This article will cover ways in which you can increase your testosterone levels in order to increase the speed of your muscle growth. Many people find it hard gaining muscle mass; they train hard, eat plenty and still see mediocre gains. There is something else missing and that is the hormones and testosterone that will force your body to pack on muscle mass.
Eat more fat
Consuming more fat is a great way to increase your testosterone levels. Specifically saturated fat and cholesterol. These healthy fats create an anabolic environment, close to that of steroids. The best sources are eggs and beef. Increase your intake of eggs and beef and you could double or even triple your testosterone levels within a week.
Eat organic, free range, grass fed eggs to get the best fat in the yolk. The yolk should be a dark yellow or orange; if it’s pale this is a bad quality egg. Eat cooked eggs and add whole raw eggs to your shakes. Eat organic, grass fed beef for the best cuts.
Lift heavy and big
The more intense your workouts the more of an effect it will create on your body’s hormone levels. You must shock your body into survival mode and force it to release the growth hormones and testosterone in response to the brutal training.
Lift heavy weights with low reps to induce the greatest hormonal response. Perform big compound lifts that recruit more than one body part at a time. Exercises such as squats, deadlifts, barbell rows and bench press will all have a big effect of your hormones.
Increase the intensity with each workout and aim for progressive overload. Your muscles must be constantly shocked into growing and never be allowed to fully adapt to the training.
Fast after your workout
This may sound weird, but fasting after your workout for an hour or so, will actually dramatically increase your growth hormone levels. As your body doesn’t have access to food it will release the growth hormones and give you a boost.
Then once you have a high quality protein shake or meal, your body will absorb it up like a sponge.
As you have elevated growth hormone levels all the protein will be used to build and grow more muscle tissue.
Use these three methods to greatly increase your testosterone levels. Combine these with a great diet and training routine and you will gain large amounts of muscle in no time.
Choose Your Exercises Well
Okay, so we’ve established that heavy lifting is a must if you’re going to flood your body with testosterone. But to that, you also need to choose your exercise well.
Hit the gym for a good ol’ guns workout and you won’t be creating much of an anabolic effect. On the other hand, if you push yourself with heavy squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and rows, you’ll be creating an impact on your physique.
The more muscles you can work in any given second, the more testosterone you release.
And ditch the machines. Studies illustrate you get more testosterone release from squats than leg press for instance.
Life can get stressful at times, there’s no denying that, but if you would call your life as one big stressful merry-go-round, it’s time that you got off that ride.
Stress is going to wreak havoc on your testosterone levels, not to mention causing your body to secret another hormone in its place – cortisol. This hormone actually primes your body for lean muscle mass loss along with fat gain, especially in the abdominal region while decreasing testosterone.
Don’t Toss Those Yolks
Been avoiding all saturated fat to ensure your ticker stays healthy? It’s time to rethink this concept. Not only is some saturated fat needed to keep your heart strong, but it’s also needed for testosterone formation.
This sex hormone is actually formed out of cholesterol, so if your diet is saturated fat and cholesterol free, you can see how this might jus be a catastrophic problem.
Aim to keep your saturated fat somewhere between 15-25% of your total daily fat intake and that intake to no fewer than 30% of your total calorie intake.
Avoid Low Fat Diets
We’ve mentioned the importance of saturated fat, but let’s not downplay the role of simple dietary fat. Very low fat diets by nature will crush natural testosterone production, leaving you feeling less like a man.
Fat can be healthy as long as you keep your calorie intake in check and your sources healthy. Trans fats have no place in a testosterone boosting plan, but fats from avocado’s, fatty fish, lean grass fed meats, nuts and seeds, and oils most certainly do.
But Don’t Sport Fat Around Your Mid-Section
While using very low fat diets for fat burning purposes are no way to boost your testosterone levels, you still need to find an effective way to shed those excess pounds.
Excess fat on your body is going to result in added estrogen secretion, which counteracts the impacts of testosterone. Men who sport 20+ pounds, especially around their midsection are going to have a much harder time building lean muscle mass, maintaining their sexual function, and feeling like their normal selves.
A lower calorie, moderate fat, moderate carb, high protein diet is the route to take.
Log Some Serious Zzzz’s
Few things are going to be more important to natural testosterone release than your sleep habits. Sleep is the primary time the body restores itself, being sure that every system is working in proper balance. Neglect sleep – especially those deep sleep stages called REM stages and you’ll be feeling the impacts on both how you feel as well as your workout session the next day.
Longer sleepers chronically produce more testosterone levels than those who try and get by on just 5-6 hours per night. Set a bed time and take it seriously.
Stop The Sugar
Sugar is well publicized as one of the worst foods that you can be putting into your body and there’s no mistake about that. Not only does it set you up for weight gain, it’ll also zap your natural testosterone release.
Each time you eat a sugar laden food, you can expect a near immediate drop to your testosterone levels.
