There is a lot of information out there about different natural methods for increasing testosterone. Which one should you choose?
Experts agree that one of the best and most natural ways to increase testosterone levels is through HIIT, high intensity interval training workouts. Too much cardio can actually break down muscle and muscle is an important thing that you need to keep your testosterone levels high.
Steady-state cardio in particular actually decreases testosterone levels resulting from the muscle breakdown that this form of cardio causes, according to research.
If you are trying to lose weight, for example, but want to keep your muscle gains after all of your hard work and keep your testosterone levels up, doing steady state-cardio may not be the best solution for you and could actually lead to weight gain, muscle loss, and lowered testosterone levels.High intensity interval training may just be the best option for you, whatever your goals are.
Not only do high-intensity interval training and help to maintain these hormones, they can also be done in a shorter amount of time.
Almost any workout that you can think of can also be turned into a high-intensity interval training session. That means that you are sure to never get bored and find something that you like to do.
The same is true for those who are not trying to lose weight, but want to do cardio workouts for cardiovascular health or as a means of increasing their testosterone levels.
What is high intensity interval training?
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Basically what this means is that you work as hard as you possibly can for a short and intense period of time.
You should work hard enough that you can only sustain the workout that you’re doing for around 20 to 30 seconds.
If you can go longer than 20 or 30 seconds, then you are not working at the highest level of intensity that you should be to reap the benefits of HIIT.
These workouts should be short bursts, that are all-out, give-it-all-you've-got exercises.
As I mentioned earlier you can turn any workout into a high intensity interval training session. For example, if you like to run, instead you could do sprints rather than steady-state.
That means you will run as fast and as hard as you possibly can for 20 to 30 seconds and rest in between. If you like to dance, you dance as hard as you can for 20 to 30 seconds and then rest.
You can apply this to any type of workout that you like from kickboxing, swimming, to mountain biking, and everything in between.
The other great thing about high-intensity interval training is that you can virtually do it anywhere, from your own home, a hotel room, outside at a park, or at the gym.
In other words, you do not need a large space to do these workouts, which means that there are no excuses!
How long should a session be?
Experts recommend that you complete your workout in around 15 minutes or less. Anymore than this and it could have the opposite effect, a catabolic (muscle breakdown) effect and could also lead to over training.
The same is true if you do this on too many days per week. Beginners should not do high interval intensity training workouts more than two days per week and no more than for 20 minutes per workout to ensure adequate recovery.
Those who are at an intermediate or advanced fitness level may do HIIT up to 3 days a week. Athletes do no more than 3-4 HIIT sessions per week, so that should keep it in perspective.
How does high-intensity interval training increase testosterone?
There is a lot of research to back up the idea that this type of work out increases testosterone.
According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, a recent study showed that high intensity interval training increases GLUT4 concentration as well as testosterone.
The study also confirmed that if you perform steady-state cardio it actually has the opposite effect as high density interval training does on these levels, both GLUT4 and testosterone.
HIIT increases protein turnover, which results in greater protein synthesis rather than degradation.
Because when performing HIIT the synthesis is greater than the protein degradation, it helps to increase testosterone levels and increase and maintain muscles because amino acids (the building blocks of protein) work to maintain and increase muscle, and more muscle equals more testosterone.The result of this is an anabolic state versus catabolic, muscle maintenance versus muscle breakdown.
How to Maximize the Effects of HIIT
The best way to maximize the effects of HIIT is to make sure that you are actually working at your maximum potential during the 30 second burst of exercise. A good rule of thumb....
If you are able to maintain high intensity interval training workout for 30 minutes you probably are not working hard enough during your short workout bursts.
After 15-20 minutes, you should not be able to continue your HIIT session.
Supplementing with BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids), especially Leucine, before, during, and after your workout can also help to stimulate the synthesis of proteins which can result in a better anabolic affect.
The whole point is to maintain proteins synthesis and keep your muscles from breaking down while doing cardio. Branched-chain amino acid can help with this.
Most Popular HIIT Workouts
This 4-minute long workout is one of the most popular, trendy forms of HIIT. The whole workout is 4 minutes long, yet many people claim it is the best workout they've ever had.
The workout is a combination of intense workouts, such as burpees, mountain climbers, and sprints.
These are performed for 20 seconds with a rest in between of only 10 seconds. This is done for 8 rounds.
Boxing is fun and can keep you from becoming bored with your workouts, as it is not overly repetitive.
It burns an average of 500 calories per hour, and it can be used as your HIIT session by performing the moves at a high-intensity for short periods and taking short breaks in between. It can be done on your own or with a partner.
Jumping rope is done by many athletes to help them train because it strengthens a lot of muscles that are prone to injury, such as shins, Achilles tendons, and ankles.
It burns a high amount of calories and when performed as a HIIT exercise, it can burn those calories without muscle breakdown.
Jumping rope is also fun because there are so many kinds of moves that can be performed including high knees, double-unders, and in place running.
Sprints are also popular because they do not involve any equipment and can be performed anywhere that there is adequate space.
Simply run as fast as you can for 20-30 seconds and take a short 10-15 second rest in between.
Continue for 15-20 minutes or combine with one of the other HIIT exercises for variety.
With the rise in popularity of Crossfit, kettlebells have also gained popularity. Kettlebells swings are known for burning more calories than running and involve more muscles for a better-rounded workout.
Kettlebell swings are also better for people who want a workout that does not have a high impact on the knees and ankles for those with injuries or who have sensitivity in those parts of their bodies.
Did you manage to make HIIT work for you? Did you find it useful for your testosterone levels? Please feel free to leave your comments below!