It's affecting guys everywhere and sometimes it's hitting as early as a man's 30s! But no worries, here are 5 tips to keep the "Big T" going strong and keep your alpha male status!
1. Lose 5-10 lbs
Most men who are overweight tend to have lower testosterone levels. According to Dr. Mercola, "If you're overweight, shedding the excess pounds may increase your testosterone levels".
In fact, on a LiveScience.com, they even did a study on pre diabetic men in their 50's and the findings suggest "doctors should first encourage overweight men with low testosterone levels to try to lose weight through diet and exercise, before resorting to testosterone therapy to raise their hormone levels," said study researcher Dr. Frances Hayes, a professor at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin."
So step one in increasing your testosterone is to start losing weight and you'll see those T levels increase naturally!
Get my favorite way to start losing weight and exercising right away!
2. Incorporate Strength Training
Every guy loves to lift weights! So let's start lifting! Any kind of resistance training is going to help you build muscle which in turn is going to help you lose weight and help with number one. Want a cool tip? If you schedule your workouts in the evening you may be able to benefit from the post-workout testosterone boost
These are just 5 easy ways you can start incorporating some simple things into your diet and training right away to see improved levels of testosterone. This isn't something that will change drastically right away but as you start making these small changes you'll gradually begin to see improvements.
Click here for my favorite Strength Training Program
3. Add in more fat to your diet.
Research has proven that adding in more healthy fats, such as those from avocados, nuts, seeds, and oils have proven to increase testosterone levels. Some websites suggest adding in as much as 50-60% of your caloric intake to these healthy fats (such as the rise of the new "Bacon"-type diets!) but I suggest sticking with the more conservative 25-30% of your caloric intake to come from healthy fats.
Sorry, bacon lovers ;)
4. Add in High Intensity Interval Training workouts
According to this popular article on BodyBuilding.com:
"The "right" brand of cardio for anabolic fat loss is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This consists, in practice, of a set of bursts of balls-out, massive output cardio work followed by timed rest periods. This type of cardio is similar to the Fartlek style favored by old-school track athletes and it's been around for years, but it has enjoyed resurgence with this everything-old-is-new-again movement so prevalent in today's fitness industry. It's a simple concept, however, and since we know a lot more about how to program it—in terms of volume, intensity and duration—it's a perfect solution for anyone looking to drop fat.
It's all backed up by plenty of research, too. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published recent work showing that HIIT can actually increase testosterone levels and GLUT4 concentration. Steady-state cardio, as I wrote earlier, has the exact opposite effect. Research has also shown that HIIT increases 24-hour mitochondrial biogenesis. This is the formation of new energy-producing mitochondria in cells, a process that typically shuts down mTOR during steady-state cardio."
You can avoid valuable muscle breakdown by doing HIIT instead of the traditional steady-state cardio that will keep you hours on the treadmill or elliptical, so think twice before heading out for your easy morning jog!
My favorite program for HIIT
5. Get some Vitamin D
They did a study on Anabolicmen.com and found two key things that happened regarding vitamin D levels in men's bodies:
a) This study found out that men with sufficient vitamin D levels had significantly higher testosterone levels and lower SHBG count, than men who had insufficient amounts of the vitamin (or hormone) in their blood serum.
b) This study found out that when healthy male participants take 3332 IU’s of vitamin D daily for a year, they end up having 25,2% more testosterone on average when compared to placebo.
You can find Vitamin D at just about any health food store but start supplementing (or just get outside!).
Want a great way to start improving your Testosterone levels naturally? Try Onnit's T+!
Do you have any other tips for improving testosterone levels? Leave me a comment below!
Yours in Fitness,
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I was reading some reviews of the new Beachbody Hammer and Chisel Workout on Amazon.com (because, as a Beachbody Coach I like to do my research and see what others are saying about these programs since I stand behind them) and there were a few comments that I felt I needed to address.
Here's the first review (these are all taken right off of Amazon, some are good but there are very valid points brought up customers, which I wanted to speak to):
"Overall, I liked the workouts but I was disappointed in the program. Most all of the individual workouts were very good, and I was pleasantly surprised by how tough the Chisel days were, but as an overall program it seems poorly designed and underwhelming.
