Don’t I know it!
Look, as someone who slogs hours at a time on the bike, and long runs a couple of times a week during Ironman training…I can tell you, not only does my muscle tone disappear (infant arms), but my belly fat appears to accumulate. If it happens to me after burning thousands of calories per workout, you can be damn sure it is happening to you too…especially after 40.
Luckily…I know why it’s happening, and how you can fix it…fast.
Testosterone. It’s the hormone that makes a man a man and is essential for developing and maintaining muscle mass. Your body starts the gradual decline after age 20, and by age 40…further reduces by 1 percent each year. Drops in testosterone can result in decreased libido, mood changes, decreased energy, and prolonged recovery from workouts. There are several more symptoms, however these are the most relevant to endurance athletes.
But fear not…You can fend off the decline —and even boost your testosterone to the higher levels needed for improving muscle growth – (yes, you can still build larger muscles, regain size) – simply by adding resistance training to your workouts. Lift Weights!
From the science side of things, E. Todd Schroeder, Ph.D., is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the relationship between resistance training and testosterone. For over a decade, Dr. Schroeder has used his exercise physiology lab at the University of Southern California to analyze and measure changes in testosterone during and after resistance training.
Dr. Schroeder has found three key factors for maximizing testosterone release with resistance training. They are simplified as:
- Train large muscle groups. (Think…Squats, DeadLifts, Pull-Ups) – no isolation exercises, no machines
- Lift heavy. Train 6 to 10 reps…3 to 6 sets.
- Use short rest periods. Rest one minute or less between straight sets.
You need to stress your body to get the biggest testosterone surge. This is why you hear Arnold emphasize working hard while training. Get off your iPhone!
Look – if you are like me, and you are on the road.. I know you don’t have a huge amount of time, so let me help you get started. Do these 2 workouts 3X per week…and get yourself started. Both can be completed in ANY hotel gym, as long as there is a dumbbell rack or Kettle Bells. Alternate Workouts – ABA – during the week.
By the way…I use an app called FitnessBuilder to track my workouts. You can get it at PumpOne.com. Or download it from the App Store. It’s fantastic and times your workout for you…no more guessing. Also – huge library to switch out exercises to prevent plateau…super easy!
Get going…Boost that T!