A recent study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that intense exercise was associated with decreased libido in men. That's right: all those hours of lifting, pumping, and squatting in the gym may actually be ruining your sex life. (Unless, of course, the gym doubles as your sex life, in which case, good for you for learning how to multitask.) But if you're worried that your pursuit of bodily perfection will leave you rock hard everywhere but where it counts, Josh Grimm has a few tips for you.
The founder of Fitnut, a customizable personal training and nutrition coaching service, first recommends starting your day with a smoothie rich in antioxidants and fancy-sounding things like quercetin, believed to be an endurance enhancer, and l-arginine, an amino acid used to treat erectile dysfunction. Here's the recipe for his morning Fitnut Power Punch, which he says will really rev your engines:
* 1/2 cup cold, cooked steel-cut oats (loaded with l-arginine) * 1 whole banana for potassium (prevents muscle spasms during aerobic activity) * 1/4 cup of black raspberries and/or blueberries (phytochemical foods to enhance libido) * 1 sliced apple (quercetin) * 1 sliver of fresh ginger root (increases blood flow) * 1 tablespoon of almond butter (rich in arginine and "good" fats) * 1 teaspoon of maca powder (testosterone and fertility enhancement) * 1 serving of your favorite brown rice or pea protein (recovery) * Round out with 8-12 ounces of almond milk or coconut water
Grimm also suggests consuming foods rich in antioxidants throughout the day, such as chili peppers and nuts for your libido, beets and spinach for increased blood flow, grass-fed beef for stamina, and red grapes and pumpkin seeds for increased testosterone levels.
Once your libido's supercharged and blood is flowing freely, it's time to incorporate some performance-enhancing exercises. The focus should be on your core -- the abs, glutes, and pelvic muscles -- because, says Grimm, "a strong core will help increase stamina and can aid in the increased production of testosterone levels while also stabilizing the lower back region during exercise, sex, and any stamina-inducing activities."
Try out Grimm's Stamina and Stability Superset, consisting of six circuits with three exercises each. Take little to no rest between the exercises and a maximum of 30 seconds' rest between each circuit:
Circuit 1: Abs Kettlebell Russian twists x 40 Kettlebell standing woodchops x 20 Kettlebell overhead crunches x 30
Circuit 2: Upper/Lower Back Seated cable pulls x 15 Seated cable lower back extensions x 15 Kettlebell bent-over rows x 15
Circuit 3: Glutes/Quads Kettlebell forward lunges right x 15 Kettlebell forward lunges left x 15 Kettlebell goblet squat x 20