personal training client performing bicep curl

We lose a little testosterone as we age, and it’s reflected in a body that becomes a lot tougher to keep lean and mean than it was in our twenties.

Sure, you can take illegal or dangerous shortcuts with pills or injections from your local doctor or gym-rat dealer and grow your muscles at the expense of your … well you get the point. But what if there was a way to NATURALLY increase your testosterone without anything but POSITIVE side effects?

Alas, science has shown that there IS such a way. In fact, here are eight of them for you:

1. Run sprints instead of marathons. Yep, sorry to break it to you. I know everyone is disappointed that they need to quit marathon training now after learning this, but what can you do … science is science. When it comes to running, the manliest men go really fast, and then rest. Chronic long-distance endurance training actually limits testosterone. But sprinting increases it. Perhaps this begins to explain the look of the sprinter’s body vs the marathoners. You’ve watched the Olympics. Which one do you want to look like? Keep in mind, however, that running 100 meters at a marathoner’s pace will not yield the results you seek. If you are going to rely on sprints, you better actually sprint (and you may need to jog for a bit first for safety’s sake).

2. Lift heavy instead of lite. If your workout routine looks like your wife’s group exercise class, good luck getting a large testosterone boost. Once your joints are up to the task, you need to seriously overload those muscles. You’ll not only get stronger faster, you’ll also get leaner, in large part due to the nice testosterone increase that heavy lifting yields. So grab the bigger dumbbells and force yourself into failure at a lower rep. Sure, it’s going to take more focus and effort, but when you look in the mirror a month from now, you’ll be glad you put in the work (be sure to safely work your way up to heavy).

3. Allow yourself a little rest between sets. That’s some seriously good news, considering you are going to be lifting a lot heavier now, isn’t it? Researchers have found that enough rest to attack the next set allows for a better mind-muscle connection, fuller recruitment of muscle fibers, more intensity, and more testosterone release. But don’t get it twisted. 60-120 seconds of rest is more than enough. Getting distracted by talking on the phone or watching TV for 5 minutes yields quite a different result than pausing to reflect on what you just lifted, and gearing up to conquer another big hoist. In fact, even simply alternating muscles groups instead of complete rest can give much of the benefit.

4. Improve your stress response. Notice I didn’t say to eliminate stress in your life. That’s unrealistic. And even if it were possible, you’d then be a worthless bum. Instead, focus on how YOU interpret and respond to stress. The same events or circumstances can affect 2 people entirely differently. One person can fall apart while the other marches on strong. Why is that? Because one has learned how to handle it and one hasn’t. How you handle stress in your life will have a large impact on your testosterone levels. When things challenge you, reflect on your priorities and be thankful for what you have and what you have already achieved. Remind yourself of how you got through previous struggles and know that you will handle the current situation too. No need to freak out and lower testosterone.

5. Avoid estrogen-mimicking obesagens like soy, artificial flavors & colors, heated plastics, canned tomatoes, etc. I’ve talked about these before. Remember the men that actually grew breast tissue after working in the plastics factory for years? This stuff is serious. Eat real food, and you’ll avoid a lot of these pitfalls. Don’t live on microwavable meals in soft plastic containers. Don’t drink from water bottles left out in the sun. Buy your tomatoes in glass jars, not tin cans. And don’t try to lose weight with fake, hundred-calorie snacks filled with synthetic preservatives. Finally, though avoiding dairy milk can have its benefits, don’t replace it with estrogenic soy milk. At least step it up to almond, and organic almond milk isn’t a bad choice considering all the random companies jumping on that bandwagon now.

6. Train the large muscle groups of your legs. There are some photos floating around the internet that I suggest doing a search for if you want a good laugh. With statements like “friends don’t let friends skip leg day,” plastered over guys at the gym with massive chests and shoulders teetering on top of toothpick legs that would embarrass even your anorexic niece – they make a great point. For too long, guys obsessed with the size of their biceps have neglected the largest muscle surface area of the body – the legs. At the end of the day, if you want a massive testosterone boost, train (what should be) the most powerful part of your body – the lower half.

7. Lose estrogen-holding body fat. Yes, I know that’s kind of your goal with this whole testosterone increase thing, but hear me out. It goes both ways. If you exercise a bit more and eat a bit less, stimulating the shedding of body fat from your frame, you will lower your estrogen levels and make room for more testosterone. You see, bodyfat stores estrogen, and then estrogen calls for the storage of more bodyfat. It’s a terrible cycle of increasing softness. If you can man up (pardon the pun), grit your teeth, and force the beginning of change through good old self-discipline, it will help you get your hormones back on your side. Then it will get easier with time.

8. Get plenty of deep sleep. Easier said than done, right? In spite of your challenges to getting your 8 hours, here are some tips: focus on time in bed with eyes closed – the part you can control. Don’t stress about how well you are or aren’t sleeping. That just makes it worse. Keep a schedule for the brain to get used to, and keep the room dark and devoid of electronic devices (as much as possible). If you hate your mattress or pillow, don’t be afraid to spend money to change them. That’s one area where you will definitely get a return on investment when you get it right.