Testosterone is a hormone associated with perceived hallmarks of masculinity such as libido, aggression, muscle mass and low levels body fat. As you age, your testosterone can drop significantly, hindering your ability to build muscle, and strength and lose body fat. From about the age of 30 on, men experience a decrease in their sex hormone levels of about 1.5 percent per year. The decline testosterone level is associated with decreased muscle mass and bone density, lowered insulin resistance, and feelings of depression, according to researchers at the VA Puget Sound Health Care Systems and the University of Washington at Seattle.
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Luckily, men in their thirties have a great chance at keeping their testosterone levels elevated. Strength training can naturally increase the production of testosterone in men. “Sometimes it’s 15 minutes after exercise that testosterone is elevated. Sometimes it can be up to an hour,” says Todd Schroeder, PhD, who studies exercise and hormones in older men at the University of Southern California.
Try performing at least three strength-training sessions per week that last 30-60 minutes. Make sure to include large movements, such as squats, deadlifts, presses and pullups, which work more muscle at one time, increasing protein synthesis and cranking up your body’s production of anabolic hormones like testosterone.