Testosterone is an important hormone for increasing lean muscle mass, bone density and overall body health. Low testosterone levels have been linked to conditions liked depression, low sex drive, obesity and osteoporosis. The hormone is not only important in men but also in women.
There are plenty of herbal and pharmaceutical pills, capsules and other methods to increase testosterone levels. However, supplements are not the only way to boost your testosterone levels. Simple exercises to help with that:
- Running Sprints
Sprinting has been shown to be effective in increasing testosterone. Through studies, people who sprint have experienced a significant increase in their testosterone levels. For example, people who performed a series of very short but intense 6 second sprints has high testosterone levels even after recovery from the sprint workout.
Implement this exercise by performing several sprints on the treadmill, a bicycle or elliptical trainer. Sprint for no more than 15 minutes and include 5 to 10 short sprints. Ensure that you get full recovery after each sprint. For optimal results, it’s better to do a sprint workout 2-3 times a week.
- Lift heavy stuff
It takes heavy weights to have a significantly increase testosterone levels. You should include full body heavy exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses and Olympic lifts in your workout sessions. For the best results in testosterone levels, do 2-3 body weight lifting workouts per week.
If you are a beginner in heavy lifting, don’t get scared because you can always start exercising on weight training machines before you move to free weight barbell or dumbbell.
It’s also great preparation for those getting started with cross fit.
- Use long rest periods
The effects of the length of rest periods on testosterone levels has actually been studied by scientists. From these studies, it has been shown that longer rest periods like 120 seconds between sets are better for building testosterone.
Practically, if you are to lift heavy weights and you have a short recovery period, you are more unlikely to lift another weight. Rest periods should not involve you sitting on a bench for the whole duration. You can do alternate activities like stretching or exercises that don’t stress the same muscles you just worked.
- Forced reps
In order to do a forced repetition, you have to perform a weight lifting exercise for as many repetitions (reps) as you can. Afterwards, use the help of a partner to complete several additional repetitions. Research has shown that these forced rep set generates more testosterone. The best way to do them is with a multi-joint large motor movement exercise.
- Use your legs
Including lower body training to upper body training is one of the effective ways of increasing testosterone. There is always a temptation to concentrate on biceps and bench pressing but multi-joint leg exercises like lunges and give better results for lean muscle mass, energy, sex drive and fat loss.
- Avoid chronic cardio
Some long endurance exercises like cycling have been linked to lower testosterone levels. For increased testosterone levels, avoid long jaunts on the treadmill.
You don’t have to take injections to increase your testosterone. Although androgen replacement therapy is not a bad idea, there are other natural ways of doing so through exercise that you should try first.