
What is a normal testosterone level?
Testosterone levels can be measured through a simple blood test performed by your doctor. The testosterone levels should be between 280 and 1,100 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) for a healthy adult male. In adult females, the levels are between 15 and 70 ng/dL.
A testosterone level of below 300 ng/dL in an adult male is considered to be low. This tends to be due to issues with your pituitary gland. This is found at the base of your brain and is responsible for sending signals to the testes to produce more testosterone.
The condition where your testosterone production is reduced is referred to as hypogonadism.
What exercise increases testosterone most?
When you are lifting weights, it is advised to train with heavy weights to boost testosterone. Experts recommend doing 2 sets of 3-5 reps. These lifts should be done at 95% of your maximum effort level and should be targeting larger muscle groups.
These are areas such as your chest, back, quads, and hamstrings. Do not overlook smaller muscle groups like your shoulders, calves, and biceps. It is important to train your whole body equally to prevent injuries. You should train with weights at least 2-3 times a week for 30-45 minutes.
There are many variations on deadlifts and squats that you can do to switch up your workout. Suitcase deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, deficit deadlifts, and Romanian deadlifts are all highly effective to boost your testosterone levels. Good squat variations to try include front squats, high or low bar back squats, and safety bar squats.
When performing deadlifts and back squats, you should be working with a weight that is around 80% of your one-rep max. For bench press, shoulder press, and bent over rows, you should choose a weight that is around 70% of your one-rep max.
If you are not confident in your form, we strongly recommend contacting a qualified personal trainer. They do not always need to be with you, but it is helpful to have them for 1 or 2 sessions so that they can check your form.
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, has also been shown to boost your levels of testosterone if you are male. You should use your rest days from lifting to do cardio or HIIT. This will encourage cardiovascular health and will work in conjunction with lifting to boost testosterone levels.
Your total training time should be about 45 minutes, alternating between 90 seconds of sprinting and 90 seconds of walking.
Performing weight training exercises in the evening can give your testosterone levels an additional boost. Hormone levels naturally fluctuate as the day progresses, reaching their peak in the morning and dipping in the afternoon. Working out in the evening can enhance your testosterone boost from the exercise.
How else can you increase your testosterone?
If your testosterone levels are significantly impacting your life, you may qualify for testosterone replacement therapy. This is where artificial testosterone is introduced to your body. It can be done through injections, orally, with skin patches, or with gel.
There are also many supplements available that are believed to help boost your testosterone levels. One such product is D-Aspartic acid. This is a natural amino acid that increases the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormones in your body. The luteinizing hormone works to stimulate specific cells in the testicles, known as Leydig cells, to increase testosterone production.
Vitamin D has long been linked to healthy male sexual function. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that is commonly produced when you are exposed to sunlight. Having a good level of Vitamin D in your body can help with your testosterone levels and is also believed to improve sperm quality.
A healthy, balanced diet can help with a lot of problems you may be experiencing. Try to consume a diet high in protein, healthy fats, and clean carbohydrate sources.
Try to include high levels of magnesium and vitamin K in your diet. Zinc and vitamin B supplements can also be incorporated to help naturally boost your testosterone levels. Good foods to incorporate into your diet include shellfish, dark leafy greens, and egg yolks.
Reducing your stress levels also helps to lower your cortisol levels. This is a hormone that inhibits testosterone production. Try to get between 7 and 10 hours of sleep each night. These measures will help to improve your overall health and testosterone levels.