What do you think of what you hear the word ‘testosterone’? Maybe your memory floats back to your secondary school science classes, something kind of hormone that men have – right?
Testosterone is a sex hormone that is naturally made in men’s bodies, but it also exists in women’s bodies in lesser quantities. One of its functions is as a stimulator for increased muscle mass. It’s part of the reason that men tend to be more muscular than women.
As women, our sex hormone is oestrogen. Besides from being the source of our fabulous femininity, oestrogen unfortunately increases fat storage especially on the lower body and back of the arms.
Both hormones exist within women’s bodies, but their amount isn’t static and we can change the balance by doing certain things. Given that testosterone increases muscle mass and helps burn body fat, if you’re looking for a toned physique then you want to increase your levels of it.
A great way of doing this is by incorporating weight training in your workouts. Cardio is still a great means of burning calories but resistance training has a lot more benefits than we think and one of the main ones is increased muscle mass so we can boost our testosterone levels and therefore burn more fat!
So what kind of exercises can achieve this? It’s the intense types that build muscle, because this leads to the body producing more testosterone as explained above. These will also decrease your levels of fat, making for a more defined and toned body. And don’t be scared, weight training won’t bulk you up ladies! Instead, it will change your shape to a more curvaceous and toned physique.
Some of the best exercises for this are squats, lunges, deadlifts, pull ups, push ups and any others that involve more than one muscle being used. These are called compound exercises and they burn a huge amount of calories when performed making you strong at the same time. Remember, to stimulate testosterone production your body needs to be put through an intense session so push yourself but lift safely to avoid injury. As well as doing resistance training regularly, make sure you get enough rest and good quality sleep so you can make the most out of your workouts. Intense exercise on a tired body will just lead to exhaustion and increase your risk of injury.
The other important thing to look at is nutrition. A healthy balanced diet that includes all food groups is essential to support your gym workouts providing you tons of energy for better performance helping you manage body fat levels at the same time. Make sure you drink enough water as dehydration can cause severe tiredness, dizziness, headaches, if affects your mood, cognition, cardiovascular output, and even your lifespan.
If you’re inexperienced with gym equipment or unsure what to do speak to a personal trainer. They’ll make sure that your workout is hitting all the right points and that you’re not at risk of hurting yourself by doing something incorrectly.