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Do Deadlifts Increase Testosterone? (From a Fitness Coach)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Last updated: November 10, 2022

As a personal fitness coach, I often get asked by clients if there are certain exercises that can help with boosting testosterone and, consequently, muscle growth.

Some people believe that any kind of weight lifting or cardio workout will help. But my experience is that some compound exercises, like deadlifts, work better than others.

So, I got together with a doctor who specializes in sports medicine to see what kind of reliable scientific studies we could find about testosterone and deadlifts.

There are a few other exercises in this category as well, so read on.

Quick Summary

  • The human body will produce testosterone in response to certain physical activities, and weight training can be one of the most effective ways.
  • Maximizing your testosterone production through training, especially with compound exercises like deadlifts that activate many large muscles, can help with achieving a leaner and stronger body.
  • It’s also important to understand the impact of the growth hormone on muscle fibers and fat loss in order to come up with an ideal training plan.

Does Doing Deadlifts Increase Testosterone?

A guy wearing a gray shirt doing a deadlift

Yes, deadlifts increase testosterone and growth hormone levels for a short period of time.

It’s one of the compound movements that target the largest number of muscle groups, and that level of resistance training has been shown to impact hormone release [1].

Here’s something to keep in mind, though.

As the previously referenced study suggests, resistance training like deadlifts and squats are some of the ways to boost your natural T-count.

However, it’s only a small amount that doesn’t last very long. It’s not the best option to deal with very low testosterone levels.

But because testosterone is the primary anabolic hormone that, along with growth hormone, influences muscle repair and muscle tissue healing, deadlifts are a great way to guarantee a boost right when you need it most.

The good news is that there are a few other workouts that can also give you more testosterone.

I’ll get to those shortly.

Do Deadlifts Have Other Benefits?

Yes, deadlifts have other benefits aside from raising anabolic hormones, mainly for your metabolic health.

First of all, boosting testosterone doesn’t just have benefits on lean muscle building.

It can also boost red blood cell production, which can lead to an overall energy boost throughout the day [2].

The other thing to mention is that studies have shown that deadlifts increase oxygen consumption, and that can be an indicator of how much fat you burn [3].

I mentioned above that these T-count increases are modest. But when you do such testosterone-boosting exercises on a regular basis, it all adds up.

“Research has also shown that long-term lifting with deadlifts and squats not only promotes an increase of bone density in younger populations, but it may also help maintain that increase well into the later stages of life.”

- Matthew R. Wenning, MS at nsca.com

Other Exercises to Boost T-Count

Performing leg press and pull ups

Here are the best exercises that can boost testosterone and growth hormone production.

What you want to focus on is lifting weights and not regular cardio exercise. And you need to include these in the form of high-intensity interval training with short rest periods.

Squats Or Leg Press

Heavy squats help increase testosterone and tend to be more complex movements than a leg press machine. But I understand that some people don’t feel comfortable balancing a heavy barbell on their shoulders.

Try to start doing squats with light weights and even just a barbell. That way, you’ll get used to the feeling and keep the balance.

The important thing with squats, just like with deadlifts, is that quality is more important than quantity.

Pull-Ups

This is a great way to focus on the upper body muscle group for the back, shoulders, and arms. And it’s a good option if you want some more flexibility with body weight workouts.

Just like with all the above exercises, focus on quality slow movements rather than trying to do as many as possible.

Clean and Press

3rd position of clean and press

You don’t need to get into heavy lifting here, as it’s quite a tricky move to get right.

But the clean and press is a great way to build core strength as you’ll find that you’ll strain muscles from your legs, buttocks, core, chest, shoulders, and arms.

You can always add more weight gradually.

Bench Presses

And finally, I can’t advise people to boost their hormone levels to build muscle without adding the bench press.

It’s a great way to focus on your upper body with most of the strain on your arms and chest.

Make sure you keep the rest periods short between sets, as you want to keep your heart rate up.

FAQs

Are Squats or Deadlifts Better for Testosterone?

Both squats and deadlifts seem to be great for increasing testosterone. There are no studies that have measured the exact amount of increase for each type of exercise, but you could argue that squats target more areas and therefore are better for building muscle mass.

Do All Exercises Boost Testosterone?

Yes, all types of exercises may boost testosterone strength training. But regularly working with heavy weights to maximize muscle strain seems to be the better option for hormone release.

Take Action to Boost Your T-Count

While deadlifts increase testosterone, you might also want to consider getting a boost through your diet and supplement stack. To get as much testosterone naturally as possible, I recommend legal T-booster supplements.

And our team has researched and tested dozens of these products for men and women:

Check out which one will best suit you and then see how much of a difference it can make to increase testosterone production.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2796409/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4022090
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7932947/
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