Eat Quality Healthy Fats
I know you’ve spent most of your life getting told to limit your fat intake. I understand this. Let me ask you a question, though… The people telling you this stuff, were they all boasting excellent health, low levels of body fat, rippling muscle and a physique that would make Greek sculptors weep? Or were they just your grandmother, a bloke down the pub, and some guy that writes for the newspaper you read?
Let me tell you, the guys getting the big physique results and the research scientists who are finding more and more evidence to support their methods know their stuff. Your grandmother, that bloke down the pub, and anyone who writes for a newspaper don’t have the requisite qualifications or experience to be advising you on this stuff.
So eat your fats. Eat avocado, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed butter and coconut oil.
This one’s nice and straightforward; lift weights and your muscles grow. Muscle mass equals testosterone production. So more muscle? Yeah, that’s right, more testosterone. More testosterone? Yeah… More muscle.
Yes, I know. You want bigger arms. Everyone wants bigger arms. I think it’s an admirable goal and I don’t want to discourage you, but stop doing endless bicep curls and re-read the last point. Done that? Okay, your bicep is a comparatively small muscle, try movements that hit lots of muscles and you kick-start your testosterone production a lot harder than if you just isolate one small muscle. That’s right, deadlifts and chin-ups are going to get you much bigger arms than endlessly curling that little dumbbell.
Don’t Extend Your Training Sessions Endlessly
Get it done inside an hour. Stretching out your training sessions, as well as seeing diminishing returns from the stuff you do beyond the hour mark, is going to promote cortisol production. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and too much of it is going to negatively impact your body’s testosterone production. You don’t want that.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is the time when your body does most of its recovery. It rebuilds muscle, it balances your hormone levels, it replenishes glycogen stores. It fixes you. If you don’t sleep enough you are eating into the results you should be getting from your training, this means the relationship I outlined above between muscle and testosterone is going to be impacted. But like I said, your body takes this opportunity to balance your hormone levels, so what’s going to happen if you don’t sleep? Hormones all out of whack. Given that testosterone is a hormone, how do you think it’s going to be affected? Don’t stay up trying to figure it out. Go to bed.
Get Enough Rest
Didn’t I just say that? No, not exactly. As important as sleep is to your recovery, your hormones, your muscle production, your body fat levels, it’s not what I’m getting at here. Rest is just the period when you’re not training. You should be resting one to two days per week. Perhaps more depending on your training load. Rest days are the days when you don’t train, and they are as important as the days when you do. I know I said your body does a lot of its recovery as you sleep, but occasionally it’s going to need a little break so it can catch up with its ongoing efforts to keep you awesome. That’s what a rest day is.
Whilst the link between zinc levels and testosterone production isn’t fully understood, it’s a pretty confident consensus that there is one. If you already have sufficient zinc in your diet there is no reason to add more, since it doesn’t create a simple proportional increase. If, however, your diet is low in zinc, then you are robbing yourself of potentially higher testosterone levels and potentially larger results. Great foods for improving zinc levels include oysters, crab, beef, beans, pork, nuts, chicken and yoghurt. It is also available in supplement form, but these are foods you can cycle through easily enough to have it represented sufficiently in your diet without them.
Studies have consistently shown that doing High Intensity Interval training can boost testosterone levels for anything up to thirty-six hours following training. It also limits the production of fat storing enzymes. How cool is that?
Ditch The Sugar
When you eat anything with sugar in it your insulin rises. Human Growth Hormone and insulin use the same receptor sites in the body, so if one is elevated, it limits the functionality of the other. Now this isn’t a good reason to ditch carbohydrate altogether, it is, however, a great reason to eat carbohydrate and sugars proportionally to your energy needs and avoid foods that have added or unnecessary sugar in them.
Ditch The Stress
Stress results in cortisol. Excess cortisol will depress testosterone levels. Whilst reduced stress might not actively elevate your testosterone levels, much like the zinc thing, you’re not exactly optimised if you’re trying to boost your levels under stress because they’re going to already be naturally lower than they should be. So de-stressing is an essential early step in higher testosterone levels.
Ditch The Booze
Booze is a frustrating and wicked mistress. It has a habit of increasing desire whilst reducing capacity. It makes you want to believe that you can perform physical feats you haven’t been capable of in years, whilst simultaneously inhibiting the motor control that was your only hope of ever even getting close. Its effect on testosterone is no different. It encourages you to believe that you want to engage in testosterone-driven activities like sex, meanwhile it actually depletes your levels and reduces function. It also makes you believe that a kebab would make a valuable addition to a stomach already churning a combination of beer and tequila round and round. Not good for rational decision making, not good for your wallet, not good for your short term or long term health, and definitely not good for your testosterone levels. Ditch it.
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