Note: The following is by Jeremy Williams.
An office worker that is successful and makes consistent progress toward their goals does not just show up. They don’t just sit at their desk; respond to a few emails and go home having done the bare minimum. It’s quite the opposite… they thrive in the workplace. In fact, they thrive everywhere that they set foot. They go above and beyond their job description, they make a difference in the lives of their colleagues and they leave with the feeling of a sense of accomplishment – they are dynamic.
This is no coincidence, they are only able to work hard, surpass their targets and hit their deadlines because physically, mentally and emotionally they spring from a solid base. This base is optimal androgen levels. This is by design rather than coincidence. Whether intentionally or unintentionally. They have high Testosterone and high DHT, coupled with low Estrogen, low Cortisol and low Serotonin. Hormonally, they gravitate toward an anabolic profiling and this sets them up in the perfect possible way; it is ultimately where any office worker wants to get to. They experience the benefits not only through performance, but they will also look aesthetically superior to other more average colleagues. They will fill out their shirt and look a presence (with muscle rather than fat), and they will stand tall and proud. Socially, they will be renowned for being positive and easy going whilst at the same time dominant in their interactions. A lure of confidence will be observed when in their presence; it comes as no surprise that they will be strong in discussion and negotiation. They know what they want and how they will get it and for the most part, they will not stop until they get it.
Unfortunately, not many office workers fit the above description; it only takes a look around offices across many cities to see this is not the case. In fact, many are the complete opposite. They are overweight, lazy, quiet, lethargic and dejected. They reek of serotonin, fueled by their habits and their lifestyle; isolated thinking and behaviour. They stick to routine and are unwilling to gamble and take risk. Whilst it’s unfortunate for them and for society, it provides an opportunity for any office worker who acts on optimizing their hormonal profile. It will give them an opportunity to project from the rest. To stand out. That’s why we are here to help; we want to optimize your androgen levels so you can be an office worker that is admired. So if you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder, let’s get started:
5 Ways to Optimize Androgen Levels for Office Workers:
- Eat a Testosterone Enhancing Diet
- Remain Active and Sit Less Often
- Get Sun (Walk)
- Be Authoritative
1) Eat a Testosterone Enhancing Diet
The diet provides the building blocks for steroid synthesis and for this very reason diet takes first priority. It is also something that office workers often tend to get wrong rather than right. It is in the balance and choice of macronutrients: the Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats. And we need all three of them. We need enough protein for cellular and muscle repair and liver detoxification of Estrogen and other harmful metabolites. We need enough Carbohydrates for optimum conversion of Thyroid hormone (T4-T3) and to lower catabolic stress hormones such as Cortisol and Adrenaline. And we need the right fats to optimize digestion and to obtain the fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K.
Frequency of eating is just as important, never going too long without fuel to ensure the stress hormone cascade is kept quiet, Our meals need to be balanced with the full- spectrum of micronutrients that our cells require to work correctly. Our glands need certain minerals — selenium and iodine for the thyroid and zinc and magnesium — to get testosterone production started and our Leydig cells need cholesterol to make testosterone.
With fast-paced lifestyles and high-stress workloads, the average office workers diet can be reduced to convenience foods – but this is not an option if we want to optimise androgens. This means no donuts, no pastries and no Frankenstein foods’ – they do not meet the criteria as outlined above. In fact, they work against our biology and can promote the opposite – contributing to inflammation as just one example. So an office worker needs to select the most appropriate foods that have a beneficial physiological impact on our hormones.
To help, we have created a Free E-Book, a Nutrition System. It provides a template and and optimum shopping cart of foods to purchase. I suggest you download it: http://www.shirtandtiefitness.com/nutrition-system/
Moreover, the DHT Manual, found here on Anabolic Apex is an excellent resource for any office worker: http://anabolicapex.com/product/dht-manual/
2) Remain Active, Sit Less Often
The science is starting to mount – extended sitting a huge health risk across a number of health biomarkers, from poor posture to metabolic irregularities including insulin resistance. This is where office workers and those in the 9-5 face problems. They are required to be at their desks for extended periods, but must do so in an unnatural position for human biochemistry. Slouched forward, hunched over. It’s just not the natural way our bodies align.
But we can’t deny it, extended sitting is part and parcel of office culture and office life. It is a necessity rather than a choice. Well, up until now. Standing Desks are starting to gain traction and these offer a suitable alternative. So if you can get your boss to invest in a Standing Desk, do so, and stand throughout the day as much as possible. Limit the slouching and limit being tied to the desk. By standing, we ensure insulin sensitivity remains optimal. This helps to partition nutrients consumed into cells efficiently and prevents us from suffering from the detrimental postural changes that occur from extended sitting.
