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Do Pull-Ups Increase Testosterone? (Simple Answer)

When it comes to muscle building, two very important elements are testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone). Both of these are produced in higher quantities during certain exercises.

Without the appropriate levels of testosterone and growth hormone, it’s extremely difficult to put on any noticeable muscle mass.

Interestingly, some exercises seem to be better than others at increasing levels of testosterone and growth hormone.

So, knowing what exercises are most effective at this can help you plan a training program that promotes as much muscle growth as possible.

In this article, we discuss whether pull-ups increase testosterone and growth hormone as well as looking into some other exercises that can increase them even more.

Male athlete doing pull ups outside

Do Pull-Ups Increase Testosterone?

Pull-ups do increase testosterone but only for a short period of time.

Unfortunately, doing a lot of pull-ups won’t cure low testosterone levels. And it won’t cause testosterone to surge through your body causing rapid muscle growth and development.

However, after doing a couple of sets of pull-ups, testosterone levels in your body can be quite a bit higher for up to a few hours.

While this obviously won’t turn you into a bodybuilder overnight, it gives your body a window of opportunity to repair and develop with higher than normal levels of testosterone immediately after a workout.

The first hour or two after exercise can make a big difference in terms of recovery and results achieved. So having increased testosterone during this time can actually be a very good and beneficial thing.

Do Pull-Ups Increase Growth Hormone?

Pull-ups are a fantastic exercise for increasing growth hormone levels.

Any hypertrophy (muscle-building) training plan wouldn’t be complete without some variation of pull-ups included.

This exercise really is one of the best muscle building exercises you can do.

Part of this is due to the increase in growth hormone they cause.

With increased growth hormone levels, you are stronger, you can burn more fat, and you can even have stronger bones too.

How Often Should You Do Pull-Ups to Increase Testosterone?

Although pull-ups do temporarily increase testosterone, that doesn’t mean you should do as many as you can as often as you can.

The key to getting the most out of your pull-ups, including increased testosterone, is to perform them correctly.

This can only be done if you get the frequency and intensity right.

As pull-ups are a hard exercise, you’ll likely need to leave at least 24 hours between each pull-up session.

This means that doing pull-ups 3 times a week can be a good way of keeping testosterone increased as much as possible while still allowing the working muscles to recover and repair ready to work hard again.

Other Ways To Increase Testosterone

Keep Stress To A Minimum

Stressed out businessman sat at a desk with his head in his hands

The health benefits of reducing stress have been made clear to us for a long time.

However, it might be a surprise to some that being stressed can actually reduce the results you get from your training program.

When you’re stressed, your cortisol levels increase.

A simple way to look at the relationship of testosterone and cortisol is to think of them as being opposites.

As one increases, the other will decrease.

It’s worth bearing in mind that being stressed for a day won’t stop you from getting good results from your training.

However, long-term stress can have a big impact on testosterone levels (and negatively impact your overall health and wellbeing too).

Improve Your Sleep

There have been several studies done in recent years that suggest that poor quality sleep, or not getting enough sleep can lead to a decrease in testosterone.

As important as exercise is in building and developing muscle, your rest period between workouts is equally as important.

Without high quality sleep, you could easily find yourself struggling to reach your fitness goals. 

When trying to increase testosterone, it’s always good to look for easy wins.

Going to bed earlier and resting more is one of the easiest things you can physically do yet it can bring some truly beneficial results.

Which Exercises Increase Testosterone The Most?


Woman doing a squat in the gym

Big compound exercises like squats get multiple muscles and joints working together to lift a heavy weight.

This is exactly what needs to happen to get your testosterone levels up.

Squats have a whole range of muscle building benefits, but increasing testosterone levels goes a long way in helping you reach your fitness goals.


Like pull-ups, push-ups are a great bodyweight exercise that bring a lot of different muscle groups into play.

As a result, you can see a good increase in testosterone for a couple of hours after performing push-ups.


In summary:

  • Pull-ups can increase testosterone in the short term.
  • If you suffer from low testosterone levels, then pull-ups won’t be a long term solution. You should seek advice from a medical professional.

That’s all for this article, but can pull-ups cause tennis elbow? Or perhaps you’re interested in pull-ups vs deadlifts?

Hope this helped!


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