Testosterone and muscle mass are intricately intertwined. If you want to build muscle, this hormone can help you do it.
Testosterone is a hormone that stimulates the reproduction of male secondary sexual characteristics like facial hair or a deep voice.
It is predominant in men and low in women, but could be taken synthetically as a steroid. This availability has sometimes led to widespread abuse among bodybuilders.
The following research shows that testosterone leads to muscle hypertrophy (enlargement of tissue) by promoting metabolic activity. The kind of metabolism promoted involves protein synthesis, which is essential for muscle growth.
Since the above is a biological fact, you may think that building muscles is nearly impossible with low testosterone. This is not entirely true.
Even though certain men and most women have low testosterone, they can build muscle through some simple and easy strategies (if you are male, please ensure that you get tested by a doctor before assuming that you have low testosterone). Here are 12 ways:
Secrets to Building Muscle with Low Testosterone
1. Eat Nutrient-dense Foods
The first step in building muscle involves helping your body increase the amount of testosterone available.
Some of the foods that may help you achieve this include tuna, trout, or salmon. These foods boost the amount of vitamin D in your diet.
Milk may also be helpful and so might egg yolks. Beans and nuts come highly recommended for people with low testosterone.
You also want to consume lots of whole grains as well as fortified cereal. Pomegranates have been used as testosterone boosters by ancient civilizations and modern societies alike.
2. Lose Weight if You Are Overweight
Even though it is prudent to eat nutritious foods as recommended above, these should be quantity-restricted.
In one study, the authors found a link between testosterone and obesity. They established that an obese person can struggle to retain testosterone, which helps in building muscle.
Therefore, if you are overweight, you would be better off shedding those extra pounds before attempting to build muscle.
3. Do Short, Intense Strength Training
A symbiotic relationship exists between testosterone and strength training. When you strength train, you experience a spike in the amount of testosterone in your body.
Conversely, for you to build strength or muscle, you need a certain level of testosterone. If you don’t have a lot of testosterone already, you may want to start from the other side of the spectrum, which is strength training. How you train counts, so make sure that training is intense but intermittent.
In this research, participants did resistance training through bicep curls, squats and leg extensions.
If you prefer to exercise from home, use this sequence to boost testosterone and build muscle at the same time.
4. Rest in Between Strength Training Sets
The workout session in the latter research was not continuous – the participants would start with 10 minutes of warm-up and end with 10 minutes of cooling down. The main session included 4 sets of 10 repetitions with rest periods of 3 minutes after every one minute of exercise.
After the intervention, participants with low testosterone levels recorded heightened increases in muscle volume.
Controlling your workouts ensures that you get the maximum output from weight training. Resting also ensures that you rebuild your muscle mass.
5. Watch Your Exercise Timing and Frequency
It is not enough to simply work your muscles. If this essential hormone is already low in your body, you want to make sure that you optimize workout sessions by exercising when your testosterone levels are at their peak.
Evenings are the best because anaerobic capacity increases by 7% and testosterone levels heighten in the afternoons. In terms of frequency, 3 days per week are sufficient to reap desirable results.
6. Do Short, Moderate Cardio
Your exercise regimen should not just consist of strength training. It is important to do cardio training because it pumps blood to those muscles that you are trying to build.
Nevertheless, if you do cardio too regularly or too intensely, it could undermine your muscle-building efforts.
When choosing what type of cardio exercise to do, pick those that won’t cause a heart rate of greater than 120 beats per minute. These may be cycling, climbing stairs or moderate jogging. Then only do them either once or twice a week.
7. Take Protein Shakes After Workouts
You are likely to get disappointing results if you work out and make no effort to rebuild what you have lost. Taking protein shakes is helpful in refueling and rebuilding muscles.
The truth is that muscles get worn out during intense strength-training or even cardio-training routines. You should minimize this disrepair by charging your body with the proper macronutrients.
Here are the best protein powders for building muscle.
8. Take Vitamin D Supplements
As we established earlier, you need testosterone to build muscles. Vitamin D is one of the natural ways to increase testosterone.
However, this does not happen overnight and would have to be done in combination with other lifestyle interventions. You could start with eating Vitamin-D rich foods like fish or simply opt to buy the supplements.
9. Get Enough Sleep
In this study, it was shown that sleep has an indirect effect on testosterone. If a person is subject to less sleep, they are more likely to develop obesity. When a person is obese, they would have difficulty in increasing their testosterone levels. As a result, building muscles would be hard.
You need to ensure that you get the right quantity of sleep (ideally 7-8 hours) and ascertain that there are no interruptions when you rest at night.
10. Consider Coffee
Coffee is helpful in boosting testosterone and hence muscle growth because it improves insulin sensitivity and metabolism.
However, you want to take no more than 100 mg of caffeine daily because any more than that could result in poor sleep quality.
As I mentioned above, good quality sleep is necessary in increasing testosterone production.
11. Increase Zinc
Zinc is a crucial dietary mineral that contributes to better cell division. If it is present in reasonable quantities, it helps the testes to produce testosterone.
Some of the natural sources of zinc include oysters, yogurt and beef. Dietary supplements are also helpful in revving up this vital nutrient.
12. Minimize Stress
Testosterone often works with another hormone known as cortisol (stress hormone). If a person has high levels of cortisol, they are likely to have low testosterone levels.
When a person is stressed or anxious, their testosterone levels tend to diminish. This means that it would be harder to build muscles. Nip the problem in the bud by reducing stress, which is a cortisol trigger.
In conclusion, you need to have adequate levels of testosterone in your body to build muscle. If you naturally have low levels, you may want to use techniques that help in increasing the hormone.
Alternatively, making lifestyle choices that help in direct muscle growth can also be beneficial. For instance, the fat blaster sequence can boost your muscle growth in 10 to 15 minutes.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]