The main issue is that all of the workouts are total body. This is great for calorie burning, but had a couple problems. First, there was a lot of lower body (Iso Strength Chisel was one of the hardest LB workouts I have ever seen), but very little upper body, especially the chisel workouts. However, there was enough upper body to keep you from doing a targeted chest, arms or shoulder workout the next day. So, it is very hard to build upper body muscle, even if you sub in outside workouts. This problem is compounded by the lack of recovery days-you end up doing certain exercises (e.g., pull ups, lunges) several days in a row.
Second, the weights are pretty light throughout. I expected that in Chisel, but the Hammer workouts were also focused on surprisingly light weights. I was expecting more Body Beast style hammer days, but very few of them went heavy, focusing instead on pace, reps, etc... Again, great for overall fitness, but lousy for significant strength building.
I feel like I gained 6-7 good workouts that I can use as part of a larger hybrid program, but I wouldn't follow their calendar if you are interested in gaining strength and size (especially upper body)."
This user does bring up a great point---when you do the first week or two of H & C, it seems like it's all total body exercises and there is quite an adjustment to doing these types of workouts, especially if you are used to the Split Body Part focus of Body Beast. The focus of Hammer and Chisel isn't to just give you a better looking body---it's goal is to increase power, strength, endurance, agility, and athleticism. Beachbody is taking what you did in 21 Day Fix Extreme and Body Beast and taking it to the next level. If you are a Body Beast fan, though, don't worry---I hear there is a Body Beast 2 coming out soon still--this program doesn't replace that.
In regards to the calendar though, it does change up a bit as you get further into the program so trust the workout schedule---the initial week is tough!
I also included a link to the benefits of Total Body Workouts you may not have considered. Yes, Body Beast fans, it may take some getting used to but chances are if you've been doing Body Beast for a while, you may need something to break up the monotony.
Benefits of Total Body Workouts
"...My friend and I purchased this as soon as it came out and started immediately. We have both now completed every workout routine in the program and we are both disappointed. Total body workouts pretty much every day. For me, the workouts are not much of a challenge. I do not truly feel worked by the end. I feel more cardio has been added, there are a ton of leg exercises, and upper body gets left behind some. On the Hammer routines there is more upper body and weights mixed in with the legs. I do prefer the Hammer workouts to the Chisel workouts. Both of us having come from Body Beast are disappointed and already talking about going back to Body Beast and maybe just throwing in some of these workouts to add a little bit of extra cardio. For some people this workout may be great. Someone that has only done 21DF might love this. Someone who is not very active might have a harder time with these workouts. That is why I am giving it 3 starts versus one because I can see how this would be a good overall workout routine for someone who is not used to bodybuilding or not very active. However, for me, it was not a winner and I am disappointed."
I feel I addressed how this is different from Body Beast in the first question so let's tackle the part about the workouts being "easy". Chances are, if you are doing the workouts for the first time, you won't get the maximum effects and results from that particular workout. Just like with any workout, it takes three or four times to really get the feel of the moves, figure out what weight you need to do, and how the moves really fit together.
For example, the first time I did Sagi's Hammer Iso Speed workout, which was the workout they released as the Beachbody OnDemand Sneak Peek, I hated it. I didn't get the point of the Eccentric focused moves followed by the Speed reps. But when you combine after the Chisel Iso Workout, it's much more effective---it works the slow twitch muscles followed by the fast twitch muscles. There's a plan to the madness, but you have to the follow the program to see the bigger picture (plus, having a coach there helps as well)!
Try the workouts a few times before you make a judgement on them, get a feel for the weights, etc. I usually do a few weeks of previewing the workout before I even officially "start" a program.
"I was a huge fan of Body Beast and was very excited to see Sagi back in a new video series. I was extremely disappointed from the moment I started the first workout. This is definitely tailored to a wider audience. Body Beast was a weight intensive workout that focused on specific body parts in each workout. This series is more of a run-of-the-mill full body workout in EVERY video. I would rather just do 21 Day Fix or P90X3 or Insanity. I feel as though Sagi sold-out. I love Sagi, but he has taken a major step back from his day in Body Beast. As for the Chisel workouts, they are not bad by any means. However, again it feels too much like the "standard" workout found in 21 Day Fix and other BeachBody workouts.
