For as long as I can remember I’ve always been passionate about health and fitness. However, there comes a time in every man’s life where he has to decide how far he will pursue his passion. Will he ignite the flames and let it burn brightly? Or will he relegate it to a hobby because of life’s duties? I reached this point a few years ago. I realized was not giving my health the kind of commitment it deserved. To live the kind of life I wanted I knew I had to prioritize it. So I decided to go all in and do whatever it took to succeed. Part of this process involved going on testosterone replacement therapy. I saw men on TRT who were successful in many areas of life. I noticed these guys all had one thing in common: they built a lifestyle around health. With this in mind I began to develop the right habits to live a TRT-friendly lifestyle. I never realized that great health takes thought and effort. It involves great self sacrifice and discipline. Here I discuss what I feel it takes to live a testosterone-friendly lifestyle.
1#) Eliminate Alcohol
I used to think you can compromise when it comes to alcohol and a healthy lifestyle. All things in moderation as they say. Where’s the harm in a couple of beers a week? If you just have 1-2 drinks and leave it at that then I applaud you. But it in my experience this is easier said than done. The issue is that alcohol lowers inhibition. So guess what happens when you get together with your buddies on Friday night? Sink a few beers and suddenly moderation seems so stupid! Then 2 beers turn into 3 then 4…next thing you’re lying in bed with your clothes on and your head is pounding. You wonder what the hell happened. Alcohol happened. Now you feel guilty about letting your discipline slip and swear yourself off alcohol…until next weekend. Maybe you’re thinking: ‘this guy doesn’t know shit, drinking doesn’t affect my training!!’ You may get away with boozing when you’re young. However, as you age it will catch up with you. You spend less time in the gym because of hangovers. Then when you do workout your training is half-assed, because you’re beatdown from booze. Missed training + half-assed workouts = crappy results. Alcohol is a neurotoxin and depressant. Translation: it makes you feel like shit! You may enjoy the temporary high of drinking and getting buzzed. But a night of fun for days of hurt has always seemed like a terrible trade to me. There are already enough toxins in our environment that mess with our endocrine systems. Do you really need another? Guys have no problem eliminating processed junk from their diet. But when you bring up alcohol it’s like your asking them to disown their mother. Why do people have such an attachment to alcohol? Have a think about that. If you GENUINELY enjoy drinking and can’t live without it then TRT is not for you. Alcohol has NO PLACE in a healthy lifestyle. All this moderation nonsense is bullshit. Drinking a glass of red wine for its puny amount of reservatrol is laughable. The reason to go on TRT in the first place to improve your quality of life. So why do something to interfere with that? The day I gave up alcohol my health and results in the gym improved exponentially. My recovery is better and I don’t have to battle the excess fat gained from alcohol. It’s no longer a case of 1 step forward and 2 steps back. Now it’s full steam ahead. Eliminate alcohol from your life and watch your progress soar.
2#) Lift Weights
When I was younger all I cared about was strength in the big lifts: deadlift, squat and bench press. I figured if I hit big numbers in these lifts then I’d have the body I wanted. Despite the fact my strength was increasing I didn’t look the part. It was at the moment I began to train like a bodybuilder and not a weightlifter –things really started to change. I used to concentrate solely on moving weights from A to B. Now I focus on muscle fibre contraction and time under tension. I move weights in a controlled manner and through a full range of motion. Ironically, I’m bigger now and have a more balanced physique even though I use less weight. That said, lifting is not just about tossing weights around and building muscle. There’s much more to it. Lifting weights develops mental fortitude and discipline that serves you in all areas of life. I could write an entire article on everything the gym has given me. The main thing it continues to teach me is that you can accomplish big goals, as long as you remain patient and work on them every day.
Lifting weights also benefits your health. It improves the body’s ability to combat free radicals. Left unchecked, free radicals wreak havoc on the body leading to inflammation. Elevated levels of inflammation lead to the various diseases of aging. When lifting weights you should focus on correct form and learn how to maximally contract your muscle fibers.
