Squats are hard.
So hard in fact, that some people get dizzy and unwell after an intense leg session.
But is this a good enough reason to shy away from this exercise?
Why is Testosterone Important?
Before explaining how squats boost your testosterone, let’s quickly cover the role of the male hormone in the body. And how it works.
So what is testosterone?
First off, it’s a male steroid hormone which plays a key role in your libido, muscle growth, and many other bodily functions. As such, testosterone is associated with these benefits;
- Improves muscle mass
- Keeps your sex drive high
- Enhancers strength and energy levels
- Helps regulate mood and well-being
- Improves confidence
This incredibly important hormone is produced by Leydig cells, which are located in testes in men.
Testosterone belongs to the androgen group. Other androgen hormones include DHT, DHEA, androstenediol, and androstenedione.
In total, androgens are just one out of five steroid hormone groups. Other include estrogens, progestogens, glucocorticoids, and mineralocorticoids.
Believe it or not, but vitamin D is also classified as a hormone – it plays a key role in testosterone production.
Related: Men’s Guide To Testosterone
Effects of Low Testosterone
Low T levels are no joke.
For this reason, it’s important to notice signs of low testosterone early. So you can prevent a further drop in the male hormone.
Here are the 5 most common signs of low testosterone;
- Muscle loss
- Fat around the belly
- Feeling weak and sluggish
- Low libido and sex drive (loss of interest in women)
- Mood Swings
Although not extremely common, weak T levels can also lead to erectile dysfunction in some men.
How Squats Boost Your Anabolic Hormones
Okay, now that you know the importance of testosterone, let’s look at one of the best ways you can boost your male hormone – squats.
There’s a good reason why squats are called ‘the king of exercises.’ They work on your largest muscle group – legs – and induce a massive hormonal response.
That’s right, doing squats will improve your anabolic hormone release – both testosterone and GH.
Below is scientific evidence showing how squats improve your T levels.
Squats Boost Growth Hormone and Testosterone Secretion
A study published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning tested two groups of men with similar experience in strength training. One group did squats, and the other did leg press.
The study showed that men who did squats increased their testosterone from 23,9 nmol/L to 31,4 nmol/L. The group who did leg press increased their T levels from 22,1 nmol/L to 26,9 nmol/L. 
Furthermore, the squat group experienced a much higher increase in the growth hormone (from 0,2-9,5 μg/L), as compared with the leg press group (0,3 to 2,8μg/L).
Both groups of men did 6 sets of 10 reps for each exercise, and their starting weight was 80% of their 1-rep max. The rest between sets was also the same for both groups – 2 minutes.
Here’s a graph showing the increase in anabolic hormones in these men;
Image courtesy of: journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr
As we can see from the above, while leg press is certainly a great way to boost your anabolic hormones, squats are even more effective.
But that’s not all. Research shows that if you train like this several times per week, your testosterone levels will stay elevated long-term – leading to continual muscle growth. 
Light vs. Heavy Squats, Does it Matter?
Light or heavy squats – which boost testosterone the most?
Studies show us that it doesn’t matter much. In fact, any type of exercise appears to boost your anabolic hormones. But the question is, to what degree? 
Well, a study from Medicine and Science in Exercise and Sports tested the effects of light vs heavy squats. They had two groups of men whose testosterone levels were tested prior to doing squats, and after.
Both groups were asked to do squats in 4 sets of 6 reps. But here’s the interesting part: one group used heavy weights when squatting, while the other group did light squats.
The result? Both groups experienced an increase in testosterone levels. It didn’t matter if they did heavy or light squats.
This is great news if you can’t do heavy squatting, for example, if you have knee issues. This study shows us that even by using light weights, you can still improve your male hormone.
That said, remember that the intensity needs to be kept high in order for you to reap the benefits from the exercise.
Squats day and testosterone – this doesn’t mean doing 5 bodyweight squats and expecting your T levels to increase. If the exercise isn’t intense enough, it likely won’t lead to any benefit.
Other Leg Exercises Improve Testosterone Too
Looking at the studies from above, it’s clear that squats are among the best ways to naturally boost your testosterone.
However, it’s also apparent that they aren’t the only exercise that will raise your anabolic hormones. As we’ve seen, the testosterone gains from leg press are nothing to sneeze at.
HIIT (High-intensity Interval Training) has also been shown as an effective method of raising your T levels. Along with improving peak power output. 
How to Maintain Elevated T Levels With Exercise
Okay, it’s clear that doing squats will boost your testosterone levels – but for how long?
In most cases, this increase only lasts for a couple of hours post-workout. So what can you do to maintain it?
So even if you’re busy, it’s still possible to keep your T levels elevated by training just a couple of times per week.
But again, the intensity is key. If you’re working out and not feeling any resistance, then the workout might be too easy for you.
Always aim to keep the intensity levels up – this is what will improve your testosterone and muscle mass.
Research shows that squats indeed do boost testosterone levels. Even more impressive is the boost in Growth Hormone after a squat workout.
However, squats aren’t the only exercise that will improve your anabolic hormones. In fact, any exercise is good for your testosterone health.
This includes HIIT (high-intensity training), bench press, and deadlifts. Basically, anything that keeps your heart rate up and makes you sweat.
Exercise is shown to not only benefit your testosterone directly, but also indirectly. It does this by boosting mood and reducing cortisol levels. And cortisol is the arch-enemy of testosterone.
So there you have it, that’s our answer to whether squats day and testosterone is a myth – no, it’s not!
By doing squats, or any exercise for that matter, you’ll improve your testosterone, growth hormone, and overall health as a man.