Weight Training, Testosterone, and PCa Implications?

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/1/2008 11:46 AM (GMT -7)   
I resumed weight (strength) training a few years ago for general health benefits and to remain active. Last year I turned 60 and am in better shape than when I was in my 20s or 30s. A younger friend of mine encouraged me and really pushed me with some of my routines. I'm using free weights and do deadlifts twice a week, pyramiding from 245 to 275 with declining reps. I've done a single of 300 lbs. Overall, I'm really pleased with my results and well being.

That having been said, I was referred to a urologist by my primary care guy, due to an increased PSA. It has gone from 2.1 in 2001, to 4.2 this year. The urologist did the dreaded DRE, found no nodules, just a slightly swollen prostate. I have no symptoms, just the elevated PSA.

The weight training aspect, though, has me wondering about the testosterone connection. I'm not a body builder but do read Men's Health magazine, and I've read articles about training in the morning on an empty stomach. It's supposed to increase testosterone production.

Assuming it does,

1) is it possible the last two PSAs were elevated due to the strength training?
2) if so, should I curtail the heavy stuff and just go for flexibility and tone?

I've also read conflicting articles regarding the testosterone-PCa connection. Some say that elevated testosterone increases the risk of PCa, others say it helps prevent it.

As a newbie to the world of the Prostate, your opinions and comments would be most welcome!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1463
   Posted 6/1/2008 12:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Bob,

First, I am not into weight training so haven't researched that aspect of your topic. However, the better shape you are in the better off you are. But you all ready know that.

You are right about the conflicting reports on the effect of testosterone on PCa. I was on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) before I got cancer and am back on it now after having surgery. My PSAs have all been zero and TRT gives me a good quality of life that I didn't have without it. My original urologist absolutely refused to let me go back on TRT so I found one that did.

Some of the folks on this forum have much more knowledge than I do and hopefully can shed more light on the subject.

Good luck...


Age 73. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2C Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Catheter out on 12/13/06.  Dry on 12/14/06.
Pathological stage: T2C N0 MX. Gleason 3+4.
50 mg Viagra + 1000 mg L-Arginine + .03 cc Trimix = Excellent Results
PSAs from  1/3/07 - 1/17/08 0.00. 
Next PSA test on 7/17/08
"Patience is essential, attitude is everything."

Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2249
   Posted 6/1/2008 12:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Good question.  I've been doing strength training for a decade and haven't seen anything in the literature about a connection between this and elevated PSA or prostate cancer.  I have seen some studies that connect  testosterone (not an Italian dish) with prostate cancer, but not anything to directly connect strength training and prostate cancer. 
And any increases in testosterone gained by weight lifting seem to be fairly minimal.  The health benefits from strength training far  outweigh any prostate cancer risk based on testosterone increase.  For peace of mind, you may want to have your testosterone level checked next time your in to see your physician. 
The more I read the more I am convinced that the biggest connection is sheer genetics.  Other things, like diet, play significant roles, but bad genes are the trump card.  We need to develop a vaccine against this male scourge so our sons and grandsons won't be cursed with prostate cancer!

Age 59  PSA quadrupled in 1 yr (0.6 to 2.5) 
DRE neg  1 of 12 biopsies pos (5%) 
Open surgery June 2006 
Cancer confined to prostate (1 pea-sized area) 
T2a  Gleason 5 (3+2)  PSA's < 0.1  

Post Edited (TimG) : 6/1/2008 1:44:01 PM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/1/2008 1:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, guys. I think I'll continue with my routine.

Tim, you are probably correct regarding genetics. There seems to be a corollary with family hx of breast cancer and the more I'm reading, prostate genetics are most likely critical.

The odd thing is that for us Boomers, I can't answer the doc's question: do you have a family history of PCa? For one thing, my parent's generation didn't talk about things openly as we do now. For another, PSA testing didn't exist 30 years ago. I don't know if they even did DREs back then. And besides, my grandfathers died when I was very young. So I can't answer the question.

I suggested to the urologist that I get another PSA in six months and see how it looks. After reading a lot of the postings here and elsewhere, I'm inclined to do the Watch and Wait for a little while. I'm not inclined to go through the biopsy.

Hope you guys have a great recovery.


Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 6/1/2008 2:16 PM (GMT -7)   


I am not aware of a relationship between high testosterone and high PSAs, although testosterone can add fuel to existing PCa.

Keep in mind that many young men have very high testosterone levels and very low PSAs.

Just my opinion, of course, but I would suggest that you have another PSA done much sooner than 6 months out...perhaps 1 to 2 months from when the most recent one was done.

