Who said you need to go to the gym to boost testosterone?
While lifting heavy certainly has its benefits, such as stronger bones, more muscle mass, and huge anabolic response. Exercises without weights will give you a testosterone increase of their own. 
In fact, if you do these exercises right and combine them with some of the tips I’ll give you, you’ll experience pretty much the same benefits as from training in the gym.
Read on to have a deeper look at how these anabolic benefits occur.
We’ll explain how certain movements such as bodyweight squats raise your testosterone and Human Growth Hormone.
We’ll also give you a sample bodyweight workout plan, so you can start raising your testosterone as soon as you finish reading this article!
Benefits of Exercising Without Weights
Squats, push-ups, pull-ups, etc. are all exercises that require no weights. As such, they fall into a category of movements called CKCE. It stands for “closed kinetic chain exercises.”
What does this mean?
Basically, CKCE are types of exercises where the hand (if training upper body), or the foot (if training lower body) keeps constant contact with a surface without moving.
Think of push-ups where your hand stays in contact with the floor while doing the exercise – this is one example of CKCE.
On the other hand, exercises you do in the gym, such as pull-downs, bench press, etc. are called “open kinetic chain exercises.” Or simply OKCE. This is where your hand or foot moves when performing the exercise.
There a number of benefits that CKCE offer compared to open kinetic chain exercises. These include;
- Engaging more muscles and joints.
- Can be done anywhere.
- They are more functional.
- Greater neurological and muscular response.
- Improve coordination and stabilization more than OKCE.
Not only this, but CKCE offer better flexibility when performing some of these exercises. For example, transitioning from one exercise to another with CKCE is much easier than with OKCE. This is especially important if you’re looking to melt body fat.
With shorter rest periods, CKCE offers superior results in terms of keeping the metabolism firing and helping you lose weight.
Do Bodyweight Exercises Raise Testosterone?
You might be saying; “Okay, these benefits are great but I came here to learn about exercises that boost my testosterone.”
Can CKCE, aka, bodyweight movements do that for you?
Exercises without weights, such as sprints, are shown to greatly elevate anabolic hormones in men. These include testosterone, DHT, and HGH.
The largest spike in these hormones happens 15-30 minutes after exercises. They stay elevated for an hour or even longer, depending on an individual.
Testosterone Boosting Exercises Without Weights
It doesn’t take a doctor to tell you that exercise of any kind is good for your health.
But sprints have specific benefits that only a few exercises can match.
Here they are:
Sprints Improve Your Metabolism (And Fat Loss)
For starters, a good sprinting session will ramp up your metabolism. When you do this exercise, you put enormous amounts of pressure on your body for a short period of time.
This yields a massive metabolic response from the body, which means, it starts to expend a lot more calories than it normally would. With more calories burned, you’ll find it much easier to burn fat and stay lean.
Now, here’s a fascinating thing: Even after you finish sprinting, your metabolism will stay burning massive amounts of calories for hours post-workout.
Meaning, these fat burning benefits last even after you’ve finished working out. This is a benefit that only a handful of extremely intense exercises offer – and one of them are sprints.
Sprints Increase Anabolic Hormone Secretion
If you thought that an improved metabolism from sprints was impressive, have a look at this;
Citing a study from NCBI: “After the training period, plasma TT concentrations increased significantly at the end of the sprint and during the recovery.”
To show you the exact numbers. Research has shown that Human Growth Hormone, which is responsible for keeping you young and strong, gets elevated by a whopping 771% after a 20-minute sprinting session. [7, 8, 9]
You Might Like: Most Effective Testosterone Enhancers Guide
Sprints Help You Grow New Brain Cells
You read that right; sprints will not only improve your physical abilities. They will also improve your cognitive function by causing new brain cell growth. 
This happens because when you’re sprinting, your body responds by producing large amounts of BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This is a protein that stimulates the growth of new brain cells.
