Testosterone. Without adequate levels of it, your road to building muscle will be much steeper and far harder to climb.
Remember, testosterone is the most powerful and essential muscle-building hormone known.
The higher your testosterone levels, the quicker you can pack on muscle…indeed, an elementary equation.
So let’s take a look at how a few simple dietary changes and exercise techniques will cause your testosterone levels to explode, along with the changes in your body that testosterone can accomplish…
The benefits of high testosterone levels
- Increased muscular size and strength
- Gives your body the ability to blowtorch fat
- Skyrocket your stamina and endurance levels
- Gives you a feeling of strong, steady confidence
- Slash your levels of the dangerous LDL cholesterol
Once you add these ten easy methods to your health and fitness toolbox, you will naturally increase your testosterone ranges.
1. Use compound exercises in your workouts. Isolation movements like Triceps kickbacks and leg extensions are great…AFTER YOU HAVE EXHAUSTED YOUR LARGE MUSCLE GROUPS BY DOING COMPOUND EXERCISES. Deadlifts, squats, bench presses, overhead press, rows, pull-ups, leg presses, and curls are where your focus needs to be if you want to fire up your anabolic hormone “manufacturing factory” in your body.
There are no short-cuts. The top pros in the bodybuilding world all started with heavy, basic lifts…no exceptions. Keep it simple. Stick with the proven path, and watch the gains come
2. Work to failure. This doesn’t mean injure yourself. But it does mean that in most workouts, we tend to quit a bit early, while we still have at least one or two more reps we could squeeze out.
Get serious. An extra rep or two may be a bit more painful and add a little more discomfort, but it won’t kill you. And those few extra reps will cause your testosterone levels to ramp up to meet the challenge.
3. Don’t be a “light-bulb.” “Lightbulb” is an old-fashioned, disparaging term for someone new to working out that only works on his/her upper body while ignoring their legs, which results in the uneven development that is so top-heavy that in extreme cases it causes the appearance of a ‘light-bulb.”
This is just plain stupid on so many levels. Here’s why. Experienced bodybuilders know that working the legs hard will cause a blast of growth hormone and testosterone to surge through your entire body…not just the legs.
Remember, the legs are the largest muscle group in the body, and when legs work hard, the body is forced to release more growth hormone and testosterone to act as an adaptive response.
The result? Your entire body benefits and grows stronger and more muscular from the surge of these hormones. So, here’s the takeaway: work your legs. Work them hard, at least as hard as you work your upper body, and maybe even harder.
There’s no question that leg day entails work…hard, hard and at times painful work. But put the time in, and the results will soon convince you that it is well worth the effort.
4. Consume Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s). EFAs are present in unsaturated fats sources like nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocados, fish and leafy greens. In addition to helping you build muscle and promote good health, EFAs also boost testosterone.
Ignore the obsolete, 1970’s advice to cut out fat from your diet. There are good fats and bad ones.
The terrible fats are trans fats, which are a Frankenstein-like concoction that clogs arteries and cause a host of other adverse health consequences.
Fats are an energy source, as well as helping raise your testosterone levels. In addition to eating correctly, don’t forget to add a fish oil or Krill oil supplement to ensure that your levels of this vital nutrient are where they need to be.
5. Beware of soy. Soy is a known precursor of estrogen, which is the foremost feminine hormone. The result? Lower testosterone levels.
Almost all soy products include phytoestrogens also known as isoflavones which have been proven to lower testosterone ranges in men measurably.
You don’t have to cut soy out completely, but keep in mind that consuming too much soy can reduce your testosterone levels.
6. Control and minimize your alcohol consumption. No denying it. Many men love nothing more than getting together with their friends at a cookout or local watering hole for a few cold beers. In fact, it is almost a masculine right-of-passage. As long as it’s not overdone, the harm is minimal.
But excess drinking can cause lower protein synthesis, increased fat storage, depletion of vitamins and minerals, dehydration and lower testosterone levels. Some research has shown that an individual’s testosterone ranges can drop by as much as 25% after a bout of binge drinking.
