Does Cardio Kill Testosterone?

Does Cardio Kill Testosterone

Does Cardio Kill Testosterone?


When it comes to fitness and exercise, there are often conflicting opinions and information floating around. One common concern among men, especially those who are into weightlifting and bodybuilding, is whether cardio exercises can have a negative impact on testosterone levels. Testosterone is a hormone that plays a crucial role in muscle development and overall strength. In this article, we will delve into the question of whether cardio kills testosterone and explore the facts behind this claim.

Understanding Testosterone:

Before we dive into the impact of cardio on testosterone, let’s first understand what testosterone is and its significance. Testosterone is a hormone that is primarily produced in the testicles and is responsible for various functions in the male body. It plays a vital role in muscle growth, bone density, fat distribution, and even enhances sex drive. It is no wonder that many men are concerned about anything that may negatively impact their testosterone levels.

The Relationship Between Cardio and Testosterone:

1. The Myth of Cardio Killing Testosterone:

There is a common misconception that engaging in cardio exercises can significantly decrease testosterone levels. This belief stems from the idea that cardio activities such as long-distance running or cycling may lead to excessive cortisol production, which in turn, negatively affects testosterone levels. However, this assumption is not entirely accurate.

2. The Cortisol Factor:

Cortisol is a hormone that is released by the body in response to stress. It is known as the “stress hormone,” and it does have an impact on testosterone levels. When cortisol levels are elevated for extended periods, testosterone production can be affected. However, the relationship between cardio exercises and cortisol is not as straightforward as it may seem.

3. The Importance of Balance:

Engaging in cardiovascular exercises can indeed increase cortisol levels, but it is important to note that the impact is temporary and does not have a significant long-term effect on testosterone levels. In fact, regular exercise, including cardio, has been shown to have numerous benefits for overall testosterone production. The key lies in finding the right balance between cardio and other forms of exercise.

Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise:

1. Improved Cardiovascular Health:

Cardio exercises, as the name suggests, primarily focus on improving cardiovascular health. Regular cardio workouts can strengthen the heart muscle, improve blood circulation, and reduce the risk of heart disease. By incorporating cardio into your fitness routine, you can enhance your overall health and well-being.

2. Weight Management:

Cardio exercises are an effective way to burn calories and shed excess weight. Whether you prefer jogging, cycling, swimming, or any other cardio activity, it can contribute to creating a calorie deficit and assist in weight loss. Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for overall health and can positively impact testosterone levels.

3. Enhanced Endurance and Stamina:

Cardio workouts are known for their ability to improve endurance and stamina. By engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise, you can increase your lung capacity, strengthen your muscles, and improve your overall physical performance. This can be beneficial for various athletic endeavors, including weightlifting and other forms of resistance training.

4. Reduced Stress and Improved Mental Health:

Exercise, including cardio, has been proven to have a positive impact on mental health. It releases endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural mood elevators. Regular cardio workouts can help reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression, leading to an overall improvement in mental well-being.


Q1: Will doing cardio kill my gains?

A: No, doing cardio will not kill your gains. In fact, incorporating cardio into your fitness routine can have numerous benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, weight management, enhanced endurance, and reduced stress.

Q2: How often should I do cardio?

A: The frequency of cardio workouts depends on your fitness goals and overall training plan. It is generally recommended to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio per week. However, it is essential to find a balance between cardio and other forms of exercise to avoid overtraining.

Q3: Can excessive cardio decrease testosterone levels?

A: Excessive cardio can temporarily increase cortisol levels, which may have a small impact on testosterone production. However, the long-term effect of cardio on testosterone levels is negligible when combined with a well-rounded fitness routine and proper nutrition.

Q4: Can I combine weightlifting and cardio in the same workout?

A: Yes, combining weightlifting and cardio in the same workout is a great way to maximize your time at the gym. Starting with a cardio warm-up can increase blood flow and help prepare your body for resistance training. However, it is important to prioritize your fitness goals and adjust the duration and intensity of each component accordingly.

Q5: Are there any specific cardio exercises that are better for testosterone levels?

A: While there is no specific cardio exercise that is better for testosterone levels, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to have positive effects on testosterone production. HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise alternated with periods of rest or lower intensity. However, any form of cardio that gets your heart rate up can contribute to overall fitness and well-being.

In conclusion, the notion that cardio kills testosterone is largely a myth. Engaging in cardiovascular exercises, when combined with a well-rounded fitness routine and proper nutrition, can have numerous benefits for overall health and well-being. While cardio may temporarily increase cortisol levels, the long-term impact on testosterone levels is negligible. So, lace up your running shoes, hop on that bike, or dive into the pool, and enjoy the many benefits that cardio has to offer without worrying about its effect on testosterone.

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