As you guys know I’m pretty up on the science side of things. Essentially my life involves going to the gym and learning about how I can use the gym to make you guys better rugby players (yeah I’m pretty boring ha).

But now and again I come over something interesting like this –

So there was a study done a while ago which says that we should a “certain type” of video before training. By a certain type I mean a naughty video. You know what kind I’m talking about, they make up A LOT of the internet.

So this is what’s going to happen. I’m going to quickly go over the study with you guys and explain what it means, then I’m going to show you a few other ways to bring your testosterone levels back to normal and then even higher.

Still not an accurate representation
Still not an accurate representation


In this straight forward study published in “Hormones and Behaviours” (2012) twelve male professional rugby players were tested for their 3RM on eight different occasions. Two of which were just normal, however, the other six occasions were not normal…
The guys watched one of six video clips lasting roughly four minutes in a randomised fashion: sad (starving children in Africa), funny (clip from “Big Bang”… debating whether this is actually funny), training motivational (Brock Lesnar training), aggressive (rugby hits), and, of course, the erotic dancing video.

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Before and after the video they tested for testosterone and cortisol, and within 15 minutes participants performed the 3RM test.

Results – this is what they found (kind of science-y)

After the normal condition testosterone levels barely changed (-1.3%) amd after watching the sad movie it dropped by about 5%, BUT testosterone increased after watching the funny (3.7%), motivational  (8.4%), aggressive (10%), and of course, after the naughty (4.8%) video.


A strong correlation was found between increases in testosterone and increases in the lifted loads. In other words, more circulating testosterone may mean bigger squats.

The take home message is pretty obvious: watching motivational movies improves performance. In fact any kind of video it seems that gets you going with the aggressive rugby hits being the best (no surprise there).
However, it is interesting to consider that testosterone may have a play have a role to play in how weight you can lift and that it can be manipulated to some extent. This means you can, to a small extent, influence how much you can lift.

In fact, even more recent studies have found that pre-competition circulating levels of testosterone were predictive of match outcome in professional rugby. So not only is getting motivated going to help you get strong it’ll help you win matches.

So you know now that we can affect the outcome of an event with the right kind of motivation (because it leads to higher testosterone levels) but what if we could increase our T levels even more?

Wouldn’t that mean that our chance of winning would also be increase?

Let’s take a look –


So here’s my Testosterone boosting plan for you guys:


Start taking Zinc and Magnesium

Zinc is a dietary mineral that is often promoted for boosting testosterone. It’s true that taking a zinc supplement can increase testosterone levels, but only in people who have a zinc deficiency (not enough zinc).

Athletes are more prone to zinc deficiency than most others because zinc can be lost with sweat.
Zinc deficiencies are associated with lower testosterone levels, so if supplementation brings zinc levels back to normal, testosterone levels will rise with it. It is important to note that increasing zinc levels above normal levels wont increase testosterone any further – in fact too much zinc can irritate the gastrointestinal tract (you will be running to the toilet) and cause liver and kidney damage.

Oh but as it happens if you’re trying to have kids a zinc deficiency can lead to you not being able to, a zinc compound is responsible for letting you little lads break into your girls egg. (TJ note: don’t start trying to get low zinc levels in the hope that you can go round riding bareback and it not come back to bite you… practice safe sex and keep your testosterone high)

Magnesium is another mineral, like zinc. Again, magnesium deficiencies are associated with lowered testosterone levels. Again, magnesium is lost through sweat, so it is often recommended for athletes. And again, supplementing a bit of magnesiums is good for you boys if you’re low. Pretty much a copy and paste job, but it’s just as important.

Start getting a bit more sun.

Studies have shown that for men with low vitamin D levels, supplementing vitamin D resulted in an increase in testosterone levels. Vitamin D gets to the body with sunlight, you basically absorb it from the sun’s rays.

If you live in somewhere cold with not much sun (the UK in winter), definitely consider supplementing some.

Note: People with darker skin tones will require more sun exposure than lighter skinned people to get the same amount of vitamin D.


You guys know I love creatine have this is just another reason to take it.

Creatine has been investigated for its interactions with anabolic hormones a few times, and in young men it appears to cause a mild but reliable increase in testosterone concentrations by around 20-25% (this is a HUGE amount).

This increase in testosterone is thought to be partially responsible for the effects of creatine on muscle growth and power output..


So apart from supps what can you do? A ton of stuff!


It’s pretty well know that lifting weights is beneficial for your testosterone levels. But the key is that as always you need big compound movements more muscles used better hormonal response.

Eat Properly

Guys you alone are responsible for what you put into your body. If you put junk into your body then you’re going to turn your body to junk. This includes the way your body produces hormones like testosterone.


You may have heard me go on about sleep and recovery a ton. Your body is like a machine brother.

If you don’t keep it well maintained then it’s going to stop working as well and eventually just pack up and die (yeah that got dark) but it’s how it is. Get your sleep in and make it quality sleep.

So lads. That’s a few easy to implement things that are going to get you to a better testosterone level and give you that little edge on the pitch and in the gym!

Hopefully you found it helpful, let us know in the comments what you struggle with, or what your favourite pre-training video is.

Alex (and TJ editing)