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Does Weight Lifting Increase Testosterone Levels in Men?

author image Sabrina Stapleton
Sabrina Stapleton has been writing since 2001 with her work focusing on academic writing in the field of health and fitness. Stapleton holds a Master of Arts in physiotherapy as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in sports rehabilitation and physiotherapy from Kings College University.
Does Weight Lifting Increase Testosterone Levels in Men?
A man is weight lifting. Photo Credit Antonio_Diaz/iStock/Getty Images

Between the ages of 30 and 80 testosterone levels in men decline; levels can reach as low as 20 percent of what it was during a male’s youth. A decrease in testosterone can lead to a number of illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. There are a number of ways in which you can increase the levels of testosterone in your body and weight lifting is one of them.


Testosterone is referred to as the male sex hormone; it is produced in the testicles. Its primary function is to enhance the male sex drive and for sperm production. It also plays a role in muscle strength and mass, bone density as well as fat distribution and red blood cell production.

Expert Insight

The body responds to large compound movement exercises by producing testosterone. Weightlifting also activates production of the stress hormone cortisol which cancels out testosterone, to avoid this keep weight lifting routines under 60 minutes.

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Weight bearing exercises aid in increasing testosterone levels. To gain maximum advantage you should concentrate on performing exercises for large muscle groups. Examples of compound exercises include bench presses for the chest, squats for the legs and barbell curls for the biceps.


High testosterone levels block the production of high estrogen which leads to weight gain and water retention. Testosterone also acts as a fat burning substance which promotes weight loss. Testosterone also aids in the production of lean muscle tissue, your body will burn more calories with excess muscle because muscle is an active tissue and requires maintenance.

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