Competition with other guys is a great way to work on fixing your low T naturally. Guys – our brains are wired to compete, no matter how simple the game- racing, golfing, fishing or fighting. To your T levels, it’s all the same. That’s me in the green shirt as my buddies and I took 3rd in the men’s division of an off-road triathlon relay. There weren’t exactly a ton of men’s teams, but we still competed hard. That’s what it’s all about. So get out there and try to kick a buddy’s ass at something!
That’s me yesterday, taking a break from riding my mountain bike in the 100 degree weather that we had in Denver this past weekend. The question is, “Why?”
For me mountain biking, and off-road triathlon are hobbies, and in the interest of full disclosure, I am not particularly good at either one. But I don’t care.
One of the biggest reasons that guys suffer from low T (testosterone) levels is stress. I see it all the time on the labs that I run on my patients. The stress hormone cortisol goes up, the testosterone levels go down.
Money, relationships, and work are the 3 big external stressors that drive this (we’ll talk about the internal stressors like diet later). Since most guys can’t just dump their jobs or trash their finances or fix their relationships to easily, the best thing to do is to find something to let you get away. Whether it’s fishing, mountain biking, hitting golf balls, brewing your own beer or collecting stamps, you need something to get away.
This is the quickest path to getting stress under control. So find something you like, even if it’s something you’re not good at, and do it.
Brief and intense strength training (assuming you are cleared by your doctor to do it) is the cornerstone of a program to fix low testosterone levels naturally, and improve symptoms like fatigue, fat gain, and low sex drive.
This simple workout, which I did in my basement this morning, can be tweaked to suit your needs. But here is it:
- 10 Kettlebell Swings, 10 Dumbbell Presses, 5 Pull-Ups.
- Do as many rounds of the above in 7 minutes
- 3 minute break
- Repeat 10 Kettlebell Swings, 10 Dumbbell Presses, 5 Pull-Ups for 7 more minutes.
This particular workout hits every muscles in your body, and will send your heart rate through the roof. This trains pretty much every thing you want to for raising T levels in just 17 minutes. You can sub pushups for dumbbell presses. You can use a band with handles for rows if you don’t have a pull up bar. You can sub burpees or body-weight squats for the swings. You get the idea, right?
My buddy Mike and I rode some steep hill intervals in Sedalia, Colorado this past Sunday. While we happen to love riding mountain bikes, it takes a little work to love riding up steep hills. You kind of need to convince yourself that pushing hard is fun.
But the truth is, this type of intensity is important for guys as they get older. Most of us rarely do anything that’s physically intense anymore. But letting that red-line stuff go is what starts the drop in testosterone that a lot of guys experience as they move into their 40s.
So right now, you need to think of some kind of exercise that you’d enjoy doing intensely, even though it kind of feels like it sucks when you’re doing it – whether it’s heavy lifting, riding a mountain bike up hill, a steep hike, even driving golf balls (you need to try to hit them far). These things will help you fix your low T naturally.
“Toss my cookies?”
“Doc, say it ain’t so.”
This tough conversation that I had with Ron yesterday was for his own good. Ron’s a 54-year-old who came to me for natural help with Low T. He went to one of those medical centers that wants $10,000 a years for hormone injections every 2 weeks.
The first thing we looked at was Ron’s diet. He was eating a hell of a lot of bread, cookies and pasta. “I can’t imagine life without those things,” he told me.
Many guys have trouble with wheat- the main ingredient in most breads, cookies and pastas. The wheat contains a protein called gluten that a lot of guys have trouble processing in their guts, even though they might not know it.
This gluten problem causes inflammation in the gut, and inflammation is a type of stress on the body. The stress shoots the stress hormone cortisol sky high, and can lower Testosterone or T over time. This will inevitably lead to a guy losing his sex drive.
So one of the simplest ways to start fixing your low T naturally is cut wheat out of your diet. No bread, no cookies, no pasta. I tell my guy patients to give it 60 days. This usually is enough time for them to see 10 pounds drop off without trying. Then they notice they feel better. Along with the rest of the program, they start to feel like a younger version of themselves again. So if your T is low, or your sex drive is low, I can probably help you fix it naturally. But be prepared to toss your cookies!
Image courtesy of everydayplus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of tuelekza at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
As a 47-year-old guy, I know that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. One common misconception I hear often is the idea that lots of endurance training is good for you. For guys over 40, this isn’t necessarily true.
Prolonged endurance training, like long bike rides, will tend to raise cortisol levels and lower testosterone levels.
When I ride, I prefer shorter duration and higher intensity rides (usually 1-2 hours at the most). This window is enough to provide a training stimulus without creating too much stress on the body.
We frequently help over-trained endurance athletes who’ve lost their sex drive and are dealing with fatigue. The problem, which may be hard to believe, is too much exercise. So the first thing we need to do is dial these guys back, get them into the gym to lift some weights, and teach them that after 40, for most guys less is more.