Straight to the point
Weightlifting could be the answer if you’re a man looking to boost your testosterone levels.
For decades, people have wanted to know: does weightlifting increase testosterone? This question is especially popular amongst men with low testosterone levels and men who haven’t been to the gym before.
The simple is yes – weightlifting can boost testosterone levels. However, there are a ton of variables involved, such as:
- How often you lift weights,
- How heavy the weights are
- Your weightlifting routine
Moreover, your age and body type are also influential factors in deciding how effective weightlifting can be in boosting your testosterone.
With that said, let’s take a closer look at what testosterone is and how it affects your body:
What is Testosterone?
For men, normal testosterone levels are one of the keys to a healthy body, essential for several functions.
Testosterone is a sex hormone that regulates libido (sex drive), lean muscle mass, fat distribution, and the production of red blood cells in men.
However, there are ways to slow the decline and boost testosterone production in men.
The Symptoms of Low Testosterone
The decline of testosterone is slow, so you might not notice the symptoms of it; however, when they appear, they vary. Sometimes, they’re easy to spot and recognize. Other times, they fly under the radar.
Let’s examine the primary symptoms:
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Fat gain
- Inability to grow a beard
- Anxiety and depression
If you consistently experience one or multiple of these symptoms, it’s a vital sign that you might have low testosterone levels, and might be worth testing or speaking to a physician about it.
Interestingly, only 1 out of every 20 males suffer clinical symptoms of low testosterone, despite it being more common.
So even if you don’t have these symptoms, it’s worth getting them checked out.
- Related content: What is male menopause?
How Will I Know My Testosterone Levels are Low?
Yes! These low symptoms above are a surefire sign that you have low testosterone - however, if not, you might still want to check.
To determine that you have low testosterone levels, you have two different options:
Ask Your Doctor to Test Your Testosterone Levels
If you suspect you have low testosterone levels, then it’s best to book an appointment with your doctor or healthcare provider. This process is nothing to be scared of or worried about, as it’s a straightforward procedure.
After arriving at your doctor’s office, they will check your testosterone levels by doing a simple blood test. This test will require your doctor to take a blood tube from a vein in your arm or finger. They might also ask to do a physical examination of your body.
From there, the doctor will check the amount of hormone testosterone in your blood sample.
If your levels are low, your physician will provide you with advice and a treatment plan to raise your testosterone levels back up again. This might include testosterone replacement therapy, but will more likely involve lifestyle changes and supplements.
- Related content: Is testosterone replacement therapy safe?
Use an At-Home Testosterone Test Kit
The other option to get a definitive answer regarding your testosterone levels is to use an at-home test kit. This will allow you to take a test using saliva or blood, and send it to a lab.
Usually, you can send the sample in the post, and the results will be given to you within 5 to 7 working days (although this can vary).
If you’re not a massive fan of seeing the doctor, you might feel better doing an at-home test.
Plus, a doctor can also give you more personalized advice and do a physical exam.
- Related content: The best at-home test kits for testosterone
What Causes Low Testosterone, and What are the Symptoms?
There are quite a few factors that can cause low testosterone in young and older men, and in a sense, it’s part of the aging process.
Often, it’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly is causing a specific individual to have such low levels. However, you can usually attribute it to one (or multiple) of the following, some more or less serious than others.
As discussed, aging is the number one cause of declining testosterone levels. And in part, it’s inevitable, your testosterone levels as you get older are not going to be as high as they are in your early 20s.
But this doesn’t mean all is lost, and there are ways to improve and boost testosterone.
Again, obesity is another thing that impacts testosterone levels and other parts of your health. Obesity can influence your insulin resistance which impacts testosterone production.
Injury or Infection of the Testicles
Your testosterone levels can decrease significantly if your testicles are injured or infected. This is because the testicles cannot produce as much testosterone, a sex hormone.
Chemotherapy or Radiation Treatments
When people have cancer or an autoimmune disease, chemotherapy and radiation treatments are often the answer. However, one of the side effects of these treatments is often lower testosterone in male patients.
A hormonal imbalance in males is usually caused by chronic stress, type 1 or type 2 diabetes or hyperglycemia. If you suspect you’re suffering from one of these health issues, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Yes! A lot of people love a drink, however, alcohol is not great for the body, and in addition to contributing to obesity, it can also decrease testosterone levels.
Drugs such as opioids and steroids can harm testosterone production in men. Therefore, you must treat them carefully if you are ever prescribed them.
Lack of Exercise
A fundamental lack of exercise can lead to lower testosterone levels or stagnation, which is why many doctors recommend training and weightlifting to male patients.
Let’s get into that a little more now…
The Link Between Exercise and Testosterone
So, if a lack of exercise can impact testosterone levels - then what exactly is the link?
The main thing to note is that not all types of exercise will boost testosterone. For example, walking a mile a day might be good for you, but it’s probably not going to increase your testosterone.
The number one thing to know about exercise and testosterone is that exercise that builds muscle boosts testosterone levels.
Therefore certain exercises help to increase testosterone substantially more than other exercises do and you’ll need to incorporate these into your routine.
What Exercises to Do If Your Testosterone is low
Universally, two exercises are regarded as the best for increasing testosterone. These exercises are
- Weightlifting 3- 5 days a week
- Resistance training 1-2 days at home
As a beginner looking to boost testosterone levels, you should take it slow at first before slowly intensifying your weekly exercise routine.
It’s also widely accepted that the more intensely you do these exercises, the better your results will be.
Men and women have been weightlifting for over 2000 years. Indeed, this exercise can be traced back to ancient Chinese and Greek civilizations, showing you just how long it’s been around.
Of course, people would lift heavy rocks back in the old days. Now, it’s all about dumbbells and barbells made from mold-casted iron and treated steel.
Weight lifting involves placing heavy stress on the muscles to make them evolve and grow stronger - and it promotes testosterone production.
During exercise, testosterone levels immediately increase and this spike is especially common in beginners to the gym and weightlifting. The uplift will gradually peter out as the exercise session ends.
However, if a person maintains a consistent workout schedule involving weightlifting, their normal testosterone will remain consistently high – which is the end goal for many gym-goers.
When it comes to weightlifting, most professional trainers advise you to incorporate squats, deadlifts or other compound movements into your routine if you want to increase your testosterone levels. This is because these complex and compound movements are the most effective at building strength and lean muscle mass.
The other way to increase testosterone is using resistance training, which improves muscle strength and endurance.
There are a large variety of resistance training exercises that you can do depending on what you’re comfortable with.
What Resistance Training Exercises Can I Do?
Popular resistance training exercises include
- Resistant band repetitions
Best of all, you can perform these exercises at your own pace. In fact, you can even do them from your own home if you so wish.
The only equipment you need for the resistance training exercises mentioned above is a resistance band and a pull-up bar. After that, you can do the rest with your own body weight.
What to do if your testosterone levels are low?
In terms of what you do next, it’s dependent on your current situation. If you strongly suspect that you have low testosterone levels, then your first step should be to get your blood test done, whether it’s through your doctor or an at-home test kit. This way, you can quickly discover whether your suspicions are confirmed.
If your results are low then exercise is one of the things you can do to boost testosterone production. You should start seeing positive results and higher testosterone levels through consistent weightlifting and resistance training, although maximum results can take 6 to 12 months to develop.
Another solution you can try is TestoPrime, it’s a natural testosterone supplement and booster that some people take to help bolster their levels. Typically, people who exercise see better results with testosterone supplements than those who don’t.