Compound exercises are workouts that involve several joints of your body. While performing compound exercises, you use several joints and several muscle groups. Some examples of compound exercises are squats (with dumbbells and barbells), deadlifts, leg press, barbell bench press, dumbbell bench press, military press, shoulder press, pull-ups, and many other complex exercises. There is no need to describe all of them since we are going to talk about another topic in this blog post. Today, I want to talk about compound exercises' relation to testosterone. To put exactly, I want to clarify for you whether compound exercises increase testosterone or not. Also, I want to know is it worth to perform compound exercises with a sole intention of increasing testosterone.
If you look at gym visitors, you will understand that the majority of them train without any scientific information. Most of them believe in popular bodybuilding myths. To be honest, almost every month, I bust a new bodybuilding myth. In other words, I still believe in some popular bodybuilding myths. Therefore, I keep learning in order to perfect my knowledge of bodybuilding. Today, let us see how effectively can compound exercise increase testosterone.
There was a great experiment carried out by scientists of the University of North Texas. The researchers recruited 10 healthy young men with at least 6 months of training experience in a bodybuilding gym. The aim of this experiment was to identify which of two exercises is more effective in increasing testosterone: squats vs leg press. The young men were making 10 repetitions in squats and leg press, then, their hormones were measured. The results of this study indicate that both the Leg Press and the Squat increase testosterone, growth hormone and cortisol concentrations at all measured times in comparison with the pre-training concentrations. However, testosterone concentration directly after training was 16.7% higher after the squat exercise. Growth hormone concentration increased even more at all times compared with the leg press (239.3% 156.3% and 122.2% higher in comparison with the leg press directly after training, 15 minutes after training and 30 minutes after training respectively).
Ok, you see that anabolic hormones can dramatically increase when you do compound exercises. We have clarified that compound exercises increase testosterone and growth hormone.
ARE COMPOUND EXERCISES EFFECTIVE TO MANIPULATE TESTOSTERONE LEVELS
When you first come to a bodybuilding gym, the first thing you hear is: to get big, you need to do compound exercises. This is what bro science teaches us. Ther is also a very popular belief that squats and deadlifts will increase your biceps, traps, and all other parts of your body. Amateur bodybuilders thin that since compound exercises increase testosterone, complex exercises will make them huge. This is a very popular bodybuilding myth. Unfortunately, the majority of bodybuilders still believe in it.
Let me clarify something for you. Above, we have seen that compound exercises increase testosterone. However, you should know that this testosterone spike is temporary. After an hour, testosterone and growth hormone will return to its baseline levels. Therefore, this short testosterone burst cannot affect muscle hypertrophy anyhow. If your testosterone is hugely elevated during an hour, nothing will happen to your muscles. You will have no muscle hypertrophy.
Compound exercises are good for increasing overall strength of your body. Squats and deadlifts are good for building your core muscles. There is nothing better than barbell squats to develop your legs. Deadlifts empower your back, quadriceps, and glutes. However, if you want to do compound exercise to increase testosterone or other anabolic hormones, you will merely waste your time and energy. Compound exercise increase testosterone for a very limited period of time. This time span is insufficient to cause muscle hypertrophy.