Leonardo DiCaprio may be getting away with the dad bod, but he has a few things (millions $$) going for him. That beer belly, lack of activity and lack of regular strength training is holding you back from achieving peak sexual prowess. It’s time to lift weights and lift your game.
Here’s some stats that should worry us all
- 70% of men are overweight or obese
- 70% don’t meet physical activity guidelines
- 50% have one or more chronic disease conditions
- 50% of men have experienced sexual difficulty in the last 12 months.
Despite the clear evidence, 3 out of 5 of men rate their health as excellent or very good! (1)
I love the confidence guys, but we need to address this disparity between perceived and actual health.
So enough of the problem – how do we fix this?
Here is how you get back in the saddle and unleash the sex panther within!
How To Leverage Nature’s Viagra
So statistics tells us that every other bloke has problems with their sex life. Don’t panic guys, there’s no need for the little blue pill, regular exercise is a natural Viagra, it’s strongly associated with a lower risk of erectile problems (2), particularly for those with cardiovascular issues.
One study (3) took a group of sedentary middle-aged men, who were assigned to participate in a vigorous exercise program for nine months, and ALL participants reported more frequent sexual activity, improved sexual function, and greater satisfaction throughout the study, and it continued post study. There was a dose response as well, where those whose fitness levels increased the most, saw the biggest improvements in their sex lives.
On top of the physiological changes above, strength training has unique effects on improving body image and self-efficacy (read more on that in my article here). Your self-efficacy effects every aspect of your life, and by improving your confidence you will be more outgoing, willing to try new things, be confident in your own skin, leave the lights on……and it’s not just anecdotal. Research has shown that body image concerns (evaluative, affective, and behavioural) influence aspects of sexual function (desire, arousal, and orgasm) (4).
Strength training and exercise in general has the added benefit of being incredibly effective at reducing stress, which is intimately linked with our sexual prowess. The first response we have with exercise is mood enhancement, decreased anxiety and increased sleep quality (5). It starts in the first training session by lowering your blood pressure and cardiovascular responses to stressful situations thereby improving our coping mechanisms (5). Less stress, less anxiety, improved sleep and improved blood flow? Less erectile dysfunction (6).
So, want to get your mojo back? Make sure you have a detailed and individually planned strength program from an expert in the field and start lifting 2-3 x per week the right way!
Book your initial consult with our experts here
Exercise Slows the Ageing Process
As we get older, you start to see a larger disparity between chronological and biological age. Most teenagers look like teenagers, but some 40-50 year old’s look, feel, move and have the health of a 30 year old, but some (a lot if you look at the data) can look, feel, move and have the health and mojo of a 90 year old.
Now of course genetics do play a role in greater variability as we age, but a significant portion of this is down to lifestyle (modifiable) factors. These factors being activity levels, strength levels, nutrition, stress management and sleep. To read more about genes vs environment and the impacts on our health read my article here.
I’m not going to detail every aspect of the ageing process, rather I want to highlight one key hormone, very important to us men, our ageing, our energy, our sex drive, our lust for life, testosterone!!
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and is a naturally produced anabolic steroid. It plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate in utero, promotes secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle & bone mass, and is involved in maintaining general health and the prevention of osteoporosis (7). Research has also shown that low testosterone concentrations levels is strongly correlated to a lowering of self-reported sex drive and libido (8).
So, what can you do to limit reduction of testosterone and other important hormonal milieu as you age?
How do you stay looking and feeling younger, not just for the gym, but for everything life, relationships and the bedroom throws at you?
Answer: strength training.
Strength training is the primary intervention that must be used to offset the effects of ageing by minimising age-related declines in strength, fat-free mass, and functional abilities (9-13). The hormonal changes produced by increases in strength is an important stimulus as men (and women) age, contributing to the prevention of sarcopenia (muscle loss with age) and loss of functional abilities in many key aspects of living a happy, satisfying and healthy life. So make sure you are lifting regularly with progressive overload and well planned full body workouts guided by experts.
It’s Not About Image or Aesthetics
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so this has nothing to do with aesthetics. It is completely to do with our health and quality of life – and well, performance between the sheets!
As I touched on before mens (and womens) health is in a dire state globally. In Australia 70% of males are overweight (42% overweight, 28% considered obese and above), 1 in 2 males have a chronic disease:
- CVD – 17.9%
- Chronic lower back pain – 16.2%
- Mental health issues – 15.8%
- Arthritis – 12.3%)
And scarily as us blokes get older, this rate goes up – 86% of men aged 65 and over have a chronic disease!
Developing quality lean tissue is not just about looking better in your suit (or out of it), but it plays critical roles in your ability to prevent, manage, and survive a huge variety of life-threatening conditions and issues. Of course, strength training prevents/reduces the rate of sarcopenia (14), but ensuring the maintenance and growth of lean tissue through strength training across the life span also has the following health benefits:
- Muscle and Prostate Cancer – Big one for us guys so expanding on this. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer with 1 in 6 men impacted. (15) Regular exercise not only reduces the risk of developing it by 30-70% (16), but if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, patients with higher amounts of energy expenditure through exercise reported a lower death rate from prostate cancer and a lower death rate overall (17). More on this here.