In short, there is nothing really different about these workouts or anything that sets them apart enough from the usual full-body cardio half hour workouts.
This will appeal to some people, but for me, a big fan of Body Beast, this was not my cup of tea."
Hey now, lay off of Sagi! LOL! No, he's a Beast and he can take it. And honestly, as I said in the above response, if I just did the Hammer Iso Speed, I could see where this customer is coming from---he has a different "persona" than in Body Beast in some of the workouts. But it's no different than Shaun T---he's not the same trainer in Hip Hop Abs as he is in Insanity, and he's not the same trainer in Focus T25 as he is in Asylum. He's a person just like anyone else and has different sides to him. I think the biggest thing is simply that we've only seen Sagi in one workout program---Body Beast---so we don't have anything else to compare him to.
As far as the other trainers, we've seen Sagi the least compared to the other trainers and I'm glad that Beachbody is utilizing him more. As you see the different sides to Sagi you'll get more comfortable with him in other types of workouts.
Yes, this program is different than Body Beast, P90X3, 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme. What makes this unique is that there are two different trainers that take some of their strengths and you get the best of both worlds.
What I really enjoy about this program is that the focus is total body because from what I've been hearing in the fitness world, you can get results much faster doing Total Body Workouts versus focusing on just curls, presses, etc. However, in trying to locate that research to back this up, I'm still looking! LOL. Sorry!
I also really enjoy the Power Lifting Workout presented by Sagi, which is totally new to the home workouts offered by Beachbody. He goes through it very slowly and teaches it very well. And hey, I also love the fact there is no Yoga, Pilates, etc...
There will be workouts that aren't my favorites, I'm sure, but if you like Sagi and Autumn, and go in with an open mind, try each workout a few times, follow the calendar and the plan, jump in a Challenge Group, and you'll get results!
Yours in Fitness,
P.S. There's still time to join in my next Challenge Group! Register here now! Plus, I can show you how to save $75 on getting started with Hammer and Chisel as well as get one-on-one coaching, meal prep advice, and group accountability to make sure you actually get results with Hammer and Chisel.
Have you ever gone on a diet?
If so, it probably wasn't the greatest experience of your life. You felt hungry, you had cravings, and chances are you probably didn't the exact results you were looking for at the end of it, right?
So many people are going on "diets" these days or trying any number of different types of diets to get things rolling when it comes to hitting their goals.
So are Diets a Bad Thing?
The reason I say Diet isn't a Bad Four Letter word is because sometimes a diet is simply just a starting point. It could mean dropping your calorie level down to a certain point so you see results quickly but it doesn't necessarily mean that's where you need to stay for weeks on end to get to your goal.
For example, a few weeks ago I started off tracking with an app called MyFitnessPal at 1500 calories, which is typically pretty low for me, and yes, it was difficult at first and I got a little hungry, but after just a day or two I saw a few pounds were gone and it gave me hope and some more motivation to keep going.
That calorie level isn't something I can maintain though...
Which is okay! I simply stayed there long enough to get some results and then I bumped it back up to where I was more comfortable and can stay at long term (around 1800 calories for me). But at that calorie level I could see some results quickly and that motivated me to keep going, even after I had to bump up a calorie level.
Isn't it dangerous if I go too low on calories?
If you stay there long term it is, yes. But just like with all of the Beachbody programs that focus on weight loss, it starts you with your basic calorie level and then subtracts around 400 to 450 calories for your basic calorie deficit. From that point, once you hit your goal you take away that calorie deficit for your maintenance calories or even bump up your calorie bracket to maintain your weight.
So don't be afraid to go down in calories for a few days to jumpstart things. It helps with motivation as well as seeing results right away. Just be sure to bump back up before you start binging and let your hunger get out of control!
Are you planning on doing a "Diet" this new year? Leave me a comment below with your January fitness goals!
Yours in Fitness,