There’s a problem that men are facing around the world, a problem that very few are talking about but many are experiencing. This problem needs full awareness, if not an immediate solution.
And what is it?
Simply, the slow death of modern manliness through the dip in Testosterone levels of men.
I comprehend that it sounds intense and severe, but it’s a proven fact and not just an opinion. According to researchers, Testosterone levels have dropped 22% in the past 20 years and will continue to drop.
In addition, 1 out of 4 men has bellow average T.
Personally, I got to experience average T, by competing in bodybuilding and reaching a staggering body-fat level of about 6%.
It seems quite ironic to look at a bodybuilder,
a big, wide, muscularly developed individual or chunk of meat in many cases – not me 🙂 – and associate it with low Testosterone.
The huge caloric deficit, low fat-high carbohydrate diet, the exhausting weight training and cardio regimen, and the resulting adrenal fatigue (this is your body signaling a red alarm, under the stress of both exogenous and esoteric factors) is a power punch combo to the hormonal system, delivering a knock-out blow to big-T.
But looking at it from a wider perspective, 1 out of 4 men seems to have low T, whereas less than 1 out of 100 men, is crazy enough to submit himself to the grueling process of a physique competition, and is purely by choice.
Which, according to my math skills, means that more than 24 out of 100 men are simply experiencing low T, purely because of lifestyle, habits and poor environmental exposure.
Why is normal Testosterone important?
Now, the experience of low Testosterone is definitely not sunshine and rainbows.
Its first manifestation is in the form of low sex drive and lack of energy. Further down, the road, it is associated with lack of ambition, depression and even thoughts of suicide.
Thankfully, it didn’t go that far for me, yet it certainly wasn’t fun.
Therefore, I had to make a move, a change and make it fast.
And so I did.
I researched the causes and short-circuits of Testosterone production, certain micronutrient deficiencies, and bad habits, so was able to make an actionable plan.
On which I acted, and managed to increase my T levels from 674ng/dl (which is above average but apparently low for me) to 896ng/dl within the course of 5 weeks.
That is a 33% increase along the higher parts of the total Testosterone spectrum (normal suggested levels are 300-1050 ng/dl), fact that not many have been able to achieve in such a small period of time, or at least share it.
So read along as I am sharing the action plan I created to increase my T-levels.
Note: you will not need to pinch yourself twice with a blood needle within the course of a month to actually perceive the results.
They will manifest themselves in the form of more energy, more sex drive, more motivation, ambition, bold moves, magic, and unicorns.
Let’s delve into it.
I have separated the areas of action into Nutrition, Supplementation, and Lifestyle.
Simple nutritional changes, that will lead to an improved hormonal profile.
Testosterone is derived from HDL Cholesterol (High Density Lipoprotein), aka the good cholesterol. Hence by implementing more of HDL into our diet we create a beneficial environment for Testosterone creation.
The best source of cholesterol is animal and dairy fats, such as steak and grass fed butter,
and eggs, whole eggs.
*Now, attention shall be given to the fact that fats are very dense in calories and including the above in a diet without calorie restriction may lead to a stunted fat loss or even fat gain*
Getting 30-35% of your calories from fats is a good starting point.
[when increasing the fat percentage of a diet, in order for the calories to remain the same carbohydrates have to take a toll, otherwise, a high fat and high glycemic load diet profile, can easily lead to fat gain]
Moreover, aim to consume a relatively big portion of your daily fats just before bed along with protein, because cholesterol is produced in the body during the night hours.
But, isn’t cholesterol bad for you?
This belief is predicated on the Lipid Hypothesis of Cardiac health, which based on the sum total of available evidence, personal experience, and others research is false. **
Red meat over chicken.
Good quality, preferably grass-fed meat, is much higher in micronutrients than chicken, while providing the same amount of protein.
In addition, it also adds the good kind of fats that we are seeking as stated above and lastly it does not contain Estrogens, a female hormone and T’s kryptonite.
Many people, including myself, seem to be deficient in Selenium.
Including 2-4 brazil nuts in our diet will fix that deficiency which is a common short circuit to Testosterone production.
Attention, Selenium in high dosages is a poison, so I’d stick to no more than 4.
