At the end
of last August I decided to start an experiment on naturally increasing
my testosterone levels. Kate and I had just finished a month-long
series called Heading
Out on Your Own: 31 Life Skills in 31 Days. We cranked out a
2,000-4,000 word post every day for 31 days straight. Writing over
75,000 words in less than a month was physically and emotionally
taxing on both of us. We were hardly sleeping, were eating like
crap, and our workouts became spotty. On top of that, we were stressed
to the max.
Knowing a bit
about the link between testosterone and a person’s health
habits, I had a suspicion my T-levels would be in the tank. Curious,
I got myself tested at a lab here in Tulsa.
I had below
average testosterone levels.
My total testosterone
was 383 ng/dL, which is near the bottom of the reference range of
the lab I used.
My free testosterone
(testosterone available for your body to use) was 7.2 pg/mL, which
is below the reference range. According to many websites,
I was a candidate for testosterone replacement therapy.
from the shock that I had such puny amounts of the virile serum
floating through my bloodstream, I got busy crafting a plan on how
I was going to raise my testosterone in a natural way. I wanted
to see how making some simple, long-term lifestyle changes would
affect my T-levels. I gave myself 90 days to see what sort of results
my efforts would produce.
later, I got tested again.
I had doubled
But is it really
that big a deal? Does testosterone really make the man?
Should Care About Your Testosterone Levels
you think you know about testosterone for a minute. Try to scrub
your mind of juiced-up bodybuilding bros in the gym or paunchy middle-age
men rubbing prescription gel on their soft bellies.
of testosterone has picked up some unfortunate associations recently,
but in reality it’s something every man should understand
and be concerned about – whether he’s an egghead or
a jock, a grandpa or a college student.
How so? A man
is more than his hormones, right? Doesn’t being a man mean
stuff like taking responsibility, working hard, and having integrity?
Sure. But do
you know who else takes responsibility and works hard? Women.
When we defined
manliness, we said that men and women share many of the same
virtues, but often attain and express them in different ways. The
metaphor we used was that of two different musical instruments,
playing the exact same notes, but producing two different sounds
– each which adds rich music to the world.
is what shapes the form of your instrument – your body and
mind – and the “sound” it makes. And for a long
time now, there’s been a lot more flutes in the orchestra
than tubas. The notes being played remain the same, but the music’s
gotten a whole lot less brassy.