Testosterone is a big deal these days. Because the current thirty-somethings train harder then their parents did at the same age, 40 is the new 30. Men want to compete longer and stronger. When we men hit the mid thirties, testosterone production has already begun to decrease, and we feel it.
Recovery from intense workouts takes longer. We don’t seem to gain as much in the gym as we used to. And energy levels are seemingly dropping like the stock market.
Unfortunately, unless prescribed by your doctor, it is illegal. And there is a reason for this. Uncontrolled growth hormone injections (a.k.a. “steroids,” “the juice,” etc) lead to a myriad of health hazards. Including high cholesterol, acne, development of breast tissue and erectile dysfunction, just to name a few.
Personally, I don’t advise it.
Another option is the new fad amongst thirtysomething professional athletes: Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT). This is a procedure in which testosterone and similar androgenic compounds are injected directly into the patient.
It is supposed to bring your testosterone levels back to their normal peak amounts, and does not overload your system the way steroids do.
This way, a man in his thirties can produce the same levels of testosterone as he did in his peak years, which is the mid to late twenties.
Because this is the johnny-come-lately therapy for low testosterone, we do not fully understand what the drawbacks could be if used for a prolonged period. Early reports of heightened cholesterol levels are the worst symptoms uncovered so far.
My own opinion is that, any time we cheat Nature, we’ll pay a cost somewhere down the line.
And unless you suffer from a condition which causes extremely low testosterone and therefore interferes with you regular life, I would not recommend TRT. It is too much of a mystery at this point.
Are There Any Natural Options?
Fortunately, yes there are. They will not reproduce the same results as steroids or TRT but they are 100% natural and therefore approved by nature’s God and will never turn around to bite you in the behind 10 years down the road.
Here are the Top 10 All-Natural Testosterone Boosters you need in your life:
You need at least 6 hours straight each night. If you chronically fall short of this mark, your cortisol levels will spike. And cortisol is the kryptonite to testosterone, it curbs its production. Not good!
2. Reduce Stress
Chronically elevated stress also spikes up your cortisol levels and this interferes with testosterone production. If you are working too much and not enjoying enough down time, you are not only living a depressing life, you are wilting your manliness! Reduce your load, delegate more and learn to say no to others and yes to yourself (within reason).
The more, the better. Especially morning sex. High degrees of sexual activity trigger the testes into dynamic activity, which also bumps up testosterone production. If you can’t get on board with this facet of natural testosterone boosting, you are truly a slacker…
4. Physical Training
This is perhaps the most important of the advice on the Top 10 list. Plus, it provides multiple benefits beyond increased testosterone enhancement. Yet, you most observe a few rules:
A. High Intensity
Your workouts should be short bursts of high intensity, such as sprinting versus a long walk or run.
B. Heavy Weights
You will need to incorporate weight lifting and use very heavy weights (that YOU can safely handle). You’ll know you’re lifting heavy enough if the weights you chose limit your sets to less than 10 repetitions.
Zinc helps synthesize testosterone. So take plenty of it in pill or natural forms (such as roast beef and oysters).
6. Vitamin D
Another synthesizer of testosterone is Vitamin D. 20 minutes of sun exposure (without a shirt on) as well as 2 cups of milk will be enough each day. You can also take it in pill form.
Egg whites, soy proteins, game meats (e.g.: moose) are all rich in leucine. You can also find leucine in supplement form. It is an amino acid that helps the formation of testosterone.
8. Healthy Fats
Nuts, seeds, fish and natural oils are all chalk full of healthy fats. The Japanese, scandinavian and mediterranean are rich in nut and fish oils.
In fact, over 30% of the daily calorie intake for these diets are in healthy fats. Yet they produce the lowest heart disease and diabetes rates in the world.
If your intake of calories through fat drops below 30% of your total daily intake, your testosterone will suffer.
9. Cruciferous Vegetables
These “green leafy veggies” such as cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli help your body cleanse itself from “bad” estrogens, which can interfere with your testosterone production.
10. Lose the belly
Being overweight brings a myriad of health problems and aesthetic nastiness. Now you can add lowered testosterone levels to the list. If you’re binging on junk food and sitting on the couch, implement a healthy, overall diet to the above recommendations and watch your testosterone levels go up and up…
One of the most common reasons patients hurt their low backs is poor lifting technique. Every time a person bends over to pick up an object (at home or at work), bad lifting wears away the lumbar disc’s resilience. Eventually, the patient’s low back pain is so great, they cannot function the way they used to without extensive rehabilitation.
