Increasing testosterone naturally with weightlifting
An excellent exercise for increasing testosterone naturally is weight lifting. In fact, firing up your muscles in the gym is probably the most straightforward way you can boost your sex drive that doesn't involve sex. This article covers the basic guidelines you need to know in order to take full advantage of the testosterone weight lifting connection.
The principle here is simple. When you lift weights, you break down muscle in your body and stimulate regrowth. The hormones involved in this process are growth hormone (GH) and testosterone (T). So what you're looking to do is work your muscles until they start to break down, and then let them regrow. By increasing the signal to regrow muscles, you are increasing testosterone naturally. Unfortunately, the application of this principle is less than straightforward.
Squats are king
An underlying fact coming out of the research here is that the amount of testosterone generated from a single exercise is proportional to the mass of muscle that is stimulated. This means you want to to multi-joint exercises like squats, dead lifts, bench press, and power cleans. I lift twice a week and I do squats both times. This exercise works all the large muscle groups in the body.
In short, work the biggest muscle groups, and work as many of them as you can at a time. Don't waste time on curls and other isolated exercises.
No pain, no gain
Research is quite complex on the issue of number of reps, intensity and appropriate rest periods for maximal testosterone weightlifting benefit (1,2). As usual, where the research gets fuzzy, common sense needs to take over. Follow standard weightlifting guidelines: 5-10 reps, 1-3 minute rest, at least 30 minutes of working out, at least twice a week. One of the more clear findings from the physiology literature is that the total work done significantly influences the resulting hormone release (3).
But as anyone who has seen Pumping Iron can tell you, the real benefit shows up when your muscles feel the burn. Like Arnold says, if you can't go through the pain period, you will never be a champion. Increase the load and increase the burn. That's the key factor for increasing testosterone naturally with weightlifting.
Don't overdo it
Another hormone that gets turned on during weightlifting is cortisol, the stress hormone. This response is necessary, and certainly serves a purpose in the testosterone boosting process. But we are talking about a case where you can get too much of a good thing. Burning yourself out at the gym is ultimately counter productive to testosterone
Don't stress out over this. You don't need to become a musclehead to start increasing testosterone naturally at the gym. But you do need to play smart. If you stick to multiple joint exercises like squats and bench press, and make sure to feel the burn, then you are well on your way in this department.
Check out the principles behind increasing testosterone naturally