Natural ways to increase testosterone levels -- because supplementation carries serious risks

A 29% increased risk of dying from T supplementation

While numbers can be deceiving – what does 29% increased risk mean exactly? – there is good reason to consider why tinkering with one's endocrine system might be a bad idea. Estrogen treatment for women was once widespread, but the increased risks to their health later became evident and its prescription is now much more rare.

Exercise and diet can increase natural testosterone -- without use of steroids, HGH or testosterone patches

The time for testosterone has arrived. More to the point, men are starting to see testosterone as their fountain of youth, the hormone that can increase muscle size, reduce body fat, increase bone density, promote libido – and bring all the psychological benefits that accompany these things.

In fact, declining testosterone levels are associated with a diminution of these functions. And that decline begins in some individuals as early as age 40. Are lower testoeterone levels inevitable? Not nearly to the degree that we think.

Of course, the fact that testosterone boosting medications (including HGH or human growth hormones) are now available – for example, AbbVie Pharmaceutical's "IsItLowT-dot-dom" marketing push, Abbott Pharmaceutical's http://www.androgel.com/, and several other companies that have entered the market (http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/03/13/will-testosterone-fuel-biotechs-next-great-race.aspx) – suggests that this fountain of youth is a prescription away, as if it were a matter of popping a pill (or wearing a testosterone patch, or applying testosterone vehicle to the underarms) and getting as immediate a benefit as, uh, one might get from a dose of Viagra or Cialis.

But a study of 8,709 men treated by the U.S. Veterans Affairs health system raises a serious warning flag. The study discovered that testosterone therapy can "increase the odds of having a heart attack, stroke or dying by 29 percent," reports Bloomberg News. As it is has happened so often in the past, meddling with nature results in unintended and adverse consequences. Just ask women about estrogen therapy.

Note that most of studies showing effectiveness of the testosterone patch are on middle-aged and elderly men who have notable loss in muscle mass and bone strength. The testosterone patch or gel indeed reverses decline in those areas, in addition to reducing abdominal fat. All well and good, but scientists are still studying the effect testosterone supplementation may have on prostate health, and early indicators are cautionary.

The Harvard Health Newsletter reported in May 2010 that a team of researchers looked at an aggregation of 31 studies conducted on the use of growth hormones as an anti-aging tactic. On average, treated individuals increased lean body mass (muscle) by 4.6 pounds and lost about the same amount of body fat. Those are healthy outcomes, as well as what most men want to see happen from an appearance standpoint.

But from a health standpoint, there was no benefit to use of human growth hormones. Study subjects experienced no drop in LDL (the bad cholesterol), no increase in HDL (good cholesterol), or changes in triglycerides, aerobic capacity, bone density or blood sugar and insulin levels. Just as important, there was "a high rate of side effects, including fluid retention, joint pain, breast enlargement and carpal tunnel syndrome. The studies were too short to detect any change in the risk of cancer, but other research suggests an increased risk of cancer in general and prostate cancer in particular."

Further, the best-seller "The End of Illness" by David Angus (Free Press, 2012) reports on a 2011 study of Ecuadorians with a rare genetic mutation that prevents them from responding to human growth hormone. They also almost never get diabetes or cancer. This correlates animal studies on species that live longer when they grow slowly. Says Angus: "So, men who enjoy unnaturally larger muscles in their golden years due to growth hormone injections are accepting a much larger risk for cancer, diabetes, and probably other serious conditions."

For anyone younger than, say, 55 years old, does it make sense to risk-averse health effects with artificial testosterone increases?

Thankfully, if you wish to address declining testosterone levels, there are more natural ways available, and they don’t cost much in time or dollars. Better yet, those ways are associated with better health overall.

Testosterone levels in men (and women too, but I’m going with the assumption that the reader of this article is a man) can be raised with specific exercises and foods. Various studies cited at the close of this article back up these assertions with science.


Exercise: It’s about mass and intensity

Lou Schuler’s book, “The Testosterone Advantage Plan” (Simon and Schuster, 2003), makes a strong case for strength training over cardiovascular endurance training, such as marathon running, if a guy wants to promote healthy levels of testosterone. Aside from the obvious physical differences between bodybuilders and Olympic marathoners, individuals in these sports have different health and hormonal profiles. Short story: the weight lifters have higher levels of testosterone, and largely enjoy the benefits that come from it.

As a strength trainer and veteran triathlete, I think it’s not necessary to choose one over the other. I may not be a world class triathlete – carrying around muscle weight in fact slows me down ¬– but my bones and muscles can withstand a lot more of life because I’m also strong (and at the age of 50, thus far have no knee problems despite all that running). I really don’t care all that much about my race times; just the fact that I train appropriately for races and get through them with relative vigor is good enough for me. My philosophy is that health is the goal, not some numbers on a clock.

Research on exercise and testosterone indicates that it’s more than going through the motions of weightlifting. What seems to optimally affect testosterone levels is to use the greatest volume of existing muscles to your maximum level of intensity within each exercise. That means using multiple muscle groups within each exercise to the point where your muscles fail – i.e., you cannot complete another repetition with acceptable form.

In a formula: Muscle mass x exercise intensity = maximum testosterone increase

This is about total muscle mass being involved. Since leg and back muscles are the largest muscles, that then suggests (actually, it’s proven; follow the links below) that exercising these areas will increase testosterone levels. Better, engage the core muscles and even the upper body along with the legs and back within a single exercise and your bloodstream with just be coursing with testosterone immediately following each set (yes, the increase is that immediate).

Here are a couple of key indicators of intense exercise: Did you experience absolute failure on your last rep (i.e., you could not lift the weights with proper form one more time), and are you panting for air? Because the mass of muscles being worked need oxygen, you need to breathe heavily in the moment.

Note that even simple cardiovascular exercise still has some beneficial effects on testosterone levels, and that can benefit brain function as well. A study conducted at Rockefeller University in New York and Tsukuba University in Japan found that male rats in a treadmill workout (kinda cute to think about, no?) experienced increases in testosterone that increased the number of brain cells.

Following are four example exercises. Note that anyone engaging in exercise for the first time should first consult a doctor, and would additionally benefit from working with a personal trainer so as to achieve good form. A trainer or training buddy would provide an additional safety factor, spotting you as you drive toward maximum intensity.


Exercises

Free weight squats and lunges. Dipping low then pressing up with the legs while carrying a load of weight engages several major leg muscles but also those in the torso. For proper form, see the YouTube link for “Proper Squat Form.”

Note that squat can cause significant injury to the back if performed incorrectly. For the beginner, try squatting with just your body weight, or a barbell with no weights to start. Work up your strength and confidence before attempting very heavy weights.

Cable or elastic band squat-presses.

A variation on the squat is to grasp cables or elastic bands in your hands which you press upward at the top (standing segment) of the squat. This engages the shoulder muscles along with those in the legs and core. Choose a level of resistance that has you fatiguing to failure after ten repetitions.

Row-flyes from a staggered standing position.

Stand with the legs staggered, i.e., one foot about 2-3 feet behind the other, toes on both feet pointed forward, with torso pitched forward (forming a straight line from your back ankle through your hips and to the shoulders). Hold dumbbells at your side, then raise the dumbbells to shoulder level. Pause the weights at the top, then slowly drop them down. To add a lot more to the exercise, hinge both legs down as you lower the weights, then hinge back up as your arms and shoulders raise the dumbbells. Repeat to failure.

