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How to boost testosterone

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#1 DarkRiver

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 07:18 PM


I have read that exercise and getting plenty of sleep are two ways to increase testosterone levels.

 

Are there any supplements, herbs or foods that will do the same? Any other activities or lifestyle changes (such as reducing ejaculation frequency)?

 

I remember reading that zinc helps the male body make testosterone (and semen?). Is that true?

 



#2 aconita

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 09:31 PM

It depends, if you are looking to improve testosterone to such a degree it will make a difference in your body composition there is no way but exogenous steroids or SARMs.

 

If you are looking to restore an healthy physiological level exercise, sleep and stress avoidance are first choice.

 

Supplements like zinc only work only if there is a deficiency for one reason or another, more zinc doesn't lead to more testosterone.

 

If nutrition is as it should it is quite unlikely to have deficiencies in need to be corrected by supplements but athletes might benefit from it because increased needs of certain nutrients, pathological conditions are another ballgame.

 

Some foods and supplements tends to increase testosterone levels but again the difference might be felt only if the starting point value is very low.

 

If values are about in range the best one can do is to follow an healthy lifestyle which includes being active (training, practicing a sport, etc...), caring about good nutrition, avoiding stress and plenty of quality sleep.

 

Above about 17% body fat aromatase activity becomes an issue converting testosterone in extrogens big time, aim to stay between 10% and 15%.

 

Indulging in booze too often doesn't help.

 

Sex is good.



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#3 DarkRiver

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 09:58 PM

Some foods and supplements tends to increase testosterone levels but again the difference might be felt only if the starting point value is very low.

 

If values are about in range the best one can do is to follow an healthy lifestyle which includes being active (training, practicing a sport, etc...), caring about good nutrition, avoiding stress and plenty of quality sleep.

 

My problem is that I have low testosterone for my age group, even though I fall in the "normal" range. I'm in my upper 30s and from a few studies I have read, my total T level should be in the 600s but mine is persistently around 300. I have no libido and am trying to do whatever I can to get back to "my old self", e.g. exercising, going to bed sooner, eating much healthier, but I'm still not increasing my testosterone or libido.
 

June 2017

TESTOSTERONE, TOT: 338 ng/dL

Reference Range: 250-1100 (ng/dL)

 

TESTOSTERONE, FREE: 66.2 pg/mL

Reference Range: 35.0-155.0 (pg/mL)

 

DIHYDROTESTOSTERON (DHT): 31 ng/dL

Reference Range: 16-79 (ng/dL)

 

Nov. 2016

Testosterone, Tot: 295 ng/dL
Reference range: 250 - 1100 ng/dL

Testosterone, Free: 48.7
Reference range: 35 - 155 pg/mL

 

Dihydrotestosteron: 25
Reference range: 16 - 79 ng/dL


Sept. 2016

Testosterone, Tot: 458
Reference range: 250 - 1100 ng/dL

July 2016
Testosterone, Tot: 256.2
Reference range: 249 - 836 ng/dL

Free Testosterone: 54.93
Reference range: 30 - 150 pg/mL



#4 Advocatus Diaboli

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 11:06 PM

If you are diagnosed with hypogonadism you could get a prescription for testosterone from your doctor that should be recognized by your insurance company. Typically, 2 consecutive tests of testosterone indicating levels below 300 ng/dL are required before insurance will approve, and partially pay for, a testosterone prescription. With generic testosterone gels, for example, your share of the cost would be about $10.00 per month.

 

Unfortunately some (most?) insurance companies don't recognize a diagnosis of hypogonadism if the measured early morning (typically before 10:00 am) values of testosterone are above 300 ng/dL, which yours are at times. Your doctor can prescribe it none-the-less but it can be quite expensive (depending upon brand and route--transdermal or injected), without insurance.

 

If you can think of any correlations among activities/lifestyle/medications that might have resulted in your higher testosterone measurements you could avoid those factors for 2 consecutive tests in order to have low testosterone values detected on the tests, and thus qualify for the hypogonadism diagnosis and partial payment by the insurance company.

 

Letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor (see aconita in post #2), could be used to "raise" T levels by suppressing the amount of T converted to estradiol by action of aromatase. Men need estradiol, but too much, as might be produced by the fat cells of an overweight individual,  might lead to Gynecomastia ("man boobs"), which I suspect you wouldn't want. If Letrozole interests you, you could do some research about the full range of benefits ("raising" T in men, for example) and possible unwanted  side effects.

 

Prices on Letrozole can vary wildly among drugstores, but you should be able to get it for less than $10.00 per month (with insurance). Your doctor might have to be creative about why it was prescribed.


Edited by hypnos, 09 July 2017 - 11:54 PM.


#5 aconita

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 12:40 AM

Improving libido is easier than testosterone but yes, your values are in the low range.

 

Best exercises to rise test is heavy weightlifting and/or interval training of which I might recommend a Tabata protocol as best for the scope.

 

Heavy weightlifting is great but you can't just jump on it, it requires a progressive approach...and a qualified instructor in order to avoid disaster.

 

Tabata can be performed right away at full throttle (your actual full throttle, of course).

 

Good sleep is not less than 8 hours but 9 or 10 are even better, especially if you start training hard (as you should).

 

Consider meditation (stress relief and more).

 

Nutrition should be oriented towards lowish carbs - high fats and proteins (animal origin is better), avoid frying, only healthy fats (olive oil, butter), no refined sugars and sodas, lot of seafood, onions, have 12-16 hours without food everyday (part of it can be while asleep).

