The #1 Reason Recovering Men Should Lift Weights

number one reason lift weightsTrust me, I know what it’s like to wake up and feel weak, fragile and jaded. This is how I felt for the first month after I quit drinking.

I also know what it’s like to wake up feeling strong, energized and like I’m on a mission to conquer the world.

You want to feel weak and fragile for as short as possible so that you can feel strong and energized on a permanent basis.

If you’re a man, there’s one word that separates these two states of mind. It’s constantly overlooked by mental health experts and the addiction treatment industry…


And it’s safer, more natural, and more effective than Prozac.

Lifting Weights For Higher T

This quintessential male hormone is responsible for a cascade of positive chain reactions in your body. Testosterone is a natural antidepressant that boosts your mood; it also synthesizes new muscle and decreases your chances of developing obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

The best way to maintain high levels of testosterone naturally is to lift weights regularly.

I’m a fan of anything that gets people moving – cardio has a place in my routine, and more recently, so does yoga. But there’s just no substitute for lifting heavy weights.

Lifting Weights vs Drinking Alcohol

There’s a common saying in recovery circles, “Sobriety delivers everything that alcohol promised.” I’ve found that maintaining high t-levels has delivered everything that alcohol promised.

All of the temporary illusions provided by alcohol – especially feeling relaxed and more confident in social situations – are sustainable byproducts of keeping your body strong and your t-levels high.

I can say with 100% certainty that lifting weights gives a better and longer lasting buzz than drinking alcohol – which, by the way, obliterates testosterone production and puts your estrogen levels through the roof. Ask me if I miss having constant water retention and man boobs!!

If you’re new to lifting, you’ll feel sore and broken down for several weeks. Lift regularly for long enough and it will soon become one of the most rewarding things you do.

Spiritual Development vs Emasculation in Recovery

There’s definitely a place in recovery for honest introspection.

You need to open up old wounds and at times this can be painful. Opening up about your problems in a group setting, where everyone shares similar struggles, can be liberating and helpful.

But for God’s sake, don’t assume the victim mentality. I’ve seen rehab counselors tell men that they became addicted because of the “pressures our society places on men.” Transforming into an effete, overly sensitive man-child has somehow become a mark of cultural sophistication.

Blaming things on society is for the weak-minded and anyone who encourages you to think like a victim intends to be your master.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the same counselors who encouraged the victim mentality also looked down on lifting weights.

Interestingly, the counselors who endorsed lifting weights in recovery tended to be more attuned to patients’ individuality, less inclined to repeat dogmatic bromides, and less obsessed with the idea of all-encompassing cross-addiction.

Life Without Pleasure?

I know men who think that their days of feeling physically good are over because they can’t drink or take drugs anymore.

Drinking and drugs gave them physical highs and ruined their bodies. Whether they’re 25 or 65, they could choose to rebuild their muscle mass, bone density, immune systems and testosterone levels (all of these systems are intertwined).

But they don’t do it, mostly because modern addiction treatment revolves around treating the mind rather than seeing the mind and body as one entity.

A lot of men who don’t relapse have accepted “life without pleasure” as some kind of cold, hard fact. The irony is that it’s much easier to hit the gym than it is to develop the strength to suffer.

Additional Methods to Increase Testosterone

Your body requires saturated animal fat to produce testosterone.

Ignore the soy milk and margarine aisles – you need to avoid low-fat diets and eat plenty of meat if you want to feel your best. I eat grass fed butter every day and red meat 4-5 times per week. I don’t have high cholesterol, I don’t have high blood pressure and I have visible abs.

Now, I looked like a fat pig when I drank, so I know that I’m not some kind of genetic abnormality. I’ve never taken steroids and it’s worth noting that bodybuilders who do take steroids can afford to eat low-fat diets because their bodies don’t need to produce testosterone naturally.

Supplementation with zinc is another effective way to increase your t-levels.

The vast majority of “natural” t-boosters are neither natural nor effective. However, I’ve had some good results with fenugreek (subjectively, I haven’t done blood work), which is an herb often used in Indian cooking. Tribulus terrestris did nothing for me, though some people say that they feel a difference after taking this herb.

There’s evidence that mucuna pruriens, which I use as an occasional mood enhancer, can naturally increase testosterone and human growth hormone.

If you’re over 30, it’s a good idea to have blood work done so that a doctor can determine whether you have low testosterone that needs to be addressed.

Oh, and did I mention that you should lift weights? Turbocharge your T by cutting out processed foods (containing hormone-altering chemicals) and purging unnecessary stressors from your life. Stress hormones aren’t good for your t-levels.

Focus on what you were born to do and banish all distractions!!

There’s no high in the world that can match the feeling of achieving your physical potential as a man.



  • Chris Scott

    Chris Scott founded Fit Recovery in 2014 to help people from around the world dominate alcohol dependence and rebuild their lives from scratch. A former investment banker, he recovered from alcohol dependence using cutting-edge methods that integrate nutrition, physiology, and behavioral change. Today, Chris is an Alcohol Recovery Coach and the creator of an online course called Total Alcohol Recovery 2.0.

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The information we provide while responding to comments is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The responses to comments on are designed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition.

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4 years ago

I read almost all off your articles and they are really great but I am surprised I just now found this one via a google search from your site on keywords since your website itself does not have search feature but…… This article is beyond true and really hits home from a journey I’ve started about 6 months ago….. AMAZING. One thing I would recommend would to put time stamps on this blog/articles of when you post them. Thanks for all the work and website Chris!



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