Learn Get-Fit Guy’s weight lifting strategies for boosting your testosterone levels naturally.
Testosterone is a steroid hormone that helps you increase lean muscle mass and bone density – and beyond simply helping you have a nice body, it’s also crucial for good health! Low levels of testosterone, in both men and women, can lead to a number of serious health conditions, including increased risk of depression, low sex drive, obesity, and osteoporosis.
Men with low testosterone tend to have higher rates of heart disease, depression, and even dementia – and a decrease in testosterone levels in women can lead to a loss of muscle mass and weight gain (especially when paired with the rising levels of estrogen that you learned about in my episode on Hormonal Imbalances and Weight Gain).
Although there are entire industries built up around herbal and pharmaceutical pills, capsules, lotions, injections, super foods, and other methods for increasing testosterone, in this episode you’re going to get 6 simple strategies for increasing testosterone without actually swallowing any questionable supplements.
6 Ways to Increase Testosterone With Exercise
- Rest strategically
- Practice forced reps
- Don't skip leg day
- Branch out from cardio
Read on for more on each of these points below.
Tip #1: Sprint
Multiple studies have shown that you can boost your testosterone levels by sprinting. In one study, testosterone levels increased significantly for people who performed a series of very short (but intense) 6-second sprints – and testosterone levels remained high even after those people had fully recovered from the sprint workout.
So how can you implement the strategy of sprinting to increase testosterone? Try performing several sprints on the treadmill after you’ve lifted weights at the gym, or just head out into the backyard, a park, or your neighborhood block and do a few sprint repeats on your days off from weigh training. You can even do your sprints on a bicycle or elliptical trainer. Try to include 5-10 short sprints when you do a sprint workout, sprint no longer than 15 seconds, get full recovery after each sprint (generally 3-4 times longer than you actually sprinted), and do a sprint workout 2-3 times a week for optimal results.
Tip #2: Lift Heavy Stuff
While you can do high reps with low weights or low reps with high weights, studies have shown that it definitely takes heavy weights to significantly boost testosterone. Full body, heavy exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and Olympic lifts should ideally be used, at 85-95% of your 1RM (or one repetition maximum). You need to do 2-3 full body weight lifting workouts per week to get good testosterone-boosting results (in tip #5, I’ll give you a sample workout).
If you're a beginner or new to weight training, don’t let this concept of heavy lifting scare you away. You can simulate many of these exercises on weight training machines until you’re strong and skilled enough to perform the free weight barbell or dumbbell versions.