You’re no stranger to testosterone: it's the primary muscle building hormone.
When testosterone levels are optimal, your energy levels thrive, sexual health flourishes, and you can build muscle like it's going out of style.
It is a fat-burning
, energy-boosting, muscle-enhancing wonder. If you have training goals of getting bigger, faster, and stronger, testosterone is the hormone that will help get you there.
Naturally maximizing testosterone will help you get the strength and size that you’re looking for.
The question is: Are you maximizing your testosterone production?
Are you lifting the right way? How about eating the right way? Are you supplementing with natural testosterone boosting supplements?
If you are skipping on compound movements
and testosterone-fueling nutrition, then you are doing yourself and your lean muscle gains a great disservice.
Let’s review how to go about living a lifestyle of natural testosterone maximization.
Heavy Lifting for Boosting Testosterone
Ever wonder why the classic lifts are called “the classics?” It’s simple: they worked really well back in the day, and they work just as well today.
The classics are composed of compound exercises. These are the movements that activate and utilize the largest muscle groups, which are spread throughout several muscle groups at once.
Exercises such as the squat, deadlift
, and the clean and press all give you the best bang for your buck. You’ve seen plenty of guys and girls doing squats and deadlifts in the gym, but why are those compound exercises so important?
Large compound movements like squats, bench press, and deadlifts result in higher blood levels of anabolic hormones like testosterone.
Boosting testosterone levels isn’t just about how you are lifting but how much you are lifting. Light weights are great for a warm-up, but once you're warmed up, it’s time to start pushing yourself. Placing your body under tension using heavy loads and high intensity will signal the body to begin producing more testosterone to get the job done.
So when you are preparing yourself for a day of bench pressing, don’t be shy of those 45-pound plates. The idea behind heavy lifting equating to testosterone boosting isn’t new science.
Studies have always shown
that this type of training can “induce growth hormone and testosterone release, regardless of age.” <2>
Quick Testosterone Boosting Considerations
We know how much you love to work your biceps
. Just keep in mind that if you’re going to start a gun show, do it after the real stars get their attention.
It is recommended to perform isolation movements AFTER performing compound movements. Because compound movements stimulate anabolic hormone release, and it will help get the most out of isolation work!
Lifting big and lifting heavy may stimulate testosterone production, but for how long? Research shows that testosterone levels peak after around 25-30 minutes of weight training. This is especially important for those going the natural bodybuilding route. Anything over 45 minutes and your testosterone levels will start to dip.
What’s more, after 60 minutes of training, weightlifting begins to encourage the production of another hormone called cortisol. This isn’t a muscle-building hormone, but a stress hormone. High levels of cortisol equal low levels of testosterone
. Case in point: keep your training sessions to 60 minutes or less.
The Best Testosterone Boosting Foods
Muscles may be torn down in the gym, but they're built back up in the kitchen. Nutrition is 80% of your results. This means focusing as much energy in the kitchen as in the gym.
Food choices can optimize the production of testosterone just as much as heavy lifting can. Our top three favorite testosterone boosting foods are as follows:
Eggs are the perfect bodybuilding food. They contain the right amount of cholesterol, vitamin D, calcium, and protein to support testosterone production.
2. Grass-fed beef
Grain-fed beef isn't going to kill you, but the alternative is simply better. Grass-fed beef contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, and selenium, all of which contribute to boosting testosterone.
It’s not just for warding off vampires. Garlic has been shown to lower the levels of that stress hormone, cortisol, that we mentioned earlier. It also helps to raise testosterone. One clove a day will help your body boost testosterone levels.
Proven Testosterone Boosting Supplements
Now that you know how to lift and eat to get those testosterone levels climbing, give yourself that extra edge with some proven testosterone boosting supplements.
The following list has been compiled based on human studies showing that each supplement works. Have fun trying to pronounce some of the names.
This supplement has been shown via human trials to boost testosterone levels. Working together, these two hormones lead to an increase in fat burning and lean body mass.
“Male subjects in a 12-week trial experienced a 16.77 +/-33.77% increase in total testosterone compared with a 1.08 +/- 18.35% decrease in the placebo group.” <8>
After you’re done laughing at the name, you’ll be quite impressed at how this mineral-loaded, alkaloid, rock looking thing called Shilajit can help you in your quest to boost your testosterone levels
“Researchers at the J. B. Roy State Ayurvedic Medical College and Hospital in India gave 28 men 200mg Shilajit powder every day for 90 days and tested them regularly during the trial. The results showed that Shilajit boosted Testosterone levels 23.5%.” <1>
3. Tongkat ali
The root of the tree is used to create this t-booster. Originally, it was used strictly as a bedroom performance enhancer, but studies soon discovered that testosterone levels were climbing quickly for those taking the supplement.
“Stress hormone profile (salivary cortisol and testosterone) was significantly improved by TA supplementation, with reduced cortisol exposure (−16%) and increased testosterone status (+37%).” <7>
This simple looking plant with the bright orange and red berries could just be mistaken for another weed growing in your backyard. Thankfully, this plant has been proven to successfully boost testosterone levels in men.
“Data from 46 men indicated that daily supplements of ashwagandha for 90 days were associated with a 17% increase in testosterone levels.” <3>
5. Vitamin D
Calcium and vitamin D have been doing the dance in the fitness world spotlight for a long time. What’s with all the attention? Why is vitamin D so important and how does it play a role in the production of testosterone?
“Vitamin D, a steroid hormone, is essential for the healthy development of the nucleus of the sperm cell and helps maintain semen quality and sperm count. vitamin D also increases levels of testosterone, which may boost libido.
In one study, overweight men who were given vitamin D supplements had a significant increase in testosterone levels after one year.” <4>
Numerous research studies have been done on zinc and its health benefits. Everything from improving cognitive function to shortening the common cold has been tested and proven with this supplement.
As luck would have it, testosterone boosting is just another job on its resume. During one human trial, the results were pretty impressive.
“In the first group (T less than 4.8 ng/ml; 22 patients), T and DHT rose significantly after oral administration of zinc, as did the sperm count.” <6>
If you’re looking to give your body everything it needs to gain strength and size while burning fat, naturally maximizing your testosterone levels is the way to go.
Perform intense full body workouts based around compound exercises. Eat clean, healthy foods such as eggs and grass-fed beef that have been shown to help testosterone levels rise. Lastly, invest in a supplement utilizing the correct ingredients
and doses to naturally optimize testosterone production.
1. “Shilajit testosterone and fertility booster” December 13, 2012. AnabolicMen.com. Web.
2. Brown R, Everhart J. “Effects of progressive resistance training on growth hormone and testosterone levels in young and elderly subjects.” August 1989. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Web.
3. Daniells, Stephen. “Ashwagandha may promote healthy testosterone production in men: Clinical data” nutraingredients-usa.com. May 23, 2014. Web.
4. Mercola, Joseph. “9 Body Hacks to Naturally Increase Testosterone” fitness.mercola.com. July 27, 2012. Web.
6. Netter A, Hartoma R, Nahoul K. “Effect of zinc administration on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and sperm count.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. August 7, 1981. Web.
7. Talbott, Shawn. “Effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects” jissn.com. 26 May 2013. Web.
8. Godard, M. P.; Johnson, B. A.; Richmond, S. R. (2005). “Body Composition and Hormonal Adaptations Associated with Forskolin Consumption in Overweight and Obese Men”. Obesity Research 13 (8): 1335–1343. doi:10.1038/oby.2005.162.PMID 16129715.