In essence, sprinting will make you smarter. It will improve your memory, thinking, focus, and reaction time via the growth of new brain cells induced by BDNF.
Now, if you thought that was cool, there’s another, arguably even more important benefit that sprints offer in terms of brain health.
See, when BDNF gets produced after sprints, your brain becomes much tougher and resilient. BDNF is known for protecting the brain against oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress causes damage in all your tissues; it’s a natural process which many experts believe is one of the main causes of aging. Over time, it wears your body down.
By combating oxidative stress processes, BDNF makes your brain younger and more resilient to damage and aging.
If you needed one more reason for doing sprints, there you have it.
Sprints Cause Muscle Growth
In addition to raising anabolic hormones, sprints also directly affect muscle growth. 
A 2012 study done by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute did a test on a group of men and women. Researchers had them do 30-second sprint intervals with 20 seconds of recovery between exercise. A typical HIIT workout.
Immediately after the workout, researchers took muscle biopsies from both men and women’s quads. They did the same 2 hours later.
Test results showed increased levels of enzymes that regulate muscle growth. In other words, sprints caused these men and women to trigger an increase in muscle mass.
However, this wasn’t the only positive result of the study. While performing tests, researchers also found that these test subjects showed improved ankle strength and bone density. Which was particularly impressive because they only did one sprinting session. Now imagine if they trained like this constantly; the benefits on their ankles and bones could be even greater.
Sprints Save Time
Let’s face it – not everyone has the time to train for 1 or 2 hours every day.
With our busy lifestyles, one of the main concerns in people who want to start training is the amount of time they’ll have to put in.
The good news is: sprints don’t require that much time at all! In fact, all of the benefits mentioned from above can be achieved in under 20 minutes of sprinting, just a couple of times per week.
A study from the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that just 15 minutes of interval sprinting yields the same benefits as 9-12 hours of moderate, prolonged exercise.
Sprints Make You Tougher
From reading this, you might get the idea that sprints are all fun and easy. But that’s far from the truth.
The fact is, this is an extremely difficult exercise. Even with all of these benefits, not everyone is willing to exert themselves so much with sprints.
This exercise demands huge amounts of willpower. The more you do it, the stronger you become – not just physically but mentally, too.
In essence, sprinting makes you harder to kill. It makes you more resilient to daily stresses. And above all, it makes you more motivated to tackle new challenges, due to improved mental toughness.
#2 Squats (Bodyweight)
Testosterone is the epitome of maleness, and so are squats.
In fact, what’s the one exercise that comes to your mind when you think of a huge muscular guy?
Okay, you might say the deadlift or bench press, but the fact is, squats stand shoulder to shoulder, and probably even above some of these exercises.
They are called the king of exercises for a reason – squats induce massive metabolic and anabolic response from the body. And I’m not just talking about heavy barbell squats.
Even the bodyweight squats can cause you to burn fat and gain muscle at the same time.
That’s correct; studies have shown that even light squats can cause your body to produce more testosterone, helping you build muscle. 
But squats can also be fairly ineffective, depending on your form.
Here’s the trick; since bodyweight squats are far easier than barbell squats, we need to train in a specific way to make them more intense.
First and foremost, you should train at a very high rep range. I’m talking 40+ reps per set, nonstop.
Also, no jerking or fast movements. You should have a slow and controlled form. Especially when squatting down; that’s when you should go extremely slow for maximum intensity (I’ll explain why this is important in a second).
If you do squats correctly, you can expect some massive testosterone gains. Studies show that squats boost up testosterone more than any other exercise. “The king of all exercises” also significantly increases your human growth hormone release. [12, 13]
So there you have it; squats day and testosterone is no myth.
Even if you can’t go to the gym, you can do this exercise pretty much anywhere. That’s why it’s among the most effective testosterone boosting exercises without weights.
#3 Pull-Ups (And Chin-Ups)
Fun fact: pull-ups are often called the upper body squats. There’s a good reason why this is the case.