MOST prostate cancers are slow growing....but NOT all of them....so I would err on the side of caution.

Just my two cents, for what it is worth.


Danman Bob, Born 1951
Nerve-sparing, open prostate surgery November 13, 2007
Gleason score 9, PSA 14; Biopsy result - 9 of 12 sticks showed cancer
Post-op pathology stated that cancer was confined to the prostate
Unrelated surgery January 2008 delayed incontinence recovery, which is now showing good signs of improvement (fraction of a pad a day as of late April 2008)
100 MG Viagra 3 times a week beginning December 2007
Osbon Erec-Aid Esteem manual pump for therapy beginning mid-February 2008
30 MG papaverine/1 MG phentolamine bimix injections beginning late April 2008
Five week post-op PSA 0.2, five month post-op PSA 0.1, next test August 2008

big island
New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/23/2008 12:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I, too, am very interested in learning if there is a relationship between heavy weightlifting and a response, so to speak, by the prostate. My experience is that my PSA nearly doubled from 2.7 to 4.8 in one year...and my family doc sent me to a urologist. The Uro doc, after about a 4 second DRE, said, "you're prostate is not normal". He continued by saying it was harder on one side. He needed to do a biopsy. I am scheduled for such in less than two weeks.

Here's my issue along with my stats: I'm a life-long lifter, now 64 y.o., but lifting heavy (for me) in the gym most every morning. I do deadlifts, squats, leg raises (hamstrings), and leg presses three times a week, and I have been blasting with whey protein each day (mixing it into my juicings). (Lately I have been consuming a lot of flax, too.). Now.... I wonder if heavy lowerbody lifting could strain, in some fashion, the prostrate, and cause it to elevate PSA production. I sure hope so, because I cannot believe that I have a prostrate that is ....well, you know.... But I must follow thru with the biopsy anyway.

And how about super whey protein consumption? Any thoughts out there about mega-protein and prostates?

But mainly, are there words out there folks about heavy lifting affecting lower-body parts? Makes sense to me. I'd think that with the world of body-builders out there, and powerlifters, too, that something would be known about this area of male 'stuff'. And, for the records, there are not steroids in question here (never used), nor is testosterone an issue (readings are okay). Just that dang PSA and a 'funny' prostrate.
-- thanks, Big Is.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 328
   Posted 9/23/2008 1:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I am prime example of genetics. Father, Two uncles on mother side, and brother had it as well. I am curious if increase in testorane increase chances of reoccurrance. My advice is to get a biopsy rather be safe....LIVESTRONG
Age Dx 37, 7/2008
First PSA : 4.17 5/2008
Second PSA After 2 weeks of antibiotics : 3.9 6/2008
DRE: Negative 5/2008
Biopsy : 6 out 12 Postive all on right side, Gleason 7 (3+4).
Bone Scan/CAT Scan: Clear 7/2008
Cystoscope: Normal 7/2008
Prostate MRI: Normal 7/2008
Da Vinci Surgery 7/2008
PostOp: T2c (On Both sides), margins clear, seminal clear, nodes, clear. Gleason 6(3+3).
First PostOp PSA 9/2008: <0.01
2nd PSA 12/2008: Praying for <0.01

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 847
   Posted 9/23/2008 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Big Is:

Even if it does turn out that you have PCa (let's hope you don't!), I don't think your lifting is a factor. I am not a weight-lifter, and never have been -- but am a walker. I don't follow any particular diet. My numbers are similar to yours, age 63, PSA 5.7.
Age 63. Other than cancer, in good health; BMI 20
Pre-op: No symptoms; PSA 5.7; Gleason 4+5=9; cancer in 4 of 12 cores
7 March 2008, RRP, non nerve sparing
Two nights in hospital; catheter and staples out after 7 days
Continent, no pads needed from the get-go
Post Op: Stage pT2 M- N-; clear margins and lymph nodes; Gleason 4+4=8; prostate weight: 37gm
6-week PSA: 0 

