How to Boost Your Testosterone to Build Lean Muscle (Updated 2018)
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, we may receive a commission if you decide to click through and make a purchase.
Affiliate earnings help us with the cost of maintaining this website, but rest assured that if a product isn’t safe and effective – We DO NOT recommend it or include affiliate links!
Please read our Disclosure for more.
How to Boost Your Testosterone to Build Lean Muscle
There has never been a better time to find out how to boost your testosterone to build lean muscle. With so much information around there is no excuse for not doing it right!
If you are in the over 30’s bracket then you are in the category of lower testosterone producing males. Once you get to around this age your levels of T drop every day and do so for the rest of your life. 🙁
Depressing? Well, it should be – literally. Your mental health and mood are going to suffer as a result of this drop in testosterone and it’s a real risk factor in “mid-life suicides”.
There are a lot of options when trying to boost your testosterone and we are going to go through the process with you and share some of our extensive knowledge.
After all that, you might be wondering how to boost testosterone. Well, you can boost your T levels by introducing a few specific exercises into your routine, the right nutrition and supplementation as well as changes to your lifestyle. Some pretty simple steps can go a long way!
Workout and Training Advice to Boost Your Testosterone
More muscle = more testosterone.
Whilst it’s not quite as simple as that, the two complement each other rather well. However, you can have too much of a good thing, overdoing the weights without the right recovery can result in you boosting cortisol levels.
Cortisol is bad in this context – it can easily dominate your hormonal system, reducing testosterone, suppressing your immune system and ruining your hard-fought progress. Not good for your body!
To get the most out of your body and get it producing the optimal amount of testosterone on its own, stick with the following guidelines for your workout:
Get Clever With the Weights
Training with weights tears down your muscle tissue and forces your body to repair and over-compensate. This results in new tissue – literally muscle-building.
After a short blip due to training, you’re going to see spikes in post-workout testosterone – working out is great for your hormonal health! Get smart of the weights, fewer reps with bigger weights increases your testosterone more than trying to push out 12 of everything.
Don’t overdo it: there isn’t much benefit to bashing your head against the wall and hoping that more work = more results. Make sure that each exercise has a purpose in your workout and you’re not just at the gym trying to perform ‘junk volume’ – hard work that doesn’t improve you!
Be Sensible with Your Cardio
Keep up a good cardio regime will help you to shed the pounds you need to have a shredded physique. Whilst this is important, you need to find a balance. You don’t want to overdo it: too much cardio exercise and too little lifting/eating will result in your body eating its own muscle mass to make up the calories.
You can keep up a moderate pace for around 30 minutes and experience great results. Cardio exercise isn’t just great for getting shredded: it improves the health of your hormones, your heart and your mind!
Try to Get Some Testosterone Through the Big Muscles
That’s right some of your body’s biggest muscles are found in the hips and legs. This is an opportunity to get your body to produce a great amount of T by utilizing these muscles and lifting some heavy stuff.
When the posters say don’t skip leg day, this might not have necessarily been what they had in mind – but it’s benefits cannot be neglected. Try alternating between heavier squats and power exercises like box jumps (no more than 3 reps) or split jumps.
Your workout program should focus on the time-efficient, multiple-joint compound movements. These are the classic, ‘big’ movements like squat, bench, deadlift, pull-ups and overhead press. They focus on hitting a whole bunch of muscles at once, with heavy weight, to make sure you’re building maximum muscle with your gym-minutes!
Obviously, once you’ve hit these muscles you can isolate and chase the pump on any lagging or essential muscles (like the biceps, duh!).
Get Your Protein Fix
All the advice you read tells you to compliment your workout with protein for increased muscle mass. They’re not wrong, but the people who say this are also under-selling themselves: protein is also good for your testosterone levels.
Protein from complete sources such as eggs, dairy and lean meats are just a few of the proteins that have T boosting benefits. If you’re plant based – make sure you’re getting a mixture of tofu, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds in your diet to make up complete protein combinations. If you’re looking for maximal testosterone results, however, make sure to focus on fatty fish.
Fatty fish like salmon are high in protein, good fats and vitamin D. All 3 of these contribute to improved health, wellbeing and, crucially, better T-levels!
Say NO to Alcohol
Drinking alcohol suppresses testosterone levels. When alcohol is found in the bloodstream, testosterone is not able to function to its full potential, meaning you’re going to be producing less for up to 4 days after you drink – a big cost!
