"Updated Version Of The Best Program On Optimizing Your Testosterone Levels"
May 23, 2015
FULL DETAILED REVIEW
This is an updated and rebranded version of Testosterone I/O, as Christopher Walker says the word testosterone has been trademarked by a company so for legal reasons he changed the name to TestShock.
There is new content presented here, making what was already a fantastic product even better. There is an audiobook version included here, as well as 38 short videos that cover a range of topics related to increasing your testosterone.
Walker offers a unique perspective in this product on how best to optimize your hormone levels. Not only does he hold a degree in Neuroscience from Duke University, he has also used self-experimentation to take his own testosterone levels from virtually non-existant (11 ng/dl) to way above normal (over 1200 ng/dl).
The short version of his story is that he was diagnosed with a brain tumor that resulted in chronically low levels of testosterone. The medication prescribed by doctors had negative side-effects, so he decided he was going to fix the problem himself using natural methods.
Using a combination of nutrition, training and lifestyle choices, two years later Walker's testosterone levels were off the charts, despite still having the brain tumor. So take note that this is more of a long term plan, but also that you are very likely to be starting with higher levels of testosterone than Walker was, so could achieve results more quickly.
Even if you haven't been diagnosed with low testosterone, there's a good chance your levels aren't as high as they should be. It's a scientific fact that testosterone levels across the board are diminishing with each generation of men. What this means is that statistically speaking, you have less testosterone than your father, who had less testosterone than his father. And it's a trend that is likely to continue.
Importance Of TestosteroneHaving low testosterone levels can lead to a number of problems such as low energy, depression, anxiety, lack of libido, decreased muscle mass and increased body fat levels. Clearly these issues are going to make it that much tougher for you to do well with women, but will have a more devastating impact on your life as a whole.
It's generally agreed upon that from the age of 30 a man's testosterone drops about 1% each year. There's no real biological reason for this to happen though, and is more a result of our lifestyle and nutrition choices than anything else. This is good news, as it means to a large extent we can actively control our hormone levels as we age, rather than having them dictated by mother nature.
If you're a younger guy, it's a good idea to start creating good habits now so that you can set yourself up for good health and high testosterone even as you get older. And if you're older, it's not too late to reverse some of the damage that has almost inevitably been done and recapture some of that lost virility from your youth.
If your main motivator in improving your testosterone is for your dating and sex life, it can have a noticeable impact. Research shows that men with higher testosterone levels generally have sex more frequently and also have more partners than men with lower testosterone levels. When going out and meeting girls, you'll also have more confidence and just generally be in a more positive state, which is going to make you more attractive to women.
Walker talks about his own experience as a competitive endurance athlete in college, who would train for hours every day but was suffering as a result. Rather than making him healthier, he was chronically overtraining and his body was suffering from the constant stress. Not surprisingly, he has a negative opinion on endurance cardio training, and points to research to show the damaging effects it can have on your hormone levels, mainly due to excessive cortisol production.
Resistance TrainingSo if endurance training, such as long runs or bike rides, are counterproductive, what is the optimal way to train for fitness and a healthy endocrine system? The method that Walker espouses here is predominantly based around calisthenics training, with some high intensity cardio mixed in as well. This type of training will support testosterone production while limiting cortisol.
A lot of the core movements are staple exercises like pull-ups, push-ups, squats, box jumps and burpees, but there is a lot of variation on these movements and likely many that you'll have never seen before. But there are links to online clips of all the exercises being performed so you can see what the correct technique looks like.
There are suggested programs for you to use, based on whether you are at a beginner, intermediate or advanced level. There are goals to aim for along the way in each program and these are great benchmarks to aim for so as you know you are making progress. As you adapt to the exercise and become better at it, you'll either have to use more difficult movements or add weight to your body.
The programs are designed in such a way that you don't need to actually join a gym. They are more street style workouts, so if you have access to a park with basic pull-up and dips bars then you'll have most of what you need. But as you move past the beginner stage and start adding weight, you'll need to either choose between buying a weightbelt and weight plates or joining a gym that has that equipment (almost all will).
One of the good things about the exercise programs given here is they are very flexible and you can adapt them as you see fit. You aren't given a rigid workout that you must do on a certain schedule, but different workouts that you can mix and match to suit your needs. The workouts aren't overly long, and you will generally only be doing three sessions a week.
You have a much lower chance of injuring yourself when doing calisthenics workouts compared to lifting weights, and you are moving your body in the way that it is designed to, rather than some isolation exercises performed in gyms that have no real functional use in the real world.
You'll be building up power and adding muscle with the compound bodyweight movements, and combined with some of the other exercises like sprints, you'll be burning body fat. Research shows that the type of training described here is more effective at burning calories for a much longer time after you've finished working out, compared to lower intensity cardio training.
Intermittent FastingOne of the tactics that Walker claims has been most effective in optimizing his hormone levels is the use of intermittent fasting. This involves not eating for a certain period of time, and can be done in a variety of ways. There's research that shows the benefits this has not only on your hormone levels, but overall health as well.
The book points you to a few different resources you can check out if you want to get further information on this idea. Walker talks about his preferred method of fasting, which simply involves not eating breakfast. He's been doing it for a few years now and says he has increased and energy and focus and that it works great for him.
This is likely to be one of the more challenging aspects of the program for most people to implement, at least initially as your body learn to adapt to it. It isn't a necessity, and if you can't manage this it doesn't mean you can't use the other principles in the book to get great results.
