Is the stuff about thru-hikes and testosterone true?

If you don't know - Basically, guy who works as an editor on an outdoors focused website recorded what happened to his body as a result of a month long thru-hike. He lost 10lbs of weight but dropped from 13% BF to 5% BF, his free test and total test doubled, cortisol almost halfed and dropped his blood sugar levels down from pre-diabetic levels to a normal range.

Was wondering if anyone had any experience with that type of stuff.

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Can confirm, happen to me too

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I did the pacific crest trail when I was 30. Started at 220lbs. Ended at 165lbs and had to use a rope as a belt to keep my pants up. Mom wanted me to go to the hospital since I was almost unrecognizable. I felt great though.

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    what's a thru hike? is that something americans do?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Thru hike is a long trail or series of trails where you start at once place and end up in another place instead of doing in/out hike. Typically is several days or longer. People say thru hike to indicate it wasn't just a little weekend hike.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Thru hikes are very long, often cery physically demanding hikes, lasting days or even weeks. There are several trails in the US that are hundreds of miles long. The Appalachian Trail is probably the most famous one on the east coast of the US, it runs from Georgia into Maine, it's ~2200 miles (3500km) and some people will hike the entire thing in one trip. More commonly, people will pick a section to complete, but still be gone for a week or so.

        His test levels probably went up because he is outdoors in natural light which fixes his circadian rhythm.
        He is not looking at screens all day with stressful and useless information beaming into his brain all day, therefore when he sleeps at night he has a better sleep as his brain doesn't need to waste time processing all that garbage in his brain, so his sleep cycles are a lot better and restful.
        Also, seeing new scenery and visiting new places boosts dopamine which will boost testosterone.

        That's probably the real reason test levels have been dropping in men over the last 20 years, we spend more time indoors consuming unnatural amounts of information into our brains, which affects our natural physiology. I was alive before the 2000s and the internet, and spent way more time outdoors being active, so did everyone else.

        I

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Thru hikes are very long, often cery physically demanding hikes, lasting days or even weeks. There are several trails in the US that are hundreds of miles long. The Appalachian Trail is probably the most famous one on the east coast of the US, it runs from Georgia into Maine, it's ~2200 miles (3500km) and some people will hike the entire thing in one trip. More commonly, people will pick a section to complete, but still be gone for a week or so.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        how does one into

        [...]

        ?
        do you just get hiking shoes and go for it? do the people mentioned by just pack a ton of protein bars and a tent and camp out for the week? do you need to gain weight before going?

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >go to alltrails.com
          >find a short trail near you
          >do it
          >repeat
          >for longer hikes you'll need hiking shoes, a backpack, and some basic gear
          >go on day hikes or car camping
          >work up to thru-hikes
          Yeah, just slap on some shoes and go for it. Most hikers bring fatty foods like peanut butter because it is calorically dense and you'll feel every ounce of carrying weight on longer hikes, so you want to be efficient. If you have no outdoors experience, stick to places near civilization in case something bad happens and tell someone where you're going and when you should be back.
          Going IST is not complicated. Have fun.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Do the following in order and progress when you feel like you've got the hang of it
          >go on day hikes
          >go on longer day hikes with more incline or difficult terrain
          >figure out how to find a spot on public land that you can camp on for free, drive up to it and car camp (get a nice, small tent that you can bring backpacking once you work up to it)
          >buy a backpacking backpack, find a long enough trail and camp overnight innawoods, hike back in the morning
          >longer trail, go for two nights
          >longer trail, go for three
          Easy peasy. Just get more gear as you need it. Whatever tennis shoes you got should be good for now. Buy hiking shoes or trail runners when you want to upgrade. Microspikes will let you hike on icy ground and increase the amount of the year you can go out.
          Once you get bored of just hiking you can get into fishing, mountaineering, kayaking, bouldering, snow shoeing, whatever.
          Backpacking food is mostly limited by the fact that you cant refrigerate anything, so a lot of people opt for dehydrated meals.
          Learn to play harmonica to larp as snufkin.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            It all sounds good but the only thing that always concerns me when thinking about hiking is security.
            There's always a chance you come across:
            >A wild animal that can frick you up (cougar, bear, boar, etc)
            >A literal psychopath or someone fricked just enough in the head

            Is it normal for hikers to pack a gun?

            • 4 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              you should always carry a gun innawoods moron

            • 4 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              No, it’s not normal because the threat is very low. Black bears run and schizos aren’t very common. Yes autists, there are exceptions.

            • 4 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Yeah. Always. Only a moron wouldn't carry one. Doesn't matter where you are. A lot of hikers have a 10 mm glock just for this purpose. Might consider a shotty with slugs or light weight .308/.30-06/45-70 if you're up north in grizzly/moose country.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          It’s a big subject, which is why there’s a board dedicated to it.

          From a IST perspective, you should focus on cardio, obviously, but your ability to recover is definitely important (so weight training helps a lot). Your feet should be conditioned as well. No gym routine can do that, just walking. You can prevent blisters by using tape, but having tough feet that are used to it is a better approach.

