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Which Exercises Are Best For Increasing Testosterone Production

May 16, 2020


Testosterone is an important sex hormone in the body primarily secreted by the gonadal organs. It is an essential hormone for fat free or muscle mass, bone density, energy levels, libido, and even red blood cell production. Similar to many body systems, testosterone production begins to decline around age 30 with the rate of decline dependent on many individual and environmental factors. Importantly, this decline is modifiable through sleep, diet, and importantly exercise. Weight training remains one of the best ways to sustain and improve testosterone levels and its’ beneficial impact on the body. A recent article compared two different forms on resistance training on testosterone production.

Schwanbeck and colleagues in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined the effect of a 8 week strength training program on participants’ strength, muscle mass, and testosterone levels (2020). Participants were randomized to either a free weight or machine based strength training program. Each participant trained major muscle groups 2-3 days/week using 3-4 sets of 4-10 repetitions. As expected authors found no difference in strength or muscle mass gains between groups. (A side note: progressively push and pull heavy things based on your ability and comfort level, free weights are not required for optimal strength gains). Conversely, although increased in both groups, males using free weights demonstrated greater increases in free testosterone compared to their machine weight training peers.

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