If you’re serious about raising your testosterone levels, keep alcohol consumption under control. Enough said.
7. Control/reduce stress levels. When we are stressed, our bodies are programmed to release a catabolic hormone called cortisol, a muscle builder’s worst nightmare. Cortisol is referred to as “the stress hormone’ and as the name implies, is released in response to stressful situations.
This served us well in caveman times when we had to go into “fight-or-flight” mode in a second to avoid a Saber-toothed tiger or battle another tribe.
But we are not designed to deal with traffic jams, constant lack of sleep, demanding bosses and annoying co-workers and the constant noise of contemporary society.
Cortisol breaks down muscle tissue and causes us to accumulate slabs of hideous, disease-producing gobs of yellow fat.
The keys to stress reduction are meditation, correct nutrition, and supplementation.
8. Get to bed. Lack of sleep is devastating to our health in numerous ways: weight gain, brain fog and mental confusion, chronic fatigue, higher levels of blood
sugar and, as always, lower levels of growth hormone and testosterone.
Develop good sleep hygienic habits, and make getting more sleep a priority if you want to keep your testosterone at high concentrations.
9. Try natural supplements that boost testosterone levels. See the list below for a brief review of some natural substances that have shown the ability to increase testosterone levels.
10. When all else fails, consider consulting with your physician for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). TRT may or may not be for everyone. You and your family doctor will have to make the decision.
Natural Supplements to Boost Your Testosterone levels
- Tribulus Terrestris. Healers worldwide have used this herb for centuries to stimulate natural testosterone production. Study after study has shown that oral doses of Tribulus Terrestris can blast off a man’s testosterone level quickly.
- Ginseng is extremely helpful given that it reduces stress. As mentioned earlier, stress will raise cortisol levels, which is debilitating to your efforts to gain muscle size and strength. Therefore, by decreasing strain, ginseng will help develop your androgen hormone. Also, it serves to improve the flow of blood to the muscles and cells of the body. Elevated amounts of blood are ideal for building muscular size and strength.
- Maca (Lepidium meyenii). Grown in the high Andean mountains of Peru, Maca is a root vegetable loaded with essential nutrients drawn from the mineral rich soil of the high Andes. Maca’s ability to promote strength, skyrocket libido, pump up energy levels and strengthen the immune system has long been known.
- DIM (diindolylmethane). This all-important supplement has been shown to lower estrogen, which is the “feminizing” hormone. It does this naturally, by helping to restore the testosterone/estrogen balance.
- Indole-3-Carbinol. This is a precursor to DIM, and although it may not be quite as useful as DIM when both are taken together, Indole-3-Carbinol works synergistically with its partner DIM to search for and destroy estrogen.
- Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium grandiflorum) This herb has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. Horny Goat Weed frees testosterone which, in addition to building muscle tissue, also explodes stamina and increases sex drive.
- Zinc. There is a traditional, proven link between low levels of zinc and low testosterone levels. Zinc both increases testosterone production in the testes and prolongs the life of testosterone in the blood stream. It also enhances the sensitivity of testosterone receptors.
- Saw palmetto. Native Americans have long been aware of the benefits of this berry as a general tonic and sexual booster. Saw palmetto also fights the hormonal changes that occur in men over the age of fifty. These changes cause free testosterone to convert into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which results in prostate enlargement. Saw palmetto battles this on two fronts. First, it stops the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Second, it blocks any DHT from attaching to receptor sites on the prostate.
- DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). The body produces DHEA naturally, and the adrenal glands secrete it into your system, where it can be converted into testosterone. Regrettably, as we age, our levels of DHEA begin to decline, just as with testosterone. Therefore, it’s a simple formula: more DHEA = more testosterone. As an additional benefit, DHEA is also a proven and effective stress-buster.
- ZMA (zinc monomethine aspartate). This is a mineral compound of zinc, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6 that work as a team to pump up testosterone levels.
- Fenugreek. In addition to increasing testosterone, Fenugreek also ramps up insulin release, which helps to build muscles after strenuous exercise.
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