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 270
   Posted 9/23/2008 5:48 PM (GMT -7)   
There is an obvious correlation between testesterone to PC.  This of course is why HT is used to stop the growth of cancer, but I don't know the same can be said to weight lifting.
I can only relate my circumstances.  I also have been a weight trainer from way back.  I lifted consistently in my 20's quit in the late 20's and began again at around 40.  I have no one in my family with PC, thus the surprise when I ended up with it, but that said I have no reason to blame it on weight lifting.  I do know that just prior to taking a Lupron shot a reading was taken on my testerone level, and the doc said it was average and even toward the low end - he was also taking into account my senior status.  So from that I would take it that my consistent use of weights had not made my testesterone increase.
With all the reading I have done, I have never read anything that would indicate a relationship tying weightlifting and prostate problems.  In fact I know a number of older weight lifters that have not and do not have prostate problems - only lucky me!
Age 61
Original data - pre-operation
PSA: 5.1
T1C clinical diagnosis, Needle biopsy - 10 cores, Gleason 7 = 3+4 in 1 core (40%), 7 cores Gleason 6 = 3+3 ranging from 5% to 12%
All scans negative
Lupron administered 4/9/2008 for 4 months (with idea I would undergo external beam radiation followed by seed implants - then I changed my mind).
Robotic DiVinci surgery - Dr. Fagin (Austin) May 19th
Post operative - pathology
pT2c NX MX
Gleason 3+4
Margins - negative
Extraprostatic extension - negative
seminal vesicle invasion - uninvolved
1st Post PSA .04

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 276
   Posted 9/23/2008 6:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I also believe that prostate Ca is primarily genetic, with the undeniable environmental/lifestyle risks. I seriously doubt that weight training or any other form of physical exercise within reason could raise testosterone levels to a hazardous level, if that was the case, professional athletes and the like would be so covered with hair they would look like cavemen!! That being said, however, pCa is a testosterone fueled cancer, that is the reason HT and in the extreme, castration work to slow it, due to the testosterone deprivation to the cancer cells. Your PSA could be elevated due to chronic prostatitis or BPH, both of which could result in prostate enlargement. Definitely worth checking into further and for sure you should continue to monitor.
46 you when diagnosed, now 47
Pre-Op PSA 9.9
1 of 12 cores positive, Gleason 3+3
DaVinci on 9/5/2007
Post-Op Gleason 3+6, Negative Nodes and Margins
Less than 1% of prostate involved with CA
3 Month PSA 0.01, 6 Month PSA 0.01, 9 Month PSA 0.01
Incontinence resolved 9/15/2007, one day after cath removal
ED showing significant improvement.
Cialis 5 mg every night.
Success with BiMix

Steve Freides
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/13/2013 7:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Forgive me for replying to a several-years-old thread; I'm new here and found this thread via a Google search, and I've just registered myself.

I think - and I'd love to see it studied - that there is a relationship between heavy weight lifting and high PSA, and I believe a lifter's high PSA number is far less likely to be indicative of cancer. Given what I have read about PSA, it seems reasonable to me that, if you are regularly putting more pressure on your prostate by pressurizing your midsection during heavy lifting, you are more likely to find a higher amount of PSA in your blood.

That's my theory, for what it's worth.

I am here because I am the recent recipient of a prostate biopsy after a PSA of between 6 and 7 at a recent annual physical. My father's PSA was over 10 and he never had prostate cancer. I'm 58 years young, a competitive powerlifter in the 148 lb. weight class. The biopsy results were negative - no cancer. My DRE and subsequent ultrasound revealed what my general physician described as a "squishy" prostate that was about 10% larger than expected but with no lump, bumps, etc. Everything else about me, including urinary and sexual function, has always been good.

Thanks for reading - if anyone knows if this has ever been studied, I'd love to read more about it.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2016
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/6/2016 3:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Another three-year bump (sorry) and MY FIRST POST. I await biopsy results following finally giving in when a second MRI (first roughly at the time of the last post in this thread) showed a shadow rated 4/5 on the probability scale.

All I have to add here is that when I (dead-)lifted the day after the biopsy the haematuria, which had started to die down, was back in spades. QED really on some impact on PSA. Does it excuse away my "9.5 - 11.2 depending who asks"? Probably not, so I am realistic on the results.

Good luck to all the courageous men on here; I am humbled in that if I have been "caught", it is very early.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 333
   Posted 10/6/2016 3:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Greetz and pleased to meet you.

I am extremely athletic, run 50 miles a week, practice Taekwondo (45 years, advanced black belt) and do weight training (among other things). I also got prostate cancer. Details below in my signature.
65 yo, 2012 PSA 11, "bump" with DRE, biopsy 11/12 12/12 cores with acinar adenocarcinoma, Da Vinci RP 12/27/2012. 35 gram tumor, 2 EC ext., 1 sem. ves. + marg T3b N0 M0, G7(4+3). 2 week post-RP PSA 0.2, started Firmagon ADT, catheter removed. Pads for 3 months, then done. 3 months post-op EBRT prostate bed and interior pelvic lymph nodes ~ 80 Gy/40 ses. Last Eligard 10/14, therapy ended 4/30/2015
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