7 Rules for Increased Testosterone

7 Rules for Increased Testosterone
Writing about rule for increased testosterone might look a weird blog post for a manufacturer of smart drugs or nootropics for now. Yet, read on, and you’ll see how everything is connected.
A customer recently asked our customer support if we could help with erectile dysfunction (ED) too. We can. I’m more than happy to jump on that one. It’s quite in line with some experiments I have been doing. So, I made a little list.
Erectile dysfunction is mostly a canary-in-the-coal-mine issue. It might be underlying severe behavioral faux-pas that you can correct quickly before using pharmaceutical enhancements. It might also be the first signs of serious issues that need medical care. If it’s the former, there are many things that can be done before reaching for pills that only mask the symptoms temporarily. There’s a place for Viagra and Cialis: it’s better to use it to go above and beyond than it is to use it just to get back to normal—more on this later.
First, things first. Why do we care? Why are we even talking about penises? You thought we manufacture smart drugs and just care about the intelligentsia. Well, you’re wrong. We care about everyone and brains don’t exist in a vacuum. Human brains have one primary function: ensure the four Fs of evolution: fighting, feeding, fleeing, and… mating. That’s the hardcoded firmware. Brains never evolved to post witticisms on Instagram or solve differential equations. Those are nice add-ons, though.
Also, allow me to share my view on hard penises. It’s simple. Everybody likes hard penises. Men want to have them, and women want to be on the receiving end of them. I don’t think this is a male-centric topic.
Second, everything else relies on this. There’s no love, mathematics, iPhones, family, art, etc., without, you guessed it, rock-hard penises.
And here’s the not-so-shocking kicker: it’s all connected. The behaviors that make the mind spark and the body tight… well, you guessed it, also make the penis happy. If you read my ramblings, writings, experiments, and such, now and again, you know how I relentlessly go on and on about how a strong brain is a healthy brain, a strong muscle is a healthy muscle, and a strong penis is a healthy penis.
If you have a low libido and want to change it, read on. Chances are you were not born this way and a few minor behavioral tweaks can bring you back to your intended glory! Let’s put the fire back in this!

“Birds Born in a Cage Think Flying Is an Illness.”
— Alejandro Jodorowsky


Reclaiming Violence

“Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.”
― E. Joseph Cossman

This might be a bit of an exaggeration: there’s increasing evidence that high testosterone levels don’t cause violence but increase prosocial behavior like sharing, altruism, etc as this article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows [1].
Before digging deeper in the rules for increased testosterone, there are also three testosterone levels we need to consider: total testosterone level, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) level, and free testosterone level. Think of this as a budget. Total testosterone is your income. SHBG is the income that will be used to pay bills such as rent and utilities (it’s bound). Free testosterone is “do whatever money.”
Total testosterone means nothing. What you want is to increase free testosterone to the maximum of your human potential. Chances are you can triple it, naturally.
Being tired and uninspired are no symptoms of aging. I’ve increased blood concentration of testosterone massively in an experiment (Adventures in Doubling Testosterone, upcoming) I’m yet to publish. It works. The downside is that you might get so horny that you need to have sex five times a day just to be able to think straight. You will definitely get so horny that even masturbation won’t change it. It’s a double-edged sword. Use it at your own discretion.
I’ll publish the full protocol eventually on the Marco’s Grounds Blog, but now without further ado, find the most effective techniques below.
Also, bear in mind that there are clinical reasons for a lower libido, yet, for most people a few behavioral tweaks will do the trick.
Before we go on, let’s discuss scientists who look at science in a vacuum and say things like: “you can’t naturally increase testosterone.” I think there’s a gross misunderstanding of practical considerations. You can. It’s not a scientific issue. It’s a language problem. When scientists tell you that you can’t naturally increase testosterone levels, they mean that your body has a natural maximum that you can’t go beyond (the same applies to cognition). Yet, everyone is below their maximum by several levels of magnitude. By naturally increasing testosterone, we mean bringing you back up to your natural maximum, as much as possible. It’s just semantics. That’s the gist of it.

Without further ado (this time for real), here’s the 7 rules for increased testosterone.

