How to increase your testosterone levels.

High testosterone is essential for a man, and if you aren’t optimising yours you’re leaving happiness and success on the table!

Healthy levels of testosterone are so important. For general health, disease risk, body composition, sexual function and just about everything else.

Additionally, increasing your testosterone levels can cause rapid gains in muscle mass and vitality in only a matter of weeks.

But how can you boost your testosterone levels? And how can you do it naturally so you can avoid hormone replacement therapy?

Let’s have a look at some lifestyle factors that will remedy the situation.

First up is exercise, to be more specific resistance training/weights.

People who lift have higher testosterone levels. Not does exercise increase testosterone levels, and fitness but also reaction times.

Factor into your week a minimum effective dosage. Resistance the urge to go full banana and instead commit to an amount of sessions you can realistically stick to. Even if only 2 sessions per week.

A Balanced diet,

to clarify, is eating enough protein, to aid satiety to aid weight loss, and muscle repair. Having enough carbohydrates also optimize testosterone levels during resistance training. And a balance of fats which are also beneficial for testosterone and health.

Combined with an energy target for your goal you will have a ‘REAL’ healthy diet.

Stress management

Natural elevations in cortisol can reduce testosterone. These hormones work in a seesaw-like manner: as one goes up, the other comes down.

Chronic stress and high cortisol can also increase food intake, weight gain, and the storage of fat around your organs.

This is why it is paramount you input into your day time for actions that will see you decompress, away from stressors and stimulation.

Sleep

Getting good sleep is as, if not more important for your health as diet and exercise. It also has major effects on your testosterone levels.

The ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person. But one study found sleeping only 5 hours per night caused a 15% reduction in testosterone levels!

This is why it would be prudent to implement a bedtime routine that will improve the duration and quality of your sleep. Why not set an alarm at the same time each day to start your bedtime routine

For more help with these lifestyle factors download a free copy of my guide The Gentleman’s Vitality Handbook

You choose.

Every day we make approximately 35,000 decisions

Decisions like:

‘how should I respond to this email’.

‘should I order this meal or this meal’.

‘do I go or not’.

These decisions range from the inconsequential to the very important.

But what we misinterpret is the severity of these ‘inconsequential’ decisions over time.

Those decisions by themselves, in isolation are not important.

It’s the compounding of those poor decisions over time that build into something formidable.

Very rarely are these decisions ‘just for now’ or ‘only this once’.

And here’s the thing, the choices you make day in day out aren’t really choices. You aren’t making any decisions. Because you are on autopilot.

You’ll make the same decision as you did last time.

It’s easier that way. And your mind loves the easy option.

It’s adverse to challenge and discomfort. Which is why it will go with the option that sees avoidance of pain.

Which is irronic because pain is unavoidable.

You can experience it now or later. But you will experience it. And thats why we need look at the choice of pain.

You get to choose your pain.

The pain of exercising or the pain of disapointment from not being able to play with your kids for more than a minute because of poor fitness.

The pain of self restraint with your diet or the pain of feeling uncomfortable in your clothes.

The pain of missing out on another TV episode or the pain of feeling fatigued the next day.

The pain of working on emotional control and stress or the pain of embarrassing yourself from losing your shit at a co worker in front of the entire office.

The pain of building self-discipline or the pain of knowing you’ve let yourself go.

It would be better that you choose the pain rather than your body and mind choose it for you!

How to build motivation

When I talk to people about High Performance, sometimes the word “motivation” comes up.

“I’ve tried all kinds of diets and fitness regimens,” they might say.

Shortly followed by “but I can never seem to keep up the motivation.”

The reality is High Performance has nothing to do with motivation. It’s definitely not the magic key that unlocks your potential. As so many online gurus would have you believe.

High Performance is formed from the process of building habits. Specific actions in your daily routine linked to your goals.

It’s about pursuing your potential for yourself and those that matter most.

It requires a plan, a roadmap, that sees you fine tune your actions. It’s not something you do overnight.

Think about what athletes do (some I’ve coached). They follow a specialized training program. Designed to improve their physical, psychological, technical skill set.

They support their training with habits such as getting restful and restorative sleep. They eat nutritious foods, build mental resilience through mindfulness, and foster supportive relationships.

Notice that motivation wasn’t mentioned once.

That’s because motivation is unreliable. And if you rely on it you are going to be inconsistent with your actions.

Long-term success is built upon small daily actions that move the you closer to your goal.

Modern neuroscience even demonstrates that from these small progressions you’ll be internally rewarded. Through a built-in neurochemical mechanism.

You don’t need superhuman motivation to elevate your performance (because it doesn’t exist).

The process isn’t reserved for gold medallists or billionaire entrepreneurs. All you need is a desire to pursue your potential.

