Now, if you are anything like me, you have a demented desire to get stronger
And you probably want to know about anything that can give you that silver back gorilla freak strength.
If not, I can't for the life of me figure out why you are even reading this blog.
But if you do, then boosting your testosterone is something that you need to know.
I pick no bones about it. I'm a natural athlete. I take no moral high ground against those who use steroids and other drugs to get their gains on.
I just prefer to do things naturally. It's my own personal choice. It's why I put together two invaluable resources, Raw Strength: Wild Physique, and Beyond Body Transformations to help you with natural strength gains.
And that's what you'll learn in this blog. How to boost testosterone naturally.
I've got a sterling interview with my buddy and hormone optimistation expert, Mike Mahler.
I won't waste your time or mine about the pro's and cons about taking steroids. It's outside the focus of this article and I think other sources have already covered this topic incredibly well.
Dom Mazzetti over at >> BroScience << for one.
Ok, ok, I joke, but the video is pretty much on point.
So here was hormone optimisation expert, Mike Mahler's take on boosting testosterone for strength gains.
Cj: Mike, What is hormone optimisation and what lead you into it?
Mike Mahler: Hormones are biochemical messengers that have a profound effects on how we think, feel and look. Optimizing hormones is about creating the right balance of each hormone so that we are healthy and feel at our best to get the most out of life.
Cj: How can it help you get bigger lifts and pack on solid muscle in the gym?
Mike Mahler: When you have the right balance of testosterone, growth hormone, DHEA, Insulin, and Leptin to name a few of the key players, you will have superior recovery abilities and will also benefit from a powerful anabolic environment to induce strength and size. This is why so many athletes are getting busted taking TRT and growth hormone. Bottom line is they work, but can have serious side effects so it is much better in the long run to focus on optimizing both naturally.
Cj: What are the key things that you need to take into consideration if you are a male v female athlete wanting to hormone optimise for performance?
Mike Mahler: You follow the same rules to optimize the master control hormones: leptin, insulin, growth hormone etc. Some of the steps that both men and women should take are longer stretches between meals such as 5-6 hours to improve insulin and leptin sensitivity. The majority of carbohydrates should come from low glycemic sources. A good percentage of overall calories should come from healthy fat sources such as: coconut oil, cacao, nut, and seeds to create the building blocks for optimal sex hormone production. Intense workouts should be completed in an hour or less to avoid excessive stress hormone production.
Things only get complex when men and women mess around with hormone replacement which should not be done without consulting with a knowledgeable doctor.
Cj: Steroids are a common way to manipulate the hormone landscape, what natural ways can you do this to boost performance?
Mike Mahler: Follow the nutrition advice above to optimize the master control hormones, get eight hours of deep sleep every night, meditate daily to mitigate stress, get a recovery massage every other week, and focus on restoration as much as you do on intense training for an optimal balance.
You can take things further by addressing vitamin and mineral deficiencies. There are blood tests such as spectracell which reveal vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Addressing gut health is also critical and very much over looked. The better your gut health the more energy you will extract from the nutrition you take in and energy reserves are very important for hormone production. Improve gut health by eating the highest quality food you can afford, eliminate food sensitivities, eat slower and chew more for improved digestion, and lower inflammation with systemic enzymes.
Cj: There is some evidence about the negative effects of bulbine. I cycle it myself, using your T-booster and haven't experienced acute or chronic effects. Just how safe is it?
Mike Mahler: Caution should be used with any herb and cycling eight weeks on and four off is a good idea to also avoid becoming desensitized to any herb. The evidence you are referring to was ascertained with rat studies. Human studies on the other hand support the safety of bullbine natalensis for short periods of time: http://prolensis.publishpath.com/science#findings
Cj: People are slowly waking up to the power of nutrition, sleep and a few key supplements.
What would be your advice to those lifters wanting a "quick start" guide to hormone optimisation.
How should they go about it?