Sprinting runs or high-resistance bike spins.

Yes, what we consider “cardio” work can increase testosterone also. These are the high-output sets, when you run or bike at maximum speed, better yet heading uphill or against a high-resistance setting on a trainer bike. Experienced runners and bikers call this interval training; indoor ride (“spin”) classes generally employ this drill. Go hard for ten, 15 or 20 seconds, at 100% effort, then slow to a moderate pace before you pick up that sprinting level of output again. Repeat the cycle between four and ten times.

A note on achieving “failure:” As mentioned, this is the state where you cannot lift another rep. If you are at rep 7 or 8 and aren’t near that, slow your pace dramatically to a ten second lift and ten second drop. This is also a sign you should increase the weight level on the next set.

An added benefit of high intensity training is that it can be accomplished in less time than other types of workouts. In fact, you advised to limit rest in between sets, perhaps packing your high intensity workout into as little as 30 or 45 minutes. For more on this, see the Hub page by this writer titled “Increase exercise intensity: add muscle, reduce body fat and improve overall health with no pills and no steroids.”

For ten additional exercises designed specifically for testosterone-building intensity, see Hub article, "Super-slow, high-intensity exercises to build strength, increase muscle size and raise testosterone levels" by this writer.

Nutrition – your testosterone is affected by what you eat

This might sound familiar. Eating a balanced diet of quality proteins, whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables enables good health in general. But some specific parts of this optimal diet also contribute to muscle growth. Here’s the skinny:

Go for zinc: Zinc is the mineral that aids in the natural production of testosterone. Foods that contain a lot it: oysters, red meat (beef, pork, lamb), chicken, turkey and other fowl (wild game is particularly good, but unless you live on a ranch in Wyoming that might be hard to finesse on a regular basis). Also, beans and dairy products contain zinc

Onions and garlic contain Allicin, which also contributes to increased testosterone. It is generally believed that Allicin does not convert well in supplements, another case where the real food is a better idea.

Hale to cruciferous vegetables. Here’s the kicker: Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, bok choi, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, radishes, kohlrabi and rutabagas), long heralded for anti-cancer and other healthful properties, are testosterone boosters as well. The link on “Zinc-testosterone foods” below lists generic and commercially prepared foods in their relative levels of zinc content. Cabbage nets in with roughly six times the zinc content per calories consumed compared to a shank of beef.

You read that right. Real men eat cole slaw.

So smart and specific exercises and healthy foods prove again to be the best path to fitness – even, that elusive fountain of youth mankind has long searched for.

Bottom line: Go heavy at the gym, then go home and eat some cabbage.

Endnote: A few people have contacted me about the absolute and immediate benefits of pharmaceutical testosterone supplementation, how exercise and diet cannot possibly mimic the degree of results that come with hormone replacement therapy. I respond that of course it is not the same thing. Some people worry about pharmaceutical interventions and unintended adverse consequences (myself included). Other people do not. It all depends on the individual.

Russ Klettke is an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified fitness trainer and also the author of “A Guy’s Gotta Eat, the regular guy’s guide to eating smart” (Marlowe & Co., 2004, with Deanna Conte, MS RD LD), available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and more than 70 public library systems in the U.S., Canada and Europe. For more information on Russ Klettke, see www.RussKlettke.com, or on Twitter @RussKlettke.


Comments 124 comments

Susan Ng profile image

Susan Ng 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hmm... very interesting. :p I think it's safe to say that the testosterone levels of men are of great interest to their women. :-D

*rushes off to find cabbage for her man* Haha! :-D


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 8 years ago from Chicago Author

There is no end to different ways to exercise for all purposes, including to increase testosterone. Just think about using the legs, the core and the upper body in an activity – certain sports, such as wrestling, come to mind – to a strenuous degree to the point of exhaustion for the muscles involved, then repeating the activity with minimal (20 seconds?) rest between sets. Lifting a heavy object off the floor (firm the core, push up with legs, then lift the object over your head) repetitiously is another example.


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 8 years ago from Chicago Author

Here's an exercise I had a client perform just last evening, then I did it myself afterward: It's called a frog hop, and it looks a lot like the name suggests. With a dumbbell in each hand (5#? 15#? You decide what you can handle), feet spread as wide as your shoulders, squat down then jump forward 2-3 feet. Continue down a path where you do 10-20 hops. The exhaustion you'll experience and your high respiration rate is an indicator of intensity. Repeat 3-4 times with no more than 30 seconds rest in between.


topstuff profile image

topstuff 8 years ago

The formula is very exact.Can exercising moods interfere with the production of testosterone?thanks


Ripped 8 years ago

Take the pills man.


Life's Good profile image

Life's Good 8 years ago from Australia

Dear Russ,

I found your hub tonight! Perfect since I just started a new hub recently about bald men and testosterone (after hearing 2 men talk on the train). Using natural rather than supplements, steriods etc is brilliant! I heard about squats before. It is a great exercise but not easy. Legs hurt...

You mentioned testosterone for women. I find that after 40, women have problem losing weight around the stomach. Your hub mentioned something about increasing testosterone to reduce belly fat. But won't that have a side effect such as more hair growth say on face? hair on chest? hope not. Not sure what other side effect would be. Don't fancy a deep voice.

Would be great if you could write a hub on how to reduce belly fat for women! I'll stock up on zinc and cabbage for my man!

Thanks,

Ivonne (aka Life's Good)


Life's Good profile image

Life's Good 8 years ago from Australia

Hi Russ,

Correction. I started Squidoo lens, http://www.squidoo.com/baldguyscanhavefuntoo I shall put your link there. Have a look. I think it is funny!

I have put your hub link in my Body Building Success hub. Keep up the good work!

Thanks, Ivonne


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 8 years ago from Chicago Author

In response to Topstuff, I find nothing in the literature regarding the effect of mood during exercise on the production of testosterone. A lot is known, however, about the effect of exercise on mood in that it generally improves mood with the release of endorphins past a certain level of intensity; most people who run or lift weights vigorously experience this effect. Research DOES indicate that testosterone supplementation in elderly men positively affects mood; while this effect is not studied relative to natural methods (exercise, diet) prescribed in this hub article, it seems logical to expect a similar result (although, that may be difficult to discern from the endorphin effect -- either way, exercise should make your mood improve).


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 8 years ago from Chicago Author

Thanks for your comments, Life's Good (Ivonne). Women need testosterone in proper balance against their naturally-occurring estrogen. Certainly, the masculinization effects are observed in certain athletes (including some female bodybuilders I've observed in gyms), however one suspects that may be due to supplementation or steroid use. At least one study on DHEA supplementation at the Mayo Clinic (Nair, Rizza et al.) found a slight increase in fat-free mass for men and bone mass density for women. Read my other hubs and you'll see how natural methods (diet, exercise) generally have a greater physiological effect than any form of supplementation.


Rhym O'Reison profile image

Rhym O'Reison 8 years ago from Crowley, Tx

Really nice information. I will use it to get my husband to exercise more, to the benefit of us both. And who knew cabbage was lousy with zinc? Thanks.


