I decided to open my first post on the blog on the topic of testosterone and its link to exercise. There are many benefits to exercising of course, but one of these benefits for men is the rise of testosterone levels.
According to health practitioners and fitness experts, there are different factors that come into play for improving testosterone levels on top of workouts. However, if you would like to reap the benefits of working out, you need to do it regularly. While training, testosterone levels rise, but only for a short period of time, mostly between 15 minutes and one hour.
If you’re a man with low testosterone, exercise alone may not be enough to raise your levels in a manner that you’ll experience a difference in the way you feel. According to endocrinologists, exercising has a more potent effect on men whose testosterone levels range from low to normal.
Factors Affecting The Effectiveness of Exercising on Testosterone Levels
There are different factors such as fitness levels, age, weight and timing of exercising that affects the effectiveness of exercises in raising testosterone levels. For people who are overweight, exercising can help them shed off the excess fats and this in turn helps to improve their testosterone levels.
On this presentation Michael Lara shows some of those factors that come into play and you can see how much weight or slice of the pie each of them has.
The age also plays a role as older men do not seem to benefit much from the testosterone boost after exercising. However, there are many other health benefits of exercising to older men such as muscle and bone health as well as better balance.
The period of exercising is also an important factor as testosterone levels differs in accordance to the time of the day. The testosterone levels are usually in their highest during the morning hours and lowest in the afternoon. According to research, strength-training exercises have a bigger effect on the testosterone during the afternoon hours.
Your fitness level also plays a role. If you’re not in a great shape and you begin exercising, you can benefit from a bigger but brief boost in testosterone levels as compared to a person who is already in great shape. However, the body will get used to the challenge after sometime and your hormone response will lower.
Why All Forms of Exercises Are Important
Endurance training such as long runs help boost testosterone levels but for a short period of time. Strength training exercises such as lifting weights causes a bigger effect on the testosterone. The good news is that there are a few strategies that you can use to get a bigger boost in your testosterone levels when doing strength training workouts. Some of these include:
- Using more of your muscles. For instance, doing a full-body workout will have more benefits on your testosterone levels than doing one exercise.
- Aim for intensity and not for volume. Instead of doing many light weight reps, lift higher weights (e.g. 3 sets of 10 reps at 85% of your 1RM are better than 5 sets of 15 at 70% 1RM).
- Shorten your rest period during workout, again intensity being the factor.
However, it is important to have an overall workout plan which should include flexibility training and cardios so as to enjoy an overall benefit on your health. Avoid overdoing it as it may end up backfiring on you.
Elite athletes as well as amateurs who overtrain can notice a drop in their testosterone levels and a rise in the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, this is an indication that they are harming their bodies. These athletes may suffer from signs such as excess soreness, insomnia, finding it difficult to recover from workouts and losses in strength and performance. Therefore, it is important to rest adequately between your workouts and stick to healthy meals to enable your body to recover after workouts.