There are many factors that determine how much muscle a person can ultimately build. Training intensity, nutrition, supplementation and rest; these are just a few of the many variables that will contribute to your overall muscle-building “bottom line”. Another major factor in this giant equation is your body’s natural levels of the anabolic hormone testosterone.
Quite simply, testosterone is the most important muscle-building hormone in your body and is one of the limiting factors that determines how much muscle a person can build. Here is just a small handful of the many amazing benefits that increased testosterone levels will provide you with:
- Increased muscle size and strength.
- Decreased body fat levels.
- Increased sex drive and sexual endurance.
- Improved mood.
- Decreased levels of “bad” cholesterol.
Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Well it is and I’m going to show you exactly how to achieve all of these benefits step by step. Before I do that, let’s cover some basic biology so that we’re all on the same page here. Here are the general steps that the body goes through in order to produce this incredible hormone:
First, the brain releases a substance called Luteinizing Hormone, or “LH” for short. LH basically “tells” the body to start producing testosterone. Once this occurs, the adrenal glands release DHEA into the bloodstream. LH and DHEA then travel together to the testes where testosterone production begins. Testosterone can now be released into the bloodstream to perform its magic.
So, without further ado, here are some basic methods you can implement in order to naturally raise your body’s levels of testosterone and take advantage of all of its amazing benefits.
Use compound exercises as the cornerstone of your workouts. I’m talking about the basic bread-and-butter lifts such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, rows, chin-ups, dips, lunges and military presses. This will place your muscles under the greatest amount of stress in the gym and will force your body to increase testosterone production.
Always train with 100% effort and intensity. If you want to see real muscle gains, you must be willing to push yourself to the limit in the gym. Again, greater muscular stress in the gym translates to higher testosterone output.
Train your legs equally as hard as your upper body. As you may already be aware, intense leg training can actually stimulate growth in your chest, back and arms. This is due in part to the increase in testosterone that leg training induces.
Increase your EFA consumption. Essential Fatty Acids from sources such as peanuts, avocadoes, fish and healthy oils like flax seed, olive and canola are a great way to naturally boost testosterone levels.
Reduce your intake of soy. Soy protein raises the body’s levels of estrogen (the main female hormone) and this has a direct negative effect on testosterone levels.
Limit your consumption of alcohol. Alcohol has been shown to have quite a dramatic effect on testosterone levels, so try to limit your “binge drinking” nights and keep your alcohol consumption in moderation.
Increase your dietary intake of cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, cabbage and brussel sprouts have all been shown to dramatically reduce estrogen levels, thereby raising testosterone.
Lower your daily stress levels. Being overly stressed stimulates the release of “cortisol”, a highly catabolic hormone that will cause your testosterone levels to plummet.
Increase your sexual activity. Sexual stimulation causes the body to increase the production of oxytocin which increases endorphin production (the “feel-good” chemical), and this also raises testosterone.
Make sure to get adequate sleep every night. A lack of sleep contributes to cortisol production and this will lower your testosterone levels.
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