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 8 years ago from Chicago Author

Rhym, I've had a few discussions about this with guys at my gym. One guy in particular went on a "get back into shape" tear a few months ago with the birth of his second child. He lost about 40 pounds and now is in fighting shape. He told me his wife said "what's UP with you lately, you're just like when we were dating!" (i.e., he had a high libido). Simple anedotal evidence of what the research tells us.


Decrescendo 8 years ago

Getting into shape is so tough


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 8 years ago from Chicago Author

Decrescendo, you have to find a way to enjoy being in the moment when you're exercising. First, don't think of a gym or health club as the only way to exercise. Read my hub on exercising with your dog, if you have one. Consider also the person you want to be: look around at people you know and ask yourself whose physical state you would prefer to have yourself. Then, approach it from another perspective, asking where your goals fit into your overall priorities. Finally, consider how what you eat has a significant impact on body weight and overall wellness (my book, "A Guy's Gotta Eat," addresses that part of the equation).


Matt Maresca profile image

Matt Maresca 8 years ago from New Jersey

Nice hub. Free weight squats and deadlifts are huge exercises for this reason and so many more.


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 8 years ago from Chicago Author

You bet, Matt. But chiropractors and physical therapists keep busy with people who do them wrong. Get the form right, start light and work up to heavier weights (you probably are there, but for the beginner it's the smart approach).


jeffba 8 years ago

Great HUB, I know I need more testosterone but doing squats is impossible for me.(knee's hurt bad) I guess that goes along with getting older and loosing testosterone.


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 8 years ago from Chicago Author

I'm not your doctor so I can't comment on the knees. But often, you can address a weakness by starting very light -- in your case, squatting with just your body weight or even assisting by using your arms to help with the lift (for example, squat between two tables or chairs and push up with the arms/shoulders). You might find that you'll get stronger in the legs, enough so that the stress on the joints is less -- but again, seek advice from a professional.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Russ, I couldn't agree more. I turned 51 last April and still feel the best I ever have, and run circles around teenagers. I've been working-out - both strength and cardio - since I was a teenager. I can't imagine NOT doing it. It's just basic common sense.


Mark Pearson profile image

Mark Pearson 8 years ago from UK

HI, Russ, excellent hub. I am 42 now and have been working out with weights since I was a teenager. Whenever I have had a significant break from the gym it is not long before I just don't "feel" so fit. Cardio work is good, but if I have to make a choice I will do the strength work first.


Enam 8 years ago

Dear Russ,

Thanks for such nice and benefitting hub. I want to inform you that knowing like this I had eaten, for one month every day, two/three times some raw onions,garlics and ginger but found no sing of result. Could you pls help us knowing how we can increase libido, sexual sensations and duration of inter-course?

Raj


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 8 years ago from Chicago Author

Raj, dude, even if you did get a noticeable uptick in libido you might have trouble finding a partner if you have onion and garlic breath. The science is thin on connecting specific foods with specific results; we just know that certain foods mitigate the negative effects of estrogen or increase testosterone production. Just try some simple exercises: slow, deep squats (first with no weight, then add weight as you get better at it), slow push ups (keep a straight back and legs), and lifting with the back muscles. Even ten minutes of these exercises beat no exercise at all. There's a mental effect here as well -- when you feel stronger, you will have greater confidence, and that might well improve your libido as well.


Jimsheerin111 7 years ago

I have type 2 diabetes and just in the past few weeks found i had VERY low testosterone. I am 30, and my level is 240. My doctor has done this test and that test to get to the heart of the matter. I have been on phentermine 4 months and lost 40lbs and plenty of fat and thickness. I want to run, play basketball etc, but i DO NOT have the energy, my legs feel like they are cement and it just doesnt happen. I'm good in the gym but i'm always sore, tired and just worn out after a work out and it's all related. I'm looking into HGH, Somatrophin HGC, DHEA, ZMA, Androgel, and whatever else i can talk to the doctor about. I'm anxious to just be normal again and be able to sleep, move around without wanting to fall asleep etc....any good suggestions? Jimsheerin @ aol


Jimsheerin111 7 years ago

I have type 2 diabetes and just in the past few weeks found i had VERY low testosterone. I am 30, and my level is 240. My doctor has done this test and that test to get to the heart of the matter. I have been on phentermine 4 months and lost 40lbs and plenty of fat and thickness. I want to run, play basketball etc, but i DO NOT have the energy, my legs feel like they are cement and it just doesn't happen. I'm good in the gym but i'm always sore, tired and just worn out after a work out and it's all related. I'm looking into HGH, Somatrophin HGC, DHEA, ZMA, Androgel, and whatever else i can talk to the doctor about. I'm anxious to just be normal again and be able to sleep, move around without wanting to fall asleep etc....any good suggestions? Jimsheerin @ aol


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Jim, I am in no way qualified to suggest anything in a complicated scenario such as you describe. I did interview a registered dietitian a few months ago who indicated that testosterone patches do have a positive effect, but that he worries about long term dependency on them (and some people ultimately do need them the rest of their lives, particularly if they abused anabolic steroids that more or less said to their testes: "we'll handle the T production here, so you can shut down for good."). The best I can suggest is to think of exercise in terms of "snacks" -- do a little here, a little there, say taking a stairway instead of an elevator at work, or during lunch due simple squats with just your body weight. The fatigue might well be related to other medications you are on or your general condition, in which case introducing something gradually won't wipe you out.


gorge 7 years ago

Thank you.Very well explained and an informative hub Russ.


Fred 7 years ago

I had my T level checked and wa told it was 264. I am 46 years old. Is this low for my age?


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Fred, a guy your age, according to an article on WebMD, should register between 394 to 818 ng/dL. So get to work on those squats and lunges, and eat some cabbage!


Fred 7 years ago

I have an appointment April 7th with a urologist. I must admit I am a bit nervous about the visit. I will mention about the alternatives and get his opinion.


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Fred, I wish you the best of luck – professional medical advice is your best, smartest course. But if he (she?) suggests supplementation, be sure to ask also about natural approaches (diet and exercise). I am a fitness trainer and one client came to me at age 53 with high cholesterol and high triglycerides and was told to go on statin drugs by his doc; after six months of relatively intense (5-7 days per week, take no prisoners-style) exercise, his levels normalized without medications – and without side effects other than being buffer and having greater energy. Try exercise, it really is nature's way of restoring youth in many situations.


Fred 7 years ago

Russ your feed back is greatly appreciated. I have been working out for the last six months. I am 5'11 and my cuurent weight dropped from 275 to 258. I feel the diifference. My gut feeling is my doctor will recommend some form of treatment. Perhaps Andogel. I prefer to naturally increase my Ts.


ollie 7 years ago

this is very good info espec in a day n age where knoledge is power thanks 4 the advice.


Specificity profile image

Specificity 7 years ago from EAU CLAIRE, WI

Great hub!  My test levels have always been on the low side (my doc calls it hypotestosterone) and I have been prescribed both topical and injectable testosterone.  I'm going to do a 9-month experiment off the prescription stuff and concentrate on strength training and getting back to aggressive sports like boxing.

My doctor has given this program his blessing and has ordered some regular labs to monitor the results.  Your hub provided some good info for this plan.  Thanks!


