Today I’m going to – to pieces what everybody thinks about exercise.
There is a strange exercise fetish that has been going around the Western world for some years.
It didn’t use to be this way. There was not the blind worship of difficult exercise in days before, say, 1960.
People were smaller then, and in many ways, they were healthier. They would die of infectious diseases, but not so much from heart attacks or even cancer.
So I wanted to do this today. I wanted to show you the effects of various types of exercise. Specifically, the effects on testosterone, cortisol, and prolactin, from endurance exercise, strength training only, or a combination of the two.
This may be one of the most widely linked and widely quoted newsletters I have ever done. In it, we’re answering the question as to which exercise is best for our body.
Should we run? Should we lift weights? Or should we do both?
The first study is going to show us the effects of exercise, but only strength training exercise. In this study, they had guys do weightlifting, that’s all, and they measured the blood levels of various hormones.
And here’s what they found.
High power resistance exercise protocols…produce acute increases of TesTOSTERONE…and may partially explain the muscle hypertrophy observed in athletes who routinely employ high power resistance exercise.
Contrast this to doing long endurance exercise AND strength training, and the effects of BOTH TYPES OF EXERCISE on testosterone and cortisol.
In This study, they did strength training along with endurance training. Testosterone did not go up…
But cortisol levels rose.
Cortisol is known as a catabolic hormone, of course, the granddaddy of catabolic hormones.
Cortisol tells the body to start digesting its own protein.
It’s a stress hormone par excellence.
This is evidence that endurance training undermines the benefits of strength training in terms of building muscle and improving metabolism.
The endurance exercise undermined the testosterone raising effects of strength training. It is good evidence that you don’t want to stress your body out for a long period of time, by doing things like running or jogging or treadmills or spinning, unless you just really really enjoy these things.
They’re probably not going to help your metabolism. There are a lot of other studies that show the same thing.
But what about endurance exercise without strength training? Maybe that’s good, right?
So to conclude here is a study showing the effects of JUST endurance exercise on testosterone, prolactin and cortisol levels
The effects of endurance exercise, as I would predict, is:
Raising prolactin levels, not good
Raising cortisol levels, not good, and
Lowering testosterone levels, not good.
And in case you subscribe to the free testosterone versus total testosterone religion, total testosterone also dropped with this type of exercise.
What to do next?
If you love being active, be active. The more active the better. But don’t do endurance exercise just because you think you should. There are a lot of negatives to doing endurance exercise unless you just really love, love, love, it.
I for one like to just do a lot of walking, and hiking, and just be active. Sometimes I like to lift weights. So I do. But I don’t go out of my way to go to the gym, or stand on silly
Sometimes I like to lift weights. So I do. But I don’t go out of my way to go to the gym, or stand on silly treadmills because I have much better things to do with my life.
Like, spend it with you.
What could be better?
Acute testosterone and cortisol responses to high power resistance exercise
Effects of strength training and endurance
Relationship between stress hormones with prolonged endurance exercise