          Diet becomes an issue. You don’t want to carry too much weight, so most people opt for food with a higher calorie-to-weight ratio. At the same time you don’t have access to refrigeration, so everything has to last for several days (most popular long distance trails will pass through a town every few days). Protein and fat comes from nuts, peanut butter, shelf stable sausages, jerky, salami, and tuna packets (super popular). Carbs are the easiest, because there are a lot of dried items: ramen, instant potatoes, couscous, minute rice, and junk food. These can all be prepared on a simple camp stove with just boiling water; there’s no real cooking. There was a guy who hiked for maybe a week eating nothing but McDoubles.

          Micros and fiber can become issues on longer trails. In a normal diet we get those things from vegetables and fruits, but those are pretty heavy when you consider how few calories they contain. I haven’t heard of anyone bringing a fiber supplement but I have heard of terrible bowel issues.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Dates are probably good for fiber, high calorie per gram and high fiber.

            • 4 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Dates are 80 cal/oz. Most food taken in hikes is closer to 100. That’s not to say 80 is definitely out, just not ideal. Quinoa has a surprising amount. Bananas as well, which are also great for their potassium (which becomes very important this time of year, considering the heat), but they don’t pack well.

              Beans are pretty good, and instant refried beans and rice are a hiking staple (look up “Skurka’s Beans and rice” recipe). But beans are Lamaist always canned (low cal/oz) or dried and raw (way too much prep time). Instant refried beans are the way to go, but you can’t always find them. I think they’re 8g of fiber and 120 calories per ounce.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        lmao what go walking for several months?

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous
        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The guy I was talking about in the OP only did it for a month.

          https://www.outsideonline.com/adventure-travel/destinations/north-america/discover-the-best-of-asheville-with-advice-from-local-experts/

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        So basically it's like pilgrimage but without religious connotation?

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Exactly. For a lot of people it can be a very meditative experience. I am not a thru hiker, but know a couple people who are. One is a retired guy who hikes the entire AT once a year, the other is a friend from college who saves up all his annual leave and goes for a 3-4 week stretch every fall. They both say that just leaving civilization for a few weeks has a huge effect on them. Sort of soft resets their brains, fixes a lot of emotional or mental issues. And having learned about the huge test boost, this makes sense from a physical point of view as well as a psychological or spiritual one. There's some thing about just walking away for a while that fixes a lot of problems.

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I remember reading that. It sounded great, but the sad part was how the effects reversed immediately after going back to normal life

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I am interested in this. It’s probably because humans are meant to be moving around outside and not cooped up in front of computers all day.

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >burn thousands of calories a day hiking 10-15 miles through the mountains
    >impossible to keep up with the calories while on the trail
    >protein becomes an afterthought due to weight/energy
    >wrecks your joints
    >4hrs sleep a night if you're lucky from all the tossing and turning on your foam mat in a tent

    It's literally one of the most catabolic things you can do. I've done some multi day backpacking trips in pretty rugged terrain and had to take a whole week off after. Love it though

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This homie wouldn’t last 2 days in the caveman times

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >4hrs sleep a night if you're lucky from all the tossing and turning on your foam mat in a tent
      >tent

      Pic is my hammock setup. This was a short three day trip, though I took a hammock on longer trips, including my Pinhoti thruhike. The night goes something like this:
      >crawl into the hammock just after sundown
      >read for a little while
      >close my eyes around 9pm
      >wake up
      >it’s 6am and the sun is just starting to rise

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Hammock camping changed the game for me. Weighs less so I can pack more food. Get a great night sleep. I'm actually much warmer than on the ground. Avoid snakes in hot areas. The open air tarp gives you a place out of the rain to cook (assuming you aren't in bear/wolf areas, in which case you should cook away from your hammock).

        It's wonderful. I really need to plan another 3 day solo trip. It's been too long since I've gone on one.

  7. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I know exactly what you're talking about but ive lost the link to the page; he was an already fairly fit, not overweight person with test somewhere in the 300s or 400s before going on the hike, and when coming back it was damn near 1000ng/dl, which is the single largest natty increase in a healthy man I've ever seen online, anywhere, even beating out the modern gays on youtube who try all the huberman crap and minmaxing diet and sleep and end up getting 700s max (a very unhealthy man can easily triple low test to the 500s or 600s, but trying to 2.5x 400 when you're already healthy is pretty unusual)

    The guy on the hike ate like, peanut butter, granola bars and dehydrated meals the whole time, so I think that blows the diet and protein cultists out, and he also couldn't have slept great (though I don't think he spoke about sleep) AND he got tested like a week after the hike, so his test may have been even higher

    It's also worth pointing out that the testosterone was a complete afterthought to him, he basically just mentioned it cuz it was part of his blood panel, he wasn't trying to deliberately raise his test

    Anecdotally, I unironically think just walking around my nice neighborhood for 2-3 hours every day makes me feel higher test and hornier than either weights or higher intensity cardio. Your body just must understand something about being outside

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      [...]
      His test levels probably went up because he is outdoors in natural light which fixes his circadian rhythm.
      He is not looking at screens all day with stressful and useless information beaming into his brain all day, therefore when he sleeps at night he has a better sleep as his brain doesn't need to waste time processing all that garbage in his brain, so his sleep cycles are a lot better and restful.
      Also, seeing new scenery and visiting new places boosts dopamine which will boost testosterone.