Cut out soy
Since the beginning of its mass production soy has been one of the most genetically modified first matters. For that reason it contains large quantities of phyto-estrogens, which like all estrogens have an impact on Testosterone production.
Hence, soy might be passed as a healthy source of protein and other nutrients whereas in reality it is subtly killing your T.
I’d prefer the majority of my calories to be derived from natural sources.
Natural supplements that will lead to augmented T-Levels.
Supplementing with fish oil is an excellent way of getting the omega 3s needed for optimal hormonal balance and brain function. My personal preference is Cod Liver Oil, with a dosage of 2 capsules in the morning and 2 capsules before bed. Works. Period.
A common short-circuit to testosterone production is a lack of Vitamin D in the body. Especially during the winter months when our beloved sunshine gets more scarce.
If you are getting enough direct sunlight during the day (~ 1 hour), supplementing with Vitamin D is more unnecessary than beneficial.
If on the other hand you are not getting enough sunshine, 1000-2000 IU of Vitamin D upon waking up and 1000-2000 IU before bed is sufficient.
T-boosters are getting more and more popular in the supplement market. However most of them are overpriced for what they actually have to offer, hence my suggestion is to avoid them, unless you are financially capable of affording them and want the extra 1-2% that they may provide.
Lifestyle and Working out
This section contains the behavioral and habitual changes in and out of the weight room that will lead to an increase in Testosterone.
Lift Heavy Weights
I have a hidden love for heavy compound lifts, they not only make you look and feel good, but they also provide a stimulus to the body to produce more of male hormones. Do them.
Example compound lifts:
Use shorter rest periods or include a metabolic workout finisher
After completing the heavy compound lifts that require longer rest periods (2-3mins in between), perform your accessory movements with minimal rest. This can be in the form of supersets and tri-sets, where you perform a series of exercises gasping for air and a break, and rest approximately 90 seconds at the end.
Another way of aerobically taxing your body is by including a metabolic finisher at the end of your workout.
HIIT sprints, Tabata circuits, and generally alternating movements that require the participation of big muscle groups.
Perform the following movements with 15seconds rest in between and 2 minutes at the end of burpees for a total of 4 rounds.
Single leg hip thrust x 6/leg
Inverted row x 8
DB push press x 10
Burpees x 12
Sleep. Wonderful word. A good night’s sleep leads to a morning full of energy, willpower, and good decisions, whereas sleep deprivation causes hormonal imbalance, fatigue, and makes us vulnerable to impulsive decisions.
It has been shown that a week of fewer than 6 hours of sleep per night leads to the same damage in the body as 72 hours of insomnia.
A good quantitative approach is 8 hours of sleep per night, but each individual has his own unique sleep cycle patterns, so the optimal amount may vary from person to person.
Note that quantity is one part of a good night’s sleep and…
quality is the other.
The way to ensure quality of sleep is the following:
-Limit alcohol consumption to 2hours before bed
-Sleep in a dark room, or use a sleep mask
-No electronics 30 minutes before bed
-Monitor your caffeine intake, and do not consume stimulants in the evening.
Cold showers are an awesome tool, they just render you unreactive to the environment, while putting the body under an optimal temperature for T production.
Moreover, it is a distinct way of getting over anxieties, such as talking to strangers, public speaking, eye contact etc. Just hop in the shower, count down from 10 and turn the water to the absolute COLD while staring at a single spot the whole time.
Used by Dave Asprey, Tim Ferris, Jason Capital and the list of badasses goes on.
Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory.
More Testosterone leads to an increased sex drive, and more sex leads to more Testosterone.
The act of worrying produces Cortisol, which again is not a friend of our T.
Managing stress can be done with breathing techniques and meditation or some kind of meditative activities. These can take the form of writing, lifting weights, producing music etc. Basically, anything that leads to a deep state of focus and enjoyment.
In addition to that attention shall be given towards crafting an uplifting environment, filled with positive people, that will only add up to your positivity and vice versa.
#goodvibesonly pretty much.
There you have it, my T-boosting regimen!
Even if you are not experiencing low T symptoms, I’d suggest getting tested in order to have a baseline level for future reference. Hence, the above guide and research are available to you on demand.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor and not pretending to be one. Please use the above at your own risk and under medical supervision.