Testosterone’s job in your body isn’t defined only by helping you increase lean muscle mass and bone density – this naturally-occurring steroid hormone is actually vital for maintaining good health. In men, lack of testosterone can lead to a plethora of serious health problems such as depression, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, erectile dysfunction and even dementia. This means that literally every man on the planet could benefit from stimulating his testosterone production – but for bodybuilders and other athletes, testosterone levels can be the single most important factor that optimal performance and impressive appearance depend on. And we know that no impressive physique was ever built without the help of a perfect flow of the king of hormones.
Generally speaking, almost all types of exercise stimulate the production of testosterone, which can be further enhanced by smart dietary choices. However, some routines stimulate a greater production of testosterone than others and you can use them to naturally elevate your levels of testosterone and thereby improve your athletic performance and overall gains.
Scientific research suggests that weightlifting and high intensity training have the biggest positive impact on testosterone release, while steady-state cardio may have a substantial negative effect on your T levels. In fact, studies have found that too much cardio leads to elevated resting cortisol levels, which in turn significantly depress testosterone levels so if you want weak muscles and low levels of T, keep on pounding the pavement like there’s no tomorrow. But if you want to see your production of testosterone peak and help you sculpt a lean and muscular physique, resistance training is your best shot and in this article we’ll reveal the simplest and most effective way to naturally boost your T levels with the help of smart weightlifting.
Want champion muscles? Read on!
The testosterone boosts provided by high intensity workouts are temporary but powerful, and the fact is that men who lift weights have higher resting levels of testosterone than men who don’t. Testosterone levels peak around half an hour after you finish your workout and then they slowly return to normal. This short window of opportunity is not to be underestimated, though, because in the long-term, aiming to achieve the highest possible post-workout testosterone peaks and making the best use of them will result in significant muscle growth and could give your physique the edge that so many bodybuilders dream of.
Now, a great number of reputable studies have shown that there are three major contributing factors to achieving an optimally elevated testosterone production, and those are:
- targeting large muscle groups
- lifting heavy weights
- using short rest periods
Write those down because you’re going to need them until the very end of your bodybuilding journey. These key factors were proposed and established by the world-class exercise expert Todd Schroeder, Ph.D., who has been thoroughly investigating the link between resistance training and testosterone production for more than a decade. By simply implementing these three factors into your training program, you can bring your game to a whole new level and reap the countless benefits of a naturally enhanced testosterone production which range from improved ability to build muscle mass and higher energy levels to increased libido and s****l performance.
In short, your ideal workout should focus on multi-joint, compound exercises instead of isolation moves using heavy weight and a low volume (ideally 6-8 reps per set), and allow only super-short periods of rest between sets (1-3 minutes). Remember, to cause a massive testosterone surge you need to maximally stress your body. When it comes to training for pro-level gains, you need to put your 100% into every training session. In other words, go heavy or go home.
Let us begin by saying that this type of training is only for the most dedicated guys out there who are willing to stick through a few months of intensity and pain in order to make stellar gains. However, there are some things you can do to optimize your results while minimizing the exhaustion:
1. Pick three compound exercises.
The combination should ensure that the largest muscles in your entire body get adequately targeted, so aim to involve an upper body pull, upper body push and a lower body multi-joint move. Performing more than that will result with a too long workout and could potentially damage your gains.
2. Perform six straight sets of each exercise.
For the first set, choose a weight that you can lift for 8-9 reps – as close to a 9RM as possible. Then, do your best to get a minimum of 6 reps on each subsequent set (if you’re able to get 8-9 on the next five sets, though, the weight is too light). Once you drop to 5 reps (given that you gave your maximum!), decrease the load slightly and continue. Make sure you don’t miss a single rep and do your best to keep the load as high as possible for as long as possible.
3. Allow yourself one minute of rest between sets of an exercise and five minutes of rest between different exercises.
It will be tough but make sure to strictly follow this resting pattern. The full five minutes between exercises will provide some relief for your central nervous system and help you catch your breath before moving on to the next movement.
4. Perform three workouts per week, using a different combination of exercises in each one.
Performing the same exercises during all workouts will exhaust you tremendously and make it a lot harder to recover properly.
5. Make sure to rest at least 48 hours between each workout.
This type of training significantly taxes your central nervous system and muscles, so you have to allow your body to adequately rest and recover before moving on to the next workout. If you fail to do that, all of your hard efforts will only lead to an increased risk of injury and muscle loss. If you absolutely must, perform short intervals of low-to-medium intensity conditioning.
6. Meditate for 15 minutes after each workout.
It doesn’t have to be done right after the end of the workout if that’s not convenient for you but to make full use of the effectiveness of this method try to do it within an hour after each workout. Studies have shown that by meditating for 12-15 minutes after a grueling workout, you can significantly relieve the stress caused by high-intensity exercise and reduce its neurophysiological effects. To do this, simply sit in a quiet, dark room, clear your mind and focus on your breathing, thereby deepening it, for the prescribed amount of time or longer.
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You should use HIIT workouts just like regular weightlifting workouts cause they are very intense. Doing hiit on a rest day is just like doing weightlifting on back to back days. I would substitute a workout with a HIIT workout