The entrybelow sums up most of what I have read about boosting testosterone without supplements. Here is some more info:
Testosterone is a powerful anabolic hormone that stimulates and controls the development of different organs such as muscle, bone, skin, sex organs, and most other masculine, physical features. Male testosterone is produced in the testes by a group of cells known as the Leydig cells. They begin secreting high doses of testosterone during puberty to trigger increased lean muscle mass, sex organ development, bone formation and higher energy levels. Testosterone levels peak during a man's early to mid twenties.
Luteninizing hormone gradually slows down and diminishes as we age. Tribulus terrestris can naturally boost levels of LH -- the increased LH then leads to more healthy testosterone production once again. Zinc and magnesium also help maintain testosterone levels (ZMA).
from Mike Mahler - A critical component in natural hormone optimization is maintaining insulin levels within ideal ranges. Insulin levels within the optimal range are balanced with the hormone glucagon. Protein provides the body what it needs to make glucagon, so a simple rule of thumb is to eat protein and carbs at every meal.
The fatter you are, the more estrogen receptors you'll have, which reduces the cellular access to testosterone. This is why you can't utilize extra testosterone, no matter how much you are making (or supplementing) if insulin is not properly managed.
from Sean Nalewanyj - Quite simply, testosterone is the most important muscle-building hormone in your body and is one of the limiting factors that determines how much muscle a person can build.
First, the brain releases a substance called Luteinizing Hormone, LH basically “tells” the body to start producing testosterone. Once this occurs, the adrenal glands release DHEA into the bloodstream. LH and DHEA then travel together to the testes where testosterone production begins. Testosterone can now be released into the bloodstream.
Do compound exercises with intensity, train legs hard, increase Essential Fatty Acids, limit soy and alcohol, increase broccoli & cauliflower, lower stress and get more sleep.
You don't need more test from pro-hormones or test boosters
Steroids are synthetic testosterone. Pro-hormones are simply pre-steroids - steroids that have been metholated or otherwise insignificantly altered chemically to get past the steroid ban by the Drug Enforcement Administration effective January 4, 2010 as detailed here
Pro-hormones will make you bigger - as long as you keep taking them.
When you stop, you will lose some of the size and strength. Your natural testosterone will be too low to serve its usual purpose of countering the cortisol and estrogen hormones. Cortisol breaks down muscle into amino acids and high estrogen causes gyno. This is a particular problem for teenage guys because your hormonal state is in adolescent transition. It has not yet stabilized. You are going to pay for this later in your twenties or thirties when your test production and levels are not right.
Pro-hormone bad effects - Read this thorough artcile from "Muscle & Strength" here
High estrogen & "gyno" (puffy nipples) - when your testosterone is unnaturally boosted too high it "spills over" or aromatizes into estrogen.
Low natural testosterone - your body responds to the synthetic testosterone by cutting back your natural test production - it is not needed.
Cumulative liver stress - including swelling & damage because prohormones are processed through your liver to be activated back into the synthetic testosterone
Alcohol and prohormones together can cause serious damage to your liver
High cholesterol & blood pressure -
Acne and hair loss -
Can stop natural growth spurt - your teen body is programmed to continue growing until the levels of testosterone in the body reach a certain level. When this happens due to testosterone (prohormone) supplementation, the growth plates experience premature ossification – in simple terms, they stop growing - possibly before you reach your full potential height.
from Dave Draper's site - Fat cells, especially in the abdominal region, produce aromatase enzyme, which converts testosterone into estrogen. More estrogen causes more body fat, which produces more aromatase enzyme. If the aromatase enzyme is not inhibited, more testosterone may just convert into more estrogen. There is much more information in this article.....
Following are some articles on building size and mass. The all-time proven favorite is some variation of 20-rep heavy squats and a gallon of whole milk a day. Full-body compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, clean & press, hang cleans are proven muscle builders. I started lifting weights in my sophomore year when I weighed about 135. My regular routine was deadlifts, squats, vertical leg press, lat pull-downs, bench press and curls.
When I was 16 my weight was 145 and was squating and deadlifting 325, and benching 225. My original self-made equipement is at the bottom of my Workout Page with a yearbook photo of our 1970 Saint James High School weightlifting club.
Old-school bodybuilding champ Dave Draper (pre-Arnold) also has some really good articles if you click the link. You will see in all of the mass-building articles that you cannot get big without eating a lot more. At the bottom - a few articles on testosterone so you understand how it works for muscle development.
Amino Acids are needed Immediately after exercise when your muscles are especially receptive to nutrients and the blood flow to the exercised muscles remains high. Free form amino acids move quickly through the stomach and into the small intestine, where they're rapidly (within 15 minutes) absorbed into the bloodstream. 4 grams of aminos exceeds your liver's capacity to absorb and store them, so the extra aminos continue in the blood go direct to the tissue that needs them - your post-workout muscles.