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Specificity – So good to hear this from you. I think we live in a world where the quick fix is the most prescribed, but often the unintended consequences are unknown. You're taking an important and probably very smart first step -- good luck, and read up more on training intensity (I have a couple articles on that topic here, but just Google "training intensity" and I bet you'll find a lot of other ideas).


ambreen tariq 7 years ago

oh that one is boyish hub,,what about females,,any tips or suggestions for female to improve their libido and hormone level. but plz only natural way


Adie 7 years ago

Just read your articles on exercise & testosterone & was thinking how to structure a workout ? Total body w,out every other day, Upper body day 1 lower body day 2.

What would you recommend Russ ?


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Adie, there are countless ways to structure a workout, but a rule of thumb that can guide you is a muscle needs about 48 hours of rest to recover. So whatever you work on Day 1, wait until Day 3 to work that again. That should be no problem, as there are hundreds of muscles to work in the body. Work a lot of them, over many days, to intensity, changing your exercises (path of motion, range of motion) frequently to work muscles in different ways. Never allow yourself to get in a rut.


Martin V 6 years ago

very interesting article.


Katherine 6 years ago

Hello, I'm searching for diet related blogs like mine http://www.chiefdietician.com and I stumbled your site, nice blog!. I hope you could also include me in your blogroll.

By the way, you have a very good writing skills here. Keep up the good work.


iSportech 6 years ago

Thanks for the hub

I've also got a Video helping study how to:

Lower body: Pulsing lunges..

http://isportech.com/lunge-with-dumbbells/

I Hope you like it


Mr.dietplan 6 years ago

Someone suggests me that eating a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet can cramp your testosterone levels too. Thanks for great hub


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Too much of anything generally can go very wrong. If you're stressing your kidneys, for example, with too much protein your body may be mustering all its resources to correct for that problem, hence testosterone production might flag. Balance! Only serious bodybuilders and athletes need quite so much protein -- if testosterone is your concern, be sure to include lots of the vegetables mentioned above (beans, onions/garlic, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.).


edguider profile image

edguider 6 years ago

Good tips, going to include as much vegetables as possible in my diet :)


Peter 6 years ago

Lots of crap.

I used to run 120k's a week just few years back. Now I'm 55 and I tell you; you can eat all your broccolies and do exercises.

Science is science. You will find out sooner or later.

It doesn't help my 'knees' are perfect and I can still jump like a gorilla.

It is easy for thirty year's old person to speculate. When I was his age I would do same.

Though, without the help of 'science' I can have daily sex; the quality is not same. It is better to live 20 years less but having quality life.

You will never achieve that without using latest technology.

Onions won't do it for you.

No ginger, no herbs, no exercise.

The point is - you will find it out on your own when your time comes. You will be begging for that testosterone patch. Or; you choose to become an old grumpy man.

All depending what you prefer in your life.

My few cents


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Peter, you're certainly allowed your opinion (and I'll refrain from calling it "crap"). If you choose to cut short your life by 20 years for the boost you claim from HRT/testosterone supplementation, that is your choice (and I won't even go so far as to say this is what will happen). But there are a lot of us who accept that time is what it is, that a slow degeneration is simply the way things work. No less imminent a scientist than Harvard-trained Andrew Weil, MD writes extensively on this point. I too am in my 50s and I don't need to supplement to get many of the same effects you claim – I get what I have through hard work and a smart diet. The science there is clear, tested over many years and thousands of studies.

Your point is somewhat like what I've heard smokers and others who knowingly engage in unhealthy activities in that they say "so what, I don't care if I die young because who wants to be old?" Unfortunately, it's not quite so neat. There are people as young as their 40s, 50s and 60s who have limited lives because of chronic conditions developed through lifestyle choices (drinking, smoking, overeating). They're not dead, they just have to live with restricted vitality and health. I hope to instead be that 92 year old guy still competing in the Chicago Triathlon (year 2050).


David 6 years ago

Hey Russ, great info!


David 6 years ago

May I ask, is it odd to try to boost T levels as a teenager when it already comes naturally? I'm only 16 but I would like to be a little more manly. I watch 300, lift weights, and eat a pretty balanced diet, but I would still like to burn the little tiny amounts of fat covering my 6-pack. I want to look like a Spartan! Thanks for helping me out!


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 6 years ago from Chicago Author

David, the answers are no, no and no. Your natural T levels are at their peak now. It would be crazy for anyone your age to do anything to upset the natural endocrine system – your body isn't fully grown for another ten years. Focus instead on the work required to achieve your goals. (Something tells me you're not being serious about this anyway.)


David 6 years ago

Actually I am very serious about this. I play soccer and our team was close to going to the state tournament this year. Anyways, on a more serious note than the Spartan thing, I lift 3-5 days a week, run occasionally, and eat a pretty balanced diet for my age. Oatmeal and craisins for breakfast, milk, fruit. Then for lunch, a sandwich, sometimes tuna or chicken with lots of water and fruits or vegetables. Dinner is about the same quality, but with a decent serving of meat usually. I guess what I really meant to ask you before is, will I see any difference if I take Zinc supplements, eat broccoli and cabbage, and throw peanuts in with lunch? I know they are at their peak supposedly, but they are definitely not maxed out. I'm sorry that you got the impression that I was kidding, but would doing such natural things truly upset my endocrine system? I just want to be the best I can be in my sport, and I wouldn't ever do anything that would mess me up in the long-run. Thanks for responding by the way!


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Your diet sounds great, David, and your workout schedule sounds pretty balanced, too. Zinc supplementation is recommended mostly by companies that sell supplements; interestingly, if you get your zinc in disproportion to copper, iron and magnesium, you can experience ill effects. I suggest you instead try to get more zinc through good food sources, including seafood and beans. The thing about whole foods is they probably have other nutrients in them that naturally complement the thing you want. Research on lycopene (in tomatoes and other red foods) and beta carotene (carrots and other orange foods) shows that in isolation those nutrients aren't as beneficial as when consumed in the original, whole food product.

Good luck with the soccer schedule. It's a great sport. My sport is triathlon -- you might find that more interesting when you aren't in soccer anymore (if ever), in part because it's a mix of activities that are less likely to cause injury.

(And sorry I suggested you weren't being serious -- I guess it's true that kids your age are thinking about supplementation. There's certainly been plenty of press coverage of on use of steroids and creatine in high school and now I see on 60 Minutes that college students are taking Adderal for better mental focus.)


David 6 years ago

I completely agree with everything you said about whole foods being the way to go. The problem with trying to eat well during our teenage years without supplements is that we find ourselves eating at strange times (I'm up at 5 in the morning on weekdays and up as late as 3 a.m. over the weekend), on a limited budget, and with little experience cooking. I would surely buy and prepare seafood more often if I could, but it almost becomes a rarity as the convenience of boxed foods trumps the healthiness of a fresh-cooked meal.

I'm sure I will have some future in triathlon when soccer no longer is suitable for me. Soccer is very hard on you.

It is very true that our generation relies too heavily on supplementation. I work out with the football guys three days a week, and it's basically a law that you must take Creatine. I don't believe in Creatine because it hasn't been tested for long enough and it's just not necessary. A lot of younger people have yet to learn that no matter what they take, their success still comes down to how hard they work.


