Regular, strenuous exercise is vital to the long-term health of any man, and visiting the gym a few times a week can be a great way to stay in shape, especially in later life. However, proper motivation is essential if you want to get the most from your exercises, and it can be very difficult to stay motivated if your gym performance is declining for no obvious reason.
If you visit the gym regularly but find that you cannot lift as much or run for as long as you used to, you may be suffering from low testosterone levels, a common problem in older men and an increasingly common problem in young men. As the hormone primarily responsible for strength and overall fitness in men, low testosterone levels can seriously diminish your physical abilities if left untreated.
If any of the following problems are affecting your performance and abilities in the gym, you should book an appointment with a low testosterone therapy clinic as soon as possible. These specialist services can tell you whether your body is producing sufficient amounts of testosterone, and provide effective treatments and hormonal supplements if your testosterone levels are too low.
How can low testosterone levels affect your gym performance?
Increased fatigue and lower energy levels are classic signs of low testosterone in men, and are particularly noticeable symptoms in regular gym goers. If you have noticed a sudden decrease in your overall endurance levels, or it takes you longer to recover after strenuous physical exercise, low testosterone levels may be causing your problems.
Decreased muscle mass
In male bodies, testosterone is a vital ingredient in the muscle-building process, and low testosterone levels will stop your muscles from growing and strengthening as quickly as they once did. In more severe cases, very low testosterone levels can cause your muscles to atrophy and shrink. This can be a particularly alarming problem for bodybuilders and other weightlifting enthusiasts, as loss of visible muscle mass can be particularly noticeable when you have low levels of body fat.
Low testosterone levels can also significantly diminish the functional strength of your muscles, even if they don't visibly lose any of their previous mass. Powerlifters and other functional strength athletes may notice this symptom before they notice a visible loss in muscle mass.
Increased body fat
Men's bodies also naturally contain small amounts of the "female" hormone estrogen, which performs important functions such as regulating the amount of fat your body stores. If your testosterone levels dip, the ratio of estrogen to testosterone in your body can become imbalanced, magnifying the effects of the estrogen present in your bloodstream.
If your body is producing insufficient testosterone but its estrogen production is unaffected, you may notice an increase in overall body fat levels, especially around the hips and buttocks. Hormonal imbalance can also cause your chest and nipples to become swollen and enlarged, a condition called gynecomastia that many men find embarrassing.