If you’ve spent enough time in the bodybuilding community you know just how important testosterone levels are. A lot of guys go hard in the gym ad have great nutrition plans in place thinking they are all set. However, what they don’t realize is that sometimes working out too hard can actually have the opposite effect of what they want. The truth is, when you go TOO HARD in the gym you are increasing your risk not only of an injury but also of messing up your hormone levels.
There are a number of studies that show extended workouts with high-volume training can cause testosterone levels to drop. Since testosterone is not only important to building muscle but also to having energy, recovering and confidence this is obviously something we want to avoid. This is exemplified with some of the top long-distance runners. These guys are constantly training for extended periods of time which results in them becoming extremely skinny and constantly feeling tired. While bodybuilders don’t spend hours every day on the treadmill they do sometimes go too hard at the gym, or lift for too long. As a result, their t-levels drop. So what can they do?
Why Testosterone Is Important
Testosterone is known as the male hormone. While women produce it in their own bodies they do so at a much smaller rate than men. As a result, men have an easier time building muscle. Testosterone impacts many areas of your life including how quickly you build muscle, how much bodyfat you retain, the strength of your bones, your energy levels and confidence. People with high testosterone levels are also known to take more risks and behave more aggressively.
Men with low testosterone tend to have weaker erections which leads to a mediocre sex life, weaker bones, less muscle, more bodyfat, low energy and less confidence. After reading that list you are probably wondering – what can I do to increase my own testosterone levels? As well as what sort of things should I be avoiding?
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Some doctors might prescribe testosterone replacement therapy if your body is not producing enough of this crucial hormone. This can be done in the form of patches, supplements, needles or pills. Having said that, don’t self-prescribe testosterone replacement therapy assuming it’s the right solution for you. Taking synthetic hormones can have some nasty side effects and might not even solve the issue that’s causing it to begin with.
Change Your Diet
A lot of guys end up with low testosterone levels as a result of their diet. Many of the foods we eat are loaded with preservatives and additives that lower t-levels. As a result, focus on eating clean foods that you prepare yourself. Avoid pre-packaged garbage that will leave you feeling weak and tired. Foods that are high in healthy fats are also shown to boost t-levels so make sure you are getting plenty of those. Low-fat diets are absolutely something you want to avoid. On that note, don’t be afraid to consume fattier cuts of meat such as steak and beef as the saturated fat in them is great for boosting t-levels.
Change Your Routine
If you spend 2 hours in the gym every day lifting weights and/or doing cardio that’s simply too much. You want to get those workouts down to under 40 minutes to make sure you aren’t spiking your cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone that causes testosterone to drop. Cortisol levels increase during times of stress in your personal life, or from excessive physical training.
Your training routines should consist of compound exercises in the hypertrophy training range. This will result in the ideal combination of hormone balance and muscle growth. Besides, who wants to spend 2 hours working out when 40 minutes will do the trick? You can spend that extra time preparing your meals for the week ahead.
As mentioned above, it’s not just over-training that will cause your t-levels to drop. If your lifestyle is very stressful your cortisol levels will spike (after all, it’s the stress hormone). If you are working a very stressful job you might want to consider looking for something different if bodybuilding is important to you. Similarly, if you aren’t getting enough sleep each night because you are stressed or simply too busy make sure you create time for yourself to get at least 8 hours. Your body actually produces the most testosterone while sleeping, so if you are getting 6 hours per night instead of 8 hours you are losing out on 2 hours of testosterone production. That’s 14 hours per week or 730 hours per year!
One of the most effective ways of boosting testosterone levels is taking a natural testosterone-boosting supplement. These products are extremely convenient and can often be the difference between having average testosterone levels and having very high levels. While a high quality products will cost more (just as clean foods cost more than processed, packaged garbage) it’s well worth it if you benefit from faster gains.
Check out our page for some reviews on the top testosterone booster products. By taking one of these, you will notice faster gains, less body fat retention, better mood, more energy and greater confidence. You will recover faster from those intense workouts (which should not be taking longer than 40 minutes)
So can lifting lower your testosterone levels? Absolutely! If you are spending hours in the gym every day training at high volumes not only are you wasting your time – you are actually going to make your body look worse! Going forward make sure you adjust your training program so that you keep the reps moderate and give yourself plenty of rest between workouts. Also, get at least 8 hours of sleep per night and take a high-quality testosterone boosting supplement to make sure your t-levels are optimized. Most importantly, consume clean foods and avoid nasty preservatives and additives that will lower your t-levels. While these foods are convenient they will ultimately mess up your gains.