So far I've been trying to build bigger and bigger muscles because I thought that it will lead to having more testosterone in excess, therefore have all the benefits that a man can have with high levels of testosterone.

Yet, in this video John Gray gives an example which totally makes sense to me but I am not so into this, so I'd like to ask here. He says that the bigger the muscles the more testosterone gets used up for building more muscle or simply maintaining it, which must be true. He also "asks" "Why then do they(huge muscles guys) take all these libido boosting herbs" which kind of makes sense, since they have used up all the testosterone for building or maintaining these big muscles.

So again, does building big muscles lead to having not enough testosterone? If yes, then what would be an optimum, I guess having very little muscles isn't a solution either..

3 Answers 3


The implied mental model you have of T in your body is in error and leading you to incorrect conclusions and suppositions. It is not a substance that gets used up, like gasoline in a car's engine. It is a hormone that circulates in your bloodstream and when it is taken up by a receptor, kicks off other processes in organs and your brain. You always have plenty of this stuff circulating. There are feedback mechanisms for this and all hormones in your body which causes the hormone quantity to increase when it is low and decrease when there is enough. You cannot meaningfully effect that feedback mechanism through diet or exercise, at least, not enough to make a difference to you in anything you'd notice. Specifically, you cannot do anything to "use it up" so that you're somehow short of it.

Some weightlifters take anabolic steroids which are a synthetic, exogenic ( that is, external to your body, specifically, your testes which make testosterone) source of testosterone. When they do this their testes STOP making testosterone because of that feedback mechanism I mentioned. Essentially, by injecting themselves with an external source of testosterone, they are telling their body's feedback sensors that the body has enough and doesn't need to make any more. So it doesn't. The quantity they inject is actually greater than their bodies would naturally make. The problem is, the testes shrink (since they are not making testosterone anymore) and as soon as they stop injecting themselves, they have very very low testosterone for a long while because they aren't getting any from their bodies and they aren't injecting it either. Then their strength goes down and they lose muscle mass.

I should also say that as your muscles get bigger, the muscles cells and receptors do NOT multiply. A bigger muscle just has bigger and thicker muscle cells, but not more. Hyperplasia is the term used to describe a muscle cell which HAS split. This is a disease or injured state of muscle, not something you're after. You do not "injure" your muscles when you lift weights , or at least you don't want to! Inducing hyperplasia in a muscle cell more or less ruins it because individual muscle cells are multi-nucleated (they have multiple nuclei) and they can't function any longer if they are torn in half such that each "half" only has one nucleus.

"Hypertrophy" is the name of the natural, non-disease process by which you get bigger and stronger as a result of lifting weights. It's not a result of injury and healing, as people often think. It's a thing unto itself- a natural process specific to your muscles which your muscle undergoes in response to the signal it gets from you that it's not strong enough to manage in your environment. The way you send that signal is by lifting weights. Your muscles understand your strenuous activity as a specific signal that they need to grow stronger.

It's like tanning. Tanning is a natural built-in response on the part of your skin in response to the signal it gets that it needs to make more melanin to protect you from UV rays. Sunburn is the injured state of your skin from too much UV. Tanning is the non-injured response by your skin to a little UV radiation. You want to tan. You don't ever want to burn. Burning interferes with tanning. Burning gives you diseases later on in life. Burning is bad. The exact same thing holds for lifting weights. You don't want to induce hyperlasia, you want to invoke the hypertrophy response. Too much exercise will induce hyperplasia. The right amount of high intensity will invoke hypertrophy.

Here's the thing with testosterone. You naturally ALWAYS have MORE than enough to get bigger and stronger from each bout of exercise. If you are not getting bigger and stronger, then you are probably either training too much, or not hard enough, or both.

Don't fret about your hormones; if there was anything wrong in that department, you'd already know about it for other reasons. Your body knows how much you need and supplies the right amount. You cannot interfere with this process (thankfully) unless you engage in some very extreme behaviors for a long long time (starvation, chronic exhaustion) , but then you've got bigger issues than being low on T.

Hope this helped. Best of luck to you!


No, building muscle does not lead to the body having not enough testosterone. The body produces testosterone itself and when it is stimulated properly (through exercise and diet) more will be produced and used according to the bodily needs.

  • 1
    Thanks! I did some more research and appears that there is a big difference between Total and Free testosterone. I think that he meant that with muscles growing more and more, the total testosterone goes up but not the free testosterone, which some doctors say is the important measure.
    – ZenVentzi
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 8:29

There are 'theories' that the more natural muscle, the more receptors, thus the need for more T. Conversley, those taking T (specifically) lack adequate receptor health or quantity.

There's a lot more than T (remember, it converts to estrogen, androgens, etc) to be considered age, health conditions and how your body is genetically programmed to react to the need or presence of "any" hormone.

However... People that are in great shape naturally and making gains are typically making residual gains (and maybe losses) over time. SOME, but not all, will make certain sacrifices to further gains (leaner diet, fewer calories, an extra hour to spend working out) and could be approaching 'adrenal fatigue'.

Adrenal fatigue. Sometimes 'borderline eating disorders' as well, that rarely are identified when someone is otherwise in perfect health.

So, to override a need to understsnd all this, lol, is to simply take what you need. Enough rest, food and progress with fitness ... And time as well.

  • I down-voted, this answer makes no sense and does not answer the question.
    – John
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 9:10

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