Most guys in your gym will tell you that testosterone is probably the most important factor when it comes to muscle growth and fat loss. And in case you are wondering if this is true, yes it is!
Testosterone is pivotal in determining the effectiveness of any muscle growth that you may be trying to achieve.
Numerous studies have pointed to the fact that when anabolic steroids (which work to raise testosterone levels) are administered to young, healthy males, muscle growth, along with effective fat loss can occur without even having to exercise! Therefore, it is a reasonable assumption to suggest that higher testosterone levels will ensure more effective muscle growth and fat loss.
But guys, hold your horses, because this is a point where things get a little more interesting.
Okay it’s quite clear that by increasing testosterone levels will induce greater muscle growth. It is also true that by using the right types of steroids, the body’s testosterone levels will go through the roof, and by lifting weights on a regular basis, you will inevitably achieve more muscle mass than if you were drug-free.
But Did You Know… Testosterone level fluctuations within the normal physiological range do not affect muscle growth as much as you might think.
This is certainly the case if your testosterone levels are well inside the middle-normal range, and by increasing them to high-normal, you will no doubt feel better, and your libido will increase, but this will not have a major impact on your actual muscle growth.
You’re probably a little confused by now, but this is actually a proven fact backed by science.
Charles R Drew is a leading researcher at the University of medicine and science, who held a study which involved the administering of varying amount of testosterone, as well as certain other drugs to try and induce increased testosterone production in healthy young males for a period of 20 weeks. Although the increases in testosterone did induce greater muscle growth, it wasn’t as much as you would probably think.
Researchers discovered that as long as testosterone levels fell within the normal physiological range (typically between 300-1000 ng/dL), muscle growth was not impacted all that much. Therefore, the test subjects that fell into the category of the “low end” of normal, did not fare much worse than those subjects who were categorized in the “high end” of normal, in terms of muscle growth.
As a matter of fact, significant increases in muscle growth were not seen until testosterone levels reach the top end of “normal” by around 30%. One point to note is that the subjects enrolled in this study were not partaking in any exercise whatsoever. Although the overall amount of muscle and strength gains were clearly higher if the subjects were involved with weightlifting, the correlation between testosterone levels and muscle growth would still have been apparent.
This fact was highlighted in a different study carried out by the McMaster University, which involved young men who were actively involved with resistance training. The study found that the majority of the subjects were able to lift five times a week for a 12 week period. The subjects followed a strict dietary regimen, which involved a high protein intake.
The study found that exercise induced increases in anabolic hormones, including testosterone and the growth hormone that remained within the normal physiological range, had no major impact on overall muscle growth and strength gains. All the subjects involved in the study achieved muscle gains, but any variations in the size of any hormonal spikes did not really have any bearing on the end results.
The key thing to remember is that although testosterone is vital to helping you to increase your muscle mass, it will not make all that much of a difference if your testosterone levels are within the “normal” range already. Testosterone boosters are a safe way of naturally elevating your testosterone, that is if you’re levels are on the “low” side.
If your testosterone levels are within the “normal” range, just continue working hard in the gym and sooner or later you will no doubt reap the rewards of your hard work.
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