If you didn’t already know by now, testosterone is one of the main hormones responsible for giving you those Arnold Schwarzenegger arms!
Let’s face it…
More Testosterone = More Gains
There’s a reason why many pro bodybuilders take synthetic testosterone as their steroid of choice.
You could have two guys with the exact same genetics, diet, sleep schedules, workout plans, but if one is producing more testosterone than the other, he’s the one that’s going to put on more muscle mass.
Testosterone not only builds muscle but it also burns fat, increases sex drive, grows body hair, and much more.
So attempting to naturally increase your testosterone is rather important when your main goal is putting on some mass.
Today, I’ll be covering all the things you shouldn’t do when it comes to testosterone.
Here are the top testosterone killing mistakes that are killing your gains.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
How many hours of sleep are you getting a night?
If your answer is below 7, it’s not enough.
The more quality sleep you get, the more testosterone your body will produce. In fact, studies show that only 5 hours of sleep can reduce your testosterone by up to 15 percent!
I always recommend getting 8-9 hours of quality sleep a night for the best results.
Remember, just because your sleeping 8 hours doesn’t mean it’s quality sleep either. There are many things out there that can hinder your ability to get the quality deep sleep your body needs.
In order to achieve the best sleep that aids in boosting your testosterone, I suggest the following:
- Avoid caffeine after 5pm
- Stay off electronics 3 hours before bed
- Meditate or journal 1 hour before bed
- Avoid stress
- Limit mid-day naps to 45 minutes
- Read a book during bedtime
- Reflect on your day and goals
Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Staying up all night and partying is fun, but both the lack of sleep and the alcohol is going to mess with your body’s ability to boost muscle building hormones.
In fact, alcohol may increase the conversion of testosterone into estrogen, so limit yourself on how many drinks you intake.
You can also kiss that workout you had in mind the next day.
Alcohol and hangovers will seriously impair your ability to lift heavy weights or get a proper workout.
Although drinking one or two drinks is known to make you feel euphoric and boost your mood, more than a few drinks will start to increase your cortisol levels (stress).
More than just affecting testosterone, alcohol also impairs Muscle Protein Synthesis, or our body’s ability to process protein and convert it into muscle mass.
This will lower your body’s anabolic response rate and could possibly put you in a catabolic state (burning muscle mass).
Tip: Avoid drinking as much as possible. It’s difficult when all your friends go out every Saturday night, but if you truly wish to get fit, you’ll do whatever it takes.
Limit yourself to no more than 2 drinks if you do happen to hit the bars.
Stressing Out Too Much
Nobody likes to stress, especially your T-levels.
Yes, that’s right. Stress kills testosterone.
When you stress, your body produces cortisol. The role of the cortisol in the body is simple and is activated to help your body respond to stress or danger.
It helps reduce inflammation, regulate your blood pressure, and increases blood sugar levels.
While cortisol might seem helpful, too much cortisol can kill off testosterone, increase fat gain, and acne.
While everybody gets stressed from time to time, finding yourself constantly tangled up in a ball of stress can have detrimental effects on your overall health, let alone your muscle gains.
Taking the time out of your day to stop, take 6 deep breaths, and relax for 30 seconds is all it takes to calm the mind down and lower your blood pressure.
Give it a try right now and see how you feel.
Other great ways to relieve stress is their food habits and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Try these habits below and you’ll notice a huge release of stress in your life after only 2 weeks:
- 10 minutes of daily meditation
- 15 minutes of high intensity cardio
- Read your goals every morning and night
- Get 15 minutes of sun and outside activity
- Lift heavy weights
- Eat more vegetables and fruit
- Start your day off by laughing
- Constantly engage in positive self-talk
Not Getting Enough Sun/Outside Activity
What happened to the days where everyone played and spent time outside?
Children are now inside all day, in front screens. Parents aren’t much different.
There’s a reason why testosterone levels in men have decreased by 1% every year since 1980! (That’s over 40%!!!)
Everyone seems to rely too much on technology and not enough on outside activity for stimulation.
Believe or not but the sun (which produces Vitamin D) can boost your testosterone levels. Studies show there is a correlation between people who spend too much time inside (little Vitamin D) and low testosterone.
Another study was done for men with low testosterone. They spent more time in the sun outside and while their vitamin D doubled, their testosterone levels increased by 20%.
Vitamin D won’t just boost your testosterone but it’s also linked to many other health factors such as:
- Increased mood
- Higher energy levels
- Promotes weight loss
- Tames depression
So get out there and get some sun! Getting healed by mother nature is the best way!
Not Pushing Yourself In The Gym
It’s well known that weightlifting can increase your testosterone levels.
But if you find yourself lollygagging and sticking to light weights, the statement above isn’t true.
In order to really boost T-levels, you need to lift heavy weights and continuously get stronger every workout.
This is what we know as progressive overload.
If you’re benching press 225 pounds for 8 reps and 4 sets today, your next chest workout needs to increase the weight or number of reps/sets.
That means next time you need to hit 225 pounds for 9 reps and 4 sets
235 pounds for X reps and 4 sets (X reps because a 10 pound jump may be heavy, do you best)
225 pounds for 8 reps and 4 sets.
The idea of progressive overload will consistently be getting you stronger. Soon enough, the weight that you pushed 4 months ago will be so light it will feel like warm-up weight!
It’s also recommended to stick to heavy compound lifts in order to boost testosterone levels.
Bicep curls, tricep extensions, lateral raises, leg extensions, and other isolation exercises are nowhere near as effective as heavy deadlifts, squats, and the bench press. They also work many more muscles.