Everyone has heard that you shouldn’t skip leg day. And everyone knows someone who does. The guy with the big chest and arms that has skinny legs that can barely hold up his physique.
The funny part is that training legs actually helps you build your upper body.
Does Training Legs Increase Testosterone?
Being the biggest muscle group in the body, when trained the legs will cause the greatest amount of the hormone’s testosterone and human growth hormone to be released. Compound exercises that use multiple body parts will do this most effectively such as the deadlift and squat. Training legs has multiple other benefits such as providing a stable foundation for your physique, making you look symmetrical, and actually helping you in other lifts such as the bench press and overhead press.
Being a very large muscle group, when trained the legs release a large amount of hormone’s. These include cortisol, testosterone, and human growth hormone.
Increased cortisol helps your body respond to stresses and increase fat metabolism, resulting in more fat burned. Higher testosterone levels lead to increased muscle growth and repair. HGH plays a role in promoting muscle growth, fat burn, and boosting immunity.
Leg workouts will actually release the most testosterone and growth hormone out of any exercise since the leg muscles are so big.
Note that its not necessarily just leg workouts, as leg extensions and calf raises would be included. The big compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and heavy leg press are the exercises you want to focus on to release the most testosterone.
This is because they are using the largest leg muscles and using all of them at once. The entire quad and hamstring muscles are engaged heavily.
The exercises that use the most muscles and release the most testosterone are squats, deadlifts, bench press, rows, and the overhead press.
Generally, the heavier the weight you are moving, the more testosterone your body is releasing or producing. Again, this is why squats and deadlifts are great as they are the two exercises where most people can move the most amount of weight.
Stronger Legs Improve Your Whole Body
Leg focused compound movements such as the squat and deadlift also work your upper body a great deal. This means that training legs can actually increase your upper body strength and gains, thus leading to an increase in testosterone.
More muscle groups being trained at once leads to more testosterone being produced.
The deadlift also works your back, traps, biceps, shoulders, and core. By doing them, you will be building all of these muscles groups and not just your legs.
Your back and traps take over in the last half of the movement, while your core braces your body throughout the entire movement. You would not be able to hold onto the bar without the help of your biceps and shoulders.
The squat also heavily uses the core and back to stabilize the body while squatting underneath heavy weight.
Your hips are also a huge factor in the movement as they drive your pelvis forward along with your glutes when you stand up. Squats will even strengthen the joints such as the hips, knees, and ankles.
Training your legs will also help you prevent injury. All of those lunges and squats help with ankle mobility while also strengthening the knees. With so many people having sore knees and ankle injuries, this is a great way to prevent them.
Leg training will increase the strength on the joints, making it more difficult to injure yourself.
Your athletic performance will also notice a big jump after consistent leg training. Running, sports, track and field events are all powered by your legs. Increased leg strength results in jumping higher, running faster, and allows you to generate more power from your lower body.
What Happens If You Skip Legday?
First off, you will have a very disproportionate physique. It’s not a good look to have a huge wider upper body and chicken legs. Many new lifters make the mistake of neglecting leg day.
This can be because it is too difficult or just because they don’t really care what their legs look like as much as their chest or arms.
Apart from your friends making fun of you for having small legs, here are a few reasons you should start training them.
Legs are the foundation of a physique and support everything you do. They provide a solid base for the body and enhance stability and mobility.
You will actually build less muscle if you are skipping leg day. This is because your body won’t be benefiting from the release of testosterone and HGH from demanding leg workouts. Your balance and strength and other lifts will also suffer.
Strong legs can even help in lifts such as the bench press, overhead press, and the barbell row, to name a few. Leg drive is very important for the bench and overhead press and can help you move a lot more weight.
In a movement such as the barbell row, the legs play a big role in supporting and holding your body up while you row. Weak legs will affect the weight that you can move in these movements, resulting in less gains.
So how often should you train them? Train them the same amount that you train your other body parts. As simple as that. Twice a week is usually the best for most people to see hypertrophy and strength gains. If you are an extreme athlete or power lifter you may train them more.
Struggling to complete a tough leg workout? Check out this great stim-free pre-workout to boost your performance and push you through those tough sets of squats.
How To Naturally Increase Testosterone
When thinking of increasing testosterone, many first think of steroids. Steroids do effectively increase testosterone but do so with side effects. Additionally, when a person stops using artificial testosterone, their body has issues producing testosterone on its own.
Your diet is one of the main contributors to your testosterone levels. Some foods that help increase testosterone are beef, eggs, tuna, oysters, beans, and shellfish.
Any food rich in vitamin D helps with boosting testosterone levels. Zinc is also helpful and is found in oysters and shellfish.
Also, take into account that having more muscle mass and less body fat increases testosterone. So, working out and staying active will play an important role.
Minimize stress and cortisol levels. Long-term stress increases the hormone cortisol. This can increase food intake, weight gain, and the storage of fat in the body, which all negatively effect testosterone.
Make sure you are getting enough adequate sleep. A study showed that those sleeping for only 5 hours a night had a 15% reduction in testosterone levels.
Consider natural testosterone boosters, such as ashwagandha, which has been studied and shown to increase testosterone, sperm count, and reduce cortisol levels. It is an ancient medicinal herb that can be bought in pill form.
Ginger extract may also boost testosterone levels and has many other health benefits. A healthy sex life also regulates sex hormone’s and testosterone levels.
Avoid estrogen-like chemicals such as BPA, parabens, and other chemicals found in some plastics. Alcohol and medicinal and recreational drug use also lower testosterone.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments and I’ll get back to you!