Richard James Ahern's Blog

Fitness, Nutrition and Unchained Muscle!

Tag: Cortisol

5 Worrying Signs You Have LOW TESTOSTERONE!!

If you’re a man interested in bodybuilding or fitness, you’ll know the importance of the steroid hormone Testosterone (T). It is essential for male health, fertility, building muscle and losing fat. Think you may have low Testosterone (T)? The only way to know for sure is to go to your doctors and get tested but here are five signs you may have low T:

  1. Lack of Muscle Growth and increased Fat Gain – This is an obvious one! If you’re training hard in the gym and eating right with plenty of protein but not gaining muscle, this could likely be down to you having low T. If you’re also struggling to lose fat, this again can be down to low T. If you have low T, this likely means you have high levels of the female hormone Oestrogen and high levels of the stress hormone Cortisol, both these hormones can cause the body to store fat and make weight loss difficult!
  2. Lack of Energy – If you’re constantly tired and lack energy, this can likely be down to low T. Testosterone gives men a sense of wellbeing, motivation and aggression. Although aggression can of course be a negative emotion and destructive, it can be channelled in many positive ways to achieve your goals. When it comes to weight lifting, a little bit of aggression towards those weights goes a long way and if you don’t feel aggression in the gym, you likely have low Testosterone.
  3. Depression – Men with Low T are very susceptible to depression. Like mentioned earlier, Testosterone gives us a sense of wellbeing and motivation. If you’re feeling down and lethargic, antidepressants might not be the solution and perhaps you should look into getting your hormones tested instead.
  4. Difficulty Sleeping – Testosterone keeps us men healthy and has many functions in the body. If you know anyone who has been put on Testosterone injections, they will probably tell you how they now sleep like a baby. Many guys who take a zinc and magnesium supplement before bed time find it improves their sleep. This is very likely down to the fact that zinc and magnesium are key to helping your body make Testosterone!
  5. Lack of Sex Drive – Testosterone is the male sex hormone. It gives men a sex drive, that’s one of its main purposes! Remember going through puberty and having a raging sex drive as a teenager? Well that’s because your Testosterone was very high! If you have a low sex drive and have trouble getting erections, this is one of the clearest signs you have low T.

Are you showing any signs of Low Testosterone? Well don’t worry, there are many solutions. You can of course go to your doctor and discuss your possible options, this is your best option if you think you have seriously low Testosterone. However, you can increase your Testosterone by making some lifestyle and diet changes. You may simply need to cut down on alcohol, stop smoking or get more sleep at night. You may be deficient in a particular nutrient such as zinc, magnesium or vitamin D, which you can easily supplement with. It’s hard to know exactly what’s going wrong and that’s why it’s best to take a shotgun approach and completely optimise your body for maximum testosterone production! That’s why I designed my Hormonal Manipulation Plan, to optimise your testosterone and other vital hormones through diet, training, lifestyle and supplementation for improved health, muscle gain and fat loss! You can purchase it HERE, but it comes FREE with every full price clothing order from www.UnchainedMuscle.uk !

This blog is brought to you by Unchained Muscle, bringing you hardcore gym clothing so you can work out in style! Visit www.UnchainedMuscle.uk to check out the range!

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3 Reasons Dieting and Cardio is Making You FAT!!

Let’s lay down some truth, dieting and cardio certainly CAN make you lose fat, no doubt. However, done wrong, which is easy to do, it can make you GAIN FAT and WRECK your metabolism. The body has an amazing ability to adapt, it has a need for equilibrium (balance) and will do anything to keep the status quo. To change your body, whether it’s losing fat or gaining muscle we have to almost trick our body into making this drastic change. Here’s 3 ways the body adapts to dieting and cardio and how to counteract it!

  • Eating less slows your metabolism. When you start cutting calories and eating less your body senses this and starts lowering its metabolic rate to conserve energy as it thinks it’s starving. This is a natural survival mechanism. The longer you diet, the slower your metabolism can become and eventually can cause you to put on weight. To stop this, you should never cut your calories below your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and incorporating weekly cheat meals or refeed days will trick your body into keeping its metabolism high and therefore burning plenty of calories.
  • Steady cardio such as jogging will burn calories, obviously. However, done in excess the body adapts and will start slowing its metabolism to conserve energy. You’ll have to do more and more to get the same fat burning effect. This is why you should incorporate weight lifting and high intensity cardio into your routine. High intensity exercise such as weight lifting and HIIT cardio will shock the body, build muscle and ultimately boost your metabolism so you burn fat when you’re resting!
  • Dieting and cardio stresses the body. When the body is under any type of stress it produces a hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol is your enemy as it makes your body burn muscle for energy and makes your body store fat, particularly around your waist. Supplements such as glutamine, test boosters and vitamin C will help counteract cortisol but the best thing you can do is stop over-stressing your body! Keep your workouts short and intense and don’t starve yourself, it’s that simple!

This blog is brought to you by Unchained Muscle, bringing you hardcore gym clothing so you can work out in style! Visit www.unchainedmuscle.uk to check out the range!

For training and diet plans CLICK HERE!

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Cortisol: Why it’s Killing Your Gains!!

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I love talking about hormones when it comes to building muscle and losing fat because I think they play a very important role in how your body looks! In this post, I’m talking about the hormone cortisol.

Cortisol is a stress hormone; our bodies produce it when we are under stress. This could be a stressful job, lack of sleep or working out for too long!

The problem is cortisol is your worst enemy when it comes to building muscle and losing fat because quite simply it turns your muscle into fat! More accurately it burns your muscle for energy turning it into glucose which can then stimulate an insulin response and potentially store that glucose as fat. Cortisol seems to have a strong effect on making us store fat specifically around our mid-sections, so it will hinder your goal of having a six pack too! Cortisol has also been linked to low testosterone levels and high oestrogen levels in men, leading to a whole host of problems.

So, by now I’m sure I’ve made you really hate this hormone and you’re now wondering how you can reduce it and keep it to minimum. Well first, think about it logically, it’s a stress hormone, so avoid stress! So, minimise stress, get plenty of sleep and don’t work out for longer than around 1 hour are the best ways to keep cortisol at bay.

Additionally, if you’re on a diet, don’t cut your calories and carbohydrates too much as this puts the body under a great deal of stress! Never lower calories lower than your BMR when trying to lose fat. Foods and supplements can also help you reduce cortisol levels, vitamin c and glutamine have been shown to reduce cortisol levels! Since cortisol is linked to testosterone levels in men, anything that can increase your testosterone will reduce your cortisol as well!

So guys, the take home message of this post is stay chilled out and don’t stress, it won’t get you anywhere and will just cost you muscle and gain you fat!

For the ULTIMATE guide on how to optimise your hormones so you can build muscle and lose fat effortlessly, check out my Hormonal Manipulation programme!

Be sure to check out my videos on YouTube!

Check out the rest of my blog posts and articles as well as share, comment and subscribe!

See you on the next blog!

www.richardjamesahern.com

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