The truth is, pull-ups are hard. How many people have you seen that can’t do even one rep of pull-ups or chin-ups?
When you think about it, it makes sense that an exercise of that difficulty causes a huge anabolic response from the body. Pull-ups activate many muscle groups. Including the large latissimus dorsi (the back) and biceps.
As a result, your body stimulates the metabolism to work harder, along with increased testosterone production to help elevate your strength.
Research shows that pull-ups, just like any other compound exercise, yields a positive effect on your male hormone. 
But, unlike exercises such as bench press where you have to go to the gym, pull-ups can be done pretty much anywhere – even on a tree branch. (But don’t blame us if it cracks!)
Push-ups are another awesome movement you can do anytime, anywhere.
And they’re one of the manliest exercises out there.
The thing with push-ups is that they can be both extremely easy, and extremely hard to do. This depends on how you set the exercise up.
There are countless variations of this exercise, from one-arm push-ups to spiderman push-ups.
One thing they all have in common, though, is that push-ups naturally raise your testosterone levels. That’s correct; not only will your pecs improve but so will your male hormone. 
All in all, this is a great exercise if you don’t have access to the gym. And one of the easiest ways to boosting your testosterone without weights.
How to Train For Optimal Anabolic Boost
If you want to get the most out of your bodyweight workouts, there’s a specific way in which you should train.
Here I’ll explain how to optimally perform exercises without weights. Along with showing you the science behind this technique.
First off, remember that intensity is key. Since you aren’t lifting weights, you’ll need to compensate by increasing the reps and reducing the rest between sets. This is crucial for getting your testosterone elevated.
You also need to ensure a proper form. This means, no swinging, no jerking, no fast movements. Whichever exercise you do, perform it in a slow and controlled manner.
Further Reading: Testosterone 101 – A Detailed Guide on the Male Hormone
Now here comes the most important part; during the eccentric (negative) part of the exercise, you should go extremely slowly – lasting 3 seconds or more.
For example, let’s say you’re doing squats. You want your eccentric (negative) part of the movement where you’re squatting down to last 3 or more seconds.
Doing squats this way is shown to induce a huge hormonal response by the body. This brings about a chain reaction where testosterone and growth hormone levels jump up.
And I’m not just spewing out some bro-science talk here. The method of training with slow negative reps has been tested in studies.
See for yourself:
In a study done by Brazilian scientists, 16 strength-trained men were split into two groups.
Both groups did the bench press, 4 sets of 8 reps at 70% of their maximum.
Here’s the difference though; one group of men lifted like your average gym Joe, with the negative part of the movement lasting 1 second.
The other group did it a little differently. Instead of going fast, they lowered the weight slowly. It took them 3 seconds to lower the bar down to the chest, instead of 1.
Brazilian scientists measured hormone levels of both groups of men before, during, and after the exercise.
15 minutes after the workout, men who did slow (3-second) eccentric reps had 17 times higher HGH levels than the first group who lowered the weight fast. 
The study concluded;
“These results suggest that slow eccentric bench press exercise prescribed by a specific muscular strength test (1RMecc) is an effective way to induce a significantly greater GH release.” – NCBI
Interesting fact: Human growth hormone is essential for the growth of new tissue. This includes muscle cells.
After the age of 30, HGH levels start dropping drastically. This decrease is even more dramatic than with testosterone.
Because of this, finding methods that will naturally keep your HGH elevated is of utmost importance if you want to stay vital and strong in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond.
Sample T-Boosting Workout Without Weights
Take some of the exercises from above. Combine them with the guidelines we’ve shown you, such as slow negative reps, short duration of the workout, and high-intensity training. And you’ve got yourself a neat little workout that will boost your testosterone, as well as growth hormone.
But I wanted to take it a step further.
After digging a little deeper into the science of testosterone and bodyweight workouts, I’ve constructed a complete routine that will allow you to stay ripped and muscular, along with having supercharged testosterone levels at the same time.
Before you start though, I have to warn you. This is not an easy workout.
