Get lean first to gain muscle

When it comes to testosterone, how much we produce is not as significant as how much the body can readily utilise.

If an individual with 20% body fat produces the same amount of testosterone as an individual with 10%, the useable testosterone will be much greater for the leaner individual.

The reason for this is we store an enzyme in our fat cells known as aromatase. The more fat we carry, the more aromatase we produce and the greater the likelihood this enzyme has in converting testosterone to estrogen.

Testosterone is the body’s chief anabolic hormone, not estrogen. Being estrogen dominant is not only detrimental to our health, it also puts a dent in our muscle-building endeavours.

To maximise the testosterone we are producing, we do not want to be carrying around too much body fat. The idea is to get as lean as we possibly can first, then work on slowly putting size on.

Muscular size and bodyweight are not the same thing. One is geared towards the growth of muscle tissue whilst the other is fixated on what the scale reads. Getting heavier (or lighter) on the scale is more or less blurred feedback, as it does not tell us the real story of what is going on.

Bulking up for muscle growth appears to be a counterintuitive concept. The body will not be able to utilise testosterone production to its fullest potential, due to the presence of aromatase.

Therefore, stay away from the notion of trying to get big quick. Work on getting lean first, then gradually add muscle without sacrificing your body composition.

The human body is a work of art and should be judged on its completeness, not its hugeness. Be patient and take your time to do a great job.

Rome wasn’t built in a day.