Testosterone is revered as the king of all hormones, and the fountain of youth for men, as higher levels are generally associated with a superior sense of well-being, physical health and masculinity.
But will testosterone make you stronger? It is a common question many men have, and one that we will address in this article.
The Science Of Testosterone
Even though testosterone is a natural hormone found in all human beings, it is still technically and chemically classified as an anabolic-androgenic steroid. As such, it is expected to have the effects associated with the use of such compounds, even if you’re merely attempting to raise your body’s own levels via diet, exercise and supplementation.
What Does Testosterone Do?
Levels of testosterone are highest during puberty and your early 20s, declining slowly by the time you hit your 30s.
Testosterone’s functions can be summed up as:
- Increasing muscle mass
- Increasing bone density
- Facilitating development of primary and secondary male sexual characteristics
- Increasing strength
How Does Testosterone Make You Stronger?
To a large extent, strength is a measure of the neuronal connection between your muscles and your brain. Yes, larger muscles are definitely associated with greater strength, but only if an adequate stimulus is provided.
What does this mean? Weightlifting exercises. While some men have the genetic advantage to be blessed with greater muscle mass without doing anything, in such cases muscle size does not equate to strength.
The average individual who constantly challenges their body to initiate muscle hypertrophy will notice the subsequent strength that comes with it. This is why powerlifters – some of the strongest people on the planet, hardly ever train to complete fatigue, as central nervous system (CNS) burnout adversely affects strength and power output.
Rather, a well-thought-out periodization training plan is a sure fire way to increase strength predictably, taking advantage of periods of moderate intensity to ensure maximal progress over the long run.
Testosterone, when administered exogenously, exposes the body to a dose that is well over 50 times what it produces each day. The result is like hitting the on switch for anabolism, whereas continuous muscle growth is possible and in response strength.
This is far from ideal, however, as when you discontinue use of the compounds your strength plummets as your body struggles to cope with your natural testosterone production being shut down.
How To Maximize Strength With Testosterone Naturally
Unless you have genetic hypogonadism or are of advancing age and natural ways of increasing testosterone are ineffective, you should not opt for testosterone replacement therapy or use other anabolic steroids without first thinking of the consequences.
Any man in his 20s, 30s, and arguably even his 40s should be able to increase strength in a predictable manner by optimizing and taking advantage of natural variables.
This means ensuring your diet is rich in testosterone-friendly fats, ensuring you include resistance exercise in your workout plan three times per week, and using natural supplements that help to support testosterone production without adverse effects.
Who Should Focus On Increasing Testosterone Levels For Greater Strength?
Any adult man should work to ensure that his testosterone levels are always within the normal range, to prevent adverse effects from manifesting. Of course, many things can come into play to determine how important this is to you, such as your:
Job – men that have physically demanding jobs, such as construction or anyone that deals with a loadbearing activity on a daily basis will benefit from enhancing their strength. The stimulus is already there; you just need to ensure that you fuel the body appropriately with the right foods and supplements, and in response, you will become bigger and stronger.
Age – it is very important that older men not let their testosterone levels fall completely to the wayside, or quality of life will diminish in an accelerated fashion. A large proportion of disability in men is due to injuries sustained as a result of weak muscles, impaired stability and balance, or metabolic disease which adversely affects hormones.
As with all other men, don’t wait until it’s too late; address the basic principles now-consume more testosterone-friendly foods and fats (be sure to clear this with your physician), and start performing mild weight-bearing exercises if you’ve never done so in your life. We are not advocating you look for an injury, but by starting small and building your way up you reduce your risk of injury by strengthening the muscles.
Muscles of the lower back and legs are an extremely common source of injury, making it important that you support the strength of these weight-bearing muscles.
The answer to this is yes, testosterone will make you stronger given that you challenge the body a bit with the necessary stimulus. Strength isn’t magically something that you can accumulate and keep, just as a muscle can be considered dynamic in the sense that you must use it or lose it.
Keep your strength levels up into old age, and your mobility and overall male health will be preserved as well.