After sharing my latest blood test results, with my highest ever testosterone level of 845 ng/dL I received the following question from Collin:
“Wow. I was told it’s impossible to get above 850 without steroids, so you’re near perfect. What is your personal regimen Logan? Can you write a post about it? Including herbs, diet, exercise routine, sleep and other habits…!”
First of all, 850 is definitely achievable without steroids. In fact, some people get over 1000. The reference range, which is quite a range, is from 280 – 1100 ng/dL. Breaking the thousand mark is a personal goal of mine, just because I think it would be a fun marker to hit.
There are some theories, and evidence for them, that our ancient ancestors had even higher levels of androgens.1 Perhaps early human men or Neanderthals all had well over 1000 ng/dL.
Why is that important? Well, if we live our lifestyle a little closer to our ancestors, we too can have better testosterone.
But the truth is we know our near ancestors, meaning our fathers and grandfathers, absolutely did have higher testosterone! What we are seeing is a population level decline of testosterone. It’s not just age. It’s not just weight. It’s not any “known” factor. This is bad news!
Men who put on weight intensified their testosterone decline, some greatly so, but even among those who held their weight constant or lost weight during the study, mean testosterone declined 117 ng/dl (19%) over 20 years. We have not identified the reason for secular decline in testosterone.2
This comes from a review, not just a single study, meaning several different ones in different parts of the world are pointing to the same thing.
Actually, the factors are known. It’s because of how many endocrine disrupting chemicals are everywhere these days. Food, water, air, home, office, car, etc. Everywhere.
At the current pace and direction, there’s a good chance this stuff could snuff out the human race, in a couple of generations, rendering everyone infertile.
Yes, it may well be that bad. Certain people say technology is going to save us, even make us immortal. Even if that is possible, that is only if our technology doesn’t kill us off first.
The good news is that you can do a lot about it, at least personally.
At the time of writing this, I’m 32 years old. You may be thinking I’m young, so I should have good hormone levels, right? Well…in addition to being in a spot to suffer this population level decline, I’m the third of three kids and appear to be worse off constitutionally than my older siblings. This means that I’m naturally likely to have lower than average testosterone. It is quite clear from my youth that this is true.
But by doing the right things I’ve reached this point, and continuing to do them will likely reach higher.
So what have I done to support my testosterone? Here are the things that Collin asked about:
Table of Contents
Herbs and Supplements for Testosterone
We have lots of great hormonal supporting herbs here. The fact is I feel that our most popular ones, pine pollen tincture, and tongkat ali, are a bit too strong for me, as I’ve written about previously. But if you have low testosterone, they’re likely a excellent choice for you. At least they’re worth trying.
Some people would say that supplements aren’t the main thing for hormone health. I would agree, but they can be powerful allies. Besides I think of herbs more as a part of our diet, then supplements.
Diet for Testosterone
As much as possible I eat quality food. This means organic, non-GMO and minimally processed. Local and fresh where possible.
It means food that ate good quality food itself, whether that’s cow’s eating grass, wild caught fish eating their natural diet or vegetables grown in quality soil.
More specifically, what this looks like is I eat eggs almost every morning. I eat green leafy veggies every day. I eat beef or fish on most nights. I eat sweet potatoes regularly and white rice or quinoa less so. I eat fermented foods every day.
I eat a lot of fat, because it is the best fuel source as well as being structurally significant. Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and ghee, meat and fish, nuts and seeds.
Exercise for Testosterone
Here I do some crazy shit! If you’re not familiar with the strength stuff I do, I recommend checking out my Best Of video page here on Legendary Strength, to see me juggling flaming kettlebells and pulling fire trucks by my hair.
But those aren’t my typical workouts. Depending on what I’m focusing on at the time it may be lifting heavy weights, swinging kettlebells, or bodyweight exercises. There’s always some form of resistance training.
I don’t typically go all out. I work less hard than most people would assume. There are a time and a place for balls to the walls, but overdoing that is likely to hurt hormone health (by jacking up cortisol) more than enhance it. I choose anaerobic conditioning over aerobic. You won’t find me on a treadmill or running long distances. But you may find me sprinting up hills
Depending on what I’m doing at the time, this can be three to six days a week. If I go harder it’s less. If I keep things easier, it’s more often.
In addition, I do seek to move often, meaning going for walks or hiking around pretty regularly, on top of my training.
Sleep for Testosterone
I sleep well. This has never been a difficulty for me.
Typically, I sleep around eight hours a night. Sometimes nine.
And it’s not just about the quantity. I do lots of things to maximize the quality too like seeing bright light in the morning and stopping blue light before bed.
Other Habits for Testosterone
I’m working on getting a whole lot more sun, the benefits of which extend beyond simply vitamin D. This is a newer habit for me.
I do a form of meditation every single day. (Self-hypnosis)
I have a great marriage and sex life with my wonderful wife.
I love my work.
And I do some fun, amazing things fairly regularly. I have a good amount of control over my life. That’s by design.
All of this is necessary for a high testosterone lifestyle.
What to Avoid for Testosterone
In addition to what I do, there is what I avoid. More detailed articles on some of the horribleness of this stuff are coming soon.
I avoid plastic as much as possible. It may be unavoidable, but we can all cut way down. BPA is horrible stuff, but, and this is a big but, BPA-free is not necessarily any better.
I don’t use typical skin care products at all. Even most so-called “all natural” stuff is just as bad. Just some soap and essential oils.
As mentioned I eat organic predominately, which means fewer chemicals are coming in from my food. The same holds true of the air I breathe and the water I drink.
The principle is to do more that is good for your health and your testosterone, and less bad. Ultimately, you need to work on both.
This is just an overview. If you want the nitty gritty details, please pick up a copy of Upgrade Your Testosterone, where I deliver well over 100 pages packed with testosterone boosting tips. That’s one of my best works and tells you more about the step by step things you need to do.
1. Emma Nelson, Campbell Rolian, Lisa Cashmore, Susanne Shultz. Digit ratios predict polygyny in early apes, Ardipithecus, Neanderthals and early modern humans but not in Australopithecus. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2010.
2. Mazur, A., Westerman, R., & Mueller, U. (2013). Is Rising Obesity Causing a Secular (Age-Independent) Decline in Testosterone among American Men? PLoS ONE, 8(10).
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