Beat The Clock During Your Workouts
Another important thing to remember as you go about your strength training routine is to avoid letting that workout drag-on. Whether it drags on because you’re too busy chatting up the receptionist (which indicates you aren’t training near the intensity to get a testosterone release in the first place) or you’re simply pumping out set after set, neither situation will work in your favor.
The best testosterone workouts are short but intense. If they go on longer than about 45 minutes, it’s time for a change. Beyond this point, your level of cortisol will begin to rise, putting you in a catabolic rather than anabolic state. This is again in direct opposition of what you want at this point.
If you haven’t already received the memo – smoking is one of the most devastating things that you can do to your health. If this isn’t enough to get you trying the patch, gum, or simply going cold turkey, it’ll also impact your natural testosterone levels as well.
Men who are smokers will have a harder time not only building the lean muscle mass they desire, but also maintaining that muscle mass as well.
Neglecting Rest Days
While getting sufficient exercise is a must if you’re going to boost your lean muscle mass and see high levels of testosterone surging through your veins, more exercise is not always better.
Rest days are critical. Too much exercise can push you to the state of overtraining, where your entire hormonal balance will be shifted for the worse. Go here and it could be months before your natural testosterone levels are back to where they should be.
Steer Clear Of Soy
When selecting a protein powder, choose any option but soy. Likewise, when forming your everyday diet, do your best to keep any soy containing foods out. Soy tends to promote estrogen formation in the body, which is not going to be any help to a man trying to boost testosterone levels. (Reference)
Say No To That Second Beer
And while you’re at it, also do your best to avoid excess alcohol consumption. If you are really hoping to elevate your natural testosterone levels as much as possible, you’re best off avoiding alcohol altogether.
But, since that won’t fly with many men, simply do your best to cut back and if you must drink, choose something other than beer. Beer contains hops, which form estrogen in the body and can suppress testosterone levels.
Mind Your Nuts
Not those nuts – the nuts that come in shell format. Almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans are all great for boosting your natural testosterone levels. They’ll pack the healthy fat that you need, as noted earlier.
This in turn can improve blood flow to the muscle tissues, allowing you to get in a more intense workout session – and boost your testosterone levels because of it.
Nuts are a great calorie dense food, and should be a main staple in any muscle building diet plan. If you prefer nut butter – no problem. Just be sure it’s natural nut butter in order to avoid the excess sugars that are typically added.
Run A Thyroid Test
As a man there are certain tests that you should be having done every year, especially once you pass the age of 45 or 50. In addition to those tests however, there’s one more you should add: thyroid function.
If you suffer from hypothyroidism, a condition in which your thyroid gland is not producing enough of the hormone needed to keep your body and your metabolic functions strong, this could have a serious influence on your natural testosterone production.
It’s silly to miss over this because this is something that’s super-simple to fix with just one dose of medication daily.
Not only will suffering from hypothyroid impact testosterone levels, but it can also impact how you feel and function on a everyday basis, so it’s really something that’s critical to check out for your well-being’s sake.
Serve Up A Juicy Steak
Meat-lovers rejoice – there is no need to cut steak out of your diet plan. In fact, it’s encouraged if you want to boost your testosterone levels. When you choose your cut however, try and opt for an grass fed over grain fed variety. This type of beef contains a much healthier fat profile that will offer CLA, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for optimizing hormonal levels.
In addition to these healthy fats, that steak will also contain coenzyme Q10 along with carnitine, both of which can help you sustain optimal natural testosterone levels.
Get A Workout Buddy
Having a workout buddy is going to help serve you in two ways. First, you’ll be more likely to hit that PR when a spotter is around. Knowing they’re there to save you can help you push that extra bit, which will in turn mean a greater testosterone release.
Second, simply knowing another person is watching you workout can help to elevate natural testosterone levels slightly higher than if you were working out all alone (in a home gym for instance).
Call it the male ego or simply the ancient desire to show what you’re made of – this feeling will have an influence on how much testosterone your body is producing.
Start A Love Affair With Oysters
One must-have food in any man’s diet who’s hoping to boost testosterone level is the oyster. Oysters are rich in zinc, which is an important nutrient for producing testosterone in the male body.
Men will lose some zinc through sweating, so if you train, it’s important to consume zinc.
Eating high zinc containing foods – or supplementing if you have to – will allow you to bring your levels back up.
Other good options include beans, nuts, whole grains, pistachios, spinach, and avocados. Try and serve at least one of these foods up daily.
Get More Of The ‘Sunshine Vitamin’
Unless you are someone who’s regularly going outside without sun protection, the chances that you’re low in vitamin D are incredibly high.
Most people aren’t getting enough of this critical nutrient in their diet, so supplementation is very important. Vitamin D is not only going to help promote stronger bones, but it also is used to help the body produce testosterone as well.
Time Your Carbs Effectively
Carbohydrates are a fuel source that can either work in your favor or against it. In order to get carbs working in your favor, time the effectively.
The largest hit of carbs in your day should come immediately pre and post-workout as this is when you have a high anabolic potential. By supplying them at this time, you’ll notice an improvement in performance and recovery.