Mario DiPasquale's book "Amino Acids and Protein for the Athlete"(right) explains why you do not need to spike your insulin with sugars to absorb amino acids after a workout because at that time your muscle are "insulin sensitive"
However, according to Author Rea and Eric Broser in "Building the Perfect Beast Naturally", you need quick carbs after heavy training depletes your normal blood glucose levels. If not, your catabolic hormones glucagon and cortisol will break down muscle for conversion into the needed glucose. They suggest 40 grams of protein, 10 grams of glutamine, 10 grams BCAA's, and 40 grams of waxy maize which is supposed to supply glucose without the insulin spike. (Read pages 61 through 67)
for link to
There are only a few requirements for building "mass" or "size"
(both terms mean muscle and the body fat that results from bulking-up)
1. FOOD - Increase your protein, fats (animal fats, nuts, flax oil, olive oil, fish oil), and good carbs like green vegetables, fruit, whole grains. You absolutely cannot get bigger without eating huge amount of really good food. Eat like a Sumo wrestler.
Big breakfast, big lunch, big supper.
Eat enough good carbs (not junk carbs) throughout the day so your body does not waste protein for energy. Try to eat slow-digesting carbs rather than spiking your glucose and insulin up with sugar - then crashing an hour later. Insulin knocks down your growth hormone - so there is no point in spiking your insulin all day.
A gallon of "whole" milk per day (2400 calories, 128g protein, 192g carbs, 128g fat)
Four "natural" peanut butter-jelly on whole grain bread per day between meals
(each sandwich = 400 calories x 4 = 1600 calories, 15g protein, 20g carbs, 17g fat)
Apples, bananas, and other easy fruits for nutrients. Salad, beans, spinach, other good vegetables in large quantities.
2. PROTEIN - You will not recover from heavy lifting and sports training unless you get enough protein.
Plenty of eggs (you can buy shelled hard-boiled eggs at GFS in Dublin - $18 for 10 pounds), lots of beef, chicken, tuna. Use protein powder to supplement the protein in your food. 4DN Whey Phase has whey (fast digesting), casein (slow digesting), glutamine, creatine and extra BCAA's (branched chain amino acids) and it is inexpensive. Universal Milk and Egg is the classic whey, casein and egg white with no creatine. Universal Real Gains is similar, but with some good fats and plenty of carbs if you cannot eat enough.
3. VITAMINS - Take a high-potency daily vitamin-mineral so the extra protein, fats and carbs can be efficiently assimilated into new tissue. Met-Rx Arsenal is the most comprehensive - 9 different tablets in each daily pak - multi-vitamin, minerals, fish oil, digestive enzymes, fruit & vegetable extracts - that you likely are not getting in your diet. One pak per day is plenty
4. WORKOUT - Do high-volume HEAVY leg work - squats, deadlifts, leg press, - full movements with a manageable weight then partial lifts with much heavier weight. Rack pull deadlifts from just below your knees and leg press half way down.
High rep workouts with moderate weights will get you very efficient at moving a moderate weight. However, to activate your testosterone and growth hormone for muscle growth you need heavy weights, and partials get you there.
Also include hang cleans, overhead presses and bench presses along with pull-ups and chin-ups for practical strength.
5. SLEEP - Get plenty of sleep because your teenage growth hormone is released during deep sleep and heavy lifting. Do not eat carbs, sugar, or gainer proteins before bed. They will spike your insulin which drops your growth hormone level. They can't both be up at the same time. Have the carbs or gainer earlier in the evening.
6. RECOVER - You absolutely need an athlete's level of good nutrition to keep making progress, rather than simply breaking down muscle. During your workout take some BCAA's (Branched Chain Amino Acids) - leucine, isoleucine, valine - and some glutamine since these are the aminos that your muscle need immediately for repair. If you can't get enough protein and carbs from your diet, use Real Gains gainer with 52 gr protein, 85 gr carbs, 5 gr fiber and 5 gr fats, glutamine & creatine.
7. TESTOSTERONE - You are are in high school so you already have too much! Don't waste this once in a lifetime maximum growth period with a bad diet and a marginal weight lifting routine. Take advantage of the natural anabolic phase of your adolescence and optimize size and strength gains with a muscle building diet, heavy leg work, and good recovery. You must get enough fats in your diet for hormone production. Some minerals like zinc and magnesium are necessary for optimal testosterone utilization. You can get this in Animal Pak vitamins or seperately in ZMA (zinc-magnesium).
Muscle is made from protein, not hormones.
Muscle Hypertrophy - how muscle is made
heavy weight lifting [particularly the negative movement] activates dormant satellite cells positioned on the muscle fibers, which then divide and fuse with the existing muscle fiber to repair it and make it stronger through protein synthesis. You must have enough available amino acids from protein, otherwise muscle building (protein synthesis) will not happen even with prohormones or steroids.
William Llewellyn explains the 3 phases of muscle growth in Anabolics 2006 sumarized as folows:
First response to the negative part of a heavy lift is the release of arachidonic acid from the muscle tissue which initiates local tissue priming and nitric oxide release, while causing pain and inflammation. The amount of arachidonic acid released determines the amount of repair (growth), and is limited by what is available in your muscle which is depleted by frequent weight lifting. Meat and egg yokes will help replenish it. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen (Advil), Acetaminophen (Tylenol), and asprin will prevent the muscle tissue priming and muscle growth.
Second response in the damaged muscle is an increase in the density of receptors for IGF-1 (insulin growth factor-1), MGF (mechano-growth factor) and insulin. Next is localized release of IGF-1, MGF, and other growth factors.
Third response is the repair that results from attachment to the receptor sites of androgens (testosterone), insulin, IGF-1 and other anabolic hormones which increase protein synthesis from the available amino acids circulating in your blood.