Does masturbation stunt muscle growth?

Sensitive subject, often asked.

So, will masturbation stunt your progress in building muscle?


From the scientific standpoint:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but using Anabolic Steroids is almost the same thing as ingesting straight-up testosterone. This causes muscle growth beyond what would physically be possible, while on the other hand – our body ceases to produce testosterone in the testes (aka stops sperm production), because it has more than enough testosterone in the blood coming from an external source.

The contrary, I believe, is also true. During ejaculation, the body empties its reserves, and the body focuses on refueling the body. This cause a stagnation of muscle repair and muscle building as the body recruits available testosterone towards sperm production instead of muscle construction.

Unfortunately, there are few studies done with this. Here is one, nonetheless: (Click here for Reference Link)

In addition to the latter, masturbation often results in decreased energy and motivation, lowered self-esteem, and the inverse of fulfillment and happiness.

In short, ejaculation empties the body of reserves, thus the body focuses the testosterone on making sperm instead of muscle-building, stunting your growth temporarily; also, leaves the body unenergized and unmotivated for the workout.


Doesn’t masturbation reduce risk of prostate cancer by 15% studies show? Some even show up to 34%. Studies funded by men who want to justify their actions, of course. If you’re looking to decrease your chance of getting prostate cancer, here’s a few solutions that, if combined, will decrease it by up to 99% without any drawbacks!

“a large epidemiological study by Harvard researchers found that men who ate at least 10 servings a week of tomato-based foods reduced their risk for the disease by 45% ” (Harvard, 2003)

“A study of over 40,000 men revealed that those who consumed the most tomato-based foods reduced their total risk of prostate cancer by 35 percent and their risk of advanced prostate cancer by 50 percent.” (Giovannucci, 2002)

“men who reported vigorous activity for at least three hours per week had a 61% lower risk of prostate cancer-specific death.” (Giovannucci, 2011)

“In one study of 525 men with prostate cancer, those who consumed the most zinc were shown to have 74% reduction” (Bortoli, 2009)


From the ethical standpoint:

Usually, if not always, masturbation is supplemented with pornographic imagery whether physical or formed in the mind. Pornography forms an image in the mind that reaches beyond all physical realities. It creates the picture of perfection of satisfaction.

Up to 70% of men are typical porn viewers. Porn creates such an image in the mind that nobody can fulfill or satisfy – part of which causes erectile dysfunction. Porn is one of the leading causes of divorce and break-up in relationships – no girl can satisfy what the mind has formed. In today’s world 90% of 8-15 year olds have viewed porn online (most while doing homework) and another 80% of 15-17 year olds have exposure to hard-core pornography.

Shocking as it is, 87% of all pedophile culprits said they have done what they did because of something they saw and couldn’t control their desire. Insane, you say? Can you control your desire for not watching porn? If you don’t deal with this problem, no need to continue reading [my word will be directed towards watchers].

What’s so bad about watching porn?

Porn has been confirmed as one of the leading causes of rape. But you wouldn’t indulge in rape, would you? Yet, you do daily – most, if not all, of pornographic videos sexually assault, hurt, and rape the “actors”.

“It should not be assumed that violence occurs only in the making of violent pornography. For example, although many people would classify the movie Deep Throat as non-violent pornography because it does not portray rape or other violence, we now know from Linda (Lovelace) Marchiano’s two books (Ordeal, 1980, and Out of Bondage, 1986), as well as from her public testimony (for example, Public Hearings, 1983), that this film is in fact a documentary of her rape from beginning to end.”


For more information on the degradation of viewing pornography and how horrible of an act you are supporting and indulging in by being a “viewer” [I'm not even speaking about those who pay for it], please visit the above link.

Also, please watch a first-hand testimony of somebody who was in the business and her inhumane mistreatment:

To finish off, I’d like to say one last thought.

