No, I’m not talking about testosterone therapy!
Spoiler alert, if you’re working to build muscle you’ll be increasing your testosterone anyway.
If your testosterone is low and you’re working out, there’s another issue why your body isn’t making T in the first place.
Your system needs a re-boot aka some regenerative care.
What are the key things you need to build muscle?
- adequate protein intake and the ability to digest protein (aka digestive enzymes)
- activities that build muscle from body weight to banded and weight lifting techniques
- nutrients, ions and minerals to support healthy muscle and mitochondria (the factories that make energy in your cells)
- proper hydration
- challenges to the muscles in a sequential pattern to trigger muscle growth
- balanced hormone communication and signaling
How do you pair muscle building and heart strengthening?
(Disclaimer – check with your doc to make sure you’re healthy for cardiovascular conditioning training.)
- know your base line heart rate (take an average of your heart rate before getting out of bed daily for 5 days)
- start doing exercises that bring your heart rate to the 120-130 range and work to keep your heart rate in that zone for 2-5 minutes and build up by one minute weekly – do this twice a week with a day or 2 off in between.
- after you can do 20 minutes of keeping your heart rate in the 120-130 zone test out speeding up and slowing down your heart – after a warm up – get up to 160 heart rate zone for 30 seconds and then slow yourself down for 60 seconds and see where your heart rate ends up after 60 seconds.
- Practice speed up and slow down training – till you can get your heart rate down to 10-15 points above your baseline heart rate in 60 seconds – this is an optimized heart that can roll with life’s stress better – it takes time to do this
These techniques are not what the heart docs are prescribing in cardiac rehab clinics after a heart attack or a bypass.
Sadly, those workouts are rather basic.
Real heart training comes with conditioning training.
You don’t need more than 2-3 days a week to do it yet, you do need a day off in between.
I’ve given you a taste of it here and the places to start.
In my training with clients I have people who are doing weight lifting or banded workouts with time under tension (slow lifting) and intensity (heavier weights or bands) to keep their heart rates in certain zones with workouts.
So this isn’t just cardio, you can pair it with lifting as well.
There are lots of options here for body weight, non-weight bearing (swimming) and functional fitness.
Functional fitness = working in ways that incorporate various movements you do in real life – think gardening and yard work fitness.
And here’s the cool part…
...it only takes 8 weeks for your muscles and heart to respond to a series of these types of trainings.
You can expect better heart rate control, which translates to better control of your blood pressure and heart rate overall and during stress.
No need for blood pressure meds or herbs!
Plus you will see your cardiovascular capabilities increasing in areas like going up stairs or hills.
I love incorporating this type of exercise into my protocols as the results are visible in 8 weeks and they keep improving over time.
I invite you to determine your base line heart rate and challenge yourself to what I’ve outlined above and see where things are in 8 weeks.
If you’re open to more work in this area, I’m happy to help – hit reply and let’s chat!
Here’s to your health,