Great book! "They" tell us that testosterone is the hormone of aggression and the source of everything bad in the world. In reality, testosterone is a life-saving hormone that can change your life for the better, in ways you couldn't even imagine.
But how do you know if you have low testosterone? Here is a helpful checklist of some of the symptoms (which can occur) as a result of low testosterone. I compiled this from other books and from the literature from a medical laboratory:
* Low Energy/Fatigue
* Muscle Weakness
* Reduced Libido
* Erectile Dysfunction
* Disturbed Sleep
* Heart Disease
* Prostate Enlargement
* Slow Wound Healing
* Poor Concentration
So what can you do to naturally raise your T? Murphy has a three step plan he calls the "T-3 Plan". The parts of this plan are: T-1 transformation diet, T-2 transformation workout and T-3 transformation lifestyle.
Before you read any of this, please keep in mind that this book is geared towards younger men in their 20s who are already in decent shape and have a different hormonal profile than men in their 30s, 40s and beyond. In older men, boosting testosterone levels may be more effective with the use of a natural testosterone supplement. By all means, guys over 30 should read about Murphy's diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. But at the same time, these men should read Maximize Your Vitality & Potency by Jonathan V. Wright MD and Lane Lenard, Ph.D. for age-specific advice.
In Murphy's book, the T-1 diet section is pretty good, with the exception of including soy. I personally stay away from soy unless it's in the form of miso soup or natto. Nearly all soy is GMO and I don't like weird Monsanto genes that make their own pesticide in my food. Murphy feels differently about soy and has a reason for his opinion, which you may agree with. Very commendable is the emphasis on protein. I would like to add that you should go for grass-fed, pasture-raised meats and fish from the ocean, not a fish farm. Murphy points out that not all calories are created equal (see youtube video by Robert Lustig "Sugar the Bitter Truth" for more on this) and that eating fat does not make you fat. Fat is a very misunderstood nutrient and having fat in your diet can actually keep it off your belly! I'm personally fond of extra virgin coconut oil because of its numerous health benefits.
The T-2 workout plan is powerful, but only if you are already in shape to do the kind of workout Murphy recommends. If you happen to be an out of shape guy in his 30s or 40s, be prepared to work up to this plan. Most guys can't manage pullups until they lose weight and have some strength training under their belt. While it can certainly help you to learn the exercises and give inspiration for workouts, if you are a beginner, there is no substitute for finding the right personal trainer to guide you in the crucial early phases of any training program. Go shopping around for a good trainer and show him the book so he or she knows what your goal is. Also, some of the moves in the book are specialized, like the 5-board bench press, for example. I'll never do that, preferring plain old bench presses instead. Great chapter in general, though I would concentrate primarily on the basics: bench presses, barbell overhead presses, squats or front squats, deadlifts, barbell curls, pullups etc. No need to get fancy. You can get an awesome workout using a medicine ball and it puts a smile on my face to see it in this book.
The T-3 lifestyle transformation section is extremely important, though unfortunately, this is the part of the testosterone equation that most ignore. Anyone who thinks they can go to the gym and get worthwhile results without making lifestyle changes is lying to themselves. As Murphy points out, your body builds up while you rest and T levels are higher after a good night's sleep. Excess alcohol, drugs, too much coffee, and uncontrolled stress all sap your vitality. No more staying up late watching TV or drinking til 2 A.M. Murphy also underscores hazards in our modern environment including so-called xenoestrogens like BPA and other chemicals found in grooming products and cookware. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors, meaning they wreak havoc on your hormones, and some have been found to cause cancer. It's best to avoid them.
Overall, this book is a worthy read. But it is also just a start -- you need to continue your education about testosterone elsewhere. Of all the books I've ever read, Maximize Your Vitality & Potency by Jonathan V. Wright MD and Lane Lenard, Ph.D. is the most readable yet in-depth look at testosterone you will find. Yes, Murphy's book is the perfect start for younger men with bodies which are able to jump right into a strenuous workout. But Maximize Your Vitality & Potency explores how men over 40 can safely use natural testosterone as a supplement to improve testosterone levels and reap the benefits of this critical hormone, especially when it comes to cardiovascular health, virility, cancer prevention, and improved mood and cognitive health as we age.
One thing is for sure, testosterone is the key to men's health. Murphy has written an excellent book, but the reader absolutely must be aware of his intended audience and then look further to understand what options for natural testosterone enhancement best suit his needs.