When Michelangelo was starting to paint unclad people, his teacher said to him,

  • “Why are you doing this?”
  • He said, “I want to see man as God sees man,”
  • and the teacher said to him, “But you’re not God.”

You are not God.

Keep your integrity, and don’t rob others of theirs.


17 Responses to “Does masturbation stunt muscle growth?”

  1. a) you are awesome and inspiring and have helped me tremendously.

    b) I wish you had researched more for this article. Scientifically/Medically sex (and or masturbation) is actually beneficial for your health in many many ways, but the main one being that it diminishes the probability of prostate cancer. Each time you ejaculate (via sex or masturbation) you empty your prostate or toxins and carcinogens. Even though there are many other benefits, as a guy, that benefit for me is kind of an important one. I know this is your blog and your personal point of view about God and life, but articles like this should be less biased and better researched.

    c) again, no offense. your progressions have helped me tremendously and I am grateful.

    thanks man.

  2. @bobc

    The cost of those benefits is beyond anything a man can afford. Would you sell your soul for better health?

    Would you demoralize yourself and rob others of integrity for temporary self-fulfillment?

    Sorry, but if you want decreased chances of prostate cancer, eating healthy and exercising lowers the chances of you getting it by 90%…

  3. Hey buddy, you are quite an inspiration :)
    I agree with your views about masturbation and I am glad I haven’t done it for more than an year but I am still struggling with porn :(
    Besides what do you think of nightfall?

  4. @Pavel and bobc…

    The body has the ability to “detox” itself pretty well if you don’t give it reasons not to…unfortunately many males (and females) have such badly dysfunctional structures in the modern world that their bodies are not typically capable of “normal” detoxification…it’s not something that’s novel or needing to be aided…it’s a natural part of our bodies function, whether sexually active or not.

    Pavel…I just ran across your site via a youtube video…I’ll be sending you a message soon. You’re a blessing from what I can see thus far, but I’d like to look through more of your commentary, etc…before I comment any further.

    Grace and Peace to you

  5. Hi Pavel,

    Big fan here. I completely understand your point of view and I’ll admit that the feeling of guilt after engaging in masturbating to porn is one of the most depressing feelings there is. For me personally I have the feeling of utmost regret every single time. However, any sexual activity I engage in with the woman I truly love doesn’t result in the any sort of guilt.

    Regardless of the accuracy of those studies, ejaculation is a natural process of the human body. How else would you explain wet dreams? I know from personal experience that I have wet dreams when I go for more than a month or so without any form of sexual activity. Or when I am under a lot of stress. Lately I have been struggling with depression and have had almost no sexual thoughts, but last week I had to wake up in the middle of the night to change my boxers. And what’s surprising is that neither of my dreams were in any way sexual.

    I guess my point is that while I agree with you that pornography is bad and damaging to the mind and soul the act of ejaculation is a natural part of being human and designed by God. At least that’s what I have concluded based on my experience.

    I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

    Best regards.

  6. Will masturbation stunt your muscle growth? The correct answere is: no, it will not. Wether you get your orgams from sex with a woman, married or not, from a man, or from masturbation will not be relevant to your body, and comparing masturbation with use of anabolic steroids is without any reason, because like you said, steroids come from outside and the body adjusts (reduces) its own production to normalize the level.
    If what you said was true, sex in general would stunt muscle growth across the board. Also, producing sperm doesnt “consume” the testosteron that would go to fuel muscle production, males produce sperm all the time.
    There has been a substantil amount of research on this subject, you just have to go and look it up. Biology books, google and wikipedia help. You will also find how orgams affect your testosterone level.
    As to how there is an “ethical” component about “masturbation reducing muscle growth” is a mystery to me, since it is not connected in the slightest. But my open mind lets me conclude that you want to give a negative opinion about masturbation, and therefore abuse this subject for it, perfectly combined with a conquest against porn, which often goes hand in hand with masturbation.
    No wonder that if you spread that opinion, people will feel bad about doing it, as you claim. They should not, because its natural, safe, healthy ( and can be dont without feeling shameful or unhappy, if you accept it as something nice.
    Also, porn as the CAUSE of rape? Just compare it to the battery of child abuse cases commited in the catholic church by priests, and pick your lifestyle.
    Dont mix true science with religiously motivated, poorly researched opinions. People might actually read what you write here and believe it. Be responsible.

