Here’s my husband of 27 years, Mark, with some of his Secrets to being a Lean and Fit 50 Year Old:)
Yes, that’s me in the picture. Look again. I just turned fifty years old last week.
By this age, I should be that paunchy middle-aged guy, looking haggard, falling apart, displaying signs of fatigue, and complaining of a lack of sex drive. Those pharmaceutical mens ads remind me that my symptoms should include energy deficits, decreased strength, altered body composition, sexual dysfunction, and not surprisingly, depression. I should be, in this age of enlightenment, well into andropause, a clinically recognized term to describe the age related decline in testosterone. However, recent studies demonstrate that declining testosterone may not just be attributable to simply aging itself. So the question then becomes: Is there a way to stave off declines in testosterone production? YES. Lifestyle factors, particularly physical activity and diet, can influence testosterone levels.
I have not always had low body fat, above average muscle mass and a good and healthy outlook. I am a recent Success Story sculpted by Debbie Abbott and Rock Solid Nutrition & Wellness. If you’ve read and follow Debbie’s blog, you already know testosterone levels are falling worldwide at astronomical rates. Men, there is one very important hormone for us. It is Testosterone. Every man needs it. The older you get, the more you need it. You are dependent on it. You will be forever, regardless how you feel about it. Stop withering away and submitting pitifully to growing old, you can take matters into your own hands. Here’s how:
First, I know there are many men reading now, who have concluded immediately that I live in the gym, don’t work, and this lesson doesn’t apply in their lives. (That’s OK. You’re having an estrogen response- keep reading, I will explain later) Now I will tell you the fallacy of your argument. I am a top executive at a premier global corporation that requires and demands peak performance every day from its leadership.
I work sixty HOURS minimum each week.
I commute fifteen HOURS each week.
I workout in the gym ninety MINUTES each week.
No additional time in your life is required to make the changes needed to raise and maintain your testosterone to levels integral to health and well-being. Follow these guidelines and you can expect to feel like a MAN. As simple as that.
THE WORKOUT- Terrell Owens, Hershel Walker, Tim Tebow, and Suzanne Somers:
You do the WORK you get the RESULTS.
As a former collegiate athlete, I admire retired NFL players that have maintained their physiques well beyond their playing careers. Two of the fittest, Terrell Owens and Hershel Walker utilize bodyweight training, no equipment necessary, exercises put together in grueling workouts to push your body to the max, and it can be done just about anywhere. It’s all about getting back to basics. My workout consists almost entirely of sets of 100 push ups, pull ups, sit ups, thrust squats, and lunges. Get in, get it done, and get out. I’m rarely in the gym longer than thirty minutes. No social hour, no cell phone, no breaks- do your business and leave.
Make your workout mandatory in your daily routine. Resistance training is a must to raise and maintain testosterone levels. Research consistently shows that lifting weights improves androgen activity. A number of studies have shown significant increases in testosterone levels immediately following resistance training, especially bodybuilding type training using multiple sets of a moderate number of repetitions while taking fairly short rest periods.
The Tim Tebow workout contribution to my testosterone boost- when you think you can do no more reps, demand ten more. See above. I can now exceed 130 pushups and beyond in one set. Anything is possible when you push yourself to the max. Break through limiting beliefs.
Suzanne Somers was right. I believe in the Thigh Master. I call mine a squat rack.
Lower body exercises increase anabolic hormones. Large muscle weight training boosts testosterone, increases testosterone receptor density (so the hormone works better) helps control abdominal fat, increases muscle mass, and enhances self confidence- all critical for maximizing testosterone levels and its effectiveness. Whole body exercises such as squats, lunges, and deadlifts increase testosterone much better than isolated exercises for the biceps and triceps such as curls and triceps pushdowns.
Your Estrogen Talking:
“I don’t have time to go to the gym”
“I’m too tired to work out after a long day at work”
“I don’t have enough time to work out”
Your Testosterone Action:
Get up 30 minutes earlier and exercise before you shower and go to work. You will be more alert during the day and you’ll sleep better at night.