 

Avoid any soy products.

 

Possible supplements are:

 

zinc in the morning (30mg Optizinc), magnesium bisglycinate before bed (500mg or more if it doesn't gives you the runs), 1 drop SSKI in half glass of water every second day (test for Hashimoto first), melatonin before bed (3mcg), whey proteins only immediately after training (about 40g with 120g maltodextrin or dextrose).

 

Tongkat Ali is possibly the only supplement able to somehow rise test, it is shamefully expensive, lots of fakes, it certainly rises libido.

 

Maca rises libido but not test, not directly at least, in my opinion if libido goes up chances are that test will somehow follow.

 

The list is far from exhaustive, of course, but it might be a start point.

 

How fat are you?     


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#6 PeaceAndProsperity

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 01:21 AM

Being a bit fat does not lower your testosterone. Maybe it does in 1 out of 100 people but otherwise it doesn't.. it's a myth. You can drop your body fat as much as you want, it won't make a freaking difference for the better, only for the worse! You need to eat a lot of fat to support testosterone production. Fat women generally are more masculine. Same with fat guys, up until a point.

 

Exercise depletes testosterone. It temporarily does things to shbg and 1 out of 10 times you can actually feel it (squatting has the strongest effect) but then it drops. Studies don't lie!

 

There is no supplement that can increase testosterone any decent amount. 1 or 2 supplements can actually be felt, feels like taking steroids, but they're toxic.

 

Even pharmaceutical estrogen antagonists or aromatase inhibitors only raise testosterone by measly 100-200ng/dl which is not much and you can't realistically keep taking the fertility meds because they are toxic/have horrendous side-effects or worsen in their effects over time (like aromatase inhibitors), and they make you feel AWFUL. All of them! So even if it shows on paper that your levels are higher you'll still feel awful, even worse than before.

 

Trust me because I know what I am talking about..

Buying the testosterone locally or online is your only realistic option. Doctors are useless and unhelpful.


Edited by PeaceAndProsperity, 10 July 2017 - 01:24 AM.

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#7 Benko

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 02:05 PM

1. Get your prolactin level checked.  If elevated it will lower test.

 

2. Sept 2016 tot test 458

 

What were you doing right then that you were not doing before or after?  Less stress?  Less masturbation?


Edited by Benko, 10 July 2017 - 02:08 PM.

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#8 Advocatus Diaboli

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 05:04 PM

Following, are some quotes from https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC2686330/ It's a well-written and informative article:

"Less clear, or at least more controversial, is the necessity of treating the gentler reduction of testosterone seen in the aging process."

"The fact is, however, that the sexual attributes of testosterone are the least of its physiological necessities and that testosterone has a broad spectrum of demonstrated physiological functions as well as a wide variety of physiological and pathophysiological associations about which we are just learning."

"Testosterone treatment is unequivocally needed in classical hypogonadism for reasons discussed in subsequent subsections. In classical hypogonadism, testosterone production is usually clearly below the lower limit of normal and patients are highly symptomatic; the various symptoms are easily related to the deficiencies in various bodily systems where testosterone action is important. Symptoms of testosterone deficiency are listed in Table 2."

"As already indicated previously, testosterone levels, particularly bioavailable testosterone, fall with advancing age. This decline in testosterone availability may start to occur early in the forth decade but it usually becomes clinically manifest in the 50s and 60s. Although there is continuing debate about the best way to diagnose hypogonadism in the aging male, there appears to be a general consensus that symptomatic men with reduced levels of testosterone should be given a trial of testosterone therapy if there is no contraindication to do so (Bain et al 2007)."

"The reasons for considering such therapy become evident from the many associations, indicated above, that reduced testosterone has with a variety of both physiological functions (bone metabolism, muscle mass, cognitive function, libido, erectile function) and pathophysiological states (metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, obesity, insulin resistance, autoimmune disease). Although a definitive long-term, large scale placebo-controlled double-blind study of testosterone therapy in the aging male has not yet been carried out, multiple shorter-term trials have suggested improvement by testosterone with a resultant enhancement of muscle mass, bone density, libido, erectile function, mood, motivation and general sense of well-being."

Another interesting study:


https://academic.oup...urheartj/ehv346

Conclusion of the above study:

In this large observational cohort with extended follow-up, normalization of TT levels after TRT was associated with a significant reduction in all-cause mortality, MI, and stroke.

Incidentally, heavy weightlifting (see aconita, post #  5) is ill advised, whether one wants to gradually or to aggressively pursue it--owing to the possibility of thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA).

https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC3718583/

Also of interest is that Dr. Andrea Natale https://en.wikipedia...i/Andrea_Natale , a world-renowned cardiologist and electrophysiologist specializing in atrial fibrillation has said (paraphrased):

 

--when lifting heavy weights, in particular overhead or above the chest in bench press mode, the ventricles are squeezed tight as if a band were wrapped around them when grunting and pressing hard with heavy weights, but the upper atria then balloon out, as in taking a regular balloon and wrapping your hands around the lower half and then squeezing it will cause the upper part of the balloon to literally 'balloon' out and stretch in the process. The prolonged result of which are greatly dilated left and right atria often leading to dysfunctional valves and a strong tendency toward persistent AFIB.
 

Here is an article on atrial fibrillation in athletes:

https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC5135187/

 

I suspect that, in terms of exercise, moderation is the key.