But if you decide to try intermittent fasting the way it's prescribed here, you'll only be eating two or three meals a day generally. But they will be large meals, as you need to make sure you consume enough calories to support your training. There's a link included to a tool you can use to calculate how many calories you should be consuming daily depending on your individual needs.
This type of eating pattern is very different from most bodybuilding and fitness resources, who typically recommend you eat between five and seven meals daily. This can be quite tough for people as well, as you need to be eating every few hours which often isn't convenient. Not to mention it is also more taxing on your digestive system.
It's worth noting that there are fit and healthy people who use radically different methods when it comes to timing your meals. The best one for you is going to be the one that you can stick to and fits into your lifestyle. Take a look at the different ways you can use intermittent fasting and try the method that seems like it will be the most convenient for you.
NutritionEven more important than when you eat, is what you eat. There's a lot of great information here, and some of it flies in the face of what you may have heard elsewhere. Particularly on the issue of soy, which is often touted as a health food, and how in reality it is anything but.
One of the foundations of the nutrition program is to be getting most of your protein and fats from predominantly animal sources. So if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you're not going to be able to use the meal ideas here.
Something else that was really interesting was the recommended macronutrient ratios. In the mainstream health and fitness world there is such an emphasis on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. Partly this is due to supplement companies trying to sell protein powder, and partly diets such as Atkins and Paleo that become popular.
But Walker points to the research that shows the negative effects that minimizing any particular macronutrient group can have on your hormone levels. And out of all three, excessive protein consumption is more harmful than either carbohydrates or fats. So the general guidelines here are to eat enough protein to support your training, and get the rest of your calories from carbs and fats.
Basically most of your food should be coming from natural sources, and you should avoid processed foods as much as possible. This isn't anything new, but you might be having a higher intake of fat and cholesterol than what you will often see recommended by other authors. But Walker shows how eating fat doesn't make you fat, and consuming cholesterol doesn't raise your cholesterol levels, so there is nothing unhealthy about this approach.
You'll find some sample weekly menu plans here, giving you suggestions of what to eat. There are no quantities given, as you'll need to determine that yourself based on what your caloric needs are. The meals are pretty simple for the most part, and are well suited to guys who don't want detailed cooking instructions on how to prepare a meal.
There's a bonus book included called No Gym Perfect Body. This is more focused on the exercises to use, but has some information on nutrition as well. It recommends higher protein and fats and limiting your grain intake, if not eliminating it altogether. This could be construed as consuming as low carbohydrate diet, which contradicts what is suggested in the main book.
I think this bonus book was written earlier, and I'd suggest just following the protocols in the main book. While this will naturally lead to consuming less grains than what most people do, there is a place in your diet for grains like rice and quinoa and no need to eliminate them entirely.
Drugs and SupplementsWalker talks about his own use of Androgel, the most common drug prescribed for low testosterone. There are potentially serious side effects of taking this drug, which is a gel that you apply by rubbing over your body.
Not only can it be potentially harmful, but there is also the inconveneince of rubbing this smelly goo all over yourself. There is also the issue of skin on skin contact with women, who shouldn't be exposed to this gel. The other issue is that it doesn't increase your body's natural production of testosterone, so when you stop using the gel your levels will drop again.
You'll also see a lot of health and herbal supplements that purportedly increase testosterone levels. In most cases these have no real practical implications, and the increase in testosterone may be only very short-term or only work in men who have abnormally low levels.
There is an interview included here with Kurtis Frank, an expert in the area of supplementation and the actual benefits they have. This is well worth a read and will show you how you can't always trust the results of clinical studies and how the data can be manipulated and presented in such a way as to provide misleading claims. But you'll also learn which supplements that could be worth taking or their other benefits, even if they don't directly raise testosterone levels.
Miscellaneous InformationThere's a number of other topics touched upon here, all of which are based on scientific research. For instance, how does having sex impact your testosterone levels? And is there any difference between sex and masturbation when it comes to the hormonal effects? What about when watching porn is added to the mix? These are all things that are covered here, and should be good for extra motivation to go out and meet more women.
The topic of hair loss is also discussed, as it has long been believed there's a link between excessive testosterone and baldness. Walker references the study that first led to this assumption, and talks about why it is actually false. There's also a link to a resource with a lot more detailed information on this topic, including a free e-book on how best to prevent and treat hair loss.
Another area that will be relevant for most men is that of alcohol. There is really useful advice concerning what is the best type of alcohol to drink if you don't want to negatively effect your hormone levels. You'll also be given an equation that tells you how much you can safely drink, based on your body weight, without any problems. And there's also data that suggests the best times to drink based around your training, that could actually give your testosterone levels a positive spike.
For those of you who are looking for immediate results, there is some information here on simple body language hacks you can use to boost your testosterone right away. This actually fits in with advice recommended by dating experts, so it has multiple benefits if you use it when going out to meet women. Just don't use this as a substitute for the rest of the information in the book, but more as just an extra boost.
The Bottom LineThis is an excellent resource that will likely benefit every man who reads it. Optimizing your hormone levels will have a positive impact on your success with women, as well as the overall quality of your life. We highly recommend you check this out.
This isn't about a quick fix though, and you need to be prepared to put in the work if you want to get the results. Depending on what your current exercise and nutrition habits are like, you may have to make some major changes. But in the long run this is easier to stick to than a lot of other programs that focus solely on body composition.
You have the option of purchasing a $79 version of this product or the full product for $99. I'd strongly suggest getting the $99 one, as it has a lot more information and a blueprint that makes up a large component of the program you'll need to undertake. This review is based on having read the full product, and the cheaper version would receive a lower rating.
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