Muscle Mass, Testosterone, and Your Overall Health
If you’re a man who’s looking to improve your overall health, you probably worry about your weight and appearance—muscle mass is more attractive to many than a beer gut.
There’s more you should know about the muscle mass and testosterone dynamic. Increased muscle mass, fueled by testosterone, provides a plethora of health benefits beyond an improved appearance:
- Healthier testosterone to estrogen balance
- Increased metabolism
- Stronger skeletal structure
Muscle Mass Increases Testosterone and Burns Fat
In this blog, we’ve often talked about a cycle of weight problems and ill health that accompany low testosterone. Fat tissue functions as an estrogen-producing organ, and higher estrogen creates a low testosterone balance. Low testosterone triggers an increase in fat tissue production, which means even more estrogen—round and round the merry go round towards obesity and poor health.
When we talk about muscle mass and testosterone, it’s critical to realize that this cycle can work in the opposite direction, towards better hormonal health and appearance for men.
Healthy testosterone levels can help you produce more muscle mass, and greater amounts of lean muscle mass help your body more efficiently produce testosterone. Together, they burn fat for fuel and signal to your body to produce less estrogen and fat tissue. You reverse the cycle of poor health and instead create excellent conditions for muscle gains, a better appearance, and increased vitality.
Similar Increases in Muscle Mass and Bone Strength
Increased muscle mass and the co-occurring healthy testosterone balance also affect your bone structure.
In response to stress, a healthy body with a proper hormone balance will more efficiently produce bone tissue to replace structural tissue broken down by the stress of day-to-day living. This prevents premature frailty and injury.
Evidence is found in looking at the opposite situation. A recent study shows that 35% of men younger than 50 years old who were attending an andrology or infertility clinic had low bone mineral density consistent with osteopenia (borderline osteoporosis) in the spine and/or hip. Low testosterone is an indicator for weak bones and osteoporosis.
Stronger bones means living a more vibrant life as you age, and the positive cycle we outlined above is a fantastic way to achieve that goal.
Muscle Mass Improves Energy and Vitality
As increased muscle mass and improved testosterone production work to improve your health, you’re likely to see increases in energy.
Two of the hallmark symptoms of poor testosterone production are fatigue and low mood. These symptoms have the potential to rob you of the joy you typically would feel while doing things you love.
By maintaining a healthy body that is better able to replenish its vital hormones and repair damaged tissue, you’re likely to feel less stress or anxiety and improve your perceived energy levels.
How to Improve Muscle Mass and Testosterone Levels
Testosterone, lean muscle mass, and exercise (especially weightlifting) are inherently connected—strenuous exercise stimulates the body to produce more testosterone. The resulting gains in lean muscle mass in turn increase capacity for more exercise and even greater testosterone production.
In order to achieve this benefit, it’s important to work large muscle groups to near exhaustion, and this near-limit intensity is the key to triggering your body to increase testosterone and build lean muscle mass.
Here are some exercises that can help you achieve this goal:
- HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
- Circuit Training
- Heavy weight lifting with fewer reps
Slightly increasing your own testosterone naturally is one of the main benefits of getting into a workout routine and staying with it.
Muscle Mass and Testosterone: Important Conclusions
After all of that information, it’s important to realize that any increases in testosterone due to exercise are always temporary, only lasting a little while after activity levels fall. If you’re suffering from borderline Low T, a better diet and exercise program could provide the boost in testosterone and muscle mass you need to stay out of symptomatic territory.
If the time and energy you’re investing in exercise at the gym aren’t producing the returns you were expecting, clinically low testosterone may be handicapping your body’s ability to produce lean muscle mass—a better diet and workout program aren’t going to provide a solution.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), not exercise, is the most effective treatment for chronic low testosterone. Factual answers to the most common questions regarding the benefits of TRT—free from marketing spin—can be found in our comprehensive guide.