Unless you are brand new to the fitness lifestyle, you have no doubt heard of testosterone and the life-changing benefits it brings with it as it rises… And how disastrous it can be if it plummets.
Testosterone is the male sex hormone.
Whilst women do indeed have small amounts of the magic elixir, it’s incredibly unlikely that any single female would have levels even close to that of a man.
As you may have guessed, testosterone is one of the reasons that men are typically much larger and more muscular than the fairer sex.
So you can see just how important and vital it is to your success in both fitness and your daily life.
From the examples above, you can deduct that having a high testosterone level will allow you to gain more muscle, lift more weight, lift that weight for more duration and recover fast so you can be back on your grind the next day and the days after that.
Scary stuff, right?
The question you are doubtless asking yourself now is:
There are a variety of ways. The simplest way would be to inject exogenous testosterone.
Many would agree with me when I say that this is a very drastic measure.
Raising your T-levels via steroid injections can come with a whole host of side-effects and long term repercussions that can cause you problems down the road.
Especially for young guys, who may have to continue to take these shots daily or weekly for the rest of their lives just so they can keep a normal hormonal profile.
Not good. Not ideal.
Luckily for everyone, there are far safer and more productive ways that you can raise your testosterone levels naturally with zero negative side effects or issues. Hooray!
Weight training has been proven by a variety of studies to boost testosterone levels in subjects in both the short term and the long term.
Big compounds lifts like the Deadlift and the Squat and even Sprinting have been shown to be effective techniques to increase T-levels.
Whilst everyone should incorporate them into the training regimen, they do have their issues.
Deadlifts can be very harsh on the body and shouldn’t really be done properly more than once a week. Any more than that and your body and central nervous system (CNS) may find it too stressful to handle.
When your body is stressed it releases a hormone called Cortisol. The higher your cortisol, the lower your testosterone falls, generally speaking.
So the short term of boost of testosterone you get would be tarnished by the cortisol.
Squats are another fantastic exercise to use, but an exercise that a lot of people have trouble with due to knee injuries, lack of flexibility, core weakness, etc.
Sprints can be a hassle to do. Not everyone has the space. Most gyms don’t have tracks to run sprints on and if they do they’re located outside. Which is not ideal if it’s raining or snowing for example. It can also have a high impact on your knees and other joints.
Developed in the 1700’s in Russia, the kettlebell is a ball-shaped weight with a handle on top for the trainee to grasp.
They can be utilised in a variety of ways in order to build strength, speed or stamina.
Common exercises like rows, squats, presses can be completed effectively with the kettlebell.
The weight is concentrated into the ball segment rather than the handle making them perfect for building power and strength due to the explosive and ballistic movements.
This is why they are perfect for boosting your testosterone!
Studies have shown that immediately after performing kettlebell swings, testosterone levels can be raised between 14% to 135% higher!
Your body produces more testosterone in relation to how many muscle fibres are being recruited in the exercise. Which is why aforementioned compound lifts like deadlifts and squats are effective. They recruit more muscle mass into the movement so more metabolic stress occurs. Leading to higher testosterone.
Kettlebell swings are perfect because they allow you to utilise your posterior chain, like you would with a deadlift, but in an explosive manner that creates the perfect environment for higher test.
It positively stresses your body greatly but without the harshness that a deadlift would, meaning you can do more swings, more frequently without the negative consequences. More opportunity to build that vital T!
Sprints boost testosterone by using the entire body and really pushing it to the limit. Kettlebell swings are superior because they allow a similar effect whilst staying in the exact same place and without putting undue pressure on your joints by smashing them on the road.
If you want to have a high testosterone level naturally, you will have to incorporate kettlebells into your workout.
Like I said, kettlebell swings are probably the best way to go.
Pick a moderate to heavy weight and go at it. Lighter weights can still be effective but you won’t be taxing the actual muscle mass as much as you would your cardiovascular system.
Outside of swings, kettlebells still remain king. Due to the asymmetric weight being focused on the ball, you have to utilise your entire body to stabilise the weight in pretty much any common exercise type, thus recruiting more muscle groups and muscle fibres.
Leading to you… You guessed it; Higher testosterone