We have an important newsflash. You’re a man. You’re a bro, bro. And if you haven’t heard, your testosterone levels are dropping. And they’re not dropping when you’re 60—they’re dropping today. Research indicates that men’s testosterone levels are more than 20 percent lower than they were 20 years ago. And more than one out of every four guys has below average levels of testosterone (which sucks because below average this day in age means really low). What does this mean for you? All your work in the gym, all your time dieting: It’s all going to waste.
Want to ensure that your lifestyle isn’t crushing your ability to build muscle, burn fat, or have a sex life? Adopt these eight alpha-male traits as habit:
Don’t Fear Fat
You’ve probably heard that eating fat doesn’t make you fat. And that’s true. But eating more fat—specifically saturated fat—makes you more of a man. Literally. Saturated fat contains cholesterol, which is a precursor to testosterone. And polyunstaturated fat (like you find in fatty fish such as salmon) is what you need to promote good circulation and blood flow—the things most important for erections. If you don’t eat enough of the right fats, not only might your body and sex life suffer, you could also have infertile sperm. Any questions?
Perform More Deadlifts From a Deficit
We could spout off a bunch of studies that show why deadlifts are one of the best exercises, how they boost growth hormone within training, and basically how they build a badass physique. But any dude can deadlift. Alpha males? They deadlift from a deficit, by standing on a weight plate or small box. This increases the distance the bar must travel and makes your body push that much harder. The difference is minimal. But the results can be maximal.
Don’t Limit Your Protein
A lot of people are afraid that if you eat more than 30 grams of protein in a meal that the rest will go to waste. Those are the same people who rarely make progress in the gym. Do you think The Rock stops at 30 grams of protein per meal? He doesn’t. And neither should you. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when men ate at least one meal consisting of 85 grams of protein, they had more muscle and less fat than guys who ate the same amount split across multiple meals. Does that mean you need to eat 85 grams? Of course not. But it proves that 30 grams is not the limit.
Take Breakfast Down a Notch
Did you know that 90 Percent of Americans eat breakfast—and yet 35 percent of Americans are overweight? Breakfast may not be the most important meal of the day after all. You can still eat breakfast and be healthy. That’s not the issue. But if you’re not hungry in the AM, you shouldn’t stuff your face with an extra large bowl of oats just because you read somewhere that it’ll help you lose weight. It’s important not to overemphasize any one meal. In fact, skipping breakfast—or pushing it back—has been shown to increase the growth hormone. The same stuff that can help you become leaner and build more muscle. Not starving? Wait until lunch.
Sleep More than 7 Hours a Night
We all enjoy the late-night showings of Sports Center. But they play them again in the morning, so go to bed. When you stay up later, you increase the likelihood of binge eating, slowing your metabolism, and suffering from a less-than-stellar sex life (not to mention underperforming sex organs, too). That’s just what science tells us. You need more sleep. Make it a priority. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, men sleeping five or fewer hours a night experienced a 15 percent drop in testosterone. That’s a drop that should occur over 15 years.
Increase the Intensity of your Workouts
Being fat will make you miserable. And this has nothing to do with the image you see in the mirror. High levels of fat affect the hormone insulin. And high levels of insulin will do everything from decreasing mood, sapping energy, and making every bite of food you eat more likely to be processed and stored as fat. You know workouts are not just about how much you can lift. But unless you keep high-intensity training top of mind, it’s easy to forget about it. Sprint, push a Prowler, or do other types of conditioning that test your body’s limits in new ways. This type of exercise—combined with diet—can improve your insulin sensitive and boost how you think and feel, and allow you to enjoy more foods.
Desire More Sex
Researchers at the University of Chicago decided to do a crazy study. They wanted to see if men were becoming less interested in sex. Shockingly, they are! Men are less interested in sex and more sexually frustrated. And of those who participated in the study and felt less interested in sex, 30 percent had sub-par testosterone levels. If you’re a man, you should want sex. It’s an important part of your health, and more sex means a longer life.
Get your Testosterone Checked
Being an alpha isn’t about being better than others or the best in a group. It’s about being the best version of yourself. So get tested. Find out if your testosterone levels are low or abnormal. Low testosterone is linked to everything from cardiovascular disease, to depression, and of course, muscle-building. Find out where you are, and it’s much easier to fix the problem naturally. No drugs. No pills. And no BS.
Want more expert advice on how to naturally fix your hormones and build a better body? Pick up a copy of Man 2.0: Engineering the Alpha.