Written by Funk Roberts
All men know about testosterone. It’s the hormone that ‘makes them a man’, that sparks their sex drive, that builds muscle, increases energy, improves health and burns fat. However, few men know how to take advantage of testosterone to build strength and maximize muscle growth.
Increasing testosterone levels is critical for building muscle because testosterone naturally decreases with age, and with decreasing testosterone comes all the nasty side effects of hormonal imbalances—and it’s not just poor muscle growth and a low sex drive.
Whether you're dealing with low testosterone or want to avoid having it plummet to maximize muscle mass and strength, while burning fat, you have to train it. The fact is, not all workouts are created alike. Some workouts are great for sending your strength levels soaring while other workouts tend to improve your fat burning capacity.
Still yet, others can help to optimize your hormonal response, which is what we’re focusing on here today. As we get older, exercise must be an important part of our lives.
With each passing year, we are at a greater and greater risk of losing lean muscle mass and it’s been proven that those who are not physically active can lose as much of 3-5% of their muscle tissue by the time they are 30. On top of that, men lose 1-2% testosterone each and every year after the age of 30. That’s not even an old age!
Imagine what happens by the time you are 40 or even 50. By the time you’re in your 60’s or 70’s, unless you are taking steps to prevent it, you’ll be really down in strength completely.
Now, if you are active, you can definitely slow down the rate in which you are experiencing sarcopenia, but you may not be able to stop it completely. Research suggests that it does still happen in those who are physically active.
Researchers have concluded that this could be due to a few different reasons including a reduction in the nerve cells responsible for sending signals to the brain and muscles to move, lower concentrations of the key muscle maintenance hormones including testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor, as well as not getting enough calories or protein per day to sustain lean muscle mass tissue.
Dieting is one of the worst things you can do for your lean muscle mass, so it comes as no surprise that this would be in there. So, what’s the best way to combat this? For men who are in their 30s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s who are struggling to fend off muscle mass loss, it’s time for a different workout.
You need a workout session that will help to jumpstart your hormonal levels and the classic body part splits that you may have done up to this are simply not going to cut it. Instead, you want to be training your entire body three times per week, resting enough in between each session to allow for full recovery and maximization of the hormones in your body.
In research published by E. Todd Schroeder, who is one of the leading researchers studying the relationship between exercise and testosterone, it was noted that to get the best overall release, you want to:
- Train the largest muscle groups in the body with compound exercises
- Lift as heavy as you can while still sustaining a 6-8 rep range
- Use six sets per main muscle group
- Use shorter rest periods of about a minute between sets
So, we know these are the key factors that are going to jumpstart testosterone production and what all of your workouts should be focused around. From this, I’ve created some guiding principles to developing the ultimate testosterone boosting workout. These include:
- Make it a total body workout. You want to do three total body workouts per week, hitting the entire body every session.
- Add resistance. This is key. If you don’t add some type of external weight, the chances of you boosting testosterone will be low. As great as I think bodyweight exercises can be at times, they are not ideal in this situation.
- Move from exercise to exercise quickly. This will help you boost your metabolism so that you can burn more energy for up to 24 hours after the workout session is completed.
- Use multi-joint and compound exercises. These are the moves that will work the greatest number of muscles at once and help you get in and out of the gym quickly. They’re also the best exercises for helping you gain larger amounts of strength as well.
- Use Circuit Training Wisely. Use circuits, moving from one exercise to the next so that your workouts never last longer than 20-30 minutes in length. You should never be resting more than one minute between sets during a given workout.
- Keep equipment to a minimum. There’s no need for fancy machines. All you need is a simple set of dumbbells to get the job done correctly.
- Allow for 48 hours of rest between each workout. Remember that your body doesn’t recover as well as it used to so leave that extra time for recovery. This will ensure that you are never verging on overtraining – and a decrease in testosterone. On these rest days, feel free to add yoga or another low impact activity.
- Vary your exercises. Keep things interesting by changing your exercises around from week to week. Not only will this prevent workout related boredom, but it’ll also ensure that your body keeps responding to the work that you are doing.
Testosterone Boosting and Biceps Building Workout
Quads and Biceps Workouts
Perform each circuit for the prescribed protocol and reps.
Circuit #1 – Testosterone Boosting 5x5 Leg Workout
- Dumbbell Suitcase Squats
Perform 5 sets of 5 reps of the following with 90 dec rest in between
Circuit #2 – Biceps Circuit
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds of work followed by 15 seconds of rest one after the other for 2 straight rounds
- Single DB Biceps Curl
- DB Alternating Curls
- Hammer Curls
- Alternating Cross Body Curls
- Wide Curls
That’s it! Follow these tips and strategies and you too will be seeing your testosterone soar while also ensuring that you are seeing progress in the gym as best as possible.