Nutrition for Lean Muscle
If building lean muscle is the goal, then eating lean is the aim, right?
Well it’s not quite as simple as that. Lean muscle can be achieved by eating a balanced diet and there are many different ways to achieve that – all with their own fans and methods. But what do you need more and less of?
Your fast metabolism might now be a thing of the past – some people never had it to begin with. So how many carbs should you be consuming for lean muscle?
Carbs play a key role in your diet as the main source of fuel for both the brain and the muscles. This means you probably shouldn’t cut them out – keto diets are okay, but they tend to promote endurance exercise. If you’re looking to build muscle and strength, they’re not for you and your goals.
Additionally, carb timing is an important part of maximizing your body’s response to training and boosting your results. Eat more refined carbs (‘white’ carbs) near training, but make sure that the rest of your carbs are complex – potatoes (white and sweet potatoes), wholegrains, pulses and beans, as well as rice and wholewheat pasta.
Don’t Avoid Fats
We’re not talking about fat burning here, so why are some fats good for lean muscle?
Testosterone levels after exercise can increase in diets that have a relatively high fat content. You need fat to make sure your workout doesn’t result in testosterone being taken over by cortisol – a real risk if you’re deficient in dietary fats.
Saturated fats have been demonized in the past few years, but they provide a key dietary cholesterol profile that’s been shown to boost testosterone production. This isn’t the same as blood cholesterol and it doesn’t increase the risk of heart attacks (in moderation), so don’t worry!
The essential element to compliment your muscles, this is no secret. Your carbs will fuel your body, your fats will improve your hormonal health, and your protein will help your muscles to increase in mass.
For weight gain, taking in an extra 200 – 300 calories over what you are working off every day will help you to steadily build lean muscle. There are many factors within this though, so the best approach is to take your calorie goals are rough estimates: if you aren’t gaining weight slowly then you need to eat more but, if you’re getting too chubby, you can bring them down to compensate.
Quality Nutrition for Testosterone Levels
Remember that the quality of your food in general is also important. You might have a great metabolism and high natural testosterone levels but, if you are eating Pizza 10 times a week, it’s going to be difficult to build lean muscle without ruining your health.
A good rule is to try and restrict your processed foods to less than 10% of your diet. Make up the rest of unprocessed and whole foods such as eggs, seeds, vegetables, fruits, meat and fish. These are great because they tend to be nutrient-dense, meaning you’re going to get more vitamins and minerals for every meal.
A side note here being your supplements and protein powders, these aren’t necessary a whole a lot of the time but are a good way of getting useful proteins and ingredients into your diet. If you’re missing any areas, or just want to be sure that you’re maximizing results, a high-quality supplement routine is a great choice.
Testosterone and the Gym
If you are one of the many people who likes pushing themselves to their limits, but are still not seeing the gains you think your workouts warrant, then you might not be getting enough testosterone. The beauty of T is that it turns you into a beast.
Even if you are doing everything right, eating the right things, going to the gym regularly and maybe even hitting new PBs but it is still not showing in the way you desire. Like we said earlier, the problem might be that you’re not in your 20s anymore: T levels decline year on year around the age of 30 and is significantly lower in females.
This being said, what you are doing in the gym might not be what is wrong. Check on your level of cardio, you need to get the balance right to ensure you’re not losing muscle mass and try to do smaller sets with bigger weights – check these things and your answer could be something very simple to get into your diet.
The answer, like it has been for many athletes and the casual gym enthusiasts alike, is testosterone boosters. The studies all back it up: testosterone is essential for building lean muscle and certain products on the market are a great place to start with boosting your testosterone levels in a natural, healthy way.
With a market flooded with bad supplements that can cause multiple side effects, you must be careful in your decision. Go for a supplement with quality ingredients and effective scientific doses. You want to increase the amount of T in your system, but also stay safe.
Athletes take testosterone boosters to ensure they are keeping up with the competition, causal body builders and gym enthusiasts take it to be the most in shape version of themselves, with many of them using the products we recommend in our top testosterone boosters list.
Testosterone Boosting Ingredients:
You can Increase your Testosterone to build lean muscle by making sure you follow the advice we have provided above, and include the ingredients coming up in your diet.
