Max Out Your Testosterone Levels

Research-based results from heavy-load, low-volume workouts.

Max Out Your Testosterone Levels


Most research on hormonal response to training has focused on high volume with moderate loads and brief rest periods. Little data exists on the impact of lower-volume strength routines with longer rest periods.


University of Rio de Janeiro researchers examined how rest periods affected testosterone levels in response to heavy-load, low-volume workouts. Each workout consisted of five sets of three reps using 85% of 1RM, with either a one- or three-minute rest period.


Total testosterone was elevated after both workouts, but it began to fall rapidly at 15 minutes and 30 minutes post-workout with one minute of rest compared with three minutes of rest. Free testosterone is where things really got interesting. A one-minute rest produced a spike that lasted only 15 minutes. A three-minute rest saw levels climbing steadily at 15 minutes and at 30 minutes.


A three-minute rest led to greater and longer lasting increases in both total and free testosterone levels.


This study proves that heavy-weight, low-volume training with longer rest periods significantly boosts testosterone levels. The best strategy is to use a periodized routine that starts with light weight, high reps, and short rest periods and then progresses to heavy weight, low reps, and longer rest periods. – FLEX

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