  7. Hi Pavel,

    I greatly appreciate your views on masturbation and pornography. Both of them ruined me in my teens. I spent countless hours wasting away. My relationships suffered as well. I recently quit and feel great. I am going to start working out as well.

    I am posting because I think it would do you a great benefit to include this science in your article:

    It is a TED talk talking about the dangers of porn.

    Peace brother.

  8. Pavel, when I first saw this topic, I assumed you were going to defend masturbation like many weight lifting gurus do. I was pleased to see you took another stance.

    Of course, a lot more scientific study should be done on this subject — not just on how ejaculation relates to muscle growth but, also, to overall physical health.

    In the East, seminal fluid is considered the most valuable of all bodily fluids (bone marrow is next in line). Ayurveda, the world’s oldest health modality from India (dating back to 7,000 BC) says that it takes 30-90 drops of blood to produce one drop of semen. This is why sexual moderation and celibacy is so prized in the East.

    Semen produces life — it’s arrogant of science to think they have decoded all it’s value based on micro-nutrients found in a lab.

    Of course, biochemically speaking there’s no difference between masturbation and sexual intercourse. Emotionally, psychologically and spiritually speaking there are obvious differences, I believe. But I think the question is really does ejaculation affect muscle growth — not masturbation in particular.

    Even Socrates taught that a married man and woman should not have sex more than once a month because of the harm it did to the male.

    In Ayurveda they teach it takes about 32 days to replace semen. Essentially, that men have their own “monthly cycle” just like women. It takes a month before a man is “fully fertile.” Ejaculating more than once a month puts a major strain on the body, so the ancient doctors of the East have taught.

    I believe this is also why many people, having sex everyday, are not able to get pregnant. But, when they go and adopt a kid, get to busy for daily (or even weekly) intercourse, they suddenly do become pregnant.

    Such beliefs were common knowledge in the Orient — and would most likely have been part of the culture Jesus lived in (which, of course, is also part of the Orient). The vital essence (or “white blood” as many warriors called it) was considered to be the essence of the male power. Bodyweight exercises were actually used as a means to “transmute” that energy away from merely reproductive expression.

    The 32 day cycle would also explain why nocturnal emissions (wet dreams) happen if a male has not ejaculated. Some would say this supports monthly relations with ones spouse; since the semen will be lost anyway. Also, woman are infertile for about one week a month. So if a couple does not wish to have children they can time their monthly intercourse quite easily and enjoy natural birth control.

    I’ve heard other doctors from the East say that if the male consumes certain foods like milk, rests up and is in good health, intercourse twice a month is fine and healthy. Other Ayurvedic doctors go as far as saying twice a week is okay; but still admit once a month is optimal. As Socrates said, it sort of depends how health you want to be and how long you want to live.

    And if they do wish to have children, then waiting the full 32 days would allow the male to produce high quality semen, helping to ensure conception of a healthy baby.

    Of course, I agree with your other points about masturbation. It’s also far more “available” than even marital relations — so typically more depleting. I just think, from a biochemical point of view, we need to look at ejaculation in general.

    As far nocturnal emissions go, it’s my understanding that they are mainly prostrate fluid and not actual semen. The body knows when the prostate needs cleaning out — and will do this naturally at night, without depleting the body of semen. If this is true, then avoiding masturbation would actually allow the body to better maintain a healthy prostate.

    Furthermore, there is evidence to show that frequent ejaculation overworks the prostate and leads to cancer and infection.

    Personally, I think prostrate cancer risk can be avoided by avoiding grains and not consuming too much sugary foods.