Matthew Adams 6 years ago

What about an exercise program such as p90X?


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Russ Klettke 6 years ago from Chicago Author

P90X is very good at this, pushing the strenuousness level across a broad range of muscle groups.


homamu 6 years ago

These are great insructions! I am in my 40's and have noticed a dip in my sexual desire and sustenance levels.

I had hernia surgery and want to know what exercises I can start to push large muscle masses into tesosterone production. I think I eat relatively "healthy" cookin 50% of my meals comprised of eggs, sardines, frozen fish, kim-chee, japanese radish (daikon), celery, asparagus (can't get enough), white rice, whole grain bread, non-dairy cheese, bananas, stone fruit, prunes.....and daily vitamin/mineral supplement. As you can see, I have half the routine down, but need to know what exercises I can do while still recovering from inguinalk hernia surgery for the next 2-3 months.

Much appreciated.


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Russ Klettke 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Homamu, I am not qualified to recommend anything to anyone who is dealing with a specific injury, such as you describe. Your physician should refer you to a specialist, such as a physical therapist, who can more specifically address your question with access to your medical records (such as MRIs). It's the larger muscles groups that stimulate the most T, which includes leg and back muscles, but overall intensity is best achieved with engagement of as many muscles throughout the body as possible. Good luck -- it sounds like you are giving this a good effort.


curious 6 years ago

Nice article. However I have a question : doesn't increased testosterone (whether natural or artificial) increase the risk of cancer, particularly prostate cancer ? After all, testosterone hormone reduction therapy is part of cure for prostate cancer, isn't it ? Appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 6 years ago from Chicago Author

I've not seen anything definitive on that, but interventions in the natural balance of things have a history of incurring unintended and often adverse consequences. With estrogen therapy in women, this was clearly proven to be the case. It's important to consider. If you have a strong family history of cancer (I do), it's further reason to worry because you may already have a genetic predisposition that could be triggered by a behavioral or environmental factor such as T therapy. I worry far less about increasing T levels through healthy exercise and diet.


curious 6 years ago

Russ, thanks for the immediate reply. appreciate it. I see your point. Yes, we both agree that artificial hormone boosting is likely to up the risk of cancer.

But I am having fears about naturally boosting testosterone as well. Here is an interesting study that showed that men with higher sex drive (higher hormones) have increased risk of prostate cancer.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7850666.stm

I do hope that naturally increasing testosterone via better diet, exercise, particularly strength training is all good with no ugly side effects. I pray that the increased levels of testosterone thus created doesn't go around causing cancer. One never knows.

Perhaps it is best if we enjoy life before 40, and then drop dead by 50, like they used to, in the old days. Oh well.


curious 6 years ago

Russ, another question : When is it too late to start working out, particularly strength/endurance training ? I am 41 now and have never really worked out. When I was 25, I started the Cybex machines with light weights with lots of reps, but did it only for a month or so, then got lazy and quit. Later, in my early thirties I used to jog more or less regularly for about 25 mins or so. Thats it. Is it too late to do strength training now ? I guess I can always restart cardio.

I have been diagnosed with a 'nodule' (hard right base) in the prostate. dont know what it is. My PSA score is 0.7 and PCA3 genetic biomarker test score is 20. Doctor has said no biopsy for now, we will check again in 6 months or so. Following Dean Ornish's diet, I have decided to totally cut off meat, diary, alcohol, coffee since the last three weeks. Eating lots of vegetables and fruits. definitely feel a loss of libido. Maybe I should take zinc supplements ? I dont know. I would really appreciate your feedback.


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Russ Klettke 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Curious, it's never too late. A study conducted out of Tufts University at least 15 years ago illustrated how people in their 90s are able to increase muscle mass and bone density with weight-bearing exercise, and I happened to work on another study at Northwestern University which found that exercise on older people can improve their ability to walk. So it's never too late. If you're starting back at some form of exercise, I suggest taking a few yoga classes (try once a week for ten weeks), just to limber you up and begin the strength-development process. If you're new to strength training, hire a trainer, take group classes or study up on YouTube or buy a DVD program (P90X is intense, but a lot of people swear by it).

As for the prostate situation, I'm not a medical doctor so I really can't advise you other than to say you need to get some protein with that new diet -- beans, fish, nuts, eggs and maybe red meat and or chicken once a week might be more balanced (there are many critics of the Ornish diet, but it beats hands down what 90 percent of Americans eat otherwise). I would hold off on any supplementation until you've spoken to your doctor about it -- sometimes if you supplement with something it creates an imbalance that is unhealthy.


curious 6 years ago

Thanks again, Russ for the detailed reply. Its interesting you bring up Yoga. Yoga is one of those things I properly learnt 20 years ago, that too in India. But I did not have the patience to stick with it and eventually gave up. I wish I had at least documented the detailed Yogic exercises I learnt, because that way I could at least restart it. But I didn't, so I guess I have to start from scratch. The problem with Yoga is that my mind would roam about a lot and I just could not concentrate during the yogic exercises.


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Russ Klettke 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Curious, I kinda know what you mean about the mind wandering. But talk to people who meditate (some do in yoga, others not) and that's part of the exercise actually. Is there a chance 20 years of maturation might keep you more focused?

On a related note, I wrote this piece on yoga and professional male athletes: http://www.hairloss.com/home/yoga-for-better-hair-...


curious 6 years ago

Thanks again Russ. Alas, in 20 years I gave grown older but not necessarily any wiser or gained much maturity. Sad but true. oh well... enjoyed the article on the pro atheletes taking up yoga. After all, at the highest level of professional sports, the battle is mostly mental.

Regarding your point about meat, are you sure ? There seems to be quite a bit of evidence about the benefits of plant only diet and prevention / delaying of various types of cancer. Not just Dean Ornish, but many others such as leading Columbia urologist Dr.Aaron Katz have similar advice. You can see his youtube videos. As much as I enjoy meat, I dont mind giving it up if needed. But I guess I have to carefully consider where to get those nutrients from.


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Russ Klettke 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Curious, no, I'm not sure about meat. If you can get what you need in protein and minerals from an all-vegetable diet, go for it. It takes some study and work, I think. Humans evolved with a moderate amount of meat (relative to modern western diets), and there certainly is too much consumption today. Personally, I eat red meat once every week or two weeks, and I enjoy it. But I eat a lot of fish-based meals, poultry and all-plant (beans) as well. Variety, balance and moderation.


Cal 6 years ago

You are really on top of this blog Russ. Keep up the good work man.


KGBKillerAbs.com profile image

KGBKillerAbs.com 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

Its indisputable. Get off of the couch guys. Snack on the veggies, be active everyday, and workout 2 -3 times per week.


Dale Michaels profile image

Dale Michaels 6 years ago from Guangzhou, China

If you're gonna get in to better shape, it's just as KGBKillerAbs said, "Get off the couch guys. In fact, let's all say, "Get off your big fat butts."

Your body was made to move and work, so work it, now!

Good article Russ and all those out of shape guys out there should not just read it, but DO IT!


Reader 6 years ago

Hello Russ,

very good information, thanks

I have been working out for over 20 years now, and always trying to break the plateau to gain more muscle mass,I tried the Zinc supplement before bedtime and it made a difference. Just wondering on the cabbage thing !

actually there is a trace of Zinc in cabbage but nothing major ( 1% of daily intake in 70grams)

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and...