3#) Do Your Cardio
I used to think cardio was detrimental to building muscle. I worried doing it it would eat into my gains. However, since I started doing cardio 2-3 times a week I discovered the opposite is true. Not only do I look better but I feel much better. This is because cardio releases endorphins that improve your mood. I feel more focused and alert vs when I just did weights alone, as cardio also increases blood flow to the brain. Regular cardio helps give you a chiseled, vascular look. It also means increased lung capacity resulting in better stamina and quicker recovery from sets in the gym. Ideally you want to be doing low impact cardio that does not affect your joints. Get on a bike, use the Stair master or walk on an incline. Alternatively, go for an old fashioned walk in the great outdoors. Whatever you do make sure you break a sweat! The bottom line: as long as you’re not running marathons every week, then cardio should not hurt your progress in the gym. In fact it should compliment it.
4#) Get Regular Sleep
Sleep is the foundation of our lives, we need it to rest and recharge. Our quality of sleep directly determines the quality of our waking lives. Yet so many of us compromise on sleep thinking we can do without it. Consistent lack of sleep accumulates sleep debt. This is a debt that’s always paid with interest. You may be able to mask lack of sleep with caffeine or other substances for a while. However, eventually you’ll crash and burn. Your body will compel you to sleep more else your health will take a serious nosedive. Testosterone gives clarity to your thinking. Although, there’s no way you can take advantage of this when you’re a walking zombie because you haven’t slept enough. Intense workouts are extremely taxing on the central nervous system. And building muscle is low down on the body’s priorities. So if you fail to get adequate sleep don’t expect to gain any appreciable muscle. To ensure the kind of health and body you’ve always desired then sleep is a must. Make sleep a priority and maintain a regular sleeping pattern. Ensure you regularly get 6-8 hours of sleep a night. Your body will thank you for it.
5#) Eat Clean
You must begin to see food in a different way. Start to see your body as a high-performance sports car and nutrition as its fuel. Therefore, to perform at its very best it needs the best fuel! Eating clean means taking the majority of your foods from natural sources. Your diet should consist of essential fatty acids (EFAs), low-glycemic carbohydrates and quality protein sources. Humans did not evolve to eat foods based on taste. Look around you and see the destruction caused by eating for taste. Obesity and its associated diseases are everywhere. Nobody wants to eat rabbit food that tastes like cardboard. Nonetheless, with a little thought, healthy food can be made very tasty. You can season it and cook it in different ways to keep things interesting. What’s more with healthy food, you can eat a boatload knowing you won’t be knocked out from the insulin surge. When I first began to improve my knowledge of nutrition I was humbled. I had to accept that what I thought I knew about nutrition actually amounted to jack shit. In many ways this mindset is great – ‘all I know is I know nothing’ – because it keeps you open to new ideas. It was a steep learning curve at first and frankly a slog at times. I read Jay Campbell’s fabfitover40.com front to back. I did it again and again until it sunk in. Then I read books, books and more books. I had to experiment with many meals and foods to discover what worked for me. It took a while to get it down but all the effort was worth it.
Simply going on TRT is not enough: think differently. To be the best man you can be; a great lover, husband and father – you must be prepared to go the extra mile. You must lead a lifestyle that promotes health. What it really comes down to with is your desire. The question is: how badly do you want it? Do you want to live an amazing life full of energy and vitality? Or do you want to go through life on autopilot, lost in a cloud of nothingness? How many men do you know who make sure their car never gets a scratch. Yet they treat their own bodies like shit – the very thing they experience life through. Your body is not a fucking piece of metal!! If you think these sacrifices are too much to ask then health is not your priority. There’s nothing wrong with that – just own it. However, don’t complain you don’t have the time. We all have the same 24 hours in day and if you want it bad enough you’ll make time. The human body thrives on routine. Success and self-improvement is a daily commitment. Once you incorporate these habits into your daily life they become second nature. Only then will you understand how phenomenal TRT can be.