Low Testosterone can be Caused by Overtraining


Exploring New and Old Health News Today – Low Testosterone and Overtraining


Low testosterone can caused by overtraining and decreases male sperm count. All too often the consultants from this company are approached by male personal trainers and bodybuilders that our in their right our athletes. We’re told the that they feel like their testosterone level is low because they have symptoms associated with low testosterone. Well we reply testosterone is going to be low if you are training too much. You have to balance the training with recovery to ensure you get a balance that helps keep your testosterone levels in a healthy range.

What does testosterone do for males?

  • The development of the penis and testes
  • The deepening of the voice during puberty
  • The appearance of facial and pubic hair starting at puberty; later in life, it may play a role in balding
  • Muscle size and strength
  • Bone growth and strength
  • Sex drive (libido)
  • Sperm production

Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School (2019)

Symptoms of low testosterone

  • Reduced body and facial hair
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Low libido, impotence, small testicles, reduced sperm count and infertility
  • Increased breast size
  • Hot flashes
  • Irritability, poor concentration and depression
  • Loss of body hair
  • Brittle bones and an increased risk of fracture

Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School (2019)

The Research 

The aim of a peer reviewed research article in the Fertility and Sterility by Journal by Roberts. A (1993) was To substantiate the hypothesis that strenuous exercise disrupts the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in men. The design of the research (being longitudinal) involved semen and blood sample collection twice per month before, immediately after, and 3 months after overtraining, which was defined as twice the previous average weekly training volume with unchanged intensity.

More Research 

In another peer reviewed research article in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise by Saenz, J et al (2015) where the aim was to “to examine resting and exercise-induced T in high-level ultra-endurance athletes consuming either low-carbohydrate/high-fat (LCD) or high-carbohydrate/low-fat diets (HCD).” The design of the study involved 20 elite level ultra-running men habitually consuming a high carbohydrate diets (n=10; 58% CHO, 15% PRO, 28% FAT) or a low carbohydrate diets (n=10; 11% CHO, 19% PRO, 71% FAT) were matched for age and performance. The groups performed a 3 hr run at 65% VO2max. A shake (5 kcal/kg lean body mass) similar in macronutrient composition to the habitual diet was consumed 90 min pre-exercise and immediately post exercise (IP). Serial blood samples were taken after an overnight fast at baseline (BL), during the run (Run60 and Run120 minutes), IP, and during recovery (+30, +60, and +120 minutes). Serum levels of total T were analyzed enzymatically.”


The authors of the paper in the Fertility and Sterility Journal concluded that overtraining reduces testosterone, which is highly correlated with an increase in levels of cortisol and possibly a subsequent decrease in sperm concentration 74 days later. Saenz, J et al (2015) “shown that his group of high-level ultra-endurance runners had a high prevalence of low circulating testosterone; they showed a modest transient rise IP followed by a decline below BL post-exercise irrespective of habitual diet composition. Lower resting testosterone and its descending response after exercise may be due to a greater turnover of the androgen receptor pulling testosterone out of circulation. This may be due to the shake pre/post run or a reduced Luteinising hormone pulse reflected in altered hypothalamic-pituitary cybernetic changes.”

The Bottom Line 

If you have low testosterone it’s not because you have what they call hypogonadism which, is a reduction or absence of hormone secretion or other physiological activity of the gonads (testes or ovaries). It’s most likely that you are overtraining and you need to FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN TRAINING AND RECOVERY FOR BETTER RESULTS AND ENSURE YOU DON’T HAVE PROBLEMS WITH FERTILITY. Unless you are taking anabolic steroids which persistent use can result in anabolic steroid–induced hypogonadism.

We help people with low testosterone levels all the time, if you have any questions or need some advice with testing please contact us.


BANDEGAN, A., COURTNEY-MARTIN, G., RAFII, M., PENCHARZ, P. B. & LEMON, P. W. R. 2017. Indicator Amino Acid–Derived Estimate of Dietary Protein Requirement for Male Bodybuilders on a Nontraining Day Is Several-Fold Greater than the Current Recommended Dietary Allowance. The Journal of Nutrition, 147, 850-857.

ROBERTS, A. C., MCCLURE, R. D., WEINER, R. I. & BROOKS, G. A. 1993. Overtraining affects male reproductive status*. Fertility and Sterility, 60, 686-692.


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