Iron Rule One: Stand Straight With Your Shoulders Back

Rule number #01 of the rules for increased testosterone is a tip I got from the great and insightful Jordan Peterson in his book 12 Rules for Life. Testosterone doesn’t dictate behavior. It’s the other way around. We used to think that testosterone creates dominant behavior—please don’t mistake dominant behavior with insecure aggression. We might have been wrong. Who knew that rising to the world’s challenges and being a defender of your fellows would massively increase sex hormones? That’s rhetorical: everybody with a keen observational sense would have known.

Don’t crumble in front of adversity. Don’t crack. Take it on. Your life changes if you don’t see problems as problems anymore; all you see is the opportunity to solve things. All you see are occasions for displays of skill.

Iron Rule Two: Despise Agricultural Foods

This is also one of the most important rules for increased testosterone and it also relies on behavior. Agricultural foods include cereals, potatoes, rice, etc. By agriculture foods, I’m referring to foods we would not be eating, weren’t it for the advent of agriculture. You might remember that about 80 years ago, Dr. Kellog created a nutritional plan to pulverize school boys’ libido and destroy their testosterone. The program consisted of eating more cereals and fewer animal fats. This later became the breakfast of men with soft bellies and equally as soft penises.
If you want further documentation on the second iron rule. I recommend John Durant’s book The Paleo Manifesto. John doesn’t even write so much about diets. He writes much more about thought systems. If you apply only 50% of his book’s techniques, you might become a new, improved person.
Wheat, rice, potatoes—all these carbs are there to keep you alive, not to have you thrive. They just provide calories with very little nutrition. They’re not there to make your life better. I’m not even addressing sugars and sweets. The notion of adult men eating ice cream is just silly to me.

You can’t have it all. Life is about choices and the willpower to carry them through.

Iron Rule Three: Sleep in a Cold, Dark Place

Testosterone is made in the bedroom, cough, cough … I mean it’s made at night. Sleeping in cold, dark, slightly humid places will increase sleep efficiency (the number of sleep cycles per time unit of sleep). Look at the Sleep Section of this post on Flow States for even more sleep hacks. Here’s another one to fall asleep faster.
Sleeping with socks on has also been shown to increase sleep quality. This is mostly due to thermoregulation as we lose heat through our feet, hands, and head at faster rates.
An article published in Jama showed that sleeping only two hours less a night reduced testosterone levels significantly [2]. Unfortunately, researchers only measured total testosterone. I suspect the effects on free testosterone are even more dramatic. You don’t need me to tell you that you should sleep more. You should. You know it. The only question is, why don’t you do it?

There’s this two-second rule I apply to me. I ask myself: “would I be doing this right now if I had perfect willpower?” If the answer is no. It’s time to do something else.

Iron Rule Four: Become One With the Ice

Exposure to extreme temperatures has been shown to increase testosterone and decrease cortisol. Most people have a shower. Some people would have a sauna, too.
The best way is to expose yourself to extreme cold and heat. By extreme, I mean anything that feels uncomfortable (see the Brain Freeze part of this post on Learning Factors for an expansion on this).
For practical reasons, let’s discuss cold showers briefly (water at 12°C or colder, around 53°F). To take the most benefits out of the cold, apply the water to your lower neck and upper back region. This is where most of the brown adipose tissue (BAT) is. BAT is fatty tissue with a critical twist. It contains mitochondria and reacts heavily to extreme temperatures by signalling to the hippocampus that it’s time to release a bunch of beneficial hormones as shown in an article published in Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry [3].

Showering daily for two to three minutes with pure cold water is enough to spike the good old T, therefore this is an excellent rule to increase testosterone.

Iron Rule Five: Worship the Sun in All Its Glorious Incandescence

You know what happens to your body when you see more direct sunlight (hint: what happens in spring)? Use it to your advantage. This is why more vitamin D is the fifth rule for increased testosterone.
New research published in Maturitas has shown that natural sunlight in the morning (sunrise) and in the evening (sunset) are particularly beneficial to hormone levels, dopamine, mood and general life outlook [4]. This makes perfect sense.
Use supplements of vitamin DMaximum Mind contains vitamin D too, but if it’s only vitamin D you’re after, you’d be better off buying a standalone vitamin D supplement. If I didn’t get my vitamin D from Maximum Mind, I’d buy a standalone like this one. I used them before and always was quite happy with them. Clinical data suggests 2,000 UI are enough. More is not necessarily better. Should you throw away your vitamin D supplement if it has more? No, just spread the dose. E.g., if your supplement supplies 5,000 UI, take it once every third day. It won’t do any harm.
Ashwagandha (also in Maximum Mind and here’s standalone) is also notorious for destroying cortisol (the major stress hormone).
Cortisol is a well-known testosterone destroyer. The less cortisol in your blood, the more testosterone you have. When choosing an Ashwagandha supplement, be mindful of the source. Whole-plant extracts are cheap and rubbish. The active ingredients (withanolides) are in the root. You want to choose a root extract only. If you choose a standalone supplement, look for standard daily doses of active ingredients at around 10mg per day. Active dose is total content times the percentage of active.
This fits clinical data shown in an article published in Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine [5].

