by Tony Gjokaj August 16, 2021 3 min read

A few weeks ago, my brother competed in his first ever powerlifting meet.

You can watch some of his lifting highlights here:

The event was an amazing experience.

While I am not necessarily a powerlifter, the energy at that event motivated me to want to compete in it at least once.

And it makes sense if you understand the connection between competition, testosterone, and motivation for men.

In this post we are going to explore the acute effects of testosterone production and competition. While these effects are acute spikes, surrounding yourself in a competitive environments is very healthy for testosterone production.

Without further ado, let's dive in!

It's In Our Nature

As we mentioned in a previous post, healthy competition can actually improve testosterone levels. From a psychological perspective, competition is in our nature as men.

If you have a little sibling or son/daughter, you know how good it feels to go all out and completely dunk on the little guy or gal... or to beat them at Mario Kart.

No mercy.

Jokes aside, let's get into some of the studies done on competition and testosterone levels.

Competition and Testosterone Levels

Our sex hormones are tied to our social behavior. This is very important to understand, as we adapt to changes in our environment (neuroplasticity).

We can explore this further in various ways by looking at Game Theory.

Testosterone and Fitness

In a systematic review done on Combat Sport competitors, it was found that testosterone levels were elevated prior to the event. The kicker of this review was that these increases in testosterone prior to competition were only found in men. There was no response with women.

From this study we can gather that there is a difference between men and women with testosterone production.

Testosterone and Motivation

There have been a plethora of studies done on humans and animals alike that measure competition and testosterone levels. In fact, the acute increases in testosterone also increase the motivation to compete as well

Testosterone and Social Status

Competition not only applies to sports.

When it comes to social status between the sexes, men will encounter a boost in testosterone when they believe they're a winner.

According to one study, it was found that men only have to believe they've bested another man in a competition to attract a woman to get a testosterone boost.

And with that boost, men will feel confident enough to approach other women. 

Game Theory, baby.

Believe it or not, we can take this further with clothing and social status. When people purchase apparel from high-end companies like Burberry, it is also a status signal to other men and women alike. This means that apparel can even be used to attract others to you, making you feel like a winner.

Once you see this, you can't unsee it.

Embrace The Environment

To summarize, here are a few things to consider with competition and testosterone levels:

  • Surround yourself with top performers. These people will elevate you to perform your best.
  • Gym Partners. Have a gym partner you have a friendly competition with. They will help you get bigger and stronger at the gym.
  • Compete in something. Even if you feel like you're not ready, experience it.
  • Go to live events. Even if you don't even compete at those events and are just spectating, you'll feel the competitive energy.
  • Take care of yourself. Exercise. Look strong and feel good naked. This is a competitive signal.
  • Dress to impress. Look good. Feel good. Never neglect your appearance.
  • Hang out at social events. Even if a club is not your thing, go to a sports bar that has a very social environment. Compete for a woman's attention. 

Lastly, remember that competition is everywhere, even if you don't see it.

Go out there and be a winner.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email us at or contact us via Instagram. I feel that there is a lot to cover with this that goes beyond testosterone production, so if you want me to cover more of this, I will!

Until next time, Reforged Warrior.

Tony Gjokaj
Tony Gjokaj

Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.

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