If there is one substance that could be considered the “Holy Grail” of muscle growth, testosterone would be it. Quite simply, testosterone is the most important muscle-building hormone in your body and is one of the limiting factors that determines how much muscle you can ultimately build.
Here is just a small handful of the many amazing benefits that increased testosterone levels will provide you with:
- Increased muscle size and strength.
- Decreased body fat levels.
- Increased sex drive and sexual endurance.
- Improved mood.
- Decreased levels of “bad” cholesterol.
Below are 10 simple steps to naturally raise your testosterone levels to help you achieve all of these incredible benefits. While these steps will not result in “steroid-like” muscle gains, they will definitely contribute to your overall results:
Use compound exercises as the cornerstone of your workouts such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, rows, chin-ups, dips, lunges and military presses. These exercises will place your muscles under the greatest amount of stress in the gym and will force your body to increase testosterone production.
Never Have a “soft” Session
Always train with 100% effort and intensity. If you want to see real muscle gains, you must be willing to push yourself to the limit in the gym. If you are really feeling tired, sore and not able to give 100% you are better off having another days rest and training at 100% intensity tomorrow. Remember the last point, hard training = testosterone increase = more muscle. Soft training gives no testosterone increase so no muscle gain!
Train your legs equally as hard as your upper body. Your quads are your biggest muscle group, so hard leg training is the biggest potential stimulator that you have. Hard leg training will produce testosterone that will not only help your legs grow, but will also stimulate every other muscle group (your chest, back, shoulders and arms) even if you train them on other days.
Eat More Fatty Acids
Increase your Essential Fatty Acid consumption. EFA’s from sources such as peanuts, avocados, fish and healthy oils like flax seed, olive and canola are a great way to naturally boost testosterone levels because they are used by your body to synthesise testosterone.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Magnesium and Zinc are all powerful precursors that your body uses to help manufacture testosterone. Don’t leave these to chance. Use supplements to make sure you get these regularly in your diet if you are a hard trainer.
Steer Clear Of The Bottle
Limit your consumption of alcohol. Alcohol has been shown to have quite a dramatic effect on testosterone levels. Binge drinking inhibits testosterone production for several days while chronic drinking can permanently depress testosterone production so try to limit your “binge drinking” nights and keep your alcohol consumption in moderation.
The Right Vegies Can Make A Difference
Increase your dietary intake of cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, cabbage and brussel sprouts all have good levels of Diindolylmenthane, a compound that maintains healthy free testosterone levels in your blood stream and prevents it’s breakdown to undesirable metabolites like estrogens and DHT.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
Lower your daily stress levels. Being overly stressed stimulates the release of “cortisol”, a highly catabolic hormone that will cause your testosterone levels to drop. Exercise like weight training is a great stress reliever. Cardio also works for some. Just kicking back and relaxing also helps, and if you’re really serious, try some meditation!
Have Sex. As Much As Possible
Increase your sexual activity. Sexual stimulation causes the body to increase the production of oxytocin which increases endorphin production (the “feel-good” chemical), which also raises testosterone.
You Can Never Get Too Much Sleep
Make sure to get adequate sleep every night. A lack of sleep contributes to cortisol production, and this will lower your testosterone levels. If you are a hard trainer aim for 7 – 8 hours per night. Try to fit in an afternoon nap if possible. Your body naturally produces lots of testosterone and growth hormone if you get enough good quality sleep.
Start implementing these techniques on a consistent basis and you should experience a noticeable increase in your muscle size and strength gains.