Do you want to increase your strength and your muscle mass? In this post we will show you how. We will be talking about testosterone, the main responsible for hypertrophy. Keep reading to know how to perform better in your strength workouts!
First of all, we will go back to our biological base: in our body there is a hormone called testosterone. It is very important to take it into account since it can favour sports performance.
One of its key functions is to stimulate the anabolic effect, that is, the development of muscle mass and strength. It is also a regulating hormone of metabolism, allows you to control body weight, maintain sufficient levels of energy throughout the day and also helps in having a good mood and sexual performance.
Sometimes, testosterone levels decrease and consequently our organism performance and functioning too. That is why we must take into account factors that can help us maintain these optimal levels in order to increase our performance and health.
We will talk about 4 essential factors that will help increasing your testosterone levels:
Correct eating habits will be crucial, like eating real unprocessed foods, with the natural nutrients necessary for our day. That means a control of fat intake, prioritizing the consumption of unsaturated and polyunsaturated, thus optimizing a good testosterone production.
Eating is the key point to control weight, the higher the body fat index, the less testosterone the individual in question has.
Studies show the fact that sport helps raising testosterone levels. However, there are plenty of several variables such as workout volume, intensity and density. Therefore, testosterone occurs at different levels depending on these factors.
We could simply mention the positive effects of sport, but we wanted to go further. We know the importance of choosing the proper training characteristics in order to generate the appropriate hormonal response.
We have divided the training according to 3 variables, the exercise type, the number of repetitions and the recovery time:
Those exercises that involve large muscle groups or a combination of them, generate a greater testosterone production. The more muscle tissues involved, the more stimulus the hormone will have. Simple.
Many studies have found that overall testosterone levels increase significantly after strength sessions.
Therefore, the goal is to reach the greatest hypertrophy possible. To achieve this, we should lift high weights between 4 and 6 repetitions. That means weights that are approximately between 70 and 90 percent of 1 maximum repetition (1RM).
In this way we will generate greater hypertrophy and, therefore, raise our testosterone levels. In addition, training with low repetitions will be especially effective in improving maximum strength.
Several studies show that long recoveries help maintain high power levels and produce improvements over maximum explosive strength. Here we have to mention that it also increases testosterone levels.
That is why we recommend 3 to 5 minutes breaks between exercises.
Just as it is important to train it is to rest. It is crucial to allow our body recharge the energy, and therefore, it is necessary to respect the 7-8 hours of sleep every day.
You should also follow a relaxed, organized and quiet life, since stressful situations stimulate the production of cortisol, a hormone that will produce the opposite effect to testosterone.
Having an active sexual life has a great importance since a long-term abstinence means a chronic decrease in testosterone levels.
And finally, as obvious, avoid addictive behaviours such as smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, since the decrease in this hormone would be very important.
As a summary, to increase testosterone you should:
-> Perform exercises that imply multiple muscular groups, few repetitions and high intensity.
-> Rest between 3 and 5 minutes between sets. Have a proper rest between workouts.
-> Have a good diet and avoid bad habits.