If you grew up watching Mr. T on television, you might have wondered what the initial “T” stood for. “Tough” always came to my mind. After being plagued by low testosterone medication commercials during the other night trying to watch my show, I thought of Mr. T and his line. Then it clicked that Mr. T should stand for Mr. Testosterone!
Studies have linked obesity to low testosterone levels in men. This link is a result of the decrease in the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular (HPT) axis pathology which controls testosterone levels. Physicians point out that testosterone supplements shouldn’t be the first line of action since our bodies create the hormone DHEA, which converts to testosterone naturally. Taking testosterone boosting supplements might not be appropriate for this demographics and DHEA supplements don’t really work. Sounds like Mr. T should pity those men. Luckily research shows that proper nutrition and physical activity can elevate testosterone levels. High intensity interval training (HIIT) or heavy strength training is a great way to spike up your testosterone levels. Working up to 85% of your 1RM should be your target. Physicians also state that too much exercise (long bouts of endurance exercise) can drop t levels, so make sure you rest long enough between exercise days for your body to recover.
Metzel, J. (2013) The Exercise Cure. Rodale, New York, NY
Asian Journal of Andrology. 2014 Mar-Apr; 16(2): 223–231. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955331/