If that’s something you’re interested in click here.

The invisible hand that guides you.

When it comes to a healthy way of living the Mediterranean’s always seem to get a mention.

They are renowned for their longevity and wellbeing. Many attribute their diet to the reason behind this.

Although over the years I’ve come up with a hypothesis. The premise is that it’s more to do with their geography and culture.

Yes the Mediterranean diet is pretty good, (if you delve into it they get a balance of fats in their diet; monounsaturated, saturated & polyunsaturated and it is high in nutritional value.

But if you look deeper into their lifestyle they also have geography and culture working for them.

The abundance of sunlight they receive provides them with sufficient vitamin D. Something that us Northerners (hemisphere that is) lack.

And, the most salient point, the emphasis they put on sleep.

Biphasic sleep is sown into their culture. Think about it. They down tools every afternoon for a nap.

Siesta.

Not to mention they have such stringent laws on light pollution.

They protect their sleep and it pays off in spades. Especially when it comes to their national health bill.

The same can’t be said for us in the UK. Incurring a £197.4 billion health bill in 2019. And that cost has increased every year since.

Our geography is not as favourable, and our culture not as health conscious or cognisant. And that my friend is a problem because;

when everyone is sick, we no longer consider it a disease!

– Ravikant.

We wear sleep deprivation as a badge of honour when it’s work related.

Which is ironic seeing as though sleep loss over an extended period of time can cause decreased cognitive performance.

Essentially with poor sleep you’re not in control of your emotions and your emotions can control your behaviour.

This leads to the inability to make sound judgments. Poorer choices and below par performance. Along with it health concerns.

Which is why to be at your best you have to optimise your lifestyle. Nutrition, Stress management, Exercise and Sleep.

All these things done well will see you operate at your best.

You’ll have emotional regulation which aids self control, which is a superpower. I would say better than invisibility or flying.

Ultimately you will be making better decisions.

And you are the sum total of all your decisions!

Single player game

Most people are playing a multiplayer game.

Comparing and contrasting against others.

‘What have they got?’

‘I should have that too’

‘I need to better them’

If you want to progress what it would be prudent to realise is;

You’re playing against yourself!

No one else.

The people that progress in their lives are playing a single player game.

By adopting this approach only then do you win.

You will no longer be making uneven comparisons. And you’ll find yourself making better decisions.

Decisions derived from the principle of;

short-term pain long-term gain.

When I say pain I’m not talking about the searing pain of exercising whilst injured. Or other methods of seld destruction.

Because those things have no long term gain!

I’m talking about the acute that leads to future returns.

The healthier meal option

The workout.

The decision to turn off the TV and go to bed on time.

The decision to put down a device and think.

So when faced you are faced with your next decision. Ask yourself which has more short term pain and long term gain.

Look! Something shiny!

Have you ever thought about having a super power??

I’m sure you have (mine would be the invisibility one).

But what if I told you that you could actually have a superpower?! What I’m getting at is in today’s world, sustained attention may be a superpower!

We are pulled in all directions, half-attending to everything that’s going on, and don’t know what is important or valuable.

Perhaps you’ve been in that situation: What to do first? Let me Google it! What about this blog / article / social media drama? Oh hey, look over here!

Or, you find yourself saying to someone; How about this plan? What about that plan? I did Plan A for 2 days while reading about Plan B then I jumped to Plan C and oh by the way, did you hear about Plan D?

The problem isn’t ‘not enough information’. We have more information than we know what to do with! But rarely are you going to change based on information alone.

People still smoke knowing full well it’s not a good idea!

It’s not information overload; it’s filter failure. Without a strong ‘focus filter’ (i.e., I am choosing to pay attention to THIS now), we experience the mental/cognitive stress of:

  • too much information; and
  • the effort required to pull our attention away from “shiny things” (i.e., irrelevant distractions) and keep it honed in on what matters.

Problems focusing and paying attention tend to come with other problems too.

For instance, struggles with attention may have you wondering why you procrastinate. Or why you’re so disorganized, impulsive, or sensitive.

You may have a pattern of launching into “life transformation” projects with great enthusiasm, but soon run out of steam. Making you feel quite discouraged.

Now, our information-rich, device-driven society isn’t to blame. We didn’t overnight become zombies because we got smartphones.

It’s because as human beings we want to escape undesirable states, like being bored or irritable. And now, we have infinitely more ways to do that. Plus nobody’s teaching you the skills to do otherwise.

Unfortunately, distraction is not actually replenishing. It doesn’t actually decrease our cognitive stress.

For goals we want to accomplish, what we need is traction — choosing an activity, and then staying on track.

Mental and cognitive recovery thus involves building the skills of:

  • filtering and prioritizing; and
  • focused, deliberate attention.

