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The Best Exercises to Increase Testosterone

The Best Exercises to Increase Testosterone

May 14, 2024

The Best Exercises to Increase Testosterone

By Chris Churan

Health and Fitness Expert

Increase testosterone naturally with these effective exercises! Try this testosterone-boosting exercise routine to enhance fitness, muscle growth, energy, and well-being.

Table of Contents

 

Why You Should Care

Exercise is a major element in a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise can help us to achieve personal goals, achieve optimal health, prevent injuries, and help to support mental health. In addition, exercise can train the body to be efficient with hormone balance in the body.  Hormones are special compounds that drive health; they help to ensure adequate heart rate response when you stand up, tell your body to maintain its baseline homeostasis when you are resting, and help to adapt to settings of stress and relaxation throughout the day.  Perhaps one of the most prolific and most important hormones for men of all ages is testosterone. 

 

Testosterone 101: Understanding How Testosterone Affects Daily Life

Testosterone, often called the "manly hormone," has a big say in how men look and feel throughout their lives. From teenage years to old age, it's responsible for things like building muscles, keeping fat in check, and fueling sex drive and energy.

But it's not just a sex hormone, its influence goes beyond the physical. T levels can also affect how we think and feel. It can boost brainpower, mood, and even how confident and resilient we are.

In the bedroom, testosterone is the main player, revving up libido and keeping things running smoothly.

And when it comes to energy, testosterone is a major player there too. It can make a big difference in how motivated and energetic we feel day to day.


While regular exercise is known to help maintain testosterone levels, its impact extends far beyond the gym, influencing various aspects of daily life, making testosterone a vital hormone for optimal functioning and well-being every day.

Exercise doesn't just help maintain testosterone levels—it actively promotes its production. This creates a positive cycle where physical activity boosts testosterone, leading to improved fitness and overall health.

Understanding testosterone isn't merely about biology—it's about optimizing your body's performance.

 

How Does Exercise Affect Testosterone Levels in Men?

Man standing with barbell across shoulders doing resistance exercises

It should come as no surprise that regular exercise can help to support body composition, manage weight, and help to increase muscle mass. However, exercise is important for generating and boosting testosterone levels. Exercise has been shown to create a short boost in testosterone following moderate and high-intensity workouts, lasting roughly 30 minutes post workout.

Similar effects have been shown among individuals two hours after strength training workouts. Individuals who performed weight training and endurance workouts have demonstrated a 27 percent increase in testosterone two hours after exercise, thus demonstrating a significant result from strength training mixed with endurance exercise.

Lastly, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a popular form of exercise that has become familiar in gyms all over.  In addition, HIIT has shown immediate results after one workout, significantly boosting testosterone levels for up to an hour after a workout. This type of workout is consistently considered to contain some of the best exercises that increase testosterone and are most effective for reaching goals.

Effects of Low Testosterone

Conversely, low testosterone levels can present hurdles in fitness endeavors, affecting muscle mass, strength, energy levels, recovery, and motivation. Insufficient testosterone makes it harder to build and retain muscle mass, resulting in decreased strength and difficulty in lifting heavier weights. Fatigue often accompanies low testosterone levels, hindering workout performance. Moreover, testosterone plays a vital role in the recovery process, so reduced levels can prolong recovery time between workouts, slowing progress and increasing injury risk. Additionally, motivation to exercise and achieve fitness goals may wane with diminished testosterone levels.

So, what does all this mean for the typical guy?  It means that if you want to maintain or increase testosterone levels or improve physical appearance, exercise is potentially your answer. Let's take a closer look at some exercises that increase testosterone so that you can start working towards goals. 

 

Effective Exercises that Increase Testosterone Levels

Man doing chest press

To boost testosterone levels effectively, it's crucial to focus on specific types of exercise that have been shown to have a significant impact. Performing these targeted exercises can enhance your efficiency at the gym by naturally increasing your testosterone levels. Here are some examples of exercises that boost testosterone and how they work:

Strength and Resistance Training

Compound movements like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses engage multiple large muscle groups simultaneously. This type of intense resistance training increases the production of testosterone due to the high physical demand placed on the body.