#9 Benko

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 06:09 PM

Also of interest is that Dr. Andrea Natale https://en.wikipedia...i/Andrea_Natale , a world-renowned cardiologist and electrophysiologist specializing in atrial fibrillation has said (paraphrased):

 

--when lifting heavy weights, in particular overhead or above the chest in bench press mode,

 

I couldn't find enough on a quick search to speak in general to the issue of exercise and testosterone, but what I did find pointed out the exercises relevant to the topic of increasing testosterone are squats and deadlifts (well OK cleans too) and squats and deads do not fit into the:

 

"overhead or above the chest...." criteria.  So the comments may be relevant to powerlifting but are not pertinent to this topic. 

 

OFF TOPIC: rant on doctors and lifting:

Speaking in general (and assuming this guy is correct on this particular topic)  physicians and other health people are in general rather moronic on lifting (and I have an MD). If you listen to them squats are bad for your knees, etc. The key to lifting is to get your technique down well, and work up in weights slowly.  I'm old and I'll work up to 20 or more reps before increasing weights on e.g. squats or good mornings.  The body adapts incremental change.

 

NB: nothing I say should be construed as medical advice.  Also yes a tiny percentage of people will be born with weak aortic walls which could cause a problem for them in a number of situations including lifting.  No way to predict that.   


Edited by Benko, 10 July 2017 - 06:15 PM.

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#10 jack black

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 06:25 PM

 

Some foods and supplements tends to increase testosterone levels but again the difference might be felt only if the starting point value is very low.

 

If values are about in range the best one can do is to follow an healthy lifestyle which includes being active (training, practicing a sport, etc...), caring about good nutrition, avoiding stress and plenty of quality sleep.

 

My problem is that I have low testosterone for my age group, even though I fall in the "normal" range. I'm in my upper 30s and from a few studies I have read, my total T level should be in the 600s but mine is persistently around 300. I have no libido and am trying to do whatever I can to get back to "my old self", e.g. exercising, going to bed sooner, eating much healthier, but I'm still not increasing my testosterone or libido.
 

June 2017

TESTOSTERONE, TOT: 338 ng/dL

Reference Range: 250-1100 (ng/dL)

 

TESTOSTERONE, FREE: 66.2 pg/mL

Reference Range: 35.0-155.0 (pg/mL)

 

DIHYDROTESTOSTERON (DHT): 31 ng/dL

Reference Range: 16-79 (ng/dL)

 

Nov. 2016

Testosterone, Tot: 295 ng/dL
Reference range: 250 - 1100 ng/dL

Testosterone, Free: 48.7
Reference range: 35 - 155 pg/mL

 

Dihydrotestosteron: 25
Reference range: 16 - 79 ng/dL


Sept. 2016

Testosterone, Tot: 458
Reference range: 250 - 1100 ng/dL

July 2016
Testosterone, Tot: 256.2
Reference range: 249 - 836 ng/dL

Free Testosterone: 54.93
Reference range: 30 - 150 pg/mL

 

 

what are your symptoms?

treatment is only needed for specific symptoms. no sane MD treats only the numbers.

BTW, free T is the only important #, total T is next to useless.

if you decide on treatment, the best choices are HCG, clomifene, and tamoxifen. google and educate yourself.
 



#11 Advocatus Diaboli

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 07:14 PM

Benko, if you have citations to peer-reviewed journal articles that indicate squats and deadlifts and your "well OK cleans too" assertions as being relevant to increasing testosterone, please supply links to them.

 

Note also, that you left out "in particular" which precedes the part you quoted: "overhead or above the chest....". The use of "In particular" indicates reference to a sub-set of lift types that, apparently, Dr. Natale wanted to emphasize. He doesn't explicitly exclude other forms of heavy weight lifting, and you, as a medical doctor, certainly understand the hemodynamics associated with exertion, and the effects of elevated blood pressure, whether transient (as might be expected upon lifting a heavy weight) or chronic, on the structural functioning of the heart and valves as well as the effects upon arteries and the rest of the circulatory system.

 

The pertinence is established by recognizing that the inclusion of "in particular", in my paraphrasing of Dr. Natale, doesn't rule out inferences to, and implications of, the possible adverse effects of other types of heavy weightlifting (as might be advocated by aconista as way possibly increasing T levels).

 

I completely agree with you (as well as aconita) about the importance of proper technique: "The key to lifting is to get your technique down well, and work up in weights slowly." My aim, in part, was to present evidence of unintended consequences.

 

I still believe that TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) should be considered by the OP as a possibility for improving his symptoms.

 

 



#12 DarkRiver

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 07:26 PM


I still believe that TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) should be considered by the OP as a possibility for improving his symptoms.

 

 

what are your symptoms?

 

treatment is only needed for specific symptoms. no sane MD treats only the numbers.

BTW, free T is the only important #, total T is next to useless.

if you decide on treatment, the best choices are HCG, clomifene, and tamoxifen. google and educate yourself.

 

I did try TRT via injection for about two months earlier this year. I did one shot of testosterone per week, followed four days later by a shot of HCG. The TRT definitely improved my libido. A blood test showed that my total testosterone went from ~350 to over 1300...too high. So I reduced my T+HCG dosage to half, and then stopped. It was expensive and I didn't like injecting myself.

 

The problem is that I want my body to naturally start producing enough testosterone to be appropriate for my age group and maintain a libido. I was hoping that the TRT would kind of "wake up" my hormonal system and get it functioning normally, but my last blood test (June 2017 above) shows that my T, while a little higher, is still suboptimal.

