12 WEEKS OUT: KEEPING TESTOSTERONE HIGH WHILE DIETING
One of the common problems when it comes to competition preparation and trimming up is that not all the weight we drop is fat. Unfortunately a percentage of our hard earned muscle mass will be shed during most fat loss phases. There are however several strategies we can employ to make sure muscle loss is at a minimum. Let us look at 3 simple things we can use to ensure our natural Testosterone output is in the medium to high range ad we maintain muscle mass.
Nutrition: not all testosterone is floating around in your blood ready to do its job, about 97% of your testosterone is bound to a storage protein that needs to be removed by your liver before it becomes available for growth. Your Liver will detect how mech glucose and fats are available before it frees up the bound Testosterone. This un-freeing process happens less as the calories start to drop and the amount of Testosterone available for repair and growth generally diminishes the longer you are dieting.
This is exactly what we don’t want but there are some ways around it with good nutrient timing. Here are 3 simple things we can do with food to maximize Free-Testosterone.
- Staggering calories each day tends to allow fat to keep being burned while maintaining muscle mass better.
- A refeed day will not only upregulate your thyroid hormones, it will also free up some more Testosterone. Just make sure you plan the extra calories before hand and don’t turn it into a feeding frenzy.
- Carbs around training will not only give you an energy boost but also some more free Testosterone when you most need it. Just make sure your daily calories are at a deficit.
Heavy Weight Training: We need to send every signal that we can to the body that our muscle mass is needed and we don’t want to use that muscle as an energy source while dieting. It stands to reason if you can bench press 80kg in the off season and this drops down to 60kg while dieting that your body is going to assume that it doesn’t need that amount of muscle anymore. While it is inevitable that some strength while be lost while dieting our goal is to maintain as much strength as possible. Some tips for maximum strength
- Do your heavy compound exercises first after an effective warm-up when your energy is at it’s highest.
- For the first exercise don’t be afraid of taking larger rest breaks between sets. The goal here is heavy weight in good form so take your time. Pumping sets can be done later.
- Get your head in the zone. Whether you have to watch a motivational video, meditate on training or take a pre-workout, make sure you are fired up to do the best workout you can muster.
Testosterone Boosters: can be another method to keep Testosterone levels from dropping. Most quality Testosterone Boosting formulas will be designed to modulate free Testosterone, Natural Testosterone production, reduce excessive cortisol and modulate Estrogen. By taking a more holistic approach in regards to regulating your natural hormones results will be more sustainable. The smart athlete will always work with the body’s natural processes instead of imposing unrealistic protocols and hoping it will magically all work out.
Next week we are going to look at cutting calories, when we need to do it and what’s the best way to go about it while still trying to live a functional work/home life.