I think people often make the stereotype that boxers are violent or aggressive people by nature. It’s then easy to make the connection between physical aggression and testosterone. As there have been numerous studies suggesting a correlation between testosterone and aggression, many people assume that boxers have high testosterone. So this beckons the question, does a combat sport like boxing actually increase testosterone levels?
Well, nearly any type of exercise will help maintain healthy testosterone levels. Since boxing is a form of physical exercise, it will inevitably help keep up the production of testosterone. However, there is no concrete evidence that suggests competitive boxing or combat sports will have an impact on testosterone levels in general. This means that training in any of these combat sports will help increase testosterone levels because they are physically stimulating. Hormones like dopamine and testosterone are released during exercise which helps us maintain our physical and mental health.
Testosterone plays a crucial role in our well-being, especially for men. Listed below are some signs of low testosterone in men via healthline.com:
- Low Sex Drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low Semen Volume
- Hair Loss
- Loss of Muscle Mass
- Increased Body Fat
So whether its through a combat sport like boxing or weightlifting, its important that we all make the lifestyle changes necessary to ensure that we have healthy levels of testosterone. I personally believe that boxing makes for an excellent all-around training exercise. However, weightlifting and muscle growth have been proven to be the most effective way of increasing testosterone levels.
How Boxing Can Affect Testosterone Levels
While boxing training or any physical training for that matter may positively impact testosterone levels, competitive boxing may not. A study from 2019 on the Effects of Boxing Matches on Metabolic, Hormonal, and Inflammatory Parameters in Male Elite Boxers suggests competitive boxing doesn’t cause testosterone levels to increase.
The study showed that after a bout, a male fighter’s testosterone levels came down, however, their cortisol levels went up. Cortisol is a stress hormone that also increases the availability of substances that repair tissues, which is understandable considering the damage many fighters receive during a bout. There are various other studies that show slightly different results but the general consensus is that there simply isn’t enough evidence to suggest that boxing and or combat sport matches increase male testosterone levels.
However, there is a plethora of data that clearly proves that exercise and a balanced lifestyle are beneficial for testosterone levels. Boxing training is an incredibly rigorous and demanding form of exercise which forces the body to exert itself to its limits. Boxing training is centered around cardiovascular training and explosive movements which makes it ideal for losing weight. There is plenty of data that proves males who are overweight or obese have significantly lower testosterone levels than those men who maintain a healthy weight.
So taking up a sport like boxing purely to lose weight will be greatly beneficial for increasing testosterone levels. Providing that it is paired with the correct diet and lifestyle
Best Exercises For Increasing Testosterone
Resistance exercises like weightlifting have been proven to be the most successful exercises for increasing testosterone. While there is some weightlifting in boxing it isn’t the primary focus. So if you’re looking to enter a combat sport purely for the purpose of increasing testosterone, it’s probably worth joining a conventional gym instead.
However, boxing is excellent for losing weight. So if you’re looking to simply get healthier boxing is an incredibly fun and effective method of getting in shape. Listed below are some of the best exercises for increasing testosterone and losing weight:
- Heavy Bag Work (Intense 10 Minutes)
- Overhead Press
- Mitt Work
- Weighted Shadow Boxing
Do Boxers Have High Testosterone
Male athletes who are in peak physical condition will always have higher testosterone levels than the average person, regardless of the sport they compete in. However, as we mentioned earlier, there is no evidence that actual boxing matches increase their testosterone levels. But I think for males at least, in order to be a fighter, you have to have a certain level of competitiveness and aggression. So I anticipate that those men who end up having a career in combat sports naturally have higher testosterone levels, to begin with.
That’s not to say those who don’t have high testosterone levels won’t be good boxers. I just think that the nature of the sport means that those who exhibit characteristics of high testosterone males will be more likely to pursue a career in combat sports.
That being said, some boxers actually do quite a lot to ensure their testosterone levels are high so that they are most aggressive right before a fight. Many fighters choose to abstain from sex before boxing matches in an attempt to build testosterone and aggression. While there is no concrete evidence to support these claims, lots of fighters claim that abstinence helps them during preparation. I think its much more a form of mental discipline rather than a physical one. During preparation, fighters are incredibly focused so they push out all distractions.
Are People With Higher Testosterone More Aggressive
There are actually quite a few misconceptions surrounding testosterone and its effects on people. For a start, testosterone doesn’t make men angrier. In fact, studies have shown that a lack of testosterone actually makes men more irritable. However, testosterone does increase aggression and dominance. Hence why physical violence and aggression are much more prevalent in men than it is in women. But this is only a single factor that goes into determining a person’s behavior. Just because someone, for instance, a boxer, has high levels of testosterone doesn’t make them inherently more violent outside of the ring.
In fact, I think it does quite the opposite. Having a physically demanding sport like boxing that requires extreme discipline is good for many people with high testosterone. It gives them a purpose while allowing them to work on their craft. People with higher testosterone are more likely to be dominant but that doesn’t they’ll be a tyrant or a bully. They’ll typically be more assertive and confident but that doesn’t mean that they’ll behave like Ivan Drago from Rocky.
To conclude, since boxing is a form of exercise, boxing training is likely to increase your testosterone levels. Especially if you are doing it to lose weight. This is because people who are a healthy body weight have significantly higher testosterone levels than people who are overweight or obese. However, if you want to start boxing purely to increase testosterone levels, then unfortunately it is not the most effective method. Weight lifting and resistance exercises have proven to be the most successful in the department of increasing testosterone. However, boxing is still an excellent fun way to lose weight and increase testosterone levels.
Competitive boxing also has no impact on testosterone levels as we mentioned earlier. In fact, fighters showed higher levels of Cortisol after boxing matches which is the hormone responsible for substances that repair tissue. This essentially means that physical fighting will have no impact on your testosterone levels but people with higher testosterone levels are more likely to engage in physical fights.