A state of mind called ‘soft fascination’ may help restore our attention.

‘Soft fascination’ is when our attention is held by a less active or stimulating activity. Like reflection or introspection. It’s particularly powerful in natural environments. Such as when we’re gazing at a beautiful mountain vista, or watching a river run past.

This might not be at all surprising to you. People have always documented that time in nature seems almost magically replenishing.

Think about it, it’s how we all lived for millennia before the invention of agriculture. And well into the 20th century, when most people in the world lived in rural areas.

So I’d like you to consider exploring doing something in a natural environment. A local park or garden maybe?!

Emotional freedom

Picture this situation, you are driving home from work after a great day and your favourite song comes on the radio.

It’s been a fantastic day and your spirits are high, so what do you do? You do what any reasonable person would do in this situation, you start singing. A little bit of head bopping, steering wheel tapping (channelling your inner Keith Moon).

You’re in your own little world loving life. Until you see the guy in the car next to you looking at you.

This is where you could go from feeling great to wishing you were invisible.

You might turn the radio down, sit back into your seat, reset your hands to the 10 and 2 position. Adjust your joyous facial expression, to one that conveys serious mature thoughts.

This example is ascribing too much importance to what other people think.

It’s not that you shouldn’t give any importance to other’s opinions. But where it crosses the line is when you care what absolute strangers think. Or people that are insignificant in your life. People you don’t respect.

These people should have no bearing on your actions or your goals. If it was up to someone else how to achieve our dreams and progress most of us wouldn’t achieve anything in our lives.

You need to base your decisions and goals on you, not other people. Too many people base their success and goals on the opinions of other people. Friends, family, co-workers.

You need to stop worrying about what other people are thinking about you and your decisions.

It is a very dangerous habit to have as it encourages you to move with the masses or conform to the group.

Here is where the emotional freedom technique will help.

Now, this is not designed to make you arrogant. Rather it resolves and dissolves the emotional reaction you have to and about other people, places and things.

To be an independent and self-confident person you need to start being more independent!

When you start to care less about what other people think you start living more. This doesn’t mean you don’t care about people.

The emotional freedom technique resolves and dissolves what you think other people think.

Have you ever thought to yourself?; ‘he or she makes me feel guilty’ Question: who is doing the feeling?

You are!

It is your reaction to what they have said or done or not done that you interpret guilt from.

Most people get it wrong about you or what you can achieve anyway. I’d like to cement this by pointing out: The Beatles were rejected. Michael Jordan didn’t make his school basketball team. Richard Branson has had more failed businesses than successful ones.

If they have worried about what others have thought you would never have heard of them.

Your feeling is created by yourself. Other people do not have the power to make you feel a certain way. You choose to feel that way! 

Using the emotional freedom technique will help you to overcome the fear of rejection.

Overcome your fear that they will think that your goals are too big and impossible for you to achieve them.

Overcome any emotional reaction to something in the past that they might have said or done.

Overcome your fear of putting yourself out there. And it will help you take the much-needed action in achieving your goals. From developing your own belief of self-worth and deserving.

With the emotional freedom technique it could be something as simple telling yourself;

Even though I’m afraid that others will think my goals are too big for me and I could never achieve them…

Even though I’m afraid of rejection’…
Even though he or she said x or did y and it made me feel…
Even though I’m not worthy of great success…

Even without being specific in detail, the emotional freedom technique will still work.

If you’re afraid about what you think others think about you doing Emotional Freedom Technique you can EFT that away too.

Another physical EFT is tapping, which like acupressure, tapping involves the body’s energy meridian points. Download my EFT tapping guide here

Your recovery Rockstar

Did you know that getting adequate and good quality sleep has a significant impact on hormone balance and muscle protein synthesis.


Outside of muscle growth, sleep deprivation has also been directly linked to an increase in appetite and as a result an increase in body fat. Because when you are not getting enough quality sleep hormones called Ghrelin and Leptin are affected and can effect our hunger levels.


Poor sleep will also lead to detrimental effects on your immune system
Because sleep helps T cells, a key part of our immune system, get to other places. Having enough T cells around to keep an eye on things means that we’re better able to start an immune response as needed.


But that’s not all. Remember that sleep helps us learn and remember? Well, it works for immune cells too.


Sleep boosts the immune system’s ability to ‘remember’ particular antigens, such as viruses. And more effectively produce antibodies or specific defenses against a particular antigen.


The most beneficial phases of sleep are the 2-3 hours of deep sleep we should experience each night. Deep sleep is very restorative and is where our stress hormone cortisol is at its lowest. And other hormones that support muscle growth are at their most potent.


Phases of sleep and the circadian system affect our immune and inflammatory responses. During this period there are changes to levels of various hormones.