- With more muscle and a lowering your body fat %, you can improve sexual behaviour and experience, for both men and women (18). Interesting research looking into the sexual behaviours of men and women aged 18 to 50 years old revealed that while sexual satisfaction and behaviour for women was more predicted by cardiovascular fitness, for men, positive sexual behaviour & experience was predicted by percent body fat. The leaner you are, the better the sex for all participants!
Another tick in the box for strength training there then!
To find out more about all the other great benefits of increased muscle tissue click here.
I get to see the effects of quality strength training every day. Clients start aching, low energy, poor movement capacity, the lust for life just not there. But no matter what the age, experience or health they start at, after consistent strength training in the right dosages relevant to them, you see the changes come, and it happens quickly. I don’t mean they rapidly change physique aesthetically, that happens over time, but energy levels, enjoyment, and that twinkle in their eyes “wink wink” grows. And their partners have told me that too……
So, there you have it gentleman, get lifting to save your life, your libido, your sex life and so many more benefits!! Lift a bar and lift.. ahem (clears throat), your bar.
To get your training on point for ALL the benefits, get in touch with the experts at Absolute here.
Written By Co-Founder & Head Performance Coach David Smith
- Retrieved 06.06.2019 – The Health of Australia’s Males – https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/men-women/male-health/contents/who-are
- Gerbild, H., Larsen, C. M., Graugaard, C., & Areskoug Josefsson, K. (2018). Physical Activity to Improve Erectile Function: A Systematic Review of Intervention Studies. Sexual medicine, 6(2), 75–89. doi:10.1016/j.esxm.2018.02.001
- White, J., Case, D., McWhirter, D., & Mattison, A. (1990). Enhanced sexual behaviour in exercising men. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 19(3), 193-209. doi: 10.1007/bf01541546
- Quinn-Nilas, C., Benson, L., Milhausen, R. R., Buchholz, A. C., & Goncalves, M. (2016). The Relationship Between Body Image and Domains of Sexual Functioning Among Heterosexual, Emerging Adult Women. Sexual medicine, 4(3), e182–e189. doi:10.1016/j.es2016.02.004
- The Exercise Effect.” http://www.apa.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 21 Sept. 2017.
- Erectile dysfunction. (2020). Retrieved 5 February 2020, from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/erectile-dysfunction
- Bassil N, Alkaade S, Morley JE (June 2009). “The benefits and risks of testosterone replacement therapy: a review”. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. 5 (3): 427–48. doi:2147/tcrm.s3025. PMC2701485. PMID 19707253.
- Travison, T., Morley, J., Araujo, A., O’Donnell, A., & McKinlay, J. (2006). The Relationship between Libido and Testosterone Levels in Aging Men. The Journal Of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 91(7), 2509-2513. doi: 10.1210/jc.2005-2508
- Campbell W. W., Crim M. C., Young V. R., Joseph L. J., Evans W. J.Effects of resistance training and dietary protein intake on protein metabolism in older adults.Am. J. Physiol.268Endocrinol. Metab. 311995E1143E1153
- Frontera W. R., Meridith C. N., O’Reilly K. P., Knuttgen H. G., Evans W. J.Strength training in older men: skeletal muscle hypertrophy and improved function.J. Appl. Physiol.64198310381044
- Häkkinen K., Izquierdo M., Aguado X., Newton R. U., Kraemer W. J.Isometric and dynamic explosive force production of leg extensor muscles in men at different ages.J. Hum. Mov. Stud.311996105121
- Häkkinen K., Kraemer W. J., Kallinen M., Linnamo V., Pastinen U. M., Newton R. U. Bilateral and unilateral neuromuscular function and muscle cross-sectional area in middle-aged and elderly men and women. J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci.511996B21B29
- Nicklas B. J., Ryan A. J., Treuth M. M., Harman S. M., Blackman M. R., Hurley B. F., Rogers M. A. Testosterone, growth hormone and IGF-1 responses to acute and chronic resistive exercise in men aged 55–70 years. Int. J. Sports Med.161995445450
- Rom, Oren et al. “Lifestyle And Sarcopenia – Etiology, Prevention And Treatment”. RMMJ4 (2012): e0024. Web
- Australian Cancer & Incidence Mortality (2016) – Australian Institute of Health & Welfare
- Newton RU, Galvão DA: Exercise in prevention and management of cancer. Current Treatment Options In Oncology 9:135-146, 2008
- Friedenreich, C., Qinggang, W., Neilson, H., Kopcuik, K., McGregor, S., & Courneya, K. (2016). Physical activity & survival after prostate cancer. Journal of European Urology. 70(4): 576-585
- Jiannine L. M. (2018). An investigation of the relationship between physical fitness, self-concept, and sexual functioning. Journal of education and health promotion, 7, 57. doi:10.4103/jehp.jehp_157_17