Exercise is an essential part of leading a healthy life. But did you know that it can boost your testosterone levels as well? Studies do show a strong link between working out and high T levels. Still, it is important to understand that not all types of exercises are equally effective.
Let’s take a deeper look into the impact of exercise on testosterone and figure out which workout methods show the best results.
Does exercising boost testosterone? Yes, but..
Yes, the testosterone boost from exercise directly correlates with the duration and intensity of your workout session. But, it also depends on a number of other factors, such as:
You might see a more significant boost in testosterone production from exercise if you’re overweight. This happens because vigorous exercise reduces your body’s fat content, counteracting the testosterone deficiency caused by obesity. However, this extra boost will fade away as you get more in shape.
Younger folks get a bigger testosterone boost from exercise than men past their 40s. Age makes a difference here because testosterone production slows down at an average rate of 1.6% per year — which lowers the boost you get from working out as well.
Type & time of exercise
The type of exercise you do and when you do it both matter more than you might realize. For example, resistance training in the evening will provide a much larger testosterone boost than jogging in the morning.
Type of exercises best for boosting testosterone
The term “exercise” can refer to many different activities, each with its own set of pros and cons. Many of these exercises have zero impact on testosterone production, while others can give it a massive boost. If you want to increase your free testosterone levels through exercise, these are the ones you should focus on:
Resistance training is one of the most effective methods of increasing serum testosterone levels; this is due to the link between testosterone and muscle growth. The thing about resistance training is that it forces your body into an adaptation process, contributing to higher muscle strength. Men’s bodies overcome this adaptation process by boosting testosterone production to aid muscle growth. This also increases the amount of free testosterone available for other functions like sperm and red blood cell production.
List of exercises that help the most
The most effective types of resistance training routines are:
A deadlift is a weight training exercise in which you lift a loaded bar up to your hips/torso from the ground. It’s a compound exercise that involves a number of major muscle groups in your glutes, back, hips, and core. Just make sure to learn the correct deadlift form to avoid any back or knee injuries.
Squats are one of the simplest types of resistance training as they do not require any equipment. To perform this exercise, you go down to a squatting position and stand back up in recurring successions. Including these in your day-to-day exercise will strengthen leg muscles like the quadriceps, calves, and hamstrings.
Named after the process of rowing a boat, row exercise involves muscle groups responsible for drawing lower arms towards your body. There are many variations of rowing with different resistance machines and dumbbells in both sitting and standing positions.
The bench press is also called the chest press as it involves lifting a weighted bar upwards while lying on a flat bench. It is a full-body exercise, but it mostly affects the arm and chest muscles like the anterior deltoids, pectoralis majors, and triceps. It also has several variations with different bench angles and types of bars.
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. As the name suggests, HIIT involves extremely intense workouts for short intervals followed by an even shorter rest period. The main purpose of this exercise is to push your body to its limits while avoiding injuries from overexertion.
You should include HIIT in your workout routine as it can improve your stamina, strength, and cardiovascular health. Studies also show a strong link between HIIT and consistent testosterone boost in male athletes.
The exact interval for HIIT training can vary depending on the type of workout you’re doing. That said, the average recommended interval is to exercise for 20 seconds, followed by a 10-second rest period and a 15-minute time limit per set.
The most effective HIIT workouts include:
Are there exercises that lower testosterone?
Yes, there are. The most prominent examples of these are chronic endurance exercises like cycling and running. These exercises increase cortisol levels, which in turn lowers free testosterone concentration. Moreover, cortisol levels tend to be highest in athletes that repeat these endurance exercises more than 3 times a week.
Bonus tips: Sleep, diet, and supplementation
While exercise is a surprisingly effective way of boosting testosterone levels in your body, it is not your only option. Besides, the testosterone boost you get from working out decreases the more you get in shape. So, if you want consistent testosterone production, consider the following.
The amount and quality of your sleep has an impact on almost every function of your body, including testosterone production. A study from 2014 showed how insomnia or other sleep disorders lower the amount of serum testosterone, while another study from 2015 from the University of Chicago noted the effects of 1-week sleep restriction on testosterone levels in 28 male subjects. After a week of reduced sleep, the subjects showed a drastic 15% drop in testosterone levels.
The vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in your diet play a vital role in regulating testosterone production. For example, you can develop severe testosterone deficiency if your diet does not include enough vitamin D, K, B complex, zinc, or magnesium.
Testosterone boosting supplements can be a safe and effective way of combating low T or boosting its levels beyond the normal amount. These supplements include ingredients like Fenugreek extract, D-Aspartic Acid, and Magnesium — all of which increase testosterone production by regulating your body’s hormones and enzymes.
Benefits of well-regulated testosterone levels
The most prominent benefits of high testosterone levels are:
Testosterone is the primary hormone utilized in muscle growth, so high testosterone levels can improve the productivity of your workout sessions. Studies show that men with high T levels gain muscles and shed fat faster than they would otherwise.
Testosterone is an androgen/sex hormone as it has a direct correlation with libido. Well-regulated testosterone levels can improve your sex life by increasing your libido and satisfaction, especially if you’re over the age of 40. It also increases the energy yield of your metabolism — allowing you to be more active in bed!
Higher testosterone levels can improve blood circulation by decreasing cholesterol. A recent study on testosterone involving 83000 men also revealed a connection between heart diseases and T levels. According to this study, men with well-regulated testosterone levels had a 24% lower risk of heart attack and a 36% lower risk of suffering a stroke.
Normal and consistent testosterone concentration can lower the risk of infertility in men, and the opposite is true as well. These claims are further backed by a 2020 study that discovered that more than 15% of subfertile men had chronically low testosterone levels.
From what we’ve seen so far, exercise appears to be one of the most effective methods of increasing serum testosterone production in men. However, the type of exercise matters just as much as its duration and intensity. As for which exercises show the most promising results, resistance training and high-intensity interval training are on top of the list.
It’s also important to note that the effectiveness of exercise drops over time as your body gets used to the workout routine. So, you should get plenty of quality sleep, include vitamins and minerals in your diet, and consider testosterone-boosting supplements for consistent long-term T regulation.
According to Todd Schroeder from the University of Southern California, you can observe an increase in testosterone production within the first 15 minutes of starting an exercise session. But, this time depends on a number of factors, such as the type of exercise, the intensity of the exercise, the time of the day, and your age.
The best exercise time for boosting testosterone is late afternoon and early evening. This is because testosterone levels in your body are highest in the morning and lowest in the evening. So, more testosterone is produced during evening exercise to compensate for the lower levels.
Taking testosterone supplements can boost fat metabolism and increase muscle growth even if you do not work out. That said, these effects will be much more pronounced if you couple testosterone supplementation with resistance training or high-intensity interval training.