      That's probably the real reason test levels have been dropping in men over the last 20 years, we spend more time indoors consuming unnatural amounts of information into our brains, which affects our natural physiology. I was alive before the 2000s and the internet, and spent way more time outdoors being active, so did everyone else.

      I

      He gave a passing hypothesis of it being due to carrying a weighted ruck, that it was basically a form of weight training he was doing for the whole month.

      I think it had to do with him being outside in what was probably an unfamiliar environment. Feel like that would actually be conducive to the body spiking testosterone levels because that'd be a circumstance when you're hunting or roaming into territory that isn't yours and you'd want that competitive edge.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        A ruck or load that places enough stress on the body will make the CNS do special things.

  8. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    His test went up because he was getting wendussy

  9. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Walking through nature is probably the closest thing to a health panacea. We have been doing it for a couple hundred thousand years so it makes sense.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >We have been doing it for a couple hundred thousand years so it makes sense.
      nature was trying to KILL US the entire time, I don't think it had the calming effect you imagine it did
      >shit I didn't find enough berries today
      >I hope they caught some fish, or we will starve
      >its getting really cold...and the firewood is still wet, are we going to freeze to death tonight?
      >that small scrape I got a few days ago is weeping pus and it hurts so bad, I hope it gets better
      >wolves have moved into our territory, we will have to drive them off or they will destroy our hunting grounds

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Humans are the apex predator anon. I’m tired of morons on this board disrespecting our ancestors when they literally paved the way to the society we have today. Ancient humans weren’t starving morons they were intelligent hunters and warriors.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Beta maxxed gather mindset

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >demanding environments lead to physically and mentally healthy individuals
        You've just discovered a basic tenet of Peating.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        You're so right, we should just sit inside all day eat cereal while watching cartoons.

  10. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Not the same thing but worked in the woods hauling heavy shit for a few weeks. Basically packing dragging around 100lbs plus 8 hours a day.
    Dude, holy frick. If bottle whatever the frick it was doing to my body and sell it…I’d be a rich fricking man.
    It was unreal how quick my body composition changed along with mental and physical vitality.

  11. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Monkey maxxing

  12. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    You lose weight on the hike, but you come back and go straight back to your fatty-fat lifestyle and gain it all back. For the time investment, you could just learn to be a healthy. It's not a replacement for just learning how to take care of yourself properly. Teach a man to fish etc.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Hiking is healthy though.

  13. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    so you think you're gonna go walk around hungry in the woods for a month then come back and get all jacked n shit because your test doubled?
    Is that where you're going with this?

  14. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Tfw going for a 20mi hike with some work buddies in 2 weeks

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      hiking in groups is gay. you need to do it solo.

  15. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >dropped from 13% BF to 5% BF
    Doubtful. Did he lose 8% bodyfat? Yea, maybe. But I doubt he went that low. Probably 18% to 10%.

  16. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    going on a 3/4 week hike for the first time this summer. what am i in for?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >blisters and possible chaffing
      Prepare your feet and maybe your anus. Seriously, if you just sit around playing video games or just lifting weights the bottoms of your feet will be as soft as the inside of a vegana (trust me, it’s soft). Start walking to build up callouses.

  17. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I did a week of the Appilacian trail last year, and am going to do another week this year.

    Camp for me was just a hammock and a small collapsible chair. About 30lb bag including food, water, and clothes.

    Positives:
    > Great sleep. Since you're hiking literally all day, you just go to sleep when the sun sets, (somewhere between 6-9 depending on time of year) and wake up at sunrise (around 6). So, 9-12 hours of sleep, like God intended.
    > Good exercise (duh)
    > Disconnect from tech. Only used my phone to text my wife once per day to let her know where we were.
    > Maybe test went up? After coming home, I had the most aggressive sex I've ever had with my wife. It was amazing.

    Negatives:
    > None

  18. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I bet his test was lower and cortisol higher during the hike. Afterwards when he recovered is when it spiked and cortisol lowered.

  19. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I hiked 800 miles through the Balkans a couple years ago. Felt more high test than I have ever felt before. Got a gf for the first time after. I ate frick all except noodles, dense flapjack protein bars and wild raspberries for a month. I was semen retaining for weeks and one day I strolled in to an empty cabin and found a pack of cards with Volkisch yugoslav maidens in wheat fields with sickles in their hands and their cleavage exposed. Busted the fattest juiciest most seminally rich nut of my life amidst the dense green verdure of a birch tree forest. Felt dazed and confused afterwards.

    fast forward to this summer and I’m about to go on another thru hike (pic related) for a month. this shit might kill me though its like 50,000 meters of elevation gain.

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