Mike Mahler: I recommend they check out an article I wrote on optimizing the master control hormone leptin: http://www.mikemahler.com/online-library/articles/hormone-optimization/optimize-leptin.html
As well as this article on steps to improve testosterone levels: http://www.mikemahler.com/online-library/articles/hormone-optimization/8-testosterone-boosting-tips.html
Cj: In the field of hormone optimisation, strength development and fatloss what would you say are going to be the hot topics in the next 5 years?
Mike Mahler: I think more info will be revealed on the connection between depression and hormone imbalance which is largely over looked now. I also think more people will realize how critical hormone balance is for any fat loss goal as well as simply improving drive, focus, and quality of life.
Cj: Thanks for your time Mike.
Mike Mahler: You're welcome.
About Mike Mahler
Mike Mahler is a strength trainer and hormone optimization researcher based in Las Vegas, NV. Mike has been in the fitness industry for over twelve years and has taught workshops all over the US and overseas. His current focus is on the field of hormone optimization via nutrition, training, nutrition supplements, and lifestyle. Mike has created a clinically backed natural testosterone booster and is also the author of Live Life Aggressively! What Self-Help Gurus Should Be Telling You.
There is one thing I will never forget about my first time at the boxing club
At 14 years of age, I was spotty, buck toothed with train-track braces. Quiet. Insecure. Tall ,strong, athletic and permanently angry.
I came from what I guess social workers would call a dysfunctional household. Rage was common for me. Training was my saving grace. Without it, there's a high probability I would have ended up on the wrong side of the tracks, like so many of my friends did.
Standing outside that old church building in autumn where the boxing club was based, I could hear the rapid firing of the speed ball, the shouts of the coaches inside, and the heavy thudding of bags being hit.
As I slowly approached the door with my friend, I noticed that there was a coat hook hanging by the entrance.
Nothing odd about having a coat hook in a gym you might think, but what was strange about it, was that the coat hook was placed just out of reach.
No one could actually place their coat on it. But that's not what it was for.
Below the coat hook there was a sign. It read,
"Hang your troubles here and leave them at the door.
You can pick them up on the way out.
This is a boxing gym. You are here to train."
These four simple sentences had a profound impact on me.
There was a lot going on in my life at that time (Even at that tender age.).
I resolved never to carry my trouble with me into training. Just to focus at the task at hand. Do what I came to do. It wasn't always easy, but I did it.
I would not complain, whine, or allow myself to be distracted. And you know what?
By cultivating this habit, it didn't matter how bad a day I had. I was able to find solace in my training. And when things were going great, my mindset in training amplified.
"Give your heart to the trade you have learnt, and draw refreshment from it. Let the rest of your days be spent as one who has whole-heartedly commited his all."
- Marcus Aurelius
So why am I harping on about this?
Well you see, I was having a chat with Coach Andrew Marshall the other day while down at Villain Barbell Club (it's where strength mutants are made) about the importance of mindset to training and how people conduct themselves in the different gyms we've been at over the years.
It soon became clear that in our collective time as coaches, we had both witnessed people who bring their drama with them to the gym.
In fact down at Villain Barbell Club rule (8) of the gym code states, "Leave your drama and your ego at the door."
Now why do we even need to tell people that? It's not because we are complete and utter douche bags.
It's because how you show up matters.
The gym code is there because we believe in you. We know that you are capable of so much more.
That you are more than just the situation that you are in. And that your limits are seldom where you think they are.
As a coach my job is to see your potential and bring out the best in you, even when you can't see it for yourself.
But you've got to meet us half way.
Be honest with yourself.
How do you show up when you train? Are you someone who carries your dramas into training?
Are you giving your best at any given moment when you train?
Is that truly your 100%? (and yes on any given day what that 100% looks like will vary).
And remember a shitty attitude can impact others around you.
Wherever you train, whatever you do, I invite you to treat your gym and your training as sacred time.
Time to invest in yourself.
Treat it with respect rather than degrading it with a foul attitude and piss poor work ethic.
I think it was George Bernard Shaw who once said,
"The reasonable man adapts to his surroundings. The unreasonable man adapts his surroundings to suit him."
Dare to be unreasonable.
Be greater than the situation that you're in.
Hit the gym.