Boost testosterone naturally with diet & training

As a physique or performance athlete your testosterone levels can have a huge impact on your ability to build muscle & perform at your peak. If your body isn't producing optimal amounts of testosterone your physical capabilities will be restricted - no doubt about it! The good news is simple manipulations of your training & diet can naturally enhance testosterone output thereby dramatically impacting on your performance. With that in mind here follows 4 research proven strategies to maximise natural testosterone production:

LIFT BIG

Heavy resistance training stimulates a favourable anabolic hormonal response in the body. The larger the muscle mass placed under stress whilst training, the higher the testosterone response. Squats and deadlifts are examples of exercises involving large amounts of muscle, which acutely increase testosterone levels. So if your idea of a large muscle mass movement is a concentration curl or tricep kickback, think again.

MODERATE TRAINING DURATION & FREQUENCY

Whilst spending six days per week, three hours per day in the gym may sound like the fastest way to reach your training goals, it is a sure-fire way to fail miserably. Scientific evidence clearly indicates that testosterone levels drop & cortisol levels rise as training volume increases beyond a certain point. For most of us “genetically average” athletes, weight training four to five days per week is more than sufficient. In addition, workouts are best kept below 90 minutes as beyond this point, testosterone levels begin to decline and cortisol levels are elevated.

LIMIT AEROBIC EXERCISE

Testosterone levels of endurance-trained athletes have been shown to be anywhere between 15 and 40 % lower than untrained men. Athletes purely interested in strength, power and muscle gains should limit aerobic activity as every physiological effect aerobic activity has on the body serves to inhibit strength, power and muscle gain. Cardiovascular and fat reducing benefits can be achieved by performing certain activities in an anaerobic manner instead. Short duration, high intensity sprints for example can improve cardiovascular conditioning, acutely increase testosterone and enhance fat loss without negatively impacting on strength, power or muscle growth.

OPTIMISE FAT INTAKE

I’m not suggesting that burgers & fries become your staple post-workout meal. However the “low-fat” approach to shaping up can often be taken too far, especially in athletes who may need more fat in their diet. Research has shown that subjects who consume 20-30% of their calories from fat have a higher testosterone level than subjects on low-fat diets where 10% or less of their calories are obtained from fat. It is important to note that 20-30% fat intake is still below the typical western diet average. The type of fat consumed is also important. One should limit saturated (animal) fat intake and try to eat more mono-unsaturated fats (eg. olive oil) and omega-3 fats (eg. flax seed & fish oils). This enables one to still eat a healthy diet and maintain an anabolic hormonal state.