As men, we understand that testosterone plays an integral role in determining, well, pretty much how masculine we are.
We’re not going to talk about ‘alpha males’ and other similar examples of ‘bro talk’ because quite honestly it’s cringe-worthy beyond belief.
What we are going to do, however, is attempt to answer the question of does working out increase testosterone.
You see, have you ever noticed how some men are big, muscular, lean, athletic, strong, have chiselled jawlines, and can grow a beautiful and majestic beard in just one full day, while others are the exact polar opposite?
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out which type of guy is the one with large amounts of testosterone flowing through his body.
The more testosterone we have, the more benefits we can enjoy.
This is why we have testosterone-boosting supplements, it’s why some bodybuilders choose to inject testosterone, and it is why we look for natural ways of increasing testosterone production.
Allegedly, working out helps boost testosterone production, which is why we are going to look at does working out increase testosterone? Well, soon, all will be revealed.
What is Testosterone?
Before we can look at testosterone levels in association with working out, we must first bring you up to speed with what testosterone actually is.
Well, it is a natural hormone that is essential for the body when it is looking to repair itself, build muscle, and work as it should.
It is the dominant male sexual hormone, which plays a key role in countless physiological processes within our bodies.
Testosterone was first discovered in 1889, and the story behind it is quite disgusting if we’re being honest, so if you are drinking a protein shake or tucking into an egg white omelette, you might want to skip this part.
You see, Dr Charles Brown-Sequard was allegedly the first man to inject himself with testosterone, and as a result he reported increases in his virility, his stamina, his mood, and even his physique.
What’s even more remarkable is that he was 72 years of age at the time.
So far it doesn’t sound gross, right?
Well, the mixture he injected himself with was a combination of testicular fluid, semen, and blood.
Worse still is that it wasn’t his own, but rather it was extracted from dogs and guinea pigs, or rather, their testicles.
He called it the ‘Elixir of Life’ and by the end of the year, physicians all over the country were prescribing it.
By the 1920s, more research was carried out and experts discovered how to naturally synthesize it, so that you didn’t have to inject all of the other gross stuff to see the benefits.
Testosterone is an androgen, making it a sex hormone, and technically it is a steroid.
Men and women both naturally produce it, though men produce far more, averaging around 5 – 10mg per day. Women produce around ten times less than that.
Testosterone and Muscle Growth
Before we can look at the question of does working out increase testosterone, we first need to look at testosterone and muscle growth.
After all, there’s a reason why so many bodybuilders and athletes inject themselves with testosterone in order to look better and in order to perform better in the process.
Once in the system, testosterone is able to bind to receptors located on the surface of the cells of the muscles, and it basically greatly amplifies biomechanical signals in the tissue of the muscle that is responsible for protein synthesis.
Protein synthesis is a natural process where the body basically produces more muscle proteins to replace those damaged during training.
Obviously the more of these muscle proteins the body can produce naturally, the more muscle we can build.
Testosterone also helps increase growth hormone production, which is another hormone responsible for muscle growth.
As mentioned on On Steroids Lab info graphic, these are the many benefits of high testosterone in men.
Does Working Out Increase Testosterone?
Now it’s time to answer the question of does working out increase testosterone. Between the ages of 30 and 80, in men, testosterone levels drop.
From age 15 – 30 or so, testosterone levels gradually increase.
From 30 however, they begin to fall, and that’s a problem.
The hormone is responsible for muscle growth, size, strength, libido, energy, semen volume, and much more besides.
Therefore, increasing the amounts we produce naturally is surely beneficial?
Well, it is, but how do we do it?
Well, studies have found evidence, which strongly suggests that working out, can increase testosterone.
Studies have found that resistance training, especially when utilizing heavy compound movements and exercises, can increase the natural production of testosterone within the body.
A number of studies were conducted with regard to testosterone and working out with weights, and experts noted how heavy compound exercises which targeted multiple muscle groups at once, were far more beneficial for testosterone than isolation exercises.
They also found that, ideally, workouts should be kept to under one hour in length.
They noted that following exercise, testosterone levels spiked for around 15 – 60 minutes, before gradually dropping once again.
Despite dropping, over time with regular exercise, it was found that testosterone levels were slightly elevated, and remained elevated slightly, for an indefinite amount of time.
What About Endurance Exercise?
The reason why experts recommend keeping workouts to under 60 minutes in length, is because if we exercise for too long, our bodies produce and secrete a stress hormone called cortisol, which basically cancels out testosterone and renders it ineffective.
This is why it is best to keep workouts to under one hour, so as to keep cortisol levels under control. We’re not saying you shouldn’t perform endurance exercise because endurance exercise is very beneficial.
It’s just that, when it comes to testosterone, endurance exercise is not beneficial and can actually be detrimental, so just bear that in mind.