Is there a specific type of cabbage to eat ?


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Reader, when you tried the zinc supplements, what effect did you see?

I don't know of any differences between different types of cabbage. But I only know of two cabbage varieties, white and red, and yet I'm pretty sure there are others that aren't mass marketed. Interesting question.


JC 5 years ago

Russ, thanks so much for your information. I am a 40-year-old woman trying to improve my testosterone level (my recent blood test shows it's low). Any exercise routines that you'd recommend me to do?! Currently, my regular exercise is just walking.

Thanks in advance for your help!!


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 5 years ago from Chicago Author

JC, I honestly know nothing about how it works for women -- it might just be the same as for men, but you really need to speak with an endocrinologist about that. If you happen to know any female bodybuilders, they probably have ideas as well (but as you should see, I would dissuade you from supplementing, which some women in bodybuilding do).


dawnM profile image

dawnM 5 years ago from Camarillo, CA

Russ, this is a wonderful article and I am going to present it to my male clients to read, because so much of a man’s sex drive has to do with being healthy especially after the age of thirty. When they get married and are in jobs that are stressful, they stop exercising and eating healthy and then they get large in the middle and depressed. The worst is when they get depressed and then on anti-depression medication, because that really reduces a man ability to climax. Great information!!!


Natalie Bonanski 5 years ago

Very informative article about increasing testosterone levels.. most people tie testosterone with sexual appetite and performance, so this article can help men suffering from ED in hopefully helping with their problems.


jeremy spedgcoff 5 years ago

Great info


Eric 5 years ago

Yeah this is very interesting and helpful information. Most people tend to think low testosterone levels occur only in "older" men in their 40's and beyond but this isn't really true. Being “young” doesn’t by default mean your testosterone levels are going to be high. You can take a group of 20 young people between the ages of say 20-30 and their testosterone levels will vary greatly. 10 of them might have average T levels of around 600; 5 might have levels over 1000 and the rest may be in the lower zone of 400 and lower.

There have been many studies which have proven that higher T levels help to increase athletic performance so those 20-30 year olds with “average / lower” testosterone levels could definitely benefit from higher testosterone. The point is that everyone should have their testosterone levels check not just middle aged people. It’s true that a persons natural testosterone levels are at their highest in their 20’s but that doesn’t mean everybody in their 20’s has high testosterone.

Don’t just “assume” your “T” level is not the issue because you happen to be of a certain age but get it tested to be sure it’s not what is holding you back from excelling. Personally my testosterone levels were always very high up until the past year or so when a medical issue led to 6 back to back abdominal surgeries which led to opiate dependence. Prescription opiate pain killers like oxycontin, dilaudid, morphine, etc tank your testosterone level so beware.

For the past year I’ve been on this drug called “suboxone” for opiate dependence. It’s also actually a “partial” opiate but doesn’t get you high like a full blown opiate. The drug is a life saver but unfortunately it also tanks your testosterone levels. My testosterone serum level use to be over 1200 and now it’s a pathetic 296 and I’m only 31 years old. When my testosterone was 1200 + I was in extremely good shape able to run a mile in 4:34, 3 miles in 16:24 and so on.

Now I don’t even want to get out of bed and have been watching myself waste away for the past 2 years. So yeah I’m definitely going to be getting supplemental testosterone replacement but I’m also going to try to increase it more naturally with exercise, etc. It’s so low now I need all the help I can it and I doubt anything I do “naturally” on my own will bring my T levels back up to 1200+.

I’d much rather live my life on my terms rather than worry about a very slight risk of disease and settle for something less than desirable.


Rickard Ingmarsson 5 years ago

Hey!

Very interesting and useful info with good advice on training, Russ.

I've read through all the comments and wonder about the advice on zinc in cabbage, Russ. I live in Sweden and can get a hold of a variety of cabbage in the winter.

Meat is clearly the main zink source, as you say. When you compare it to beef you say "per calorie". The problem is that cabbage only has 23 kcal per 100 grams wheras different cuts of beef have between 100 kcal (filé) and 191 kcal (four ribs/chuck ribs) per 100 grams. So, it seems you need to eat quite a bit of cabbage to get a good amount of zinc. I like munching on it, but a little cole slow after a workout probably won't do it for most. Cabbage is great for other reasons though but probably good to not focus on it and forget the meat and fish.

How about a smaller piece of organic beef, game or zinc rich fish or seafood and some steamed cabbage with some zink rich seed or nut oil drizzled over or a beef stew with cabbage?

Another important issue with zink is phytic acid. It's an issue with zinc and iron. "...the phytic acid molecule readily bind with other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, making them unavailable as well..." See the site: http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/1893-liv...

If you eat bread and still want to maximize zink and iron uptake, the advice seems to be to eat sour dough bread (not with sour dough added for flavor but slowly made with sour dough instead of regular yeast).

Best regards

Rickard Ingmarsson

physical therapist

Sweden


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Rickard:

You offer good, insightful comments on relative quantities of zinc sources, and I hadn't heard of the dynamic of phytic acid. Will look into that.

I think my main point with cabbage is that men tend to overdo it on meat – in America, the portions we serve tend to be excessive – while we are lacking in the vegetable side of the equation. The negative impact of saturated fats from animal proteins needs to be balanced by more fibrous vegetables, so my emphasis on cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc.) is about restoring that balance, understanding there is a T benefit in it.

BTW, I am also a big fan of sardines and herring. I suspect those are more commonly consumed in Sweden than they are here.


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Matt, seriously. Any supplement of any kind does not satisfy the idea of doing something "naturally." If you introduce a nutrient – man made or derived from nature – out of proportion to everything else going down your gullet, particularly if it is absent of focused exercise, it offers a serious opportunity to create imbalance. And does an oily, pimply face truly represent something a person wants and needs and which is good for them? Your comment misses the point of this discussion.


siddharth 5 years ago

hey

russ i just wanna ask u 1 thing that ---does pushups helps in gaining muscle mass i do 500 pushups daily i just gained a little bit mass but i dont think that is enough......................and wat do u think of increase in growth hormone after this 500 pushups routine


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 5 years ago from Chicago Author

You're wasting between 450 and 500 of those push ups. That's one exercise working one set of muscles. You probably maxed out most of the benefit after doing them for 2-3 weeks. You need to engage all 600 of your body's muscles in all kinds of ways, and to change the way you do it periodically if not every workout session. Go back and re-read the article. It is explained there. Major hint: Work your legs and back muscles, to a vigorous degree, as those large muscles will stimulate natural T production.


sagel 5 years ago

my testosterone level is so low that i cant remember when last i had morning erectn,i cant keep an erection for long n i just go limb immediately in the first few secs.how can u be of help,n what do i need to do n not do..am just in my mid 20.


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Sagel, I've interviewed doctors who say that erectile dysfunction at an early age (before 40) might be a sign of other health concerns. It might be testosterone, but it could be an indicator of cardiovascular health issues. See a doctor if you can.