More Estrogen Talking (no man should ever think this, but they do):
“I don’t want to get muscular and bulky from weight training”
Immediate Testosterone Response:
“Muscle takes up less space than fat, making you smaller and allowing your clothes to fit better”
Start working out. Take back your testosterone.
THE DIET- Man, I feel like a Woman (…..not anymore)
Processed foods cause women to act like men and men to act like women.
If you have been following Debbie Abbott’s blog at Rock Solid Nutrition and Wellness, you know by now that soy is estrogen enhancing and will alter testosterone concentrations in a negative manner. Soy is in practically every boxed and processed food product. Wash it down with that bottled water in a plastic container, and you have been eating and drinking three estrogen laden meals every day of your life.
It is no wonder that research shows the prevalence of andropause is widespread amongst middle aged men. In fact more than thirty- nine percent of all males aged forty- five and older have total testosterone levels considered below normal.
All the modern food we men have been eating our entire lives has estrogenic effects which have resulted in advanced deterioration of your testosterone levels.
Thanks to Debbie’s protocol I have eliminated the following “foods” from my diet in the last three years, all of which suppressed my testosterone production:
· No more processed boxed and packaged foods, sweets, pastries, and snacks
· No more sodas, diet sodas, colored or flavored waters, energy drinks
· No beef or meat products modified with hormones
· No bread products
· No homogenized and pasteurized dairy products including milk, ice cream, yogurts, cheeses
· No grain based alcohol, especially mass produced beer products (more on alcohol later)
· No fast food, chain restaurants, or convenience store foods
I do not enter 95% of the aisles in the supermarket. If you are a man in the processed food aisle, you’re probably more of a woman than you think. Stay away from estrogenic products. Take Debbie’s advice, go to the shelves or your kitchen right now and look at the ingredients in your food.
Testosterone is derived from cholesterol. As Debbie’s blog reiterates, what makes cholesterol? That’s right, lipids. Therefore, as you might expect, low fat diets are associated with a reduced testosterone production.
To optimize my testosterone levels, I load up entirely on quality saturated fats from animal sources. My diet consists mainly of:
· Raw unpasteurized milk. I drink one half gallon per day minimum.
· Fresh fish, beef, and lamb cuts.
· Fruits and vegetables
· Organic coffee
· Coconut Oil
Your Estrogen Talking:
“That food doesn’t work for me”
Your Testosterone Action:
“Studies show an inverse relationship exists with high stress levels correlating with low testosterone levels. Bad nutrition choices will stress you more and undermine efforts to improve your well being”
Your Estrogen Resisting:
“It’s too hard to get started”
Immediate Testosterone Response
“Remember, it is only effort until it is routine. It is much easier to keep going once you’ve gotten over the hump of starting. If you are chronically stressed out, a symptom of low testosterone, here’s yet another reason to take charge and do something about it now”
And finally for today,
Another factor that seriously affects your testosterone levels negatively is the consumption of alcohol.
Alcohol intoxication is shown to inhibit testosterone production for hours after ingestion. Alcohol interferes with testosterone production in a number of ways, including negative alteration of enzymes involved in testosterone synthesis, suppression of steroidogenesis in the Leydig cells of the testes (yes, your balls), and a down regulation of luteinizing hormone receptors. So, if you are slamming drinks on a regular basis, you most likely have chronically suppressed testosterone levels.
Less clinical, much more meaningful for men:
Alcohol fuels low testosterone, resulting in visible disappointment when those special moments arise (or not) with your significant other. We’ll discuss bedroom topics on a later post. But for now, in closing remember the word soft. From your beer belly to your attitude, if you can call it soft, it’s an estrogenic effect.
We will move towards hard in upcoming testosterone posts. Debbie has invited me to share my intermittent fasting, sleep, circadian rhythm, cold thermogenesis; glutathione, and antioxidant regimens which optimize hormone production in males. Till then………………………….