    You may also like to read this article I wrote a while back on this subject:

    Does Sex Help Men Put On Muscle?

    If you’d be interested in reading more studies or Eastern medical texts on this subject, let me know. You can reach me at

    Thanks for taking the unpopular stance on this subject.

  9. Hello Pavel thank you for your great videos and about this interesting topic. I wanted to ask you do you ever masturbate? Or do you just not watch porn? I also wanted to ask if you don’t watch porn or masturbate how do you control your urges? I myself tried to stop masturbating and I ended up masturbating after a few weeks so please if you could give me any tips that would be great thanks.

  10. To those who say that ejaculation drains the body of testosterone or “energy” I have news for you: it’s perfectly possible for a man to have an orgasm and yet withold ejaculation. Takes practice, but I can do it and so can many others. So masturbation (or sex)is just another physical activity – no harm done.

    That being said, Pavel: I admire your commitment to clean and healthy living. I’ll be reading your site with great interest.

  11. Tough question and great answer, thanks for that, I totally agree. By my own experience I can tell that masturbation slows muscle growth. The other thing is lack of motivation, as said by Louis C.K. “After that you sat to yourself What’s wrong with me?”. Other thing – heavyweight boxers often give up on sex few weeks before important fights, so I think that without masturbation you keep testosterone in your blood, which causes muscle growth. So again – thanks for your youtube channel and this website, great work!

    By the way scientists should do a research about this, as masturbation is no longer a “taboo”, at least in the Internet ;)

  12. i love to masturbate and i see no negatives. in fact it actually helps me im angry or am aroused.

  13. Hi everyone, hope you find interesting: abstinence increased subjective sexual arousal and the quality of the orgasm, as well as basal testosterone concentrations. To read the full article follow the link

  14. How about y’all just stop it. Its really as simple as that. If u still dont get please think about all the beneficial things u’ve done in a day everyday before sleep. U’ll know what i mean

  15. I have a few comments to make about this piece, some of them are philosophical criticisms.

    Firstly, it is indeed more difficult to gain muscle mass with lowered levels of testosterone, post-ejaculation. Studies disagree on to what extent, but whether negligible or overtly noticeable, there is an affect. However, some of your conclusions about this aren’t very convincing. Also, you haven’t really addressed how this is really significant.

    Let me first start this off by saying, as my father would say, “I don’t have a dog in this fight.” I like to work out and I avoid masturbation and too much sex simply because I notice I am more productive without it, and my body responds better to my exercise regimen. I’ve exercised after masturbating before, and usually I do fewer reps, less weight and my stamina has been negatively affected. So now that I have perhaps convinced you that am not composing this as a mindless defense of ejaculation, here are my criticisms:

    Your general underlying premise is very odd, to say the least. On the one hand, pornography is bad because of social ramifications. However, you do not bother to look into the social ramifications of a society that has higher levels of testosterone. Instead, you remind the viewer that cultures that have been more warlike and aggressive valued sex-deprivation in order to achieve the goal of structuring males into an effective and easily manipulated militaristic force.
    In fact, we find that species that engage in more sexual activity (such as Bonobo apes) are less aggressive than species which engage in relatively less sex. So there is a possible inverse relationship between sex and violence. Your own emphasis on the aggressive outcomes from a lack of ejaculation seems to support this, but you never bother looking into whether this is good or bad–as you did in detail with pornography.

    On the subject of pornography and your belief that more militaristic and driven males are better for a society: rape was quite common in societies where males were discouraged from masturbating or having sex. Sex is one of the most powerful controls of a male, and if you can control it (as done in the military model) it opens the door to a great many positive things, but also some negative side affects. I’m unsure if the society you want is actually ideal in the true moral sense. I mention morality here because you employ morality in your argument.

