If you’re looking to boost your overall health and build muscle, you might have heard that squats can help increase testosterone levels. But is this actually true? And if so, to what degree?
In this blog post, we’re going to dive into the science behind squats and testosterone to see if there’s any real connection between the two. We’ll also answer some questions you might have, including “what squat forms will yield the biggest testosterone boost?” And “How else can I boost testosterone?”
But before we jump in, it’s critical to start from the beginning by firstly understanding if it’s possible to increase your testosterone using exercise alone.
Can Exercises Boost Testosterone?
Yes, exercise can boost your testosterone. This is especially true during and immediately after intense strength training routines.
You see, testosterone is a hormone that plays a critical role in the growth and development of male physical characteristics, such as muscle mass, bone density, and body hair. However, testosterone levels can decline as men age, leading to a range of symptoms, including decreased muscle mass, reduced sex drive, and decreased energy levels.
The question, “can exercise boost testosterone levels and help combat these symptoms?” is a valid one, and exercise is the answer. Studies have shown that lifting weights and performing other resistance-based exercises can significantly increase testosterone levels in both young and older men (National Library of Medicine). In fact, testosterone levels have been shown to increase by as much as 20% after a single weightlifting session.
Can Squats Increase Testosterone?
The answer remains yes. Doing squats can increase your testosterone. However, how much of a boost you get depends on the kinds of squats you do.
As you probably know, there are multiple squat variations, some with weight and some without. Squats that have some kind of resistance, like barbell squats with a challenging weight, for example, will get you a testosterone boost.
On the other hand, if you stick to calisthenics-based quats like jump squats and butterfly squats, the effects will be negligible. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stick with them because studies have shown that exercises like these are great for increasing muscle strength and endurance and, depending on the intensity, even helping you to burn some fat.
By How Much Do Squats Raise Testosterone?
The study by The National Library of Medicine cited above found that resistance exercises can boost testosterone as much as 20% during and immediately after exercise. The boost will last for between 20 minutes and an hour after the exercise, and men will experience a longer duration than women.
We should also mention that the boost is often isolated to anaerobic weight training. So if you take up cardio, like running or swimming, studies suggest that you may not experience the same boost in testosterone.
If you’re incorporating squats into a HIIT training session as well, where your body is forced into an aerobic state – what happens when you do cardio – you may not see a testosterone boost.
What Kinds of Squats Raise Testosterone The Most?
As mentioned earlier, squats that incorporate weight training will give you the most benefit. Here is a list of some weighted squat variations that can help you achieve a testosterone increase
- Barbell back squats: The most conventional squat out there. You place the barbell loaded with weight on your shoulder and squat down.
- Dumbbell squats: You hold comfortably-heavy dumbbells in each hand and squat down.
- Front squats: This one is a little more challenging. You support the barbell on the front of your shoulders as you grip the barbell by crossing your arms and squatting down.
- Goblet squats: Also a dumbbell squat, this one involves holding one dumbbell with both hands like you’re carrying a goblet and squatting down as you normally would.
- Zercher squats: Here, you hold the loaded barbell in the crook of your elbows and squat down. Some people love to clasp both hands together, but it’s not necessary.
- Bulgarian split squats: This squat challenges your balance and requires you to rest one foot on an elevated surface behind you as you go down in a split squat. You can either have a barbell on your shoulders or dumbbells in each hand.
As long as you’re using challenging weights with each of these exercises, you’re going to see a boost in your testosterone.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking to get a significant increase in your testosterone, squatting with weights is a great way to do it. You should also consider incorporating other resistance exercises into your fitness routine as they have a similar effect.
And with the list of squat variations we’ve provided, you have more than enough material to work with!
Check out more tips about how to get in the shape of your life right here.