 

Many thanks for all the advice and suggestions. Feel free to keep 'em coming!



#13 Advocatus Diaboli

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 08:01 PM

LOL JackBlack!: "I did try TRT via injection for about two months earlier this year." and "It was expensive and I didn't like injecting myself."

 

You could have saved the viewers of this thread the excruciating agony of listening to my testosterone rants if you had stated that up front! :-D

 

An important question is what will you do if resort to natural methods to raise T are refractory to your best efforts. Considering the benefits of maintaining appropriate T levels maybe you could try one of the topical formulations?



#14 PeaceAndProsperity

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 08:17 PM

LOL JackBlack!: "I did try TRT via injection for about two months earlier this year." and "It was expensive and I didn't like injecting myself."

Aren't you quoting the wrong user? JackBlack didn't write that?

 


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#15 aconita

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 09:42 PM

I know plenty of people with dysfunctional heart valves, including my both parents, whom never lifted a weight in their entire life, therefore I seriously doubt abstaining from lifting will guarantee a valve issue free life.

 

In the other hand my father died after complications due to a femur fracture occurred while comfortably walking inside his own home, if he had lifted osteoporosis wouldn't have been so severe to kill him while not lifting didn't prevent him to undergo an open heart surgery for a valve transplant a few years before.

 

My mother never lifted but she has a bad heart valve and her both knees cartilage almost completely gone and she is very frail, had she lifted likely she would at least not be so frail, possibly her knees would be better and the overall picture much healthier.

 

Are there any statistical data showing higher incidence of the above mentioned heart valve issue in lifters compared to non lifters?

 

Heavy weightlifting stimulates hormones' cascade more than watching TV, that's for sure, don't need a study for that.

 

Bench pressing is very different than overhead pressing in regards of Dr. Natale observations, I doubt Dr Natale ever bench pressed or overhead pressed once in his entire life, which doesn't implies he doesn't know what he is talking about but looking at things with the head in a box easily leads to gross misunderstandings even with the best of intentions, one risks to miss the forest for tree so to speak.


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#16 brosci

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 12:38 AM

Following, are some quotes from https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC2686330/ It's a well-written and informative article:

"Less clear, or at least more controversial, is the necessity of treating the gentler reduction of testosterone seen in the aging process."

"The fact is, however, that the sexual attributes of testosterone are the least of its physiological necessities and that testosterone has a broad spectrum of demonstrated physiological functions as well as a wide variety of physiological and pathophysiological associations about which we are just learning."

"Testosterone treatment is unequivocally needed in classical hypogonadism for reasons discussed in subsequent subsections. In classical hypogonadism, testosterone production is usually clearly below the lower limit of normal and patients are highly symptomatic; the various symptoms are easily related to the deficiencies in various bodily systems where testosterone action is important. Symptoms of testosterone deficiency are listed in Table 2."

"As already indicated previously, testosterone levels, particularly bioavailable testosterone, fall with advancing age. This decline in testosterone availability may start to occur early in the forth decade but it usually becomes clinically manifest in the 50s and 60s. Although there is continuing debate about the best way to diagnose hypogonadism in the aging male, there appears to be a general consensus that symptomatic men with reduced levels of testosterone should be given a trial of testosterone therapy if there is no contraindication to do so (Bain et al 2007)."

"The reasons for considering such therapy become evident from the many associations, indicated above, that reduced testosterone has with a variety of both physiological functions (bone metabolism, muscle mass, cognitive function, libido, erectile function) and pathophysiological states (metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, obesity, insulin resistance, autoimmune disease). Although a definitive long-term, large scale placebo-controlled double-blind study of testosterone therapy in the aging male has not yet been carried out, multiple shorter-term trials have suggested improvement by testosterone with a resultant enhancement of muscle mass, bone density, libido, erectile function, mood, motivation and general sense of well-being."

Another interesting study:


https://academic.oup...urheartj/ehv346

Conclusion of the above study:

In this large observational cohort with extended follow-up, normalization of TT levels after TRT was associated with a significant reduction in all-cause mortality, MI, and stroke.

Incidentally, heavy weightlifting (see aconita, post #  5) is ill advised, whether one wants to gradually or to aggressively pursue it--owing to the possibility of thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA).

https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC3718583/

Also of interest is that Dr. Andrea Natale https://en.wikipedia...i/Andrea_Natale , a world-renowned cardiologist and electrophysiologist specializing in atrial fibrillation has said (paraphrased):

 

--when lifting heavy weights, in particular overhead or above the chest in bench press mode, the ventricles are squeezed tight as if a band were wrapped around them when grunting and pressing hard with heavy weights, but the upper atria then balloon out, as in taking a regular balloon and wrapping your hands around the lower half and then squeezing it will cause the upper part of the balloon to literally 'balloon' out and stretch in the process. The prolonged result of which are greatly dilated left and right atria often leading to dysfunctional valves and a strong tendency toward persistent AFIB.
 

Here is an article on atrial fibrillation in athletes:

https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC5135187/

 

I suspect that, in terms of exercise, moderation is the key.

What would be a good set of replacement exercises to hit these muscles without this risk?  Maybe something like a one arm kettlebell press and some sort of cable chest fly?

 

I was under the impression that AF was more of an issue for the guys who practice chronic aerobic exercise.  (Last I checked, the safe zone seemed to extend up to 3hrs a day -- http://ergo-log.com/...three-hour.html) With resistance training, I usually do 30m @ 2x/wk.

