This post was last updated on October 21st, 2016
Gym rats CRAVE higher testosterone levels. The same way Wallace hungers for cheese, Kel salivates over orange soda and Spongebob daydreams about Krabby Patties.
We just can’t have too much testosterone!!!
…Until our girlfriends are being rushed off to hospital because our morning wood is too much for their backs to handle.
More testosterone = more muscle.
Testosterone is extremely anabolic. Therefore T holds the key to BIG gains in muscle mass and a more ripped appearance. Muscle aside, it also has powerful fat burning properties. Significantly higher levels will result in a more jacked, alpha male version of yourself. Steroids are proof of this.
How Much Does Testosterone Really Affect Muscle Gains?
Typical gym scenario: 2 guys train together. They do the same workouts, follow the same diet and eat almost identical food portions.
BUT one of these guys grows like a weed, getting noticeably bigger after each workout. And the other guy is gaining small amounts of muscle at a snail’s pace.
Why does this happen?
Answer: the 2 guys have different genetics. Or to be more precise, they have different levels of testosterone. The guy gaining muscle faster will have significantly higher levels of free testosterone.
In this article my goal is to give you simple ways to increase your testosterone levels considerably.
I call these my ‘Testosterone Hacks‘.
Note: These tricks won’t raise your testosterone to the level anywhere near steroids, so rapid muscle growth should not be expected. However, you can expect a noticeable difference in the way you feel and an improvement in your workouts and body composition.
Intermittent Fasting: +180%
Intermittent fasting (IF) is when a person doesn’t consume any calories for a short period of time, usually less than 24 hours. Thus you’re only allowed to drink water during a fast.
Fasting can increase testosterone in 2 different ways:
- By lowering your body fat %
- By lowering insulin levels
By Lowering Your Body Fat
IF is often used by people looking to lose weight because of its powerful ability to burn fat. Following a meal, your insulin levels rise and the process of glucose oxidation takes place. This means that the body will burn carbohydrates (glucose) for energy.
However when you don’t eat, your blood sugar and insulin levels PLUMMET, causing the body to shift from burning glucose for energy, to stored body fat instead. Pretty cool eh?
Burning body fat from fasting will help with boosting your testosterone, as fat cells contain an enzyme called aromatase. This enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen (the female sex hormone), Which lowers testosterone. So the less body fat you have the better.
For maximum testosterone production aim for 6-8% body fat. Any lower than this can blunt hormone production. Below is a body fat % comparison chart:
(These all seem pretty accurate except ‘15%’ – that pic seems much leaner than that).
By Lowering Insulin levels
Finally I’ll explain how fasting can increase testosterone. by a whopping…180%!
It’s a well known fact that every time you eat, your testosterone levels take a dive (1). Several studies confirm that it doesn’t matter if these meals are protein, carbohydrate or fat-based. Anything containing at least 300 calories or more will result in significantly lower testosterone levels (even a few hours after ingestion). There weren’t any studies where less than 300 calories were consumed, but my guess is that this will also blunt testosterone production.
Thus by not eating, you’ll avoid this drop in T. One study even found that “short-term” fasting can increase testosterone by as much as 180% (2). This is a crazy increase.
In my experience, when I do intermittent fasting I definitely notice a difference in my mood and behavior. I feel more confident, motivated and energetic – despite not eating. These are all signs of increased testosterone, backing up the results from these studies.
I usually fast from 11pm to about 2pm the next day, making it a 15 hour fast. So, I’m only missing breakfast to get this spike in testosterone. Pretty worth it if you ask me.
Stay away from the fruit loops…
Stop Jerking Off! +145%
If you fap, stop it!
This is my favourite trick to boost testosterone (by far). I used to masturbate to porn 3-4 times a week, now I rarely ever do it. (I hope my mum doesn’t read my blog).
*Update: Oh, she does… Ooops!
Studies have shown that abstaining from masturbation for 7 days can cause a 145% rise in testosterone on that 7th day (3).
It actually surprises me that significant increases in testosterone weren’t reported before that 7th day. Because in my experience I have symptoms of higher test levels each day that I abstain.
Here’s what I’ve experienced in my years of regularly abstaining:
My confidence goes through the roof. I’ve always been a confident guy, but the difference I feel after I masturbate compared to the days where I don’t is obvious.
I feel like a different person: I give stronger eye contact with people, my body language becomes more dominant and my thoughts turn super positive.