These hormonal changes help boost the adaptive immune response. By helping it learn and “remember” antigens. When we sleep, our immune system is transferring what it’s learned about specific antigens (such as viruses) into its ‘long-term memory’. Which helps it recognize and respond effectively to the same antigens in future.


Cortisol is a stress-response and steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of vital body processes. And, it plays a crucial role in our sleep.
Under normal circumstances, cortisol follows a strong circadian rhythm. It’s highest when we first wake up, and decreases throughout the day.


When we don’t get enough sleep, we see less variation in the circadian rhythm of cortisol. We don’t get the highest highs in the morning, nor does cortisol drop as much in the evening.


This means that we often end up with higher measurements of cortisol after poor sleep because it doesn’t decrease like it should. On top of that, not getting enough sleep is stressful, too!


So, does it matter if we get a bad night’s sleep, or if our cortisol is too high, or both?


Yes.


Some research has suggested that cortisol could be the factor that links poor sleep to the development of depression. These things often go together.


For instance, a hallmark symptom of depression is changes in sleep. Including more awakenings in the night, difficulty falling asleep, and less deep sleep. Unsurprisingly, people who have depression often also have higher concentrations of cortisol.


If we’re able to improve our sleep and reduce our cortisol levels (i.e., deal with our sleep and stress), it will likely also help us better take care of our emotional, psychological and social well-being.


You can get started on improving your sleep quality by:

  • increasing darkness in the bedroom
  • have a regular time for going to bed
  • remove electrical equipment from the bedroom
  • maintain a cool temperature in the bedroom
  • use an alarm that will wake you up in a light sleep phase

Dealing in absolutes

Dealing in absolutes isn’t a good idea. When we use terminology such as good or bad or ‘always’ and ‘never’ it creates a false dichotomy.


Which is an informal fallacy based on a premise. That erroneously limits what options are available. The source of the fallacy lies not in an invalid form of inference but in a false premise.


And limiting options is not a good thing. Especially when it comes to methods of improving your health.


You may have asked ‘is this good for me?’


And the answer will likely be – it comes down to the amount!


One doughnut will not make you unhealthy just the same as one salad will not make you healthy.


We as human beings always look to simplify things. But when it comes to sleep, stress, food and exercise it’s not applicable.


To simplify and state that all stress is bad would be ignorant. As a certain amount of stress is beneficial to us (the amount depends on the individual).


To say that sugar is bad and you should never have it would be extreme and irrelevant. As it offers benefits both physiologically and psychologically.


Claiming that only sleep under certain conditions is good, also erroneous.


When we strive for these extremes and perfections only to fall short it can quite often be damaging. That’s why I propose you don’t!


Instead of being inconsistently perfect with your diet, exercise, stress, and sleep. Aim for being consistently alright. That is when you’ll start to notice improvement.


To do this, rather than thinking in switches (‘on’ or ‘off’) think in dials (1-10). It adds flexibility and sustainability when gauging the health practices in your life.

The blame game

The big mindset switch for me, the thing that has helped me the most, was from when I was studying psychology.


It was something that resonated with me and has been so important in my perspective of life. Thinking about it today it’s almost like a secret that I’m so glad came to hear about.


This secret, this Bastian of power is taking responsibility. No longer believing that other things were to blame. It was down to me. Thinking this was flipped the narrative and meant I took charge of my life.


I believe that no matter what happens to me I created it on some level. I am responsible for it. It it’s not there because of my physical actions it’s there because of my mental action. Thoughts of things which I’ve attracted.


And here is why you might want to adopt this belief system, because the alternative is scary! Let me explain. If you’re not in control of your life, you’re not responsible. If you blame others or circumstances, you’ve got a big problem! Because you have no power to change it. You are impotent.


But with the belief system I’m proposing to you. the belief that you are not a victim of circumstance. If you believe that whatever has happened is down to you generating it on some level. Then if you don’t like it you can change it!


Do you see where I’m going with this? My point being that I’m not trying to make you feel culpable. But I’m empower you, so if you don’t like how things are going you know you can change them.


In victim mode the following things or circumstances are responsible for your health:


Carbs

Thyroid/slow metabolism

Big bones

Lack of time

Body type


When you take control /responsibility what you’ll see is that your poor health and fitness is down to:


Lack of self control

Unaware of energy balance

Overestimating your calorie expenditure

Rewarding yourself with food

Poor food choices

Poor stress coping mechanisms


Now I know it’s easy to play the blame game. I’ve been there. The universe, him, her, this, that and everything else but myself, was to blame for why I wasn’t where I wanted to be.


But once you take responsibility for everything, good or bad. You can take credit for the wins. But you must also take responsibility when it doesn’t go your way. Knowing that you can change it!


You are 100% in control of your health and fitness!