You’ve probably heard that testosterone is linked to strength and muscle gain. Maybe you’ve read articles online or overheard discussions in the gym locker room but aren’t sure about the facts. How does testosterone affect strength exactly? Does it work alone or in combination with resistance training? And what does testosterone do for bodybuilding? In this article, we address all of these questions and more to give you an accurate overview of the facts.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone that’s commonly associated with males, although women also produce it in smaller quantities. It’s been linked to strength, muscle hypertrophy, and fat loss which is why there’s a lot of interest around it in the fitness community. It can also improve memory and cognition, increase blood flow and bone growth, and boost the production of hair, collagen, and sperm. It’s such an impressive hormone that the researchers who figured out how to synthesize it were awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry!
How does Testosterone Affect Muscle Growth?
It is thought that testosterone-induced muscular hypertrophy is caused by an increase in the number of satellite cells. These cells are involved in the creation of new muscle fibers and also help to make existing ones larger. It is this mechanism that primarily explains how testosterone increases muscle growth.
Testosterone also improves protein usage within the body which enables it to build muscle more efficiently. It increases the number of cell receptors in the muscle, which increases amino acid consumption when combined with strength training. This intensifies the results and allows for a greater volume of muscle to be developed.
Testosterone also decreases muscle breakdown, sometimes referred to as ‘catabolism’. It blocks cortisol which is a catabolic hormone and stops it from initiating muscle degradation. This helps to improve recovery after training and enhance strength gains for the long-term.
How Testosterone Affects Strength
Conventional wisdom says that testosterone strength gains are caused by the muscle growth described above. But recent scientific research has shown that there are additional factors at play. Calcium is involved in muscle contractions which is another reason why a balanced diet is essential for maximal training gains. Testosterone has been shown to increase the volume of calcium that gets released which enables more forceful muscle contractions during training. Since strength is directly related to the force that’s produced, the extra calcium increases overall performance. Testosterone and muscle strength are inextricably linked, so boosting hormone levels can be beneficial for both bodybuilding and competitive goals.
What About Fat Loss?
Testosterone can also influence fat loss in a number of ways. It works alongside your central nervous system to manage nutrient metabolism, influencing how many calories your body burns. It also blocks both the uptake and storage of fat within the body, while increasing receptors involved in fat-burning. This is one of the reasons that testosterone supplementation is a favorite with physique competitors.
Do Testosterone Supplements Really Work?
Testosterone supplements do work but it’s important to be aware that the hormone is actually a controlled substance in many western countries, including the USA. Supplemental injections are available from medical professionals for those with low testosterone levels. However, there are ways to boost your testosterone without resorting to injections.
The best testosterone booster for muscle gain is Paederia foetida extract, also known as the Chinese fever vine. Scientific studies have found that it increases male vigor and vitality by increasing the production of testosterone. It’s also been shown to help you pack on necessary weight for building muscle. This is why we include it as a natural testosterone booster in our Magnitropin™ complex and is one of the reasons our supplement is ranked #1 for natural anabolics.
Supplementation has been shown to dramatically increase muscle mass and reduce body fat. It can also make the body more sensitive to insulin which aids carbohydrate metabolism. Building muscle with low testosterone can be tough since you’re at a biological disadvantage so it makes sense to boost your levels naturally where possible.
Does Testosterone Build Muscle Without Working Out?
Increasing muscle and strength with minimal effort might seem too good to be true. But boosting testosterone without working out has been shown to produce positive effects. A large scientific review involving over 4500 participants found that even without changes to diet or exercise, supplemental testosterone reduced body weight by an average of 11.5lbs (5.2kg) over two years. Other large-scale studies have found that boosting testosterone levels resulted in a 6.2% body fat decrease and 2.7% lean body mass increase on average.
However, increasing testosterone levels in combination with strength training will yield even better results. At certain intensities, exercise stimulates testosterone production which means you see an even greater increase in muscle production and strength. As a general rule, working out above your existing exercise threshold is the sweet spot. Higher volume weight training (i.e. more reps at a lower weight) is likely to stimulate testosterone production to a greater degree, as long as it pushes you beyond your usual limits.
Testosterone, Strength & Muscle Gain – Summary
In summary, research shows that testosterone can increase muscle mass, strength, and fat loss. The hormone works at a cellular level to promote muscle development, reduce catabolism, and increase force production. It also supports metabolism to aid your dietary efforts towards achieving a lean and toned body. Boosting your testosterone levels can help you realize your fitness goals faster and enhance overall results.
Magnitropin – Advanced Lean Muscle Amplification Complex
Magnitropin is a high-quality myotropic agent and testosterone booster that was recently ranked #1 for natural anabolics. Developed over years of careful research and clinical trials, it helps you to build lean muscle mass, increase your endurance and appetite, boost your strength, and improve your overall athletic performance. The advanced formula combines scientifically proven ingredients that enable you to build healthy, toned muscle mass safely and efficiently. You can benefit from increased testosterone levels without having to resort to injections or other questionable methods. Learn more here.
Caroline has a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition and Bachelor’s degree in Sports Science. She has an in-depth understanding of sports nutrition and wrote her Master’s thesis on protein supplementation. After graduating she also qualified as a Personal Trainer and loves to combine her knowledge of exercise, nutrition, and science to help people achieve their health goals. For over 10 years she has worked with leading fitness and nutrition companies all over the world. She also loves functional training, practising yoga, and exploring different countries in her spare time.