Does Exercise Increase Testosterone?

Does Exercise Increase Testosterone?

Staff Writer
6 minute read


You probably know from school biology class that testosterone is a hormone produced in the body that helps regulate a myriad of functions like bone density, fat distribution, muscle strength and mass, sex drive, etc. 

And with so many important functions in your body and benefits from maintaining healthy T levels you have probably wondered if there’s something you can do to increase, like exercising to help those levels. Today we’ll guide you through the science behind it and how to reap all those benefits. 


Testosterone, as already mentioned,  is a hormone produced primarily in the testicles in men and ovaries in women and it is the most important and well-known androgen hormone in the body, thus why men usually have higher levels than women.

It takes place in a lot of body functions like: bone and muscle density and strength, sperm production, mood and energy, sex drive, red blood cell production and even your mental sharpness, docus and concentration.

So it is not a surprise that consistently low levels will lead to low sex drive, erectile dysfunction

sleep problems, loss of muscle and bone density, gaining more fat in the midsection, depression

mental fog, and others which can be symptoms of testosterone levels outside the optimal range.

It is also important to note that testosterone, as well as other hormones and vitamins in the body, depend largely on diet and getting enough nutrients. For example, testosterone and other steroid hormones that occur naturally in the body need fat and cholesterol in your diet to be produced.


Testosterone levels in the blood are differentiated in free testosterone and bound testosterone. Most of the testosterone produced in your body binds to proteins and a large portion of those can not be divided and thus have little effect on the functioning of our tissues. This might lead to low testosterone symptoms even if having regular or high levels in the blood.

In general, the normal ranges of testosterone in men are:

  • 270 to 1070 ng/dL total testosterone with an average of about 679 ng/dL.

  • 9 to 30 ng/dL free testosterone with an average of about 2 to 3% of total testosterone levels.

And in women:

  • 15 to 70 ng/dL total testosterone.

  • 0.3 to 1.9 ng/dL free testosterone (with the same average as men).

In addition to these symptoms and other noticeable health markers should be taken into consideration as a regular level for some individuals might be low for others depending on sex, age, diet, lean mass, etc..


Maintaining healthy levels of testosterone will have a noticeable impact on your muscle mass and body fat, mainly promoting muscle mass maintenance and growth, as well as body fat reduction.

Keep in mind, however, that if you start with T levels within a healthy range and work your way to a higher level in blood the effects in muscle and fat might not be that noticeable; but you will get all the other health boosts from testosterone.

As for fat loss specifically, there is a relationship between increased body fat percentage and decreased testosterone levels. The higher your testosterone levels are the leaner you will be and vice versa. The mechanisms of this relationship are not yet clear, nevertheless, research has shown that testosterone directly inhibits the creation of fat cells and that low testosterone is a contributing factor to obesity.

So working on naturally increasing your testosterone levels has really big payoffs on the way you look and feel.


There are a few things you can try to boost your testosterone naturally and without hormone replacement therapy:

And the last one, and the main topic of this article, is improving your testosterone levels by exercising.


AS mentioned before testosterone levels are strongly correlated to your lean mass, which means the higher your T level, the leaner you’ll be. 

But here it is very important the type of exercise you perform and that you perform it regularly. So if you want to make all that effort in the gym count here are some tips:

  • Prioritize heavy compound exercises like the squat, deadlift, and pressing. Many studies show that this type of training boosts production of many hormones like testosterone and growth hormone which will help get you leaner and stronger.

  • Make sure you learn the proper form of all the exercises before increasing the load and that every rep of every set of every workout is performed with proper and safe form.

  • Focus on strength and maintaining or increasing muscle mass. Combining these two goals and training modalities, heavy low reps for strength and higher volume for bodybuilding, will help you get leaner and improve your testosterone levels.

  • Make sure you’re getting stronger by progressively increasing the intensity of your training in the load or weight you carry, the amount of reps you perform, reducing rest periods, etc. It would be very advisable to hire a seasoned coach or trainer to guide you through this process and keep you safe.

  • Do your cardio but don’t over do it. You can check this article to know more about the best way to add cardio to your daily routine based on your goals. Just keep in mind that you don’t need endless hours of cardio to get in shape and improve your hormonal health, you can do it the smart way taking less time and effort, and still see amazing results.

  • Make sure your diet reflects your efforts at the gym. Get plenty of protein to rebuild yourself up, enough carbs to fuel your body and make you stronger, healthy fats that will keep your hormone levels healthy and give you energy and a ton of colorful vegetables that will provide your body with nutrients.

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