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Yuan: Yours is an excellent blog on this subject. And it is important to note that T levels drop after 20 or more minutes following exercise. But does that necessarily imply that the pro-T effect is short-lived? Or is there a residual benefit, such as the general increase in muscle mass? And, my guess is the exercises that indicate a slight drop are more repetitive cardiovascular in nature (running, biking, swimming) than those that more pointedly stress the muscle to grow.


Yuan 5 years ago

thank you for quick look into my blog, I really appreciate it. I've never actually perform tests myself, but according to what i know, the more regular the exercise is the better to maintain the level of T in blood. As we know that testosterone is converted into estrogen in fat. Therefore any person with less fat of course benefit the most from exercise. Here I assume that muscle building is more beneficial in keeping the testosterone level high.

Nice to know you ^_^


Yuan 5 years ago

thank you for quick look into my blog, I really appreciate it. I've never actually perform tests myself, but according to what i know, the more regular the exercise is the better to maintain the level of T in blood. As we know that testosterone is converted into estrogen in fat. Therefore any person with less fat of course benefit the most from exercise. Here I assume that muscle building is more beneficial in keeping the testosterone level high.

Nice to know you ^_^


yuan 5 years ago

the basic of every exercise is to create a stressful condition in our own body. The amazing ability of our body to recover eventually will compensate any stressful condition by adapting into a better condition.

By stressing our muscles during exercises, and resting it, eventually our muscles will adapt(hypertrophy) and therefore become larger and stronger.

Testosterone is an excellent hormone that helps our body recover after stressful conditions. The T level drops 20 minutes after exercise is normal because testosterone is used to recover. Therefore we know that T is also used as a supplement to increase muscle mass faster.

When testosterone level is decreased, the body will automatically produce more T, if there are enough source/ precursor to produce it, and if the testosterone production mechanisms is working normally.

But be careful, over stressed exercise, or lack of recovery time, and not enough T precursor during exercise will even reduce T level.

So keep in mind in order to gain a positive gain of T level, we have to do balanced exercises also balanced diets,

if you have time please visit my blog for more articles

www.yuanadesukma.wordpress.com

best regards


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Screamshow, did you read the article? Relying on an artificial boost is certainly something lots of people do. This article is for the people who are wary of artificial supplementation. A natural approach is probably healthier in the long term -- in so many things.


Jessie Black 5 years ago

Great exercise hub! Love the information.


george.tee 5 years ago

After 37 visits for radiation treatment plus two years monthly estrogen inplant.To treat prostate cancer My body got massive muscle wastage.Mybody producing little testerone.My will to do things zero.Cant have testerone implant,might feed any dormant cancer cells.I do the smallest job and must sleep. Myage 78 which dont help.Am on high protien diate.Where do I go next.Do need help.


avesher 5 years ago

this blog is great, one of the few who tells it like it is and knows what he is talking about. I blew my test levels apart from steroid use and learned a hard lesson with horrible side effects. I am now concentrating on restoring my natural test levels (which are rock bottom) through nutrition, supplementation and exercise. I used to do steroids and eat fast food and drink 3 litres of diet coke a day and then I wonder why my body went into distress? Im following Russ' articles closely and look forward to a new healthy lifestyle.


Dave 4 years ago

Hey awesome blog Russ. How ever I am super curious I am 23 and was in great shape 2 years ago when I had 2 kidney stone in less than a year, after that I gained over 50 pounds in short amount of time. I also realize your pushing the natural way to build testosterone so I am low on funds to buy things that don't work. If I started a jump start with iron and zinc vitamins from walmart. Then moved to the natural route. Also I dont like Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower how do I make them taste good? Also I should say I give plasma twice a week does that make a difference in boosting testosterone? I am just full of question because I lack the knowledge and experience and wish to change my families life.


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Dave, I do not know the consequences of donating plasma. But it's an interesting question. There is a bit I can offer on making foods taste better. First, think out of the box. If you like chili flakes or sauce, that's a quick route to at least changing the taste. But consider this: we typically learn to like foods through transference, eating those foods in combination with something we know and like – example might be to steam a vegetable, then mix it with grated cheese. The cheese adds fat, to be sure, but also protein and calcium and if it gets you to eat broccoli, great. Try adding lemon juice too.


jayantha 4 years ago

I am 54 male.What is the Androgen hormon. If less hormon what happen. this dayas I am felling Not active,not intersting, all ways getting feeling sleep. not intersting to reading, writing. I was gymnastict player youn agebut now I am not intersting do any exercerice . Please advice.

Jayantha

SRI LANKA


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Jayantha, your story is not unusual, particularly for someone your age. Psychological factors -- motivation -- can be a barrier until you rediscover what it feels like to exercise. I suggest you start out slow (e.g., take a long walk) and find new ways to get physical exertion. To try to revisit exactly what you did in gymnastics might become self defeating.


dannysport101 4 years ago

hi Russ

i' am coming to the end of my level 3 personal training course with just my test to take, fingers crossed. I have been reading a few of your comments back to your fans and have found them very intresting. i' am almost 25 and have workout since i have been 16, to tell you the truth my body type is ectomorph and i have a slim build but i work very hard in the gym to build muscle, some people would love to have my body and i regularly get asked how i have got like this but i still want to become better and steroids have been "playing on my mined" these past few months? i dont want to take them but for my body type i feel i may have to, would a months trail run really effect my bodies state in the long run do you know?

many thanks

danny


kxdorey profile image

kxdorey 4 years ago from Beverly Hills, California, USA

Russ, very useful post. I really like the idea of doing it naturally, especially for today's young athletes.


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Russ Klettke 4 years ago from Chicago Author

KXDorey, you probably agree with me that messing with the hormonal system can have many unintended and adverse consequences.

Dannysport101, I hope you can instead of working with steroids learn to appreciate your natural physique and how it is probably the healthiest build for you. When I'm in California or Miami Beach I observe a cultural predisposition to exaggeration in body types (women with Barbie doll bodies, men who are pumped up like action dolls). I feel a little sorry for them, because they seem to be chasing an idea that is difficult to support over time. Meanwhile, they are diminishing their own health. Oftentimes at middle age, people who cannot keep up that type of physique give up because the side effects make it harder to be healthy.


Men 4 years ago

Yeah! i have experienced it with my personalty . Gr8 hub.

http://www.samplequestionnaire.com/obesity-questio...


smith 4 years ago

Great hub. The natural way is always the best way.


RB 4 years ago

Hello, I am 40 yr old and never into sports or exercise. But I am lean and right weight,rarely visited a doctor. Recently I got my testosterone tested and found to be 112 ( In fact gone for infertility problem). Doctor says testis is not producing enough might not be working to their full strength. I do have constant muscle pains as well from last 4 - 5 years on and off. Does exercise and diet help my case in increasing testo?


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 4 years ago from Chicago Author

It is possible to be both lean and unhealthy for a variety of reasons. My recommendation is that you begin to exercise, just a little (3x/week -- see some of my other Hubs on exercise for ideas on how to do it without a gym). It can only help.


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Russ Klettke 4 years ago from Chicago Author

See my most recent comment.


shahid 4 years ago

russ pl tell cabgage and other vegitables consumed in raw or coocked are as goood as raw. secondly organ growth and appearance can be improved in the age of thirtees after improvement of testostone level.


