Keeping up your testosterone

I hope I am okay recommending another podcast to listen to ‘Don’t tell me the Score’ which is hosted by Simon Mundie and each week he chats/interviews someone who has a link to sports performance and gets some tips. There have been episodes about sleep and nutrition and motivation.

I found this week’s episode really interesting because he is talking to a personal trainer who mentions how endurance athletes can deplete their levels of testosterone and how to help keep these levels high.

So once you have finished listening to a podcast that is dedicated to making you go faster, if you fancy giving something else a listen then try this one.


Can’t listen to that tonight but would love a recap :blush:

Do some heavy lifting, antagonistic exercises (so do a heavy back and then straight away do a chest, opposite muscles) and then supplements like zinc.

This week’s interview is with Matt Roberts
I can’t say that I’ve read the book, or that I’m going to, but the podcast seemed to sum up the main points.


He lost me when he said one had to limit (extensive) endurance training …

Yeah, I wondered about that too. I am taking that to mean what I understand as the traditional base riding where someone cycles at low intensity for ages, I don’t think it could mean the workouts from TrainerRoad.

It’s more the volume per week than the single session that (may) has an impact. So many unknowns on T but some people - especially when trying to sell a book - always seem the have the anwsers.

  • yes, resistance training increases T. But only for 30min or so. Is this sufficient? Wouldn’t it more important to elevate chronic/base levels of T?
  • endurance training can lower baseline T. Volume/week and volume/years seems to be the marker. However, this does not necessarily has to be a bad thing since the set point may change as well. E.g. body gets more sensitive to T and requires less.

Just two questions that are far from being solved by science. Lots of full text literature available on researchgate.


I share your scepticism of authors having answers so they sell the latest book. I certainly haven’t looked into the details of the research as deeply as you have, and the 30minutes definitely wasn’t mentioned.

Some interesting summaries here:

In general, I’d say most data support the notion that w/in a couple of hours (for sure!) post resistance exercise, testosterone returns to pre-exercise levels. Usually much sooner than a couple of hours!

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The study itself is with 22 years olds, the literature review does not mention the age of the study participants. The T response seems to quite age related.

This is where I got the 30min from:

And this review paper was my main information source:

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Sorry if it sounded like I was questioning your statement. I hadn’t considered how long the duration was (but maybe that’s a good salesman highlighting one major effect without mentioning other ones)

There’s two parts of the my post.

One, realising that testosterone production declines with age and this may have different affects (and I’m reaching that age) and that different exercise regimes may help to counteract this. But there is plenty of science to do before we can get specific.

Second, just thought I would recommend an interesting podcast that isn’t about cycling but looks at other elements of sport and fitness.

In general:

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Since T is mentioned. 7% increase after 8 days Classics racing block in pros … when adequately fueled. A drop when not.

Hence, the statement that endurance efforts per se lower T is not that clear cut. As always, quite complex. Not sure if this complexity is captured by all the bro science on T.

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Great article!

and the paper


The spring classics paper is really interesting. I have noticed a positive training effect on rides up to 300km, but sometimes 400km is too much. But this year’s 400km ride seems to have helped my fitness. I often have trouble eating enough on the bike in the spring, I have wondered how this affects my fitness.

This year I have been riding 100km on Tuesday and longer on the weekends. It’s tough to do anything else when a 400km ride is one of those.

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I haven’t listened to the podcast (or researched the study further) but I am wondering how all this applies to women. I am assuming this is a male-only study? (I could be wrong of course.)

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Anecdotally, my experience is that resistance exercise workout dates are a good idea.


So I think the endocrine response is materially the same for both genders. But I’ve never seen any data to support that.


from the review paper referenced above:


more in the text …

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