In order to avoid the worst case scenario, patients can learn to lift properly in the comfort of their own home by following our protocol:
(the following program is to be done 4 times per week)
With this protocol, you will develop the inner thigh and hip flexibility as well as core strength to help you implement proper lifting technique:
** please be examined by an appropriate healthcare professional before taking the advice on this web article
One of the biggest surprises for my low back patients is that lifting weights is good for them. Perhaps we associate lifting with back injuries so we hesitate to do the very thing we fear will damage us. However, just like bad eating is the cause of weight gain and heart disease, it is bad lifting that causes injuries to the lumbar spine. What we need to learn is how to lift well.
The body is made up of a series of joints. From your toes to your nose, you have a chain-link of moveable joints. If one joint does not move properly, the ones above and below it have to work abnormally hard. Try going up stairs while keeping your knee straight and you’ll quickly see the problem with bad joint movement.
Next to bad joint movement, joint weakness is the biggest problem. Just because a joint can move does not mean it is strong enough to do its part of the job. In regards to low back problems, we need to focus on the three joint “chain-link” that causes 90% of low back injuries: the lumbopelvic-hip complex
This is where weight lifting comes into play. Surprisingly, due to the popularity of yoga-type exercises, many of my patients have too much flexibility or they have normal range of motion but their muscles are not strong within that range. When we acquire normal range of motion during weight lifting, we simultaneously develop range and strength. This is key. And furthermore, we develop range in a realistic degree and avoid being hyperflexible.
When it comes to the lumbar and pelvic joints, they are rarely too stiff. And when a patient has issues in the low back, it is tricky to try and stretch the abdominals or low back musculature without causing a flare up. Therefore, strength and endurance are more important to develop in this part of the chain.
See an appropriate healthcare professional or fitness professional to add abdominal and core endurance exercises to your regimen. Click here for my suggestion on beginner core training. When following a proper weight lifting program (explained below) the low back and core muscles and joints will develop the proper co-ordination, endurance and flexibility due to the demands inherent in the exercises prescribed.
Hips are by far the most mobile members of the lumbopelvic-hip complex. They are also notoriously stiff. Hence, the most common first step in treating low back pain is improving hip strength AND flexibility. Doing so simultaneously through weight-lifting is the best case scenario.
If the hips do not have the strength and range of motion to lower the upper body towards the floor, patients have to reach down and bend their backs to pick things up at home, work and play. This is THE most common reason for repetitive strain injuries to lumbar discs apart from bad sitting posture.
“OKAY, NOW WHAT DO I DO?”
We recommend you do not begin these exercises until you have been evaluated for your low back pain. If you have already done so, make sure you are supervised by a healthcare or fitness professional before doing the following exercises:
Always stick the chest and butt out and keep the knees at or behind the toes. With the wide squat make sure your toes are pointing in the same direction as your knee caps. This avoids knee injury.
We recommend the following regimen:
1 x week:
As you are able to follow proper technique you will slowly develop the ability to go lower down and use higher weight. After dumbbells you should move to the Smith Machine before switching to barbells.
Because this lift mimics real-life lifting it is very effective at training the lumbopelvic-hip complex to perform injury-free. Only begin this exercise after 3 weeks of doing the wide squats. Make sure to start with a small weight and to respect proper technique above all else:
Just as with squats, keep the butt and chest out and knees at or behind toes. Place the weight on the ground and squat down (in perfect form) to grab the weight. Now simply stand up straight. You can use dumbbells to start because this makes it easier to keep proper form. And never do this until a fitness or health professional has taught you first hand.
We recommend the following regimen:
2 x week:
This is technically the most difficult of the exercises and should only be done once you’ve mastered the ones above. We recommend you begin the straight-legged deadlifts only after performing 4 weeks of the regular deadlifts.
After you start doing the straight-legged deadlifts begin by using dumbbells, then move to the Smith Machine. Once those two have become easy, move onto the barbell and eventually, the single leg dumbbell and barbell version. This exercise is ultimately for the hip and hamstring, developing their ability to slowly control your lumbopelvic-hip complex through a normal — and strong — range of motion.
Keep your legs straight and lower the weight as far to the ground as you can without losing the “chest out” posture (i.e.: do not round the low back at any point but keep its “small of the back” curve):
We recommend the following regimen:
2 x week:
The end result of these exercises is developing your ability to properly lift and avoid injury.
Do not neglect doing cardiovascular or other core training. When performing these exercises as part of an overall fitness regimen, always do them first. If you do them towards the end of your training, your core and hip muscles will be too tired to do them safely.
If problems persist even after doing these exercises, do not hesitate to check in with us. We will be happy to do a free consultation over the phone or over the internet: