Testosterone levels in men decrease by 4-8% every 5 years. This level is further eroded due to environmental factors including diet, exercise, and what profession you have. But there are many men in their 40’s and beyond that have similar or higher levels of T than their younger counterparts. So what’s the secret to aging like a boss?
Benefits of Testosterone
First of all, what’s so special about this hormone? We hear about it all the time in ads, on the radio, and on sleazy daytime TV, but does it live up to the hype?
More Muscle. Less Fat
Testosterone has always been interlinked with higher levels of muscle tissue, and lower levels of body fat. People with naturally higher T levels generally carry more muscle easily, and that’s not including the guys on prescription (or non prescription) who seem to gain muscle by doing things like sneezing, looking at a dumbbell, or watching Judge Judy.
More Mental Acuity
Bonus, having higher testosterone can actually make you smarter. It will help you be more spatially aware, and can even improve verbal processing speeds.
This one pretty much goes without saying, because there have been 90 million pop up ads that have already said it. Higher T is correlated with better sex and increased blood flow to the genitals. (This is the sciency way of saying “raging hard-on”)
Besides the fact that testosterone is correlated to higher energy levels, better memory, less chance of Alzheimer’s, stronger bones, and bigger muscles, what was it about “raging hard-on” you didn’t understand?
Exercises To Boost Testosterone
If this was like most fitness sites, you’d def see an ad or a pitch for a Testosterone increasing supplement, cream or paste. But since this is not, I’ll show you a few great exercises and exercise techniques that can boost hormonal responses, and directly increase the amount of Turkey legs you eat off the bone.
There’s not a single exercise that will “boost testosterone” more than others, but there are definitely principles that will. For example, standing on the bosu ball to do any exercise will certainly lower your T.
Additionally, doing compound movements with heavier weights will stimulate hormone production beyond what light isolation moves can do. This means that doing a 20 rep front squat is going to be a much better choice for being lean and virulent than 20 rep side raises.
There are two main principles that you should follow in order to get the most out of your bodies natural hormonal levels, and they both have to do with effort. Today I’ll be talking about just one of those – how you can use lighter weights to create the feeling of a 1RM.
Maximum exertion is when you’re straining with all your might against a heavy load, similar to a 1-3 rep max. You know the feeling, when you can barely move the bar, but it still creeps up seemingly 1cm at a time.
However, it can be incredibly taxing on your body to always be pushing your max weight around. This is a great way to injure yourself and stop training. Thankfully, there’s a different way.
Isometric Power Holds
When people think of isometric movements, they often think of boring shit like planks, wall sits (yawn), or the burn you get in your shoulder when you’re waiting for someone to hand you something.
With Iso Power Holds, you’re actually straining against an immovable object for 5-15 seconds, trying to continuously create tension in your body, and against the opposing force.
Here are 3 different exercises that will boost your T with Iso Power
Front Squat Iso
Start with just an empty bar, and add weight as necessary. It shouldn’t take much
Set your bar up at the bottom of the squat, and set pins or stoppers somewhere between the bottom and the mid-range of the squat. Grab the bar, and lift up into the pins, so you should be halfway into your squat, pressing up into the pins, which don’t move. Create a ton of tension in your core, take a deep breath, and push as hard as you can for the allotted time. Don’t let the bar ever stop touching the pins.
When the time is up, drop back down, and set down the bar.
Application: Do 3-4 sets of 15-30 seconds
Prone Bench Iso Row
Set a bench at 45 degrees and lay with your chest on. You can put the knees on the seat of the bench, or toes on the floor, depending on comfort level.
Grab a dumbbell that you could use for 1 arm rows, but grab it lengthwise, so you’re holding both sides of the weight.
Pull it to the bottom of the bench, and hold for time, don’t let the dumbbell ever stop making contact with the bench. When time is up, release the dumbbell.
Application: Do 3-4 sets of 30-60 seconds
Bench Press Iso
Set up the same way as you would for the front squat, except this time you’ll have a bench underneath the pins. Set the pins so that your elbows will be at roughly 90 degrees when you make contact.
Push the bar into the pins and hold for allotted time, trying to keep as much pressure in the bar as possible. Rest minimum of 60 seconds before going again.
I find that it’s easier to just stay in position between sets on exercises like this that require a lot of set up. Better that than someone else jacking your spot in the gym while you try to superset another set of crunches.
Application: Do 3-4 sets of 15-30 seconds
Bonus Move! T- Boosting Non Iso 3RM Simulator.
How can we simulate the intensity of a 3 rep max 2-3x per week, without breaking your body down?
If you’ve been following me for any time at all, you’ll know that I have a very sexy love affair with hill sprints, and for good reason. These bad boys will get you in amazing shape faster than they can release another Fast and the Furious movie. But there’s a reason that not everyone is walking around sporting a beach body all year round.
When done right, hill sprints are much more like a 3RM on a heavy deadlift than running a 5k.
Find a decent hill, and if you can’t, find a track. The reason for this is that striking the ground at maximum power can be hard on your joints, especially if you’ve never done them before. The hill slows you down, and limits the range of motion when running up hill. The track is designed to be a little softer, so it can be a great option also.
Make sure to warm up well with at least a 400m run, some jumping jacks, and lunges. Then before you hit top speed, try to build up from about 50% of what you think you could do. Remember, you’re not going to get jacked and handsome in 1 session, so pace yourself grasshopper.
Application: Do 5-10 sets of 40-60m. This is roughly 1/8th of 1 lap on a track.
What are your favorite exercises to boost testosterone that I didn’t hit? Leave it in the comments!