Driven, motivated, determined, competitive and just more successful in every area of my life.
I also become stronger in the gym and feel like my blood flow is much better. This makes sense as testosterone increases red blood cell count.
Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, also recommended abstaining, saying it can help you channel your sexual energy into other areas of your life to become more successful, such as having the drive to set up your own business.
That’s actually really weird because I’ve never read his book, but the first year I began abstaining was the year I set up my first business/blog – which at its peak earned $12k a month.
I should also point out that his book has now sold over 70 million copies (so this guy knew a thing or two about being successful!).
Research also suggests that cavemen had WAY MORE testosterone than modern men (4). Do you think they were streaming porn and fapping daily? No chance.
Have Sex: +72%
You’re probably thinking: “Eh? So I can’t masturbate but I can have sex?”. Yes that’s right. It is known that Boxers often abstained from sex before a fight in a bid to increase aggression, but research has confirmed that by not having sex, they’d be missing out on a test boost.
It’s strange because masturbation and sex both lead to ejaculation, but their effect on testosterone are very different.
A study has concluded that when a man has sex, his testosterone levels can spike by 72% (5).
Some people believed that masturbation isn’t optimal for maximum test production because you lose around 5mg of zinc every time you ejaculate. With zinc deficiencies proven to lower testosterone levels, you’d think any ejaculation is bad. However, sex disproves this theory.
If you want to learn more about zinc’s effect on testosterone, check out Lee Myer’s interesting post on Peak Testosterone.
So what sends your test surging after having sex, that doesn’t happen from masturbation? My guess is the sense of ‘winning’ and the ‘dominant’ feeling after sex.
Lets face it, after sex we all feel like the boy!
This shows just how powerful your brain is when it comes to determining your testosterone count.
Tips to have more sex:
- If you’re single: go out clubbing more (don’t drink alcohol though as that can reduce test levels) and bring girls home…and then, you know. If you need help with your game, check out Sonny’s article on what attracts women and how to punch above your weight.
- If you have a girlfriend, but you’re not getting a lot of action because ‘she’s not in the mood’ – get her to take Maca!
Note: It’s normal for women to not want it as much as us guys, it doesn’t have to mean you’re doing anything wrong; they’re just wired differently.
Maca supplementation = increased female libido
There are some really good reviews on Amazon from women who’ve experienced a much stronger libido from supplementing with Maca. Here are 2 products I found with good reviews:
- Pure Healthland maca root – Amazon.com
Review score: 4/5
Note: with the above supplement, maca is combined with other herbs such as horny goat weed.
- G-Biotics Maca Root – Amazon.co.uk
Review score: 5/5
What women are saying…
Change Your Body Language: +20%
With our mind being responsible for increasing testosterone via sex, it’s not that surprising to know that modifying your body language can provoke a similar response.
A study found that adopting ‘power positions’ can increase testosterone by 20% (6), compared to low power positions.
Plan of action: be aware of your body language and adopt more high power positions on a regular basis.
I’d guess that having positive thoughts about yourself could also elicit the same effect on your testosterone. And many people tend to dwell on the things they don’t like about themselves.
Instead do the following:
- Make a conscious effort to improve the things you don’t like about yourself. This self- improvement will leave you feeling like a new and improved person. Remember however that nobody is perfect.
- Write down a list of all the good things about yourself, including compliments that people have given you in the past. And learn to dwell on these positive attributes, instead of disregarding them.
All of a sudden you’ll see that you have a lot of things going for you. And soon enough you’ll be walking with a swagger like Jaxx Teller.
Cool Your Testes!
The temperature of your testicles directly affects how much testosterone you produce.
Heating the testicles decreases t levels and sperm count to the point where it’s actually used as a method for birth control.
…which can be effective for months! (7).
Russian powerlifters used to ice their testicles before big lifts to increase their testosterone, maximizing their strength.
I can’t give a % value as to how much you can increase your testosterone by cooling your testicles because there are studies proving higher temperatures decreases sperm count/testosterone. And there are studies proving that cooler testicles increase sperm count, but none give a specific testosterone % reading.
However we can assume that increased sperm count = increased testosterone, because it’s the Luteinizing hormone and Follicle stimulating hormone that stimulate spermatogenesis (sperm production). And these 2 hormones are also responsible for testosterone synthesis.
Here are 2 interesting studies:
- Testicles heated at 43 degrees celsius for just 15 minutes, resulted in a 65% decrease in testicular weight (8).
