Training correctly can increase both the amount of circulating testosterone and also the number of receptors of the target tissues, which is double bubble in terms of results. Not all training works though, and an example of a T-boosting training plan is given below, but understanding the rules of the game allows you to plan your own train sessions. What factors count when putting together a training plan and what pitfalls are to be avoided? There are three big giveaways:
• Lots of movement
The idea here is to explosively recruit many muscles, not to ‘isolate’ muscles. The ideal choices here are the clean and jerk and the snatch, as the barbell travels all the way from the floor to arms length overhead, fast. This is as much work as you can do in one place and means lots of muscle is being used at the same time, which is great for getting devastatingly strong and fit quickly. Moving the weight fast causes changes in the fast twitch muscle fibres, which have the most capacity for growth.
• Lots of weight
(on the bar)
Training heavy helps you build muscle in a variety of ways. It causes the nervous system to get more efficient at firing muscle and it causes the muscle itself to grow. One factor in this growth is that the muscle cell produces lots more testosterone receptors, which means more listening posts where the hormonal message are received. So what do we mean by heavy? It’s not a relative thing, we mean heavy. While 20kg dumbbell curls may be heavy for a curl for you it’s still only 20kg. By heavy we mean the movements that see you use the most weight and the clue here is the word ‘bar’. Heavy means deadlift and squat. After these two comes the bench press and the chin up.
• Lots of work
(in a short time)
A T-boosting plan uses Metabolic Conditioning, not cardio. MetCon,as it is known, is horrid, but addictive stuff. At its very core is the idea of doing so much work that it outstrips the body’s cardiovascular capacity. They are short, hard and brutal and usually involve periods of very hard work with little or no rest. As the body can’t keep up delivering oxygen and taking away waste products, the chemistry of the cells in the muscles and associated tissues is changed. All of these place a big stress on the body, one that it doesn’t appreciate and one that evolution has made sure we adapt to survive. This includes making our hormonal physiology work for us. MetCon is shockingly effective at burning fat and increasing cardiovascular capacity, which is in part because of the changes in hormone output, one of them being testosterone.