It doesn’t last long, but will require your utmost concentration, strength, stamina, and endurance due to the sheer intensity. With that in mind, it’s important that you properly warm-up before going into this workout. Otherwise, you might risk injuries!
- Frog Hops, 5 reps (jumps) | rest 5 seconds | repeat 3-5 times
- Pylo Lunges, 15 reps each side | rest 10 seconds | repeat 3-5 times
- Reaching Reverse Lunge With Hop, 10 reps each side | rest 5 seconds | repeat 6-8 times
- Star Jumps, 8 reps | rest 5 seconds | repeat 3-5 times
Metabolic Conditioning Routine
- Sprints (60-80% of your max) | 10 seconds | rest 20 seconds | repeat 5 times
- Squat Jumps supersetted with Push-Ups | 10 reps each | rest 20 seconds | repeat 3 times
- Dips supersetted with Lunge Jumps | 10 reps each | rest 20 seconds | repeat 3 times
If you feel like you still have some energy left in the tank, you can do another round of sprints; run at your 60-80% max speed for 10 seconds, rest 20 seconds, and repeat 5 times.
What Else Can You do to Raise Testosterone?
Training is just one part of keeping your anabolic hormones high.
There are other factors that’ll determine how you’ll look and feel, as well as how strong your male hormone will be.
These include eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, keeping your cortisol low, and taking certain herbs and nutrients that can spike up your T and HGH production.
Shall we look at each one of these in more detail?
The fact is, foods that you eat have a massive impact on your health as a man.
If you’re looking to optimize your testosterone levels, you’ll need to follow a few simple rules with your diet.
The first rule is, avoid sugars as much as possible. Refined carbs such as table sugar and wheat are linked with plummeting testosterone levels.
If that wasn’t enough, sugars also cause inflammation in the body. They raise blood glucose levels, and subsequently – insulin.
When your insulin is constantly spiked up, this triggers an unhealthy chain reaction in the body where inflammation takes root. This then leads to the infamous heart disease, diabetes, and other deathly ailments. 
Read this carefully; If you want to keep your T levels high, you want to minimize processed sugars, carbs, and even meats.
Instead, you want to eat wholesome, organic foods that are dense in nutrients. These include dark leafy greens, oysters, grass-fed beef, egg yolks, and avocados. Many of these foods are rich in zinc, a mineral that regulates testosterone production. 
By complementing your hard training with some of these foods, you can rest assured your T levels will stay high.
Hitting the sack on time might give you more than just a feeling of being rested.
Studies show that men who don’t get enough sleep experience seriously low testosterone levels.
In fact, just one week of inadequate sleep is shown to cause T levels to drop by 15%. This number continues to rise the less time you spend sleeping. 
You hear it all the time from bodybuilders: eat well, train hard, and sleep tight. Because they know just how important these three factors are when it comes to building muscle.
Keep Your Stress Under Control
Here’s the thing with stress: when you’re in this state, your body produces certain chemicals. The most well-known ones are adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol.
Cortisol is the one you want to minimize.
While having some cortisol in your body is a good thing, the stressful lifestyles we lead have seen men become constantly flooded with this stress hormone.
Seriously low testosterone levels, heart problems, diabetes, anxiety, and the list goes on…
You see, your body has room for either cortisol or testosterone: when one of these hormones gets high, the other plummets down. 
That’s why you want to avoid stress as much as possible. Because when you’re in this state, cortisol thrives and testosterone dies. And that’s the reason why stress causes muscle loss.
Some of my top tips for avoiding stress include:
- Long walks – This is by far one of the best methods of reducing cortisol that I’ve found. Just try it out next time you feel stressed. Go out, take a long and relaxing walk, don’t think about any responsibilities, just enjoy each moment as you gently put one foot in front of another. Preferably, do it somewhere where it’s quiet and close to nature.
