“After 1 week of 8-hour bedtimes (from 11 PM to 7 AM) at home, the participants spent 11 days in the laboratory for 3 nights of 10-hour bedtimes (from 10 PM to 8 AM; rested condition) followed by 8 nights of 5-hour bedtimes (from 12:30 AM to 5:30 AM; sleep restriction).”
One of the simplest fixes that I give to my clients who want to fix their Low T naturally is to turn off the computer, turn off the phone, turn off the TV and go outside.
This past weekend I was up in the mountains for an off-road triathlon race, Xterra Winter Park. It was pouring down rain and the organizers decided to postpone until next week. It would have been pretty easy to just hang around the hot tub, watch tv and stuff our faces all weekend. But that’s not my style.
While I work with a lot of guys who seek me out for help with things like low sex drive, and fatigue, and weight gain, you’d be surprised that a lot of women are looking for help too.
While the fundamental approach is the same- reducing the impact of the various types of stress that screw up the balance between stress hormone and sex hormones, the specific changes can be a little different.
Just remember this – guys over 40 need something to get away from the stress. The stress drives T down, the hobbies bring it back up. For me, it’s racing off-road triathlon (even if I’m not great at it). For you it can be whatever you want. But it does matter.
That’s me in the picture, running as fast as I ever have. You see, when I go in to these races, my main goal is to beat my time from the year before. And I knew it was going to be close this year.
That’s me yesterday, taking a break from riding my mountain bike in the 100 degree weather that we had in Denver this past weekend. The question is, “Why?”
For me mountain biking, and off-road triathlon are hobbies, and in the interest of full disclosure, I am not particularly good at either one. But I don’t care.
My buddy Mike and I rode some steep hill intervals in Sedalia, Colorado this past Sunday. While we happen to love riding mountain bikes, it takes a little work to love riding up steep hills. You kind of need to convince yourself that pushing hard is fun.
But the truth is, this type of intensity is important for guys as they get older. Most of us rarely do anything that’s physically intense anymore. But letting that red-line stuff go is what starts the drop in testosterone that a lot of guys experience as they move into their 40s.
“Toss my cookies?”
“Doc, say it ain’t so.”
This tough conversation that I had with Ron yesterday was for his own good. Ron’s a 54-year-old who came to me for natural help with Low T. He went to one of those medical centers that wants $10,000 a years for hormone injections every 2 weeks.
1. Soy, of any kind. Guys should never eat soy, not drink soy milk eat tofu or any other kind of soy. Why? Well, soy contains compounds that mimic estrogen. This can drop T levels, and literally push you down the path of becoming more womanly.
When Phil (name changed) first came to see me for his most troubling symptom of low T- Low Sex Drive, he certainly didn’t think his stomach could have anything to do with it.
He had tried a Testosterone shot, and among other side effects, it shrunk his testicles(!). So he was looking for a natural approach. He basically just wanted me to give hm some supplements. But that approach doesn’t really fix anything. We start with tests.
As a 47-year-old guy, I know that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. One common misconception I hear often is the idea that lots of endurance training is good for you. For guys over 40, this isn’t necessarily true.
Prolonged endurance training, like long bike rides, will tend to raise cortisol levels and lower testosterone levels.
It’s very simple. Both cortisol (the body’s primary stress hormone) and testosterone are derived from a hormone called pregnenolone. If you have a bunch of different stressors wearing you down, your body will use the available pregnenolone to make cortisol instead of testosterone. The result is a fat, fatigued, irritable guy who doesn’t have the interest in sex that he once did. But this can be fixed- naturally.
You might not realize it, but stress in your gut can cause cause your T levels to drop. It can lead to weight can fatigue and a lost sex drive. How is that possible?
Easy. Stress in the gut can cause cortisol to rise. Cortisol is basically a stress hormone. When cortisol is up, and when stress is up, testosterone can drop, especially over the long term. So guys with chronic stomach problems tend to experience the symptoms of lower testosterone in men- fatigue, weight gain and loss of sex drive.
I’m reading this book called “How Bad Do You Want It?” by Matt Fitzgerald right now. While the author is writing about endurance sports, the premise applies to anything: The perception of your effort during a task determines how you perform. So if you think something will be difficult, it will be. If you think getting stronger will be hard, it will be. If you think losing fat will be hard, it will be. If you think getting back to feeling like the old you is impossible, it will be. But what about the flip side? Believing you can get shit done is the first step.
Men over 40 should swim. It’s a great way to cross-train your upper body, build muscular endurance in the shoulders and challenge your heart in a different way. Something about being in the water also has a stress relieving effect. It can reduce cortisol levels, help fight fatigue, and improve mood too.
The best news? It’s ok to suck at swimming, because the lack of efficiency actually makes it a better workout. But you need to swim outside – it’s a million times better than swimming indoors. Give it a try!
Arm Training is still relevant. Exercises to build bigger arms can indeed build better health for men over 40.
After I realized that chronic “functional” training was screwing up my hormones (cortisol too high, testosterone borderline low) I dialed things back. While the functional zealots will scream that arm training isn’t functional (a term almost never defined BTW), I call bullshit. You use your arms every day- doing real life things, like lifting very heavy tomato plants, controlling a mountain down a steep slope, carrying a whiny toddler who refuses to walk, or staying in the top position of a push-up for a long time .
Guys over 40, there are 3 main types of stress that can raise your stress hormone levels and cause a drop in your T levels.
Guys over 40, there are 3 main types of stress that can raise your stress hormone levels and cause a drop in your T levels. This can be the underlying reason why you feel fatigued, irritable, and fat. Do you know what they are?