 

I would be curious if it's the heaviness of the weight that is more the issue, or the relative intensity -- eg., on exercises using parallel bars or gymnastic rings, I can tax my muscles at a seemingly 90%-100% flat out maximum effort level through to eccentric failure with these long sustained isometric muscle contractions... Yet, I'm not moving any weight other than myself around.  This can easily reach the relative intensity of barbell squats to failure.  By contrast, I can deadlift 225lbs for sets of 12 without too much strain (my HR recovers pretty quickly back down to 90-100bpm immediately after the set)... although, if I lift 135lb very slowly, I'm straining by that 4th set of 12 or so.  At 365lbs, a set of 2 reps doesn't feel too much different than a few reps of 315.  I don't feel the need to do any sort of grunting valsalva move until the 380lb+ range.   I'm not sure how much work I could really get done with something like *20 lb weights.*  It's not clear what weight x intensity to target across which muscle groups for the best risk : reward ratio, particularly as strength develops.

 

It seems like higher reps and isolation exercises carry a much greater risk of injury / RSI -- although, maybe these are safer if performed correctly?

 

I was just re-watching these videos the other day:

 

 

As part of my regular physical, I get an echocardiogram done every few years (my primary care physician is cardiologist.)  Last I checked, my valves were "wide open" with an EKG listed as normal and a resting HR in the low 40s and BP ~ 100/65.  Total T is currently at 628 ng/dL.  Perhaps with regular monitoring, you could dial back on training should any abnormalities begin to develop?  There seems to be a fine line between that optimal health zone and the danger zone wrt training volume.


Edited by brosci, 11 July 2017 - 01:16 AM.

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#17 aconita

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 01:15 AM

Here is an article on atrial fibrillation in athletes:

https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC5135187/

 

From the above link.

Studies have demonstrated that athletes who engage in endurance sports such as runners, cyclists and skiers are more prone to AF than other athletes

 

Which obviously has nothing to do with lifting heavy weights, actually the opposite: endurance athletes are more prone than other athletes such as weight lifters or other strength sports participants which means that non endurance athletes aren't very prone to AF at all since even in endurance athletes AF isn't all that common.

 

I mean, after all, how many endurance athletes with cardiac issues are we aware of?

 

Well, yes, they aren't likely to tell you anyway but if it was all that common we should know by now, don't we?

 

Maybe something like a one arm kettlebell press and some sort of cable chest fly?

 

Why a damn kettlebell?

 

Wouldn't a common dumbell be by far more comfortable?

 

Bloody fashion....

 

Anyway yes, you can substitute a one arm overhead lifting for the two arms lifting no problem or just perform mostly above 5 reps per set.

 

No, a chest fly doesn't substitute a bench press, a one arm bench press eventually will or, like above, just stay above 5 reps most of the time (which it doesn't implies you can't go for heavy singles or triples some now and than).

 

Again I am not convinced at all that the bench press has the same effect on heart valves as the overhead press, but that just me, of course.

 

Powerlifters with heart valve issues?

 

Never heard of any...

 

...and they do mostly only heavy triples, doubles or singles....and loads of juice on top of it, of course....and most wear a triple layers bench-shirt too!

 

...and they do lift heavy all right, I guess. :)


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#18 brosci

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 01:28 AM

 

 

Why a damn kettlebell?

 

Wouldn't a common dumbell be by far more comfortable?

 

Bloody fashion....

 

Anyway yes, you can substitute a one arm overhead lifting for the two arms lifting no problem or just perform mostly above 5 reps per set.

 

No, a chest fly doesn't substitute a bench press, a one arm bench press eventually will or, like above, just stay above 5 reps most of the time (which it doesn't implies you can't go for heavy singles or triples some now and than).

 

Again I am not convinced at all that the bench press has the same effect on heart valves as the overhead press, but that just me, of course.

 

Powerlifters with heart valve issues?

 

Never heard of any...

 

...and they do mostly only heavy triples, doubles or singles....and loads of juice on top of it, of course....and most wear a triple layers bench-shirt too!

 

...and they do lift heavy all right, I guess. :)

Good call, haha.  I don't have any heavy dumbbells, so thinking of isolation pressing movements, my kettlebells came to mind.  Although, doing some Googling, I came across an article that mentions "It’s my experience and conclusion that the press is best performed with a kettlebell.  Why?  The simple reason is that the pressing motion with a kettlebell is done in a plane of motion called the plane of the scapula (POS).  The POS is the most optimal position for the shoulder joint to press from because it’s the natural plane of motion for arm elevation. The offset handle of the kettlebell and the way we press from the “rack” position allows us to press very efficiently in the POS. It’s a biomechanically more efficient way to press. And, it’s actually more comfortable with a kettlebell, as well. What about the Turkish get up, which could be done with a dumbbell? Again, the preferred tool would be a kettlebell due to the offset handle and the way the kettlebell center of gravity rests on the forearm, which makes it a much different experience compared to the dumbbell. Are they both challenging when performing a Turkish get up? Yes, they are. But, the preference would be a kettelebell due to the shape and design of the kettebell, which seems to be more comfortable and efficient when performing the get up."

 

In a lot of ways, sets of 10 kick my ass much more than 5 sets of 5, especially into that extended 12th rep on the 3rd set to failure... even though it's a lot less weight (particularly with reverse pyramid weights) than I would be moving with 5x5.  Heavy singles are short enough that it doesn't feel as taxing on the cardiovascular system... by the time the weight is off the ground I'm about done with the exercise and ready to rest for a few minutes.  Hmm.

