Sure, with the right approach, you might be able to bump your T levels a little bit (although never as much as they say), but it won't be enough to impact how you look and feel. If you really want to pack on muscle and shed body fat, you need to stop "majoring in the minors" and do a cycle of anabolic steroids.
And the truth is, if your interest is in "supraphysiologic" levels of testosterone (higher than you could ever achieve naturally), then truly the only answer is performance-enhancing drugs.
But for those of us who prefer to optimize testosterone naturally, the reality is that you can, in fact, boost testosterone to levels that will enhance muscle building, reduce workout recovery times and accelerate fat loss...
And one of the most effective ways to do that is by carefully designing your workout program.
You see, working out with weights naturally raises your testosterone for a period after each workout, and although the spike is temporary, it can also be quite large.
(Also, there is a positive correlation between weight training and higher resting T levels, so a case could be made that weightlifting produces a permanent rise in testosterone compared to being sendentary.)
In order to get the biggest testosterone boost from your workouts, there are certain principles you can incorporate into your training that will have a huge impact on your post-workout testosterone spike.
Working out according to these principles could make the difference between a 25% spike in your test levels, or a 100% spike!
Obviously, for packing on muscle and stripping away stubborn fat, the latter is our goal.
Now I'm going to show you how to do it...
Testosterone Training is a Science
What I'm about to show you is based on both reputable scientific research (most of which was conducted by the top authority on the subject, Dr. E. Todd Schroeder, Ph.D., at the University of Southern California), and also practical, real-world results.
(All of the science has been confirmed by top-level trainers in the field.)
Dr. Schroeder has identified 3 key factors for maximizing the workout-induced testosterone spike, which I'll refer to as "testosterone-boosting principles".
These 3 principles are:
- Train large muscle groups with multi-join movements (no isolation work)
- Lift heavy
- Use short rest intervals between sets
And what do these 3 pillars have in common?
In a word: intensity.
In order to stimulate the biggest surge of testosterone, you really need to challenge your body with taxing exercises, substantial weight and relatively little rest.
Because of the level of intensity, the program will consist of just 3 workouts per week.
However, each workout will be a full-body one, so you'll be training your entire body 3 times a week... and again, these are not easy workouts...
You'll need the off-days to recover.
Each workout will be structured as follows:
A - Upper body "push" compound exercise - 6 work sets x 6-8 repetitions
B - Upper body "pull" compound exercise - 6 work sets x 6-8 repetitions
C - Lower body compound exercise - 6 work sets x 6-8 repetitions
Upper Body "Push"The following exercises are examples of upper-body push movements:
- Barbell or dumbbell bench press (any variation: flat, incline, decline, board press, floor press, pin press, etc.)
- Dips (body weight, weighted or assisted if necessary)
- Standing barbell or dumbbell shoulder press
- Push-ups (body weight or weighted)
Upper Body "Pull"Here are some excellent upper-body push movements:
- Deadlift (any variation: conventional, sumo, Romanian, deadlift off blocks, rack pulls, etc.)
- Barbell or dumbbell rows (also, many variations: Kroc rows, bent-over row, cable row, etc.)
- Pull-ups (body weight, weighted or assisted if necessary), using different grips (neutral, palms out, palms in)
- Lat pulldown
- Squats (variations: back squat, front squat, Zerchers, box squats)
- Lunges (variation: reverse lunge)
- Leg press
One of the 3 core principles is "lift heavy", which is pretty general (as principles should be).
But there are a couple solid ways to determine how much weight to use for your work sets in order to achieve the targeted level of intensity.
The first, and simplest, is to apply the following rule of thumb:
You should be able to perform the target number of repetitions (in this case, 6 to 8), while still having a couple left in the tank.
The other way is to calculate weights based on your one-repetition max.
When working in the 6-8 rep range, I suggest using 70-75% of your 1RM (one-repetition max) for your work sets.
So, if your current bench press max is 225, you would perform 6 sets of 6-8 reps with 160-170 pounds (225 x 70-75%).
If you don't know your current 1RMs, you can either test your strength to determine them (pick a day to max out on your compound exercises), or estimate it using this table.
Another core principle is "short rest periods between sets."
This is easy.
The rule of thumb here is:
- Rest 1 minute between sets
- Rest 3 minutes between exercises
So, there you have it...
The program is very basic, but highly effective for optimizing testosterone, building lean muscle and melting away stubborn body fat (particularly belly fat).
I highly recommend using it... but with a precautionary warning: it's challenging.
Especially with short rest periods.
So start a bit on the lighter side (70% of your 1RM), and slowly but steadily up the intensity over time.
Also, you'll want to dial in your nutrition and supplementation to address workout recovery and - ideally - harmonize with a testosterone-boosting goal.