Does Lifting Weights Make Your Voice Deeper? (The Science)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: February 15, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Our content is meticulously researched and reviewed by an expert team of fact checkers and medical professionals. They ensure accuracy, relevance, and timeliness using the latest reputable sources, which are cited within the text and listed at the end of the article. Before publication and upon significant updates, we confirm factual accuracy, committed to providing readers with well-informed content. Learn more.

Something about a deep voice defines a grown (read - big) man.

Having a deeper voice is typical for movie villains or superheroes, and in most cases, those actors are well-trained, masculine guys.

Since I heard on a few occasions that weight lifting might be one of the secrets to deepening the voice, I decided to conduct a one-month survey with my team. We talked to a lot of people at the gym and read all the literature and sources we could find on the subject.

Here’s what we’ve found out.

Quick Summary

  • Lifting weights may influence voice depth by enhancing airflow control through core muscle strength, although your natural voice is largely determined by genetic factors.
  • Regular exercise, including weightlifting, can slightly modify the vocal cords through increased testosterone production and improved respiratory function.
  • Findings from the Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal reveal that men often adjust their voice pitch lower when interacting with potential rivals.
  • From a coaching perspective, integrating holistic vocal exercises and maintaining good vocal health offers more sustainable benefits than relying exclusively on weightlifting for voice deepening.

Could Lifting Weights Deepen Your Voice?

Grabbing a 10kg dumb bell

Based on my coaching experience and a study in the Journal of Voice, I've found that your natural voice is largely predetermined [1].

Voice depth is determined by your vocal folds’ fixed length and thickness. These vocal fold traits depend on the amount of testosterone you were hit with during puberty.

However, there are ways to optimize and enhance what nature has given you.

Weight lifting may impact your voice transformation in some manner because, besides vocal fold thickness, the depth of your voice is affected by how much air is allowed to resonate.

See, when you hit the gym, you're working muscles crucial for airflow, especially your abs. This is key for your voice—that's why singing coaches stress core workouts.

“A strong, balanced core musculature provides exceptional support for your singing technique.”

- Claudia Friedlander, Voice Teacher & Fitness Trainer, New York City

Strong abs, diaphragm, and pecs majorly influence your voice's pitch.

Proper belly breathing extends your diaphragm, pushing air out more effectively. This combo means you'll talk from your gut, lowering your pitch.

Weightlifting also opens up your rib cage, boosting lung space and affecting the air pressure on your vocal cords, changing the pitch. A thicker neck helps too, staying relaxed and keeping your vocal cords elongated longer.

Plus, regular exercise amps up your testosterone, tweaking your vocal cords a bit.

What Else Could Help You Get There?

Man drinking water

Other activities may also contribute to voice pitch transformation, and they are mostly deliberate and easy to maintain.

Monotone Speaking

Research shows a flat, slow tone—think no high notes—can deepen your voice and, interestingly, might even up your dating game [2].

This "breathy" speaking style is a known aspiration technique and can be tested with voice apps.

Sleep

From my personal observations, a deeper morning voice is a real thing. It's a result of relaxed, stretched vocal cords after a restful sleep.

As a coach, I always advise my clients that proper rest is crucial for maintaining their best vocal quality and overall health.

Hydration

Hydration is key, as I often remind my clients. Without enough water, your vocal cords thin out and raise your pitch. I've consistently seen the benefits of staying hydrated for maintaining a robust and consistent voice.

Humming

A go-to exercise for singers, humming relaxes and stretches your vocal cords, lowering your pitch. It's a warm-up staple in the singing biz.

Warm-ups

Simple exercises, like blowing bubbles through a straw into water, can make your voice more resonant.

Why Do People Want to Develop a Deep Voice?

Bearded person talking to phone

From my years in sports science, it's clear that historically, a deeper voice has been seen as a sign of authority and strength, particularly in the athletic and bodybuilding worlds.

Many of my clients aim for a deeper voice, associating it with higher testosterone levels.

While this may be the truth, some studies, like the one published in Current Opinion in Psychiology, point out that lower-pitched voices make men perceived as masculine, attractive, and respectable [3].

There is some anecdotal evidence that people tend to subconsciously lower their pitch when they want to sound more successful and scholarly.

Also, one 2018 study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal shows that men tend to lower their pitch when talking to potential males [4].

Lastly, according to the American Psychological Association, lowering your voice might even change the effectiveness of influencing others on your path to becoming a leader because it changes how others perceive you [5].

FAQs

Does Lifting Weights Affect Singing?

Lifting weight may lead to a deeper voice due to its impact on the neck muscles and vocal cords, potentially affecting your singing voice.

Lifting weights affects singing by shortening and tightening the muscles in the neck and abdomen.

Singers with tighter muscles in the neck, pecs, and shoulders could have vocal problems. Solid neck muscles pressurize laryngeal muscles shortening the range of their movement, leading to problems with singing abilities.

Do Steroids Make Your Voice Deeper?

Steroids (anabolic-androgenic) make your voice deeper by affecting the vocal fold's muscle mass. It's a common irreversible side-effect of anabolic steroid abuse.

The proportion of voice transformation depends on how much steroid is absorbed and the duration of use. It's never advised to use anabolic steroids because of all the possible negative effects on the body.

Does Creatine Lower Your Voice?

No, creatine doesn't lower your voice. There are several potential side effects on your body, but lowering your voice is not one.

Some common creatine side effects might include kidney stones, muscle cramps, bloating, and weight gain.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31281011/
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-010-9625-0
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352250X19301083
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6304053/
  5. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2016-15301-001
Was this article helpful?
YesNo

About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy

You May Also Like

A person working out with a pull up bar using bodyweight at a home gym
By Christiana Mikesch, CPT 5 months ago
Best Bodyweight Exercise Equipment 2024: Zero Weights Needed
A person working out in front of a home gym mirror
By Christiana Mikesch, CPT 5 months ago
Best Mirror for Home Gym 2024 (Check Out Your Form)
CrossFit Bodyweight workout
By James Cunningham, BSc, CPT 3 months ago
CrossFit Bodyweight Workouts (WODs Without Weights)
A person doing push up calisthenics for biceps
By James Cunningham, BSc, CPT 3 months ago
7 Best Calisthenics Bicep Workouts (No Weights Required)
Best leg workouts indoors
By Christiana Mikesch, CPT 5 months ago
5 Best Leg Workouts at Home (Exercises Using Light Weights)

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our scoring system is the result of objective testing data and subjective expert analysis by a team of fitness coaches and medical experts. Our scoring factors are weighted based on importance. For more information, see our product review guidelines.