It’s no surprise that to build quality muscle, your body needs lots of anabolic hormones and the more the merrier. Though growth hormones and insulin play key roles in building muscle size, testosterone is undoubtedly the most critical of all of them. Without sufficient testosterone, your body can’t synthesize muscle and the more testosterone you produce, the more muscle and strength you can gain. The ultimate male hormone pushes your muscle to grow bigger and stronger over time and offers you a mental boost you need to attack the weights with the ferocity that produces the results you want. So obviously boosting testosterone levels is important for anyone and the following strategies will help you keep your testosterone levels maxed and your strength and muscle growth in full force.
You have heard it before “lift big and you will get big”. That’s because the harder you train, the more you increase your natural levels of testosterone. And the best way to lift big is by focusing your training on compound exercises such as squats, bench presses, rows, and deadlifts. These exercises require you to use a number of large muscle groups simultaneously and this creates a larger hormonal response, as the stress that compound weights put on your body requires higher levels of testosterone to aid muscle repair than those required during workouts that isolate individual muscle groups.
Besides making you soft and slowing your metabolism, high body fat percentage increases the production of the female sex hormone estrogen, which in turn causes your testosterone levels to dip. Fat tissues contain the enzyme aromatase, which is responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen, the muscle-shrinking, fat-storing hormone. The more fat you have, the more estrogen you will produce.
Quite possibly, the most important nutrient for increasing testosterone is dietary fats but we mean the good ones, monounsaturated and saturated fats. These fats are critical for your body to produce hormones such as testosterone and studies found consuming these fats resulted in the greatest increase in testosterone levels.
Cholesterol has been vilified in recent years but the truth is there are bad and good cholesterols. And we are talking about the good ones or the healthy HDL which is an important building block needed for your body to manufacture testosterone. Cholesterol is a precursor to testosterone.
Excessive training increases levels of catabolic hormones like cortisol, a stress hormone that competes with testosterone and breaks down muscle. And if training is done too hard and too often, it can result in a significant decrease in levels of anabolic hormones such as growth hormones and testosterone.
The less sleep you get, the lower your testosterone. While you sleep your levels of testosterone build up, and poor sleep or sleep deprivation progressively decline their levels thereby restricting your muscle-building potential.
Ever wondered why excess drinking causes you to go limp at the moment of truth? Excessive alcohol inhibits the ability of the testicles to produce testosterone. In fact, numerous studies have found that alcohol consumption not only reduces testosterone levels for up to 24 hours but it also increases cortisol and lowers growth hormone levels.
When you’re under a lot of stress, your body releases high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the archenemy of testosterone. High levels of cortisol inhibit testosterone production, and cortisol competes with testosterone for receptors in muscle cells and thus hinders testosterone from entering muscle cells where it’s needed the most.