As Standing Desks are only available to the lucky few, as their expense means that few managers and companies are willing to invest in the infrastructure en masse, there is fortunately another way.
A suitable alternative is to be mindful of our standing and seating behaviour. To move frequently and often. Practically, to do this, set a timer, 15 minutes, 30 at most. When the times up, stand up and move. More preferably, climb a flight of stairs or two. Take a wander and stretch the legs. Perhaps even do some body weight squats somewhere quiet in the office. Or go outside and get some sunshine….
3) Get Sun (Walk)
Getting adequate sunshine is paramount to human health. Office workers simply do not get enough of it; working under artificial lighting and missing out on the many benefits the sun has to offer. Being in the sun is important twofold:
- It sets our human physiology with natural circadian rhythms.
- We obtain the required Vitamin D needed for hormonal production
In reference to point 1, our circadian rhythm is incredibly important. Science Daily (https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/circadian_rhythm.htm) defines it as: “
A circadian rhythm is a roughly 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings. Circadian rhythms are important in determining the sleeping and feeding patterns of all animals, including human beings. There are clear patterns of brain wave activity, hormone production, cell regeneration and other biological activities linked to this daily cycle.”
The human body is thus primed to follow a cycle, and interrupting this cycle can cause hormonal balances and irregular health outcomes.
(source: https://s-media-cache- ak0.pinimg.com/originals/06/30/d3/0630d37f04797792137c27f87a7350b3.jpg)
Vitamin D is also essential to testosterone production, as this study suggests (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21154195).
So simply getting outside is a fantastic way to improve our health as an Office Workers. A fantastic strategy to do this is to walk 15-30 minutes before, at lunch, or after work. The benefits of this low intensity activity, aligning with humans natural movement patterns, further optimises our insulin sensitivity. So it is clear to see that simply sticking to a schedule like this will ensure we are working with our biology and are in line with the sun cycles. Before work, we obtain the bright light to tell our brains it’s a new day. In the evening to tell our brains it’s coming to the days close. With this strategy implemented, by the time we have returned home we will be primed and getting ready to sleep. Which takes us conveniently onto the next point.
It is during sleep that many human processes occur. It is also a highly anabolic time when Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is at its peak. HGH has a profound impact on how we look and feel; for it is a hormone that impacts fat and muscle regulation. During deep sleep, our hormones are also synthesized and our brains detoxify chemicals and other harmful stimuli. It is therefore critical that we are asleep at this time to ensure these processes can occur.
As the circadian rhythm image highlights above, Melatonin should be released into the brain around 8, and it is at this time our body is unwinding in preparation for sleep. Office workers should, if they want to improve their health, learn to follow this process. This means no extremely late nights or regular late nights. Sure, work functions arise, but
for the most part these should be infrequent and not the norm. From 8 onwards we should unwind and to turn off our devices. Electrical devices and blue-light screens only exacerbate the problem, for they send the confusing message to the brain that it is daytime (blue light from screens mimics the sun). Blue blocking glasses can be a great tool for office workers if they do want to watch television or use any other electronic device at this time. But for the most part, we should stop stimulating our brains at this time – no checking email, surfing the internet. The day should be over, we must learn to truly relax.
Ultimately, by 10 the office worker should be asleep. By prioritizing sleep, more energy will be available in the upcoming day and hormonally, we will be more replete.
5) Be authoritative
Now entering the office restored, the office worker will have the adequate energy to go about their day. But they must approach it authoritively, confidently and full of optimism. Why is this important for androgens you may think. Well, just standing up tall has been proven to increase testosterone levels:
Cuddy, along with her collaborator Dana Carney of Berkeley, ran an experiment in which people were directed to adopt either high-power or low-power poses for two minutes. While high-power posers showed an 8% increase in testosterone, low-power posers had a 10% decrease in the hormone. Meanwhile, the inverse relationship happened with cortisol, the hormone related to stress. While high-power posers experienced a 25% decrease in cortisol levels, low-power posers had a 15% increase in their stress levels. (http://blog.ted.com/10-examples-of-how-power-posing-can-work-to-boost-your- confidence/)
Just think back to human evolution or look at the animal kingdom to reiterate these effects. Survival of the fittest; the most dominant species procreate at a higher level than the weaker of the species.
So, turning back to the office, if we are authorative in our actions, if we are confident in our thoughts, we can alter our physiology in more hormonally favourable ways…
So there you have it, 5 ways an Office Worker can transition into a more androgenic state.
By Jeremy Williams, of Shirt and Tie Fitness