T Nation

What Determines Testosterone Levels?

Is it all genetic, or does lifestyle/training have any effect. I read one study in Finland that found an increase in testosterone after 2 years of training (on Olympic weightlifters), yet I’ve heard people say that doctors say that there isn’t much that can be done about changing one’s testosterone levels. What’s the story?

There are definite advantages to having higher testosterone levels. So how come there isn’t much research on what causes variations in testosterone levels and how to improve them. It seems that you can’t do anything about it until your levels reach 300 ng/dL or below. Somehow, you suffer through life with lower testosterone, meaning you are less decisive, less masculine-looking, etc, and can’t do much about it.

[quote]frank29 wrote:
Is it all genetic, or does lifestyle/training have any effect. I read one study in Finland that found an increase in testosterone after 2 years of training (on Olympic weightlifters), yet I’ve heard people say that doctors say that there isn’t much that can be done about changing one’s testosterone levels. What’s the story.[/quote]

I don’t read too much into it because you get what you were born with. But it probably has to do with both. You will have an untrained test level, and then when you train that your testosterone levels will raise somewhat to help accommodate your new stress that you put on your body.

I’ve read the working the legs with movements such as squats can release test into your body. I believe that to be true because the squat is probably one of the most strenuous exercises you can put against your body. I feel great after doing squats personally, and it could have to do with the release of hormones.

Its probably down to how efficient the hypothalamus, pituitary and testes(leydig cells) are at doing their job.

If 2 of the 3 are GREAT at the job, but there just isnt enough GnRH from the Hypothalamus - then you are not getting enough ‘stimulation’ to make much LH which in turn isnt stimulating much Test from the Testes.

The best way to increase this is take the role of one of the processes so HCG is LH… AAS are plain old Test, the finished product… BUT this causes the body to shutdown the areas of the body BEFORE the inter-link. So if LH is given (HCG), the testes are alive and well but the H+P are shutdown… If Test is given, then the whole thing shuts down. It would be IDEAL to find another mechanism to stimulate LH or GnRH, that isnt recognised by the body as excess - thus signalling the negative feedback loop.

Interesting stuff.

Brook

Some of the reading I’ve done suggests that high testosterone levels are a genetic signal of a strong immune system, and that from pictures, people can determine who has high testosterone (i.e. strong jawline). Also, I’ve read that aromatase inhibitors can significantly increase testosterone by altering the HPTA.

I also read a study that found that giving rats high doses of HCG stimulated an increase in both the number and size of the testicular Leydig cells
(http://www.biolreprod.org/cgi/content/abstract/22/2/383). I’m guessing testosterone levels can correlate with the mass of the Leydig cells.

as they will be able to secrete more testosterone…

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I’m planning on getting my T levels checked in the next week or so; I just started a training program, and figure that if there are any hormonal problems, I should know. That being said, I am overweight (need to lose about 40 lbs) and suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, both conditions which affect testosterone levels.

Of course, lifting and some moderate cardio is what I’m doing to lose the weight. If I can lose the weight, and get the sleep apnea treated, I hope to increase my T levels naturally. I hope they aren’t very low; I’m only 26, but I suspect that they’re lower than they should be for a person my age.