Does Weight Lifting Increase Testosterone?

Does Weight Lifting Increase Testosterone?

Believe it or not, the title question, “Does weight lifting increase testosterone,” is actually a loaded question…

The answer isn’t as cut and dry as one probably thinks it would be.

And the short answer that I’ll give you is this…

It depends.

It depends on the kind of weight lifting you do, when you work out, and on what your recovery method looks life…

So let’s take a closer look into this loaded question: Does weight lifting increase testosterone, by answering a few other questions.

How Long Do You Train?

All training isn’t created equally if you’re looking to maximize testosterone production…

In fact, you might even find that a testosterone-boosting workout isn’t quite what you thought it was…

And here’s why…


When I started working out as a young guy, the training protocol was pretty simple: Your workouts should last between 60-90 minutes with no excuses to the contrary.

And in my opinion, that’s just fine for a guy who’s in his late teens or early 20’s.

But when you start pushing 30, you need to show your testosterone a little TLC…

No, not the 90’s pop band famous for singing about Scrubs, but actual TLC (tender loving care).

Meaning you need to prioritize the pulse of your workouts around your testosterone levels.

See, the #1 exercise mistake that guys from 30-70 years old make in their testosterone boosting journey, is continuing with high mileage workouts, when they simply aren’t necessary…

But not only are long workouts unnecessary, they also cause your body’s cortisol levels to increase…

And cortisol is testosterone’s kryptonite.

See, when cortisol levels increase, testosterone levels decrease…

And the repercussions of reaching the cortisol tipping point is that your body then floods with this anti-testosterone hormone and forces you into a catabolic state rather than an anabolic one, which will leave you feeling weak, fat, unmotivated, and potentially put on the physically unable to perform list in the gym and, even worse, the bedroom.


In order for you to have the most anabolic advantageous workout, you want to keep your workouts between 20-40 minutes…

This will keep you from passing the cortisol threshold that’ll actually, in the long run, decrease your muscle mass and testosterone production.

For the best testosterone-boosting workouts for men 40 and up, check out the Anabolic After 40 program here.

Does weight lifting increase testosterone? If you’re near or above 30 years old, weight lifting will increase testosterone when you keep your workouts between the 20-40 minute mark.

What Lifts Are Your Go-To’s?

The type of exercises you do while you train is crucial to whether or not you maximize testosterone production in the gym.

Loads of bicep curls and crunches simply won’t do the trick.

In order to boost testosterone levels in the gym, you need to spend your (short) time there performing heavy compound movements…

Let me break this down for you.

First, heavy.

In order for weight lifting to increase testosterone levels, you need to make getting stronger into your goal every time you step into the gym…

Because the stronger you get, the more growth hormone response your body will initiate in order to adapt and lift the load at hand.


To do that you’ll want to increase the amount of weight you lift and lower your repetitions to 6-8 reps per set. 

Second, compound movements.

Compound movements are exercises that involve more multiple major muscle groups…

For instance, when you perform a barbell squat, you aren’t simply working your quadriceps…

You’re working your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, lower back, and your core…

And one of the benefits of compound movements is because they involve multiple muscle groups, you’re likely to be able to lift more weight performing these exercises and as a result, initiate a greater testosterone-boosting response.

Here’s a list of the best compound exercises that you should fill your workouts with:

  • Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Bench Press
  • Bent-Over Rows
  • Weighted Pull-Ups
  • Weighted Dips
  • Hang Clean
  • Overhead Barbell Press
  • Box Jumps
  • Sprints (If you want to increase your growth hormone by 530% by running sprints, check this out)

Does weight lifting increase testosterone? When you perform heavy, compound movements, it does.

How Do You Recover?

Recovery is crucial in the weightlifting/testosterone discussion…

If you aren’t recovering well enough in between your workouts, you can expect your testosterone levels to drop, your physique to suffer, and your strength gains to stall.

Because you’ve taken up an interest in weightlifting (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article), you’ve probably seen documentaries of bodybuilders tearing up the gym 6 days a week for 2-3 hours a day…

And as motivating as those documentaries can be (I still enjoy watching them), the guys in those videos are not building that muscle naturally…

They’re steroid-assisted…

So naturally, their workouts aren’t going to translate very practically for those of us who have decided to stay drug-free and boost testosterone levels the old fashioned way – with shorter workouts, that involve heavy compound exercises, and with a lot of recovery in between.


In order for weight lifting to boost testosterone, I recommend that you hit the gym at most, 4 times a week…

Also, make sure you’re recovering with testosterone boosting foods and those that are most advantageous for lowering your cortisol levels.

Also, in order to have optimal recovery, and really, your best testosterone levels, you need to prioritize sleep…

Not only is a good night of sleep necessary for more your muscles to recover, and for more energy in the gym, but your body also produces most of its testosterone while you sleep…

So if you cut back on sleep, you’re cutting back on your testosterone potential, too.

And if you want to turn an average night of sleep into a testosterone boosting, muscle building, energy surging one, check this out.

Does weight lifting increase testosterone? When you properly recover in between your workouts by eating foods that give you an anabolic advantage and through sleeping 8 hours a night, yes it does.

Your Next Step

Does weight lifting increase testosterone?

Well, we’ve unloaded the loaded question…

Weight lifting does increase testosterone levels, as long as you keep your training between 20-40 minutes, utilize heavy compound exercises, and recover properly.


Do you need to make adjustments to your training style?

I’ve got you covered.

Check out my Anabolic Running program here to make your cardio workouts work for your testosterone levels.

Also, check out Anabolic After 40 here to get build slabs of muscle and to get more shredded than you were in your 20’s.

– Joe LoGalbo

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