Since your workout is one of the best ways to boost natural testosterone levels, you want to be able to give it everything you’ve got and eating well before and after will allow you to do so.
The rest of the day? Cut them back. Going lower carb during the other parts of the day when you are less active and focusing on dietary fats instead will keep that anabolism working in your favor.
Season Food With Garlic
Rather than using sugary sauces and condiments to add flavor to the foods you prepare, go natural with garlic. Garlic is one of the healthiest ways to boost taste while also improving health.
Those who consume garlic on a regular basis will notice improved heart health and also notice they have increased testosterone levels as well. (See here) Remember to let garlic ‘sit’ for a few minutes after you peel and chop it in order to allow the health-boosting properties take full effect.
Squat, Squat, Squat
We’ve already mentioned the importance of heavy lifting, but do not neglect the importance of the squat. Squatting is perhaps one of the most beneficial exercises you could do for boosting your natural testosterone levels.
It works a number of muscles all at once, it allows you to hoist a heavy amount of weight, and the sheer determination needed to get through a set of heavy squats can also boost your testosterone release.
Make sure you are heavy squatting at least once per week during your workout program.
Start Your Day With An Orange
Vitamin C is a critically important vitamin for helping to lower your overall cortisol levels, which in turn helps you maintain higher testosterone. It’s also important for fostering a stronger immune system, which will mean you can put more effort into each workout you do.(R)
Try eating an orange first thing in the morning to get a strong daily dose in, or consider swapping out that regular lettuce in your chicken wrap for some spinach instead.
Supplement With ZMA
We’ve already noted the importance of making sure that you are getting enough zinc in your daily diet. Well, one supplement that works along those lines for you to consider is ZMA. This stands for zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 and is best taken right before bed.
It’ll not only help you fall asleep faster and achieve a higher quality of sleep (see #7 above), but it’ll also help to boost the natural testosterone release you are getting as well.
For men hard at work in the gym, it’s a must-have supplement.
Try Herbal Tea Rather Than Coffee
While there’s nothing wrong with getting your day started with one cup of coffee, you definitely should not be filling that cup up 5 or more times per day. Too much coffee will increase your cortisol levels, leading to a higher chance of muscle mass loss and a decreased testosterone output.
Instead, swap that coffee out for some herbal tea if you have to have something warm to drink. As an added benefit, you’ll find you sleep better as well if you cut your coffee drinking after noon.
Snack On Celery With Peanut Butter
We’ve already discussed the benefits of nut butter, but celery deserves mentioning as well. This vegetable contains two powerful androgens, androstenone and adrostenol. These may help assist with the production of testosterone, helping to naturally elevate your levels.
As an added benefit, it’ll also help hydrate you.
Get Salmon Into Your Diet Twice Per Week
Fatty varieties of fish are another protein must-have for men who are hoping to boost their testosterone levels as they’ll contain the important omega-3 fatty acids that most of us are chronically short in.
Omega-3 fatty acids help to boost insulin sensitivity, combat depression, improve memory, foster a healthier heart, promote lower blood pressure, and will also help to increase natural testosterone levels in men.
They do this by increasing the production of luteinizing hormone, which is the hormone in men that will trigger more testosterone to be produced.
Two servings of salmon per week along with possibly supplementing with 2-5 fish oil capsules per day is highly recommended.
Ditch Long Cardio And Try HIIT Instead
If fat loss is currently a goal, make sure that you aren’t falling into the trap of hours of low intensity cardio training. This is the worst type of cardio you could be doing not only as far as fat loss is concerned, but also with regards to maintaining testosterone levels.
Instead, try high intensity interval sprints. Cranking up the pace in which you move at will help maintain muscle, boost testosterone, and lower the amount of cortisol produced.
Once again, the most effective workouts are short, but intense.
Case in point – check out a marathon runner’s body versus a sprinter’s. Who’s would you rather have?
Turn Up The Heat In The Bedroom
Another great way to boost your natural testosterone levels is to boost your bedroom activity. Men who have more sex on a regular basis tend to have more free flowing testosterone in their body as well. This is a self-fulfilling cycle however as the more testosterone you have, the more you’ll also want to have sex.
So if you’re in a relationship but in a bit of a rut when it comes to the bedroom, try and break free. Often the hardest part is simply getting the momentum going. The more sex you have, the more sex you’ll want and your testosterone level will show the benefit because of it.
Sprinkle Berries On Your Morning Oatmeal
Berries are one of the best fruits to consume as they contain less sugar than other varieties such as bananas or pineapples, but yet contain important antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals. This can help, in time, lower your risk of cancer development thanks to oxidation.
Berries also contain compounds that can help reduce the level of estrogen in the body, giving your testosterone levels more predominance in your body. You could also consider adding in a natural anti-estrogen to your supplement regimen.
Boost Your Testosterone With Broccoli
One of the best ‘man-vegetables to eat’ testosterone will help you maintain higher levels of testosterone while lowering the amount of estrogen being produced by the body.
Steam it, stir-fry it, or eat it raw – however you prefer, just make sure it gets in.