`If you want to build muscle mass as quickly as possible, one of the key hormones that you will want to make sure you are aware of is testosterone.
Testosterone is the primary muscle-building hormone in the body and what will determine the level of success that you have on a day-to-day basis with your workout program.
Men who have naturally high levels of testosterone are going to see fast workout success while those who have naturally low levels, will not only make very little progress in the gym, but they may actually put on more body fat than they do muscle. Having healthy testosterone levels helps improve your overall body composition, keeping you leaner as you go about your program.
Testosterone is also what helps you maintain a strong libido and sexual performance as well, so if your levels are tanking, don’t be surprised if you start seeing results in places other than the gym.
This said, fortunately, there are things that you can do to that will help you skyrocket your own natural release back closer to where it should be. This will then help you maintain a proper bodybuilding workout program that delivers results week after week.
Let’s go over what you should know.
Eat Sufficient Dietary Fat
First, make sure that you have enough overall dietary fat in your meal plan. Far too many men who want to build muscle but stay as lean as possible think that reducing their dietary fat intake as low as possible will help them accomplish this mission.
The problem with this is that your dietary fat intake, more specifically, your saturated fat intake, is directly correlated with testosterone levels. When you aren’t getting enough, production will decline, which will actually lead to fat gain, not lean muscle gain.
You’ll want to make sure that your diet contains no less than 25% of your total calorie intake coming from dietary fat and up to 15% of that 25% intake should be coming from saturated fat sources.
Saturated fat isn’t healthy in high dosages, but in small dosages, it helps form the sex hormone of testosterone.
Have Heavy Lifting Days
In addition to eating more fat, also make sure that you have some very heavy lifting days in your protocol plan. While lifting in the 8-10 rep range is great for size gains, it’s not optimal for pure testosterone release. You will need to follow more of a strength training program.
For a greater hormonal release, aim for 5-8 reps once in a while with your workout. This very high level of weight will really get your body producing testosterone, more so than higher rep, light weight lifting.
Training across multiple different rep ranges is one of the best ways to bring about more progression. Make sure that most of the very heavy lifting you do is using compound movements as these while produce the greatest release of testosterone as well.
The duration and quality of sleep that you get each and every night can also influence how much testosterone you’re releasing on a day to day basis. Sleep is imperative for a number of factors including keeping your body as insulin sensitive as possible, for making sure you stay energized to do those hard bodybuilding workouts in the gym, and to keep your hormonal production where it should be.
If you’ve ever noticed you don’t quite feel like yourself after a night of little sleep – you feel less aggressive and manly, this could very well be due to a decline in testosterone levels.
Don’t Crash Diet And Testosterone Weight Loss
The next way to guarantee that your testosterone levels are lower than normal is to crash diet regularly to try and get lean. While crash dieting and building muscle fast are obviously the polar opposite, some men will move from their muscle building workout plan to a crash diet plan in an attempt to shed any fat they’ve gained.
The problem with this is that as soon as you do so, you’ll simply start burning up all that lean muscle you just worked so hard to build.
If you are going to move into a fat loss phase, you’ll want to make sure that you keep your calorie intake to more reasonable levels. Crash dieting itself will cause muscle mass loss in everyone – men and women alike, add to that what it will do to your testosterone and you’ll really have a major problem on your hands.
Try and always keep your calorie intake to at least 11-12 calories per pound of body weight. Going under this is what will set you up for long-term problems if that diet is sustained any longer than a few weeks.
Keep Stress Controlled
Stress is the next element that will wreak havoc on your testosterone production. Whether it’s work stress, relationship stress, money stress, or simply stress about having enough time to get everything done, this stress is impacting you in more ways than you know.
Try and use good stress management techniques as often as possible. Organize your day with an agenda so you aren’t as stressed about time.
Delegate tasks to others whenever possible so you aren’t taking on as much.
See a counselor if you need relationship support or a financial advisor if you need to get your finances available. People are there to help so seek them out. There’s no reason to stay stressed if you don’t have to. At least not if you want to see progress with your bodybuilding workout program.
Minimize Cardio Training
Another way that some men approach the mission to stay lean as they build muscle is to add additional cardio training. Be very careful when doing this.
The problem with too much cardio training is that it can very quickly take away from your gym performance as well as the results you are supposed to be seeing.
Too much cardio will decrease testosterone release, make you feel weaker, impair recovery, and can also cause you to use up the calories that would have been used to fuel muscle mass growth. This is especially the case if you are doing long-distance cardio, going for hours each week.
1-2 sessions per week is plenty to keep your heart in shape and your fat burning processes going. Then leave it up to your diet to help keep you lean. If you’re gaining too much body fat, simply cut back on your calorie intake slightly – don’t go adding hours of cardio.
Finally, also consider using a ZMA supplement, which consists of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. This combination has shown to help increase natural testosterone production and may also help you get a better night’s sleep as well – both which will boost your results.
It’s a very simple supplement, but one that can have quite profound effects.
So keep these tips in mind if you are currently seeing mediocre progress and think it could be due to the fact that your testosterone is lower than it should be. If you are not using these – and doing the opposite – it’s very likely that this could be what’s holding you back from the success that you want to see.
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