- Meditation – Taking just 5-10 minutes out of your day to sit and do nothing can do a lot more than just calm you down. Meditation has been studied extensively and is shown to cause a huge reduction in cortisol levels.
- Yoga – Similar to meditation, here you focus on your body and certain postures that release tension, leading to less stress.
- Reduce caffeine – When caffeine enters your system, the body starts producing adrenaline and cortisol. More cortisol is the last thing you need if your goal is boosting testosterone levels.
Note: To see the full list of herbs and nutrients that can boost up your male hormone, be sure to check our in-depth guide; Men’s Health Enhancers Guide
There are certain supplements that can amp up your T production when taken in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb known for its anti-stress and anti-anxiety qualities.
In some studies, ashwagandha has been shown to reduce cortisol by up to 35% in men.
Vitamin D plays a key role in overall health, and that includes hormones like testosterone and HGH. Studies have shown that a lack of vitamin D leads to hypogonadism (clinically low T) in some men. 
We usually get vitamin D from the sun, but with our modern, sheltered lifestyles, rarely anyone gets enough of this vitamin nowadays.
When you couple that with the fact that there aren’t many foods rich in vitamin D, supplementation becomes mandatory.
If you don’t fancy eating oysters every day, an oyster extract might be just what you’re looking for.
It’s dried oyster meat stored in a capsule. It has all of its nutrients and qualities preserved, including absurdly high amounts of zinc.
Just one serving of oysters has over 1,000% of your RDI for zinc.
Fenugreek increases testosterone by reducing the sex hormone binding globulin, which renders free testosterone unavailable.
Fenugreek also inhibits the aromatase enzyme, which is known for converting testosterone to estrogen (the female sex hormone).
There are good news and bad news to D-Aspartic Acid.
The good news is, it’s shown to drastically improve T levels in sedentary men or those who suffer from weak testosterone.
The gym isn’t the only place where you can boost testosterone.
In fact, you can start elevating your male hormone right here, right now. Just start doing bodyweight exercises which are linked to improved testosterone and human growth hormone levels.
Testosterone boosting exercises without weights include:
- Sprints – Exert huge anabolic and metabolic response from the body. Boosting the HGH by 771%. Sprints also improve T levels, fat loss, and make you smarter by improving Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor.
- Squats – Squats are the king of all exercises, for a good reason. They not only raise your metabolism work rate, helping you burn fat, but also significantly increase testosterone levels. And the best of all, you don’t need to go to the gym to reap the benefits of squats. Studies show that bodyweight squats, when done correctly, can be just as effective at raising testosterone as heavy barbell squats.
- Pull-ups – One of the most intense upper-body exercises. It yields a massive response from the body, causing you to burn fat faster, along with raising anabolic hormones.
- Push-ups – They are easy to do, there are countless variations of push-ups. And most importantly, push-ups are shown to increase testosterone levels in men.
In order to reap the full benefits from these exercises, you should train in a specific way. Make sure your negative (eccentric) portion of the rep lasts at least 3 seconds. This is the most important factor in raising your testosterone, according to research.
Also, make sure you keep the intensity levels high. Remember, we aren’t training with weights here, so you need to compensate by reducing rest times and increasing the number of reps!
Here’s more good news; these exercises aren’t the only way to raise your T levels. In fact, if you combine these movements with a healthy diet, 7-9 hours of sleep, and reducing stress, your testosterone and HGH levels will be much higher than from training alone.
Also, supplements are another great addition to your training. By taking certain herbs and nutrients that reduce stress and stimulate testes, you’ll keep your anabolic hormones high even long after the workout has finished.
Some of the most effective testosterone enhancers include:
- D-Aspartic Acid
- Vitamin D
- Oyster Extract
If you combine all of the advice we’ve given you here, you won’t have any problems with building muscle, staying lean, and having testosterone levels of a man in his prime.
References for the article: Quick and Easy Guide | Testosterone Boosting Exercises Without Weights[showhide type=”links” more_text=”Show References” less_text=”Hide References”]
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