 

"Live Large, Die Large, Leave a Giant Coffin."


Edited by brosci, 11 July 2017 - 01:32 AM.


#19 Benko

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 02:13 AM

Original Poster:

 

You need to deal with basics:  get 8 hours sleep (preferably starting 9, 10, 11 or 12 PM), find some kind of stress reduction e.g. meditation (I can mail you directions for one helpful kind), mild to moderate  regular cardio is also a good stress reduction.  These issues can also depress test.  Eat decent amount saturated fat (at least for enough time to give this a chance).

 

Don't forget to get your prolactin tested.  That will interfere with raising test. Lots of stress can raise prolactin, as can masturbating 3 times a day.

 

 

Test and lifting:  

 

1. Serum testosterone varies widely over an average day e.g. from 600 at 6am to 300 at 2AM (one random study).

 

2. Weightlifting temporarily i.e. acutely elevates testosterone.  So can lifting 3-4 times per week elevate test enough to cure his issues, I dunno.  Certainly might help some.

 

3.  Big lifts e.g. squats, deads, oly lifts cause more metabolic change than simpler less demanding lifts.

 

4.  As far as heavy lifting being dangerous?  What is heavy?  700 lb squat?  Ok probably, but the 200-300+ that e.g. many people squat?  I seriously doubt it. As I said, doctors are not very bright about lifting and there is no epidemic of aortic aneurysms/heart disease among lifters.  

 

 

And yes it is possible that taking extra test might be what he needs, but I would not go that route until all the issues above have been addressed.   And unless he has symptoms what are we treating? (perhaps I missed it above)


Edited by Benko, 11 July 2017 - 02:16 AM.


#20 Benko

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 02:22 AM

PS lmore lifitng and test:

 

heavy resistance exercise will really get your test levels up for about 30-60 minutes following heavy weight training exercise!  Keep in mind that you need to be doing exercises that really stress a lot of muscle mass at once.  For example, bench press elicited no hormonal changes whereas deadlifts did. 

 

http://fitnesspainfr...e-testosterone/



#21 aconita

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 04:30 AM

It is totally off topic but...

 

I don't agree with the statement that kettlebells are superior to dumbell when overhead pressing or performing a Turkish get-up, doesn't matter from whom this comes from.

 

I have pressed and performed Turkish get-ups with both for that matter.

 

The whole scapula story is all to be proven (good luck) and very arguable.

 

Dumbells did substitute kettlebells for a long time for a reason: they are more comfortable and practical.

 

Fashion, of which the fitness industry desperately needs in order to keep or improve profits, is a completely different ballgame.

 

A kettlebell is useful for light swings (since up to 40kg is light and I have yet to see a kettlebell heavier than 40kg), for pressing holding it upside down (preferably with another kettlebell or plate on top of it) and for juggling, everything else is better performed with dumbells, period.  

 

For some unknown reason your post stopped at "...some sort of cable chest fly?" when I read it, therefore some of my thoughts about the rest of it.

 

....on exercises using parallel bars or gymnastic rings, I can tax my muscles at a seemingly 90%-100% flat out maximum effort level through to eccentric failure with these long sustained isometric muscle contractions....This can easily reach the relative intensity of barbell squats to failure.

 

Nope, maybe kind of a similar perceived effort (but in that case I doubt you ever really went to failure close to your potential in a squat), the physiological implications are quite different and not really comparable, it all comes down to the size and number of muscles heavily involved.

 

Regarding how heavy is heavy....well, from a training point of view heavy is when you go close to failure regardless the number of reps, in regard to Dr. Natale statements (of which a link to the full study or whatever would be appreciated) I suppose a near max effort is considered, something that is very near to failure below 5 reps.

 

Obviously your near to failure for 3 reps would likely be quite different from mine and even more so from that of an elite powerlifter, I suppose.

 

It's not clear what weight x intensity to target across which muscle groups for the best risk : reward ratio, particularly as strength develops.

 

It depends what you mean for reward, obviously the reward is the obtainment of your goal...therefore it depends by your goal...which, again might be not the same of mine or of an elite powerlifter.... or of a professional bodybuilder, for that matter.

 

It seems like higher reps and isolation exercises carry a much greater risk of injury / RSI -- although, maybe these are safer if performed correctly?

 

Higher reps do carry lower risk of injury provided the correct technique is employed, an herniated disk, for example, is very unlikely the result of a single heavy rep but the outcome of thousands performed with a wrong form.

 

Isolation exercises, or mono-articular exercises to be more accurate, do carry a greater risk of injury especially is performed poorly and/or at low reps, those aren't meant to show everybody how strong you are, generally speaking less than 10 reps on those do make little sense and are risky.


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#22 PeaceAndProsperity

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 01:08 PM

Are you people blind? You don't read the thread you just jump in randomly at some point at declare that, "Dude I read somewhere that this works!" but I already explained it doesn't. I've tried it and it doesn't. I've explained that it depletes testosterone and it does. I've explain it's a short-lasting effect.

If people would just read posts then threads could be summarized or ended in a few posts as opposed to hundreds of pages of people speculating the same clearly untrue point.


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#23 Benko

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 01:49 PM

Are you people blind? You don't read the thread you just jump in randomly at some point at declare that, "Dude I read somewhere that this works!" but I already explained it doesn't. I've tried it and it doesn't. I've explained that it depletes testosterone and it does. I've explain it's a short-lasting effect.