- Sperm quality/volume was found to be significantly improved in the coldest months of the year after analysing the semen of over 6,000 men (9).
- Don’t wear tight underwear – save them Y-Fronts for special occasions only ;). And sleep naked when possible, as this will create the most natural environment for your body to cool down at night.
- Put a pillow in-between your laptop and legs, or place the laptop on a table with you sitting on a chair.
- Rarely visit spas and saunas. And when you do, be sure to ice your testicles afterwards to save your T from taking a dive.
- Get yourself some snowballs underwear. These are boxers designed to cool your testicles with the help of a cold gel pack placed in the pouch. These will help you effortlessly boost testosterone, instead of holding frozen peas on your nuts…never pleasant!
More Sleep = More Test: +15%
Sleep has a huge impact on testosterone. Failing to get adequate amounts will skyrocket the dreaded, catabolic stress hormone – cortisol.
A study found that sleep-deprived individuals getting only 4 hours can increase their testosterone levels by as much as 60%, should they get 4 more hours of sleep (10).
And the results showed that on average, 1 extra hour of sleep can equate to approximately 15% extra test.
Even if you currently get a decent amount of sleep (6-8 hours), you can still benefit from this 15% testosterone-boosting effect should you get >8 hours. As the graph below suggests.
It’s important to note that sleep quality is just as important as quantity. Failing to enter a deep, restful sleep is also likely to blunt hormone production.
Here are some ways to maximize your sleep quality (and turn you into a sleeping beauty):
- Get your workouts done earlier in the day (at least 4 hours before bed time). High adrenaline levels after a workout can stimulate the central nervous system causing insomnia.
- Eliminate caffeine consumption after mid day.
- Supplement with ZMA. The magnesium content in ZMA is responsible for promoting deep sleep.
- Sleep in total darkness. When the room becomes dark, your body naturally produces more melatonin – the hormone that soothes your nervous system and prepares you for sleep.
- Take a nice, hot bath to relax your muscles…JUST TESTING! Don’t do this…
WARM TESTICLES = LOWER TEST BRO!
Be Competitive: +30%
Research shows that playing in a competitive football (soccer) match can improve testosterone levels by 30% (11). And what’s even more interesting is that players still had 15% higher serum testosterone 1 hour after the match had finished.
With testosterone boosting male libido, it now makes sense why so many footballers cheat on their wives. They’re biologically wired to do it.
…I should be John Terry’s lawyer.
However, you don’t have to exert lots of energy to be competitive and increase your T.
Watching Competitive Sports
One study showed that when fans watched their favourite football team in a match, they can experience a 28% spike in T (should their team win). However when they lost, they noticed a similar decline (12).
So pick a sports team to watch on a regular basis – and make sure they’re good!
I’d guess that if you were to go down the pub to watch these matches with your mates this will increase testosterone even more as the rivalry will be heightened, due to several people supporting opposing teams.
More Money = More Testosterone
A study measured the testosterone of traders and noticed a spike during the days they made more money (than average) . After a winning streak, lasting 6 days, one trader experienced 78% higher test levels (13).
Although this study focuses on money, it’s the same principles again, being competition and success. An increase in both of these in your daily life and your testosterone is bound to take a rise.
If you look throughout history, the greatest sportsmen of all time always had somebody who was of incredible ability just behind them in second place. Competition = higher testosterone. Higher testosterone = better performance.
So from a hormonal perspective, without these arch-rivals continuously pushing them, they might not have performed as great without such pressure.
- Lionel Messi has Cristiano Ronaldo
- Phil Heath has Kai Greene
- Michael Jordan had Patrick Ewing.
- Roger Federer had Rafa Nadal.
- Mohammed Ali had Joe Frazier.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger had Lou Ferrigno.
- Tiger Woods had Phil Mickelson
What to do:
. If you have the time/energy, join a sports team. This will usually require training and playing a match 1-2 times a week.
. Train with a gym partner that is of equal strength to you. And constantly strive to beat his lifts with every workout.
. Participate in fitness/bodybuilding competitions
. Get in great shape and go places shirtless (where it’s acceptable) like the beach. With you looking better than most other men (and in the presence of women), this will provoke a good test response.
In short, if you can get in the habit of continuously pushing yourself and you learn to embrace competition, you’ll not only achieve higher test levels but you’ll also be improving your life.