Are you looking to get ‘beach body ready’ by burning fat and building muscle? If so, it’s time to hit the gym, step up your training, and clean up your diet. What’s that? You say you’ve done all those things months ago, and that you’ve barely made any progress at all? If that really is the case, then it might be time to look beneath the surface and try to figure out if anything else may be going on.
As the title of today’s article is ‘does working out increase testosterone’? You’ve probably already figured out what we’re going to be looking at today.
When it comes to getting in shape, building muscle, burning fat, athletic performance, and much more besides, testosterone is, without question, the most beneficial hormone within the human body.
But does working out really increase testosterone? Well, let’s try to find out.
What is testosterone?
Before I can go any further, I need to first ensure that there is no doubt or discrepancy with regard to what testosterone actually is.
So, what is testosterone?
Well, it’s a hormone.
There, that was simple, wasn’t it?
Oh, you want more, do you?
Okay, testosterone is a sexual health hormone found naturally within men and women (though levels are much higher in men) that plays a key role in numerous physiological processes. Testosterone helps regulate a man’s mood, it affects sperm production, fertility, and libido, plus it can even influence how a man stores body fat.
For the purpose of today’s article, however, it’s vital to mention that it is a highly anabolic hormone. What does that mean?
Well, it means that it is essential for building muscle, promoting optimal muscle function, for building strength, and increasing endurance.
Basically, the more testosterone you have in your body, the more muscle you’ll build, the stronger you’ll be, and the more stamina you will have. It also works wonders for your sex life/drive. Testosterone is produced primarily via the testes and levels peak between the ages of 18 – 30, then they gradually decline.
This, however, can be a big problem because a testosterone deficiency can make it harder to get in shape and can result in all kinds of medical issues.
Studies, however, have found a direct link between exercise and testosterone.
Does working out increase testosterone?
It all honesty, it all depends. You see, the answer to the above question is yes and no.
When I lift weights, especially with free weights for performing compound exercises, I find that testosterone levels can increase significantly.
This isn’t just us making radical claims without having scientific data to back ourselves up either. Numerous studies have been conducted on this matter, and the evidence is almost entirely positive with regard to the fact that resistance training can elicit greater amounts of testosterone production within the human body.
Compound exercises, especially those which work the legs, I.E barbell squats, provide a significant increase in the amount of testosterone that the body naturally produces.
In one study, a group of young men was monitored over the course of several weeks.
During those weeks, they would work out 4 – 5 times a week with free weights and would perform a lot of heavy compound lifts.
Experts noticed that, after completing their workouts, their testosterone levels spiked for around 15 minutes after they finished training.
They did, however, gradually come back down, but interestingly enough, even in a rested state, after a while, the amount of free testosterone in their bodies was still slightly higher than it was when they first began the study.
So, put simply, after training, testosterone levels shoot up, then gradually come back down.
BUT, over time they still increase slightly, so regular weight training can indeed provide an increase in testosterone levels.
Does all forms of exercise boost testosterone?
No, absolutely not. We’re looking at does working out increase testosterone, and yes, working out with weights does slightly boost test production.
However, some forms of exercise can actually be detrimental to testosterone production and can result in suppressing testosterone synthesis within the body.
So which exercises are detrimental, and what can be done?
Well, endurance exercise can be detrimental, as can overtraining in general.
Some so-called ‘personal trainers’ on social media, actually promote going to the gym twice in one day, 5 days per week.
So that’s 10 weight training sessions per week.
These guys are in great shape, but it’s as clear as day that they’re using steroids.
But this can be followed by serious side effects, such as Winstrol side effects, like sleep trouble, acne, etc….
If you are working out too frequently, you run the risk of overtraining.
Endurance training, I.E marathon running, or long-distance running in general, is another form of exercise that can suppress testosterone production.
You see, when you exercise too frequently, your body views it as stress and this then results in the secretion of stress hormones such as cortisol.
Cortisol suppresses testosterone production and actually breaks it down, so you have less in your system. This is the last thing that you want.
We’re not saying to avoid all forms of endurance exercise, we’re just saying that if you are exercising too much, and are not giving your body adequate time to recover, you could see a drop in natural testosterone levels.
If you do hinder test production through overtraining, it can take between 5 and 6 days for testosterone production levels to return back to what they were previously, which is obviously the last thing you want, especially if you’re looking to get big and jacked.