If you’re a man with low testosterone, exercise may help.
Doctors and fitness professionals still have a lot to learn about exerciseand its effects on testosterone. Several factors besides your workout are involved.
But one thing is clear: You need to make exercise a habit in order to get the benefits.
After exercise, testosterone levels rise -- but not for long.
"Sometimes it’s 15 minutes after exercise that testosterone is elevated. Sometimes it can be up to an hour
It's not yet clear what health effects, if any, these temporary boosts may have. Of course, exercise has many other well-known health perks.
For men who have low testosterone, exercise alone probably won’t raise their levels enough to make a difference in how they feel. But for men whose testosterone level is on the borderline between normal and low, “I think it’s going to have a much more potent effect.”
4 Factors That Matter
Your weight, age, fitness level, and the timing of your workout all matter.
1. Your weight: Isaacs treats men with low testosterone. He seesobesity as a big part of the problem. If you’re overweight, exercise can improve your testosterone levels by helping you shed pounds, says Isaacs, the author of Hormonal Balance:How to Lose Weight By Understanding Your Hormones and Metabolism.
2. Your age: Older men seem to get less of a post-exercise boost in testosterone, though this needs more research.
Still, exercise offers many other health benefits for older men, including bone and muscle health and better balance.
3. When you exercise: Your testosterone levels vary throughout the day. Levels are typically highest in the morning and lowest in the afternoon.
Research has found that strength-training workouts may have a bigger effect on testosterone in the evening. As a result, the brief boost from your exercise session might be even bigger if you schedule it after work instead of early in the morning.
4. Your fitness level: Not in great shape? If you start exercising, you maybe get a bigger, though still brief, boost in testosterone than a man who's already in good shape.
But after a few weeks, your body gets used to the challenge. Eventually, you'll get a lower hormone response from the same workout.
Testosterone & Exercise
The whole idea behind training and/or competing
is to push your thresholds to the limits to fulfill
your potential. If you don't know what your limits
are, how can you possibly know what your potential is?
How do you figure out your limits? It's not easy, and it's the #1 reason why people hire coaches. Experiment with training variable until you establish your comfort zone, and then systematically push out of that zone to force adaptation. If you're competing in your comfort zone, then you're not trying hard enough.
NO PAIN NO GAIN!
You would think that this myth has been beaten to death or at least shooed from popularity, but I hear it surprisingly often from people who honestly believe that they need to kill themselves every day during training to maximize their workouts.
Don't do that.
Is your resting heart rate jacked up today?
Are you too sore from your last workout to walk? Did you only sleep a few hours the last night? Skipped breakfast and lunch? Congrats, you just earned yourself a rest day. In other words - go home. You aren't going to get anything but an increased risk of injury by training in any one of these conditions.
Forget about fighting through the pain.
Discomfort is your body telling you that you've stepped well out of your comfort zone.Pain is your body telling you to knock off whatever you're doing. If you're an endurance athlete, listen to it.
No Your Limits, no pain no gain
The Rule of Faliure
Make sure you're fueling your body properly both before and after the workout.
Failing to get in the amino acids your body will use to synthesize new muscle mass with or the carbohydrates that provide the energy to formulate the new muscle tissue is a critical error that will garner a lack of results.
If there is one time you can't be uncertain about your nutrition, it's at these two points in the day.
Throughout the rest of the day you can be a bit more flexible in terms of meal times and composition provided you're still meeting your calorie and macronutrient needs, but before and after the workout things need to be 100% 'on'.
Fuel Your Body
Some people believe that lifting to failure each
and every single set is the best way to build
muscle. They think that in order to get a muscle to
grow, you have to fully exhaust it.
While it is true that you have to push the muscles past their comfort level in order to see progress, you can run into a number of problems when you're lifting to failure each and every set.
The first major issue is central nervous system fatigue. Workout programs designed to go to failure each and every time will be very draining on the CNS.
After a few weeks of such a program, it's highly likely that you'll find the CNS is so exhausted that you can't even lift the weight you used to for the required number of reps let alone increase it upwards.
The second problem with going to failure is that if you do this on the first exercise out in the workout, you're not going to have much for a second, third, and fourth exercise after that.
Since you should be doing at least a couple of different exercises in each workout you do, this becomes very difficult to accomplish.
Instead, aim to go one to two reps short of failure. This will still get you pushing your body hard and working at the intensity level needed to build muscle, but it won't completely destroy you so that you have to end that workout prematurely and take a day or two off just to recoup.