There are different types of Testosterone boosting ingredients. They are all beneficial in different ways, and usually one of the following:
- Boosting Your Natural Testosterone – These ingredients will often work by communicating with the brain and telling it to produce more T in the body
- Create More Free Testosterone – Unbinding the body from SHBG and allowing testosterone to be used
- Reduce Estrogen – Estrogen is often produced as the expense of testosterone, especially as you get above 30 – reducing this is a no-brainer.
These ingredients are proven T boosters that can take your gains to the next level.
One of the holy T boosting grails, this is an amino acid that aids the releasing of the luteinizing hormone in the brain.
Why is this good? Because it tells the testes to produce more testosterone. Many studies have back this up. One particular study that is often referred to says the benefits or D-Aspartic Acid in your diet can help your body produce 42% more testosterone in under 2 weeks!
The effects of DAA are temporary, but they’re more effective and long-lasting in beginners. If you’ve been training under a year, or you’re still a novice, DAA can be a great choice to boost your short-term gains and break through those plateaus.
A deficiency in our diets of Vitamin D is a sad reflection of the times. This is because it is created by your body when your skin is exposed to sunlight. A deficiency in this means we are cooped up inside for too long everyday.
Low levels of D3 are linked to lower free testosterone levels in the body. Get this into your diet to ensure you are getting all the benefits of free T in your system. D3 is the best form for supplementing, as it is the most readily-available and produces the best changes for testosterone and general wellbeing!
Much like Vitamin D, low levels of Zinc often mean low amounts of T in your body. Since there is also a deficiency of zinc in many people’s diets, it is important to try and get more of it for lean muscles and hormonal health.
This mineral is used to create more testosterone – you don’t want to continue to have low levels since it can lead to the dreaded man-boobs and the shrinkage of the testes.
There are different forms of Zinc, but the most effective are Zinc Gluconate and Zinc Citrate, it is important to remember this because there are less expensive versions available, and these are not only less effective but can lead to side effects.
If you want more testosterone, you will need to get rid of some, or suppress estrogen – the female hormone that is a killer for your T levels.
One of the best estrogen suppressors around, Luteolin is found most commonly in foods such as lemons and peppermint. It is best at stopping a bunch of enzymes that prevent testosterone from circulating around the body that make the testosterone you already have ineffective.
It is commonly known as an androgen stimulator which enhances the production of testosterone in the body.
The once irritating nettle that would make you think twice about running through long grass it is good to know that it has its uses and this is well known for its testosterone boosting qualities.
It helps your body to block two of the testosterone killing enzymes SHBG and aromatase which in turn gives testosterone the chance to circulate around the bloodstream.
Magnesium is one of the most deficient and important minerals, so let’s take a look at the benefits. It is great for unbinding globulin which will increase your body’s testosterone.
Its other benefits that might be good for your workout include the ability to help calm your muscles as well as prevent fatigue so your all-round workout will be better off for having magnesium in your diet.
The problem you have here is the fact that many of these are not easy to get into your everyday diet. Supplements that contain magnesium are a great place to start, especially combined with other important compounds like vitamin D and iron.
How to Include These Ingredients in Your Diet To Increase T-Levels
Sure, you can supplement some of these ingredients on their own. But why stop there? We and many others find it far easier and more beneficial to get an effective dosage of many of these ingredients amongst others in one go.
The top testosterone booster supplements on the market contain an array of great ingredients. These will send your testosterone levels into the peak amounts required for incredible gains.
So as part of your diet, nutritional awareness and workouts. You can enhance your body’s chances of creating more lean muscle mass safely.
Best T Booster?
If you want the extra help of a testosterone booster in your diet, there are some out there that are completely natural with no side effects that we recommend. One such product is TestoFuel. We find that using this product has made a real difference to many people’s lean muscle. The testimonials are there to be seen.
To find out more about TestoFuel, check out our in-depth review to read about its many qualities for yourself.
There you have it, that’s a general overview as to how you can boost your testosterone. To give yourself the best chance of reaching the peak lean muscle mass, make sure you and taking advantage of every opportunity available to you.
If you have any questions or tips that have helped you to boost your testosterone levels please leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what has affected your T-levels best!
Professional b-boy (breakdancer) and all-round health, fitness, weightlifting, calisthenics, climbing and movement addict since childhood! Raised by health and nutrition obsessed parents, he’s keen to research and question everything. Oliver absolutely loves learning, optimizing and improving himself and his performance and has a passion for helping others to achieve the same!