Can I Build Muscle With Low T?
One of testosterone’s main functions is to build muscle. Increasing strength can pose a challenge for men living with low levels of the hormone, and in some cases having low testosterone may more easily turn muscle into fat. When testosterone is low, the body increases its supply of estrogen, which can add fat to the chest, thighs, and midsection. This can actually worsen testosterone issues, as testosterone levels lower in response to the build-up of body fat.
These symptoms can be a significant issue for men who enjoy strength training or muscle building, but you do have options. Dr. Jeffrey Buch in Frisco, TX has years of experience helping men overcome a testosterone deficiency using a variety of treatments. In some cases, strength training, a healthier diet, and modifying your workout routine can have an impact on your ability to build muscle.
How to Increase Body Strength with Low Testosterone
Patients can build muscle with low T, but it presents a challenge. Dr. Buch has a range of treatment options, including the tips below. These will help you create a healthy lifestyle that can potentially increase testosterone levels, reducing fatigue and weight gain associated with it.
Cardiovascular exercise can increase human growth hormone which encourages the body to develop muscle strength. To build muscle with low T, plan short, but intense cardio sessions (10 minutes or so) at least two to three times a week. Each session should include a 3-minute warm-up, 30 seconds of high-intensity, followed by 90 seconds of lower intensity. High intensity interval training (HIIT) helps with weight loss and maximizes the effects of a short workout.
Follow your cardio routine with short, intense strength-training. For at least 30 minutes, use free weights and resistance machines to focus on your major muscle groups. These include your chest, back, shoulders, arms, legs, and glutes. 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps is a good goal to aim for. If you prefer, you can start the session with lighter weights, increasing weight as you go. This is especially good for people who are new to exercise. Starting slow and gradually increasing intensity with both cardio and weight training can help prevent injury and keep you invested.
Refuel Your Body
After intense cardio and weight training, it’s important to eat a meal containing protein and carbs within 45 minutes. This will both replenish the energy used during your workout and encourage the muscle repair process necessary to gain strength. It can also help stimulate human growth hormone, further increasing the likelihood of building muscle.
DON’T OVERDO IT
You’ll need to push yourself to build muscle with low T but overdoing it can have the opposite effect. Workouts that last over an hour may trigger the release of cortisol, a catabolic hormone that actually breaks down muscle, converting it to energy. Rest between workouts, and get 8 hours of sleep each night, so your body has the opportunity to rejuvenate and heal itself. Adding extra sets at the end of your workout may feel like a good idea, but it can actually hinder your results.
Lean proteins and complex carbs will prevent fat build up and help you gain muscle. Lean proteins include eggs, fish, lean cuts of red meat, and chicken. Eat these with complex carbs such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, and you’ll soon see the results of eating healthier. Also, make sure to cook your food in healthy fats like olive oil or coconut oil.
TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
These tips can help some patients with low T build up muscle, but very low testosterone levels can result in a range of more complex health issues. Dr. Buch can also talk with you about testosterone replacement therapy, as well as the other treatment options for patients with low T.
To make an appointment for a consultation, and learn how Dr. Buch can help you, call his office in Frisco, TX at (972) 430-4554.
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