Another honorable mention goes to cod liver oil. Some people argue that fermented cod liver is better. Be wary: we have crafted a word for fermented fat molecules. That word is rancid. I would not recommend it. I take an unfermented cod liver oil supplement like the above because it doesn’t have too much vitamin D and I already have enough vitamin D from my daily dose of Maximum Mind. You might want fish oil or cod liver oil with more vitamin D, depending on your individual situation.


Iron Rule Six: Perform Minimum Amounts of Violent Exercise

Minimum amounts of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) should be around 3 x 15 minutes a week (keyword: high-intensity) as demonstrated in an article published in British journal of sports medicine [6]. The less exercise you do, the more intense your exercise needs to be.
Activating massive muscular groups (e.g., legs and back) has been shown to enhance hormonal profiles dramatically. Say hello to rowing and kettlebells!

Bonus points go naturally to resistance training in a gym or at home.

Iron Rule Seven: Do Your Cardio

If you suffer from ED, the usual suspect is a weak heart. Cardiovascular exercise guidelines say 70-90 (insert-your-national-heart-association here) minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise are the weekly minimums for health. Apply it. It doesn’t matter if you have a penis that could cut through a diamond if you can’t keep the rhythm. They say it’s not the boat; it’s the motion of the ocean …

Extra Credits: Consume Foods High in Cholesterol Before Bedtime

This is also a good rule for increased testosterone. Most testosterone is made during the night (see Iron Rule #3), and cholesterol is the building block of human testosterone. Technically, we think that cholesterol consumption increases LH (luteinizing hormone) production, which then as we all know increases the mighty testosterone.
If I’m going for times of increased activity, I eat about four (whole) eggs daily before bedtime. That’s about 550mg of cholesterol before going to sleep. If you feel that dietary cholesterol might be detrimental to your health, researchers have shown that it has no discernible effect in a systematic review published in Current atherosclerosis reports [7]. Of course, the data applies to averages. Individual experiences always vary.
That’s it for now. I hope this post gives you an idea of what to do and what the best rules for increased testosterone are.


  1. Dreher, J. C., Dunne, S., Pazderska, A., Frodl, T., Nolan, J. J., & O’Doherty, J. P. (2016). Testosterone causes both prosocial and antisocial status-enhancing behaviors in human males. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(41), 11633-11638.
  2. Leproult, R., & Van Cauter, E. (2011). Effect of 1 week of sleep restriction on testosterone levels in young healthy men. Jama, 305(21), 2173-2174.
  3. Rodriguez-Cuenca, S., Monjo, M., Frontera, M., Gianotti, M., Proenza, A. M., & Roca, P. (2007). Sex steroid receptor expression profile in brown adipose tissue. Effects of hormonal status. Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, 20(6), 877-886.
  4. Smith, R. P., Coward, R. M., Kovac, J. R., & Lipshultz, L. I. (2013). The evidence for seasonal variations of testosterone in men. Maturitas, 74(3), 208-212.
  5. Ambiye, V. R., Langade, D., Dongre, S., Aptikar, P., Kulkarni, M., & Dongre, A. (2013). Clinical Evaluation of the Spermatogenic Activity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males: A Pilot Study. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2013, 571420.
  6. Bull, F. C., Al-Ansari, S. S., Biddle, S., Borodulin, K., Buman, M. P., Cardon, G., … & Willumsen, J. F. (2020). World Health Organization 2020 guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour. British journal of sports medicine, 54(24), 1451-1462.
  7. Djoussé, L., & Gaziano, J. M. (2009). Dietary cholesterol and coronary artery disease: a systematic review. Current atherosclerosis reports, 11(6), 418–422

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