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Increase Testosterone By Lifting Weights

increase testosterone by lifting weights

I'm always on the lookout for ways to increase testosterone naturally because I know that the issue of low testosterone levels is becoming more and more prevalent in today's modern age.


Well, there are a lot of factors, but they mostly have to do with lifestyle and environmental factors.

As men, we're not as physically active as we have been in generations pasts. We live a much more sedentary life. We're much more overweight on average compared to previous generations. We have more chemicals in our food and drinks than ever before, and these chemicals have strong estrogenic properties which kill testosterone.

Suffice it to say that men of today have about 20% less overall testosterone than men as little as 20 years ago, and what's worse, that trend doesn't look to be slowing down.

This has put testosterone high on a lot of men's priority list.  More men are becoming educated about ways to boost their testosterone without having to go through the expense and the potentially dangerous and negative side effects of testosterone replacement therapy.

The fact of the matter is that there are some very definitive ways to increase T levels naturally. Certain types of exercise have been scientifically proven to boost increase testosterone levels.

We did an article on one of those ways called High Intensity Interval Training, and in that article we showed how it not only significantly increases T levels, but it also increases HGH and nitric oxide production, while lowering blood sugar, and burning a ton of fat. just to name a few benefits.

Today, we're going to talk about another type of exercise that has been shown to significantly increase testosterone - weightlifting or resistance training.​

Lifting Weights Pumps Up Testosterone Levels

Let's get right to it, and say what science has verified, and that is that weight lifting increases testosterone levels!

It increases T because lifting weights invokes a neuroendocrine trigger that causes your body to produce a hormonal response to the demands that are being put on it to lift those weights.

Studies like this one show that lifting weights just 3 days a week increased testosterone levels by as much as 40%.  What kind of routine produced these results?  Check this out.

  • 10-15 minute warm up​
  • bench press
  • knee extension
  • tricep pull-downs
  • seated-pulley
  • bicep curls
  • leg press
  • behind-neck press

And we're only talking about a modest 3 sets of 10 reps at about 75% max weight resting about 2 minutes between sets.

Not only was there the increase in testosterone, but there was a also a decrease of about 24% in resting cortisol, and we already know that cortisol is a testosterone killer right up there with estrogen.​


Chronic cortisol production is one of the leading killers of testosterone levels. Excess cortisol is produced when you physically tax your body for extended periods of time (an hour or more), and it's also released when you're under a severe amount of stress and pressure. That's why it's often referred to as the stress hormone.

Bottom line is that studies like these two point out that weight lifting or resistance training are the best types of exercise to boost testosterone in the short term and long term (study) (study)

Best Weight Lifting Exercises For Increasing Testosterone

I don't complicate this too much, so let me start by saying that any weight lifting or resistance training will increase T levels. You could see that in the routine from the study I listed above.

However, having said that, one thing that we are becoming more aware of is that certain kinds of weight lifting exercises can produce a greater T boosting hormonal response.

What kind of exercises?

Exercises that involve compound movements and multiple muscle groups are the best and most efficient at really pumping up your T levels.

Compound Exercises For Boosting T

The following are examples of the best compound exercises to consider for T boosting:


Clean and Jerks

Bench Press


Overhead Press

Pull Ups

Dead Lifts

Don't Forget That You Need To Rest & Recover

When it comes to lifting weights, we are usually focused on the sets, reps, exercises, compound movements, compound muscle groups and more, but there's area that is right up there on the priority scale that you need to be mindful of when it comes to boosting testosterone through weight lifting.

It's rest & recovery.

You need to give your body the proper time to rest right after working out. This goes back to the concept of not wanting to induce cortisol production.

So the first thing to keep in mind is to keep the whole weight lifting workout to somewhere between 30 - 45 minutes. That seems to be the sweet spot in terms of time needed to build muscle and boost testosterone without inducing too much cortisol production.

Post workout rest​

Don't just gloss over this like I did when I first learned about it. You have to give your body rest right after working out. It doesn't have to be much either, but you need to give your body time to get back to steady state, and the easiest way to do that is to completely relax for 10-15 minutes right after a workout.

I like to just sit in my recliner, close my eyes, and listen to some music for 10-15 minutes, and I'm good as gold after that. Again, it's not long, but it's important piece of the T boosting puzzle.

Recovery time​

This is pretty straightforward, but you need to give your muscles at least 48  hours before you go back to working the same muscle group again.

So if you hit a specific group of muscles on Monday, then you'll want to wait until Wednesday before you work them out again.​


Lifting weights is one of the best ways to increase your T levels and keep them going in the right direction.

Not only that, but with all physical appearance benefits you also get, it does wonders for your self image and self esteem. 

Men feel great about themselves when they look muscular and lean. 

When you feel good about yourself, it permeates almost every other aspect of your life. It creates a wonderfully positive domino effect.

Keep building up your arsenal of natural ways to increase testosterone, and this is one to keep at or near the top of the list. 

This problem of declining testosterone has to be addressed and attacked from as many angles as possible including exercise, diet, supplementation, environmental, and lifestyle choices.

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