If people would just read posts then threads could be summarized or ended in a few posts as opposed to hundreds of pages of people speculating the same clearly untrue point.

 

1.  I read the whole thread, did you?.

 

2.  In one sentence you say it doesn't work, and in another you say the effect is short lived.

 

Did you read where I posted that the effect lasts 30-60 minutes?  But also that people's test level varies over the course of a day.  If a normal person with a test of 600 has their test half that later that day, how long during a day do you need to have a normal test level to feel normal?  I don't know, do you? 

 

Nothing on a message board is worth the anger you are expressing.

 


Edited by Benko, 11 July 2017 - 01:51 PM.

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#24 Benko

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 01:57 PM

deleted.


Edited by Benko, 11 July 2017 - 01:58 PM.

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#25 Baten

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 02:11 PM

I'm at my second month taking 1600mg Anacyclus Pyrethrum (Akarkara) twice daily, morning + evening/night. So far so good, effects are really building up. Experiencing good energy at the gym, and outside of that it's like I'm on viagra, almost. Really good testosterone herb !


Edited by Baten, 11 July 2017 - 02:12 PM.

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#26 PeaceAndProsperity

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 03:01 PM

1.  I read the whole thread, did you?.

 

2.  In one sentence you say it doesn't work, and in another you say the effect is short lived.

 

Did you read where I posted that the effect lasts 30-60 minutes?  But also that people's test level varies over the course of a day.  If a normal person with a test of 600 has their test half that later that day, how long during a day do you need to have a normal test level to feel normal?  I don't know, do you? 

 

Nothing on a message board is worth the anger you are expressing.

 

Right. It doesn't work to combat low testosterone. You get a slight decrease in shbg for a very short duration like minutes, and this decrease in shbg occurs because hormone levels are depleted so more needs to be freed up. Androgen receptors and 5-alpha reductase might also be upregulated for a very short duration, which can be felt.

 

Testosterone levels may vary but it's not as much as you claim. If it were then men wouldn't be masturbating or having sex before bed as nearly all men do.

 

Hormone levels are genetic. Most western men will be around 500ng/dl. No matter what they do in terms of diet or lifestyle changes it won't go much higher. 50ng/dl increases are worthless. Abusing pharmaceutical drugs to lower or antagonize the way the body mainly controls testosterone production (via estrogen levels) will yield a measly 100ng/dl increase which is not worth the side-effects.

 

The ONLY way to increase testosterone to good levels where you can feel it is to take testosterone itself. 1 or 2 toxic herbs may be felt and may make a bit of a difference (200ng/dl if you're extremely lucky) but they're obviously toxic.

 


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#27 Baten

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 05:57 PM

Hormone levels are genetic. Most western men will be around 500ng/dl. No matter what they do in terms of diet or lifestyle changes it won't go much higher. 50ng/dl increases are worthless. Abusing pharmaceutical drugs to lower or antagonize the way the body mainly controls testosterone production (via estrogen levels) will yield a measly 100ng/dl increase which is not worth the side-effects.

 

The ONLY way to increase testosterone to good levels where you can feel it is to take testosterone itself. 1 or 2 toxic herbs may be felt and may make a bit of a difference (200ng/dl if you're extremely lucky) but they're obviously toxic.

 

I was tested with 494 ng/dl baseline in 2015, so your 500ng/dl average sounds plausible. I did a ton of lifestyle changes for the better, high intensity training, and various supplements.

 

Subsequent test showed 785 ng/dl. That's +291 on total test, free test got doubled. I don't agree that one needs injections to get a worthwhile boost in serum testosterone levels. It's not the only way. Also, "the herbs that work are toxic" is really narrow-minded thinking. Most herbs have really elaborate examine.com articles, which include known toxicity information. So unless you know more about this than is publicly available, I call bull-shit.


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#28 Kodiak

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 08:12 PM

I can relate to the OP in certain ways. Turned 40 last July (41 comes next week) and had my test level measured in autumn, even though my libido was great, energy was pretty good and my ability to gain muscle still seemed decent. IIRC my test level was a shade below 300 but then THAT'S when the trouble started. Just finding out I was low depressed me a little and created a mental hang-up of sorts. Suddenly I felt tired and weak, of course. That, and my girlfriend and I had a baby girl last December so I started thinking about what kind of energy level I'd have as my test level would continue to drop as I aged, I didn't want to slowly turn into "Joe Six-pack" like a lot of guys I see out there walking the streets, just dumb stuff like that. I've taken steroids before in my 20s and 30s for a few cycles here and there and at my age now, pretty much figure and am fine with being on TRT continuously starting at some point in the next 10 years with the use of HCG too just to keep "my boys" functional. 

 

Clomid, Nolvadex, Toremifene, Letro, Aromasin, etc, can all raise test, and I wouldn't go as far as to label them "toxic," but I'd surely cycle them or be conservative with the dose if you're looking at a long-term plan, IMO. There are many to pick from and easily obtainable from any research chem site. I don't think any of these are suppressive of your natural function like steroids/test would be but I wouldn't expect a miracle with these either. I used to stack Clomid with supps like trib, tongkat, maca and whatever else there was and "felt better" but it wasn't sustainable for me, simply because I didn't want to keep taking a bunch of stuff and paying for it all indefinitely. 