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Russ Klettke 4 years ago from Chicago Author

The advocates of raw food will largely argue that there is greater nutrient retention with minimal or no cooking (up to 104 degrees F). I wrote an article on raw foods here: http://www.realjock.com/article/1486/

I don't believe there is a method for "organ growth" that works. But it's not my area of expertise – my understanding is it is unrelated to testosterone levels.


Azhar 4 years ago

How long I should try to do weight training to increase my testosterone


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 4 years ago from Chicago Author

It happens in the moment you engage in a single, intensive exercise. However, long-term building of T levels (T levels go up and down during every day) requires building muscle that stays -- which you can do in a month of consistent exercise, but better three months and continuing on from there. I've been lifting (pushing, pulling, throwing, jumping, etc.) for 26 years and I still find new ways to do it.


Azhar 4 years ago

How about building muscles if you have low FSH and hence testo ( around 300 for 35 yrs)? Will you be able to build muscle if you have low testo? are not you in viscious cycle?


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Russ Klettke 4 years ago from Chicago Author

I had to Google what FSH was (I'm a writer, not a scientist). It appears to be something beyond what exercise can address, but you can decide for yourself and should talk to your doctor. Here's what I found: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/118810-overv...


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louromano 4 years ago

I read all point of your exercise. It very helpful for me. itness through exercise continues to get endorsement from scientific research for its beneficial effects on health. But concern for appearance – especially as summer and summer events and clothing approach – is another great motivator.


larry 4 years ago

I am a 49 year old male that has had problems with my back because of work and the last few years have not had really no work out and have just been around the house. What can I do to gain muscle and Testosterone so I can get back to work and live and feel better?


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Russ Klettke 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Larry, you need to talk to your doctor about this but back pain is very common. What's less common but effective for many people is to learn how to use stretching to address back pain. If you sit at your job, are sedentary in your off time or just spend a lot of time in a car, your body is in an unnatural position for many hours of the day. Stretching will correct for that. My own article here on Hub Pages talks about ways to do that: http://hubpages.com/health/Stretching_exercises_to...


Gregorious profile image

Gregorious 4 years ago

Great hub, Russ. I used to have back pains, because I work behind a computer. Since I started exercising regularly I don’t have those problems anymore.

A few weeks ago I decided to build my muscle mass and soon discovered that diet is essential. You just can’t build muscle without proper diet. I’ve changed my diet, increased protein intake and I can tell you, the results are already showing. I guess my testosterone levels are higher too, because I feel like a teenager.


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Russ Klettke 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Keep up the good work, Gregorious. Humans evolved to be active -- modern lifestyles largely contribute to atrophy of the body. Those occasional pulled or sore muscles usually can be coaxed back to health with light stretching, massage, ice and perhaps an anti-inflammatory. As for protein intake, I covered much of that in my book (A Guy's Gotta Eat, the regular guy's guide to eating smart," available where books are sold).


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I seriously enjoyed this hub and think that it is an answer to my prayers about a stimulus I need to change my wife. After seven kids in a fast ten years and other health complications I have worn myself out.

In the last 2 years I have lost my ability to do anything athletic and every level of anything has decreased. I thought it could be low testosterone and went searching the web today. Low and behold your article pops up!

I was surprised that your article popped up first, a fellow hubber! I am going to take your suggestion make a change. I am also going to talk to my doctor about the possibility of low testosterone and getting some tests.


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fiftyish 4 years ago from UK & South East Asian Region

Hi Russ

I think the world's gone mad sometimes. Why everyone is so anti lifestyle change and looking for short-cuts to health and wellbeing is beyond me. Armchair dieting (although not here yet), is still the dream of many, and exercise? Well, it's almost become a forbidden word!

Eating less + moving more = health & happiness. We look better, feel healthier and have more zest for life, yet still folks are looking for a pharmaceutical solution to their problems.

I can't believe the noise out there that's going on right now about testosterone replacement, and I feel that it is just one more bone-idle approach to getting something for little or no effort.

Sure, there are definitely some blokes that could benefit from this, but they're not what this rant is about. Like the Viagra phenomenon, I feel many men are going to take HRT whether they need it or not, and without consultation.

The slower we move, the faster we die, so although pills, patches, gels, or whatever else, might tidy up the outside, if we fail to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, while we're able, then all this other stuff is just wishful thinking?

Potential side effects? That won't put anyone off if they think the gamble is worth is. Look at junk food and smoking. More health warnings on those than you can shake a sh.tty stick at, yet still they are mostly ignored.

Rant over ;-)

Andy Aitch


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Russ Klettke 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Andy, I couldn't have said it better (as much as I try).


MARK 4 years ago

ONE QUESTION; I LIFT WEIGHTS ALOT AND EAT THE FOODS YOU PRESCRIBED BUT I AM NOTICING AS I AGE THAT MY MUSCLES SEEM TO LOSE THE PUNCH. I MEAN I AM NOT ABLE TO LIFT AS MUCH WEIGHT AS I USED TO EVEN WITH USING CORRECT WEIGHTLIFTING EXERCISES. MY MASS IS DECREASING. WHAT I MEAN IS THAT I FEEL LIKE MY BODY IS AGING AND IT IS BECOMING IMPOSSIBLE TO MAINTAIN MY MUSCLE MASS.


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Russ Klettke 4 years ago from Chicago Author

How much variety is in your workout, Mark? You absolutely must challenge your body to move in new planes and work out at varying intensities to achieve growth. The human body has 600-some odd muscles, so there is a lot of opportunity to work new areas. Look up articles on "muscle confusion," take classes (even yoga) to learn new things and consider the body of the dancer: Few sports or art forms require such variety of movement as dance. They and acrobats are also some of the fittest people on earth -- because of variety in movement and, of course, a professional adherence to schedule.


David Pearl 4 years ago

I have VERY LOW testosterone and very high prolactin--leading my MD to think I may have a pituitary tumor--will be getting an MRI soon--anyone else in the same boat ?


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Andy, we are on the same team on all of this. At age 54, I'm competing tomorrow morning in an International distance triathlon (my 53rd lifetime race, running about two such events every year since 1987). No pills, not even supplements -- I eat peanut butter sandwiches pre-race and grapes during the race, then a nice big omelet afterwards. After the season is over, I concentrate more on strength training. It works!


SoundNFury profile image

SoundNFury 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Thank you for the info, in particular about foods to look for. I love cabbage, so eating more of it won't be a problem!


needforhealth.wordpress.com 3 years ago

A great historical hub and very informative too . your informations are beneficial to every person . Thanks for sharing .


Dr Ray Woods 3 years ago

Great information!!It will help people to increase their testosterone level very easily.It shows a simple way to do it.Thanks for sharing!


testosteroneguide profile image

testosteroneguide 2 years ago from Kokkola, Finland

I almost fell down on my chair when i stumbled on to this list of 100 natural ways to boost testosterone, do check it out man! http://anabolicmen.com/100-ways-to-increase-testos...


Adam Harris 23 months ago

Nice article providing insight to the side effectts of taking over the counter prescription testosterone. It may surprise many but testosterone is now being cited as major factor in women's health also. If you want to know more about testosterone in women check out this site :

http://www.testosteroneinwomenhq.com

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    Proper squat form

    Cardio intensity (alt: use high incline on a treadmill)

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