Adults should target the body's major muscle groups. In addition, standard workouts should aim for 2-3 repetitions, of moderate intensity, with 60-90 seconds of rest between sets, and be challenging. Some exercises to perform to boost testosterone should include the following:

  • Bench Press or seated press 
  • Biceps curls 
  • Back squats or leg press 
  • Seated leg extensions 
  • Leg curls
  • Shoulder press

High-Intensity Interval Training

High intensity interval training, known as HIIT, is an efficient method for increasing testosterone. Short bursts of intense activity followed by periods of rest or low-intensity exercise can significantly boost testosterone levels. HIIT workouts push your body to its limits, prompting an increase in testosterone production to aid in recovery and muscle growth. Many of these workouts are short, but very high in intensity. Because of this, many exercises performed during HIIT workouts consist of power moves. Some power exercises include the following:

  • Deadlifts
  • Back Squats
  • Bench Press
  • Power Cleans
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Box Jumps

Cardio Training

Endurance exercise is one of the major elements in physical activity and can play a role in boosting testosterone levels.  While long-term and long-duration cardio training can bring various health benefits, it seems that shorter duration and lower intensity endurance training has the most effect on testosterone levels.  Studies have shown that five weeks of low volume, moderate-intensity endurance training can elicit significant changes in testosterone levels among men who are untrained.  The following are examples of endurance exercises that can help to boost testosterone levels.

  • Spinning
  • Jogging
  • Brisk walking
  • Stair climbing
  • Elliptical machine
  • Rowing

 

Following a Testosterone Boost Workout Throughout the Week

When it comes to establishing a testosterone boost workout plan, it is important to have an idea of how much, how often, and how hard to exercise.  General exercise guidelines suggest adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity which includes at resistance training and flexibility.  To boost testosterone, it might be best to blend a combination of resistance training, HIIT, and low-volume cardio throughout the week.  This sample plan can be adapted for each week and incorporates five days of workouts for optimal results.

7-Day Testosterone-Boosting Workout Plan

Testosterone-Boosting Workout Plan

Day

Sets/Reps/Time

Exercises

Monday: Resistance training

3 sets of 10 reps to start.  For advanced, consider a pyramid of 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 reps increasing weight on each set.

Biceps curls, triceps extensions, bench press, back squats, seated leg extensions, leg curls, calf raises, and back extensions.

Tuesday: Cardio

30 minutes of moderate intensity.  Use the talk test; if you struggle to talk, then bring the intensity down slightly. 

Spinning, walking, jogging, rowing, stair climber, or elliptical machine.

Wednesday: HIIT

20-30 minutes of high intensity interval training. 

5 minutes warm-up. 

Then perform in order:

30 seconds of box jumps

10 weighted back squats

20 push-ups

30 kettlebell swings

40 mountain climbers

50 crunches

Rest for 60 seconds and repeat as many rounds for 20 minutes.

Thursday: Cardio

30 minutes of moderate intensity.  Use the talk test; if you struggle to talk during, then bring the intensity down slightly. 

Consider low-impact after HIIT day. Elliptical, walking, or jogging.

Friday: Resistance training

3 sets of 10 reps to start.  For advanced, consider a pyramid of 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 reps increasing weight on each set.

Deadlifts, lat pulldowns, bent over rows, back squats, seated leg extensions, leg curls, decline weighted sit-ups, abdominal crunches

Saturday and Sunday: flexibility and rest

10-15 minutes for flexibility.

Consider full-body, light stretching or yoga. 

 

Some Key Takeaways When Following a Testosterone Boost Workout

  • Testosterone is a vital element for fitness and exercise and is critical for building and maintaining muscle.  Without enough of this hormone, men (and women) would struggle to build muscle mass.
  • Exercising is a natural way to boost testosterone levels naturally, thus creating a cycle of fitness and testosterone-boosting synergistic effect.  Consider resistance exercises, HIIT, and low-volume cardio to help achieve testosterone-boosting benefits.
  • Use the workout routine as a template and consider changing out some of the exercises each week. This will help to prevent it from becoming too routine and can help to work various parts of the body.
  • Be mindful that overdoing cardio may not elicit the same results as low-volume endurance exercise.  Maintaining moderate-intensity, low-volume endurance training is the sweet spot for increasing testosterone.
  • Flexibility training is important for men of all ages and can help to maintain proper muscular tone.  Proper muscular tone can help to avoid injuries and may help to maintain optimal performance in the gym.



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