 

I think a good foundation doesn't hurt but won't help bring up your test level dramatically, good foundation being healthy fats such as olive oil, mixed nuts, avocado, flax, coconut, etc. I avoid soy, don't nuke food in plastic, etc. 

 

I read most of the thread but OP, are you on any SSRIs? Other meds? Someone mentioned getting your prolactin measured. Get your estrogen measured too while you're at it. Let's hope your P and E aren't out of whack because I'd hate to try to balance those out with an AI like Letro or Cabergoline for P, simply because I think that would require a lot of blood work and fine-tuning over time. 

 

An oral steroid like Winstrol or Turinabol would free up some test bound to your SHBG, and you wouldn't need much to do that. The amount that you'd need probably wouldn't suppress your natural function, either. Proviron would do that too. 

 

I'm on low-dose test and Primobolan cycle right now, started about two months ago. Feel great. I don't necessarily like injecting myself either but I use small needs for SubQ injections which are painless. My thought process that I mentioned above got the best of me so I went back "on," which I realized a few weeks ago was premature, even though I feel really good. I can save this strategy for later, years from now, when my daughter is playing sports and I'm trying to keep up with her and be an active parent. Based on the studies I've read, TRT promotes good health and will be part of my diet and exercise program in the years ahead. I probably don't need it now just yet. 

 

Bottom line for me: I felt fine before I knew I was under 300. My head got in the way. I'll take TRT in the future and have no problem doing so. I feel like my post was all over the board as I'm writing this at work so my apologies if I rambled. 

 

 


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#29 DarkRiver

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 04:41 PM

Consider meditation (stress relief and more).

 

Nutrition should be oriented towards lowish carbs - high fats and proteins (animal origin is better), avoid frying, only healthy fats (olive oil, butter), no refined sugars and sodas, lot of seafood, onions, have 12-16 hours without food everyday (part of it can be while asleep).

 

Avoid any soy products.

 

Possible supplements are:

 

zinc in the morning (30mg Optizinc), magnesium bisglycinate before bed (500mg or more if it doesn't gives you the runs), 1 drop SSKI in half glass of water every second day (test for Hashimoto first), melatonin before bed (3mcg), whey proteins only immediately after training (about 40g with 120g maltodextrin or dextrose).


How fat are you?     

 

Aconita, I'm about five pounds overweight. I am a little on the thin side, but I have some belly fat that doesn't seem to want to disappear, no matter how often I do cardio or how much I restrict my diet. I'm doing much of your nutrition and supplements already in my effort to rid myself of major depressive order and the concomitant cognitive dysfunction (brain fog).

 

1. Get your prolactin level checked.  If elevated it will lower test.

 

2. Sept 2016 tot test 458

 

What were you doing right then that you were not doing before or after?  Less stress?  Less masturbation?

 

Benko, I had my prolactin checked twice last year; each time it was in the middle of the normal range.

 

I have no idea why my T was higher in Sept. 2016. I had stopped looking at porn and masturbating in spring 2016.

 

 

what are your symptoms?

 

treatment is only needed for specific symptoms. no sane MD treats only the numbers.

BTW, free T is the only important #, total T is next to useless.

if you decide on treatment, the best choices are HCG, clomifene, and tamoxifen. google and educate yourself.

 

As regards testosterone, my symptoms would be low libido, low motivation, low confidence, etc. But I'm also suffering from major depressive disorder, so who knows what's causing what at this point.

 

Could you explain more what you mean when you say that free testosterone levels are more important than total testosterone?

 

I can relate to the OP in certain ways. Turned 40 last July (41 comes next week) and had my test level measured in autumn, even though my libido was great, energy was pretty good and my ability to gain muscle still seemed decent. IIRC my test level was a shade below 300 but then THAT'S when the trouble started. Just finding out I was low depressed me a little and created a mental hang-up of sorts.

...

I read most of the thread but OP, are you on any SSRIs? Other meds? Someone mentioned getting your prolactin measured. Get your estrogen measured too while you're at it. Let's hope your P and E aren't out of whack because I'd hate to try to balance those out with an AI like Letro or Cabergoline for P, simply because I think that would require a lot of blood work and fine-tuning over time. 

...

Bottom line for me: I felt fine before I knew I was under 300. My head got in the way. I'll take TRT in the future and have no problem doing so. I feel like my post was all over the board as I'm writing this at work so my apologies if I rambled. 

 

I hear you, Kodiak. Of course, I was already deep in MDD when I found out that my T was low. I was left with the mystery of what came first: did my low T cause or contribute to my depression, or did my depression cause or contribute to my low T?

 

I've had many of my hormones checked over the past year. The only abnormal levels I've had were FSH and LH (low). But last month they were solid, even though my total and free T levels were 338 and 66, respectively. Prolactin, estradiol, DHEA and thyroid have been fine. Actually my pregnenolone had been very low, which I started another thread about.



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#30 jack black

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 07:51 PM

 

Could you explain more what you mean when you say that free testosterone levels are more important than total testosterone?

 

 

simple, protein-bound hormone is not biologically active. only the protein-free fraction is.

https://en.wikipedia...inding_globulin

 

 

 

When checking serum estradiol or testosterone, a total level that includes free and bound fractions can be assayed, or the free portion may be measured alone. A free androgen index expresses the ratio of testosterone to SHBG and can be used to summarize the activity of free testosterone. The best test for testosterone is the bioavailable testosterone. Sex hormone-binding globulin can be measured separately from the total fraction of testosterone.

 


Edited by jack black, 14 July 2017 - 07:51 PM.






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