The Effects of Low Testosterone On Gym Activities
The Effects of Low Testosterone On Gym Activities
Ripped muscles and a six-pack are some of the things that the media has sold to us as the ideal image of a man’s man. Whether this is true or not is a subject for another day. One thing that is however true is that many men long to achieve this image. While some only stop at dreaming, others take steps by going to the gym to build that shape.
There are a number of very important factors that need to be at play for the success of any gym activity. Visiting the gym without these factors being in place will render the entire exercise fruitless. One of these factors is testosterone levels.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is known as the primary male hormone. This is the hormone that is largely responsible for characteristics that differentiate a man from the woman. It controls the development of some important parts of the male reproductive system and also controls the development of other male characteristics like muscle development, bone structure as well as hair growth.
Importance of Testosterone
It is important to note that testosterone is not produced only in the male. Females also produce testosterone. The difference is in the quantity produced. While an adult male can produce up to 5 to10 milligrams every day, a female can only produce about a tenth of this.
Here are some of the very important effects of testosterone in the body:
- Increased muscle mass and strength through its ability to increases the synthesis of proteins.
- Increased bone growth and bone density maintenance through the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow.
- Assisting in the reduction of the storage and uptake of fat. It achieves this through the increase of beta-adrenergic receptors that burn fat.
- It helps with the growth of the penis, its erectile functions, and the production and viability of sperm.
- It also helps with the cognitive functions of the brain, improved memory, increased libido and general feelings.
- Blood flow and cardiac functions are also enhanced by this hormone.
- It improves the production of red blood cells by producing erythropoietin in the kidneys.
- It also helps the skin by supporting the production of collagen and hair.
Looking at the benefits of testosterone as listed above, we can agree that it is indeed a very important hormone.
How Does Low Testosterone Affect Physical Activities?
Having looked in some detail at what testosterone is and how it benefits the body, we can now begin to look at how a deficiency of it can affect your gym activities.
Testosterone will affect your body’s metabolic rate. When it is low, your body’s metabolic rate will be low, resulting in a slower fat burning rate. This translates to increased fat in the body which means weight gain. This is not what you want when embarking on a weight program, whether to build muscles or to lose weight.
Therefore, to properly burn fat preparatory to either losing weight or building muscles, you need to have an optimal testosterone level.
Studies have shown that testosterone affects muscle performance in a number of ways. We will briefly examine three fundamental ways that this happens.
Testosterone helps build bigger muscles which is the aim of any body builder. It does this by activating and increasing the number of what is known as satellite cells. These cells are muscle fiber precursor cells which can increase muscle mass by either merging with existing muscle fiber in a process known as hypertrophy or combining within themselves in a process known as hyperplasia.
In each case, the end result is a larger muscle mass. This is just one way testosterone makes this happen.
Strong muscles are not just a function of muscle size. It is a function of the force of muscle contractions. The force of these muscle contractions is increased by a boost in the amount of calcium made available within the cells. This calcium supply is enhanced by testosterone.
Every body builder knows the importance of endurance. The muscles are able to endure more strenuous activities when energy is readily made available to it. The quick release of energy is made possible by an efficient fat burning process which is enhanced by testosterone.
Additionally, testosterone increases the production of red blood cells which carry oxygen to the muscles. The more oxygen and energy made available to the muscles, the more they can endure.
What we have looked at above simply shows that low levels of testosterone will result in reduced muscle mass, strength and endurance. To learn more about how testosterone can affect body building, read this article here.
There is a lot of science behind everything we have discussed so far. While we may not have gone into the details of the science behind the functions of testosterone, it should at least be pretty clear to anyone who reads this that this hormone is very important to any kind of gym activity, be it body building or weight loss.