I love Regev’s story. I’m a sucker for reading about people who have been able to drastically change their bodies. In case you missed it, he was able to add 62 pounds to his frame. I’m impressed. Not a lot of people who have the body type he had are willing to educate and commit themselves enough to be able to do what he did.
Without question, testosterone plays a huge part in a transformation like his. Interestingly, this hormone plays a huge part for people who gain muscle AND for people who lose fat. If your testosterone is low, it’s hard to make your body change either way.
Low-T is a Huge Problem
About 20% of adult men have sub-optimal levels of testosterone. Surprisingly this problem is affecting more and more young people. One of my best friends, who was once the most ripped person I’ve ever seen in real life, gained 50 pounds of fat in eight months after killing his testosterone production with a bad diet. He was 28 years old.
Many others have testosterone that’s in normal range, but at the lower end of the normal range.
If you’re trying to change your body, having low but normal levels of testosterone isn’t always enough. You want to be at the high end of normal. It will help you to burn fat more easily and/or add muscle more easily. If Regev’s testosterone had been low it would be very unlikely that he could have achieved a 62 pound transformation. I help people to learn how to lose fat at The Skinny School and they can’t make significant transformations if their hormones are out of whack either.
Supplementation is a Last Resort
Taking testosterone supplements should only be used as a last resort. Once you do it, your body will produce less T naturally. Unless you really want to have to take it for the rest of your life, this isn’t the best idea. So, the question is, how do you increase T naturally?
How to Increase Testosterone Naturally
The body needs a lot of different nutrients to make testosterone and failing to provide them through diet will mess up the production.
In the case of my friend, he stopped eating fat. He was also eating little carbohydrate and a ton of protein. The result? He got really lean and ripped for a while. But, his body didn’t have the cholesterol it needed to produce testosterone. Without testosterone, his ripped body wasn’t sustainable. He lost muscle and gained fat. He then lost motivation, stopped working out, and that led to even less testosterone and more fat and less muscle. It’s a bad cycle.
Chemical Structure of Testosterone
Follow these steps to keep T high:
1. Lift Heavy
Regev contributed nicely to an increase in testosterone by doing compound lifts with heavy weights. You should be doing squats, dead lifts, bench press, shoulder press, and bent rows or pullups with weight. Isolated lifting will contribute a lot less to healthy testosterone release.
Regev’s weight lifting advice applies perfectly to this principle.
2. Eat Cholesterol
Low fat diets will eventually kill any effort to have significant levels of testosterone. You need to make sure that your diet is balanced with healthy fats. Some of those fats need to be saturated fats because sex hormones are made from cholesterol. Omega-3 enriched whole eggs are a great example and for this reason, I eat them daily.
Peak testosterone production time is in the middle of the night, while you’re asleep. Try to get some fat in your system late in the day.
3. Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods provide our bodies with little actual nutrition and nutrition is crucial to having healthy hormones. On top of that, processed food contains preservatives and a lot of other weird stuff that can mess with our hormones. For example, many processed foods contain soy which elevates estradiol, nullifying the effect of testosterone in cells.
4. Get Plenty of the Right Vitamins
- Vitamin-D: Quite a few studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation helps to raise testosterone. On top of that, this little vitamin helps to increase fast-twitch muscle fibers which can help with top-end strength. You can supplement with vitamin D or you can just get more sun. The results will be the same.
- Vitamin-E: This vitamin counters the oxidative stress that lowers testosterone.
- Vitamin-A: Has a direct positive effect on the production of testosterone.
Other Factors to Consider
- Estrogen competes with testosterone for uptake into the cells. If your estrogen is high, your testosterone probably isn’t working as well as it should be. Since soy products raise estrogen, they should be avoided.
- Cortisol also competes with testosterone for the uptake into cells. People with high cortisol often feel like they have low-T, even though they don’t. I had elevated cortisol for a while and I got a lot weaker and softer. Once I figured out why, the problems reversed themselves. Getting enough sleep and de-stressing can help to lower cortisol levels. For me, an allergy to wheat was causing my issues.