    Furthermore, although you accuse pornography of being tantamount to “rape,” lack of sexual activity can just as easily contribute to rape cases, as increased testosterone levels are linked with increased sex drive, and increased productivity–which in some males means an increased tendency to want to dominate another person (this is evolutionary). Masturbation can be a very healthy outlet to sexual drive. In many instances, pornographic material is more likely to assuage cases of rape. I would much rather live in a society where men masturbate when they need to, instead of raping girls as was done in the “good ol’ days” and in the cultures/institutions you mention as somewhat admirable.

    There have been several studies done in psychology on whether sexual deprivation does make a society more prone to violence. One such was a case study on how polygamy makes a society less productive. Societies such as this ensure there are more males which do not have the prospect of having a female, so they resort in more risk taking and dangerous actions (such behaviors exist to ensure that males pass on their genes). In these societies, many of which are Islamic, masturbation is not viewed favorably. This leads to a populace with heightened levels of testosterone, high sex drives, and these are not safe conditions for males to live in. Although sex-deprivation and low sexual prospects do contribute to religious adherence. From a statistical analysis, polygamous societies simply are not as productive as monogamous ones. This is because there is greater sexual opportunity in monogamous societies, just less sexual variation in the context of matrimony.

    Also, we need to clarify pornographic material. Are we talking about Playboy models that are definitively not examples of rape (quite the contrary, these models are typically industrious and driven women who are paid well)? Or are we talking about extreme (negative) forms of pornography that actually have less of a market-share than the non-rape and tame forms (like Playboy)? Is it an unrealistic standard to look at pictures of women?
    Also, keep in mind pornography is nothing new. If it isn’t naked women, it will be clothed women. The sex drive is very adaptable and can work with what it is given. Women were occasionally clothed in ancient Greek and Roman pornography, for example. Not to Victorian standards, but they were often clothed while depicted in sexual situations.

    Also, you need to clarify your problem with mental images. If pictures cease to exist, the imagination is still there. Even if you feel you proved beyond a doubt that a picture of a naked woman (or man, as it were) is rape, you have not proved that having an imagination is rape. For that matter, you did not discuss the “moral dilemma” of wet-dreams either–whereby your subconscious conjures a sexual situation without your bidding, and your testosterone levels are decreased against your conscious will. I wonder who is being raped in that instance? (In fact, I find the longer I go without masturbating, my subconscious sex drive from increased testosterone is more likely to do this).

    To the contrary, imagination is quite healthy. Imagination is why you have the tools at your disposal to have a piece such as the above reach as wide of an audience as it has. When you suggest humans (but specifically just men) should suppress their imagination when it comes to thinking about the opposite sex, you tread a very fine line indeed. We do not currently know to what extent there is a relationship between sex drive (and the imagination this incurs) and productive imagination and its ability to create technology–among other things. It’s hard to deny that humans are a sexual creature and in many ways a product of their hormones. If I must appeal to a religious argument to make this point, it is perhaps because humans are endowed with the desire to “be fruitful and multiply.” I say this because I have to suspect whether some of the impetus for your bias is religiously motivated (although, Isaiah certainly does not speak positively of violence).

    You attempt to make the argument that masturbation is immoral because it is self-gratifying (omitting the fact that all sexual action decreases testosterone levels–including activity that satisfies a partner). If that is such a significant symptom of immorality, then it should be understood that violence is equally immoral–and the societies you list as “positive” reasons to abstain, don’t really make abstinence appear very moral in any sense other than the fact you do not personally like the idea of it (although it would be interesting to hear your opinion on female masturbation).

    Perhaps there is a reason we masturbate. Decrease in testosterone notwithstanding, a well formulated opinion should consider the natural order of humans in addition to the big picture.
    That said, there are some positive aspects of ejaculation other than decreasing a risk for prostate cancer. There is an increase in circulation and blood flow and positive physiological affects of arousal that tomatoes cannot emulate.
    In terms of masturbation, there is an argument that males do it with regularity because it is a side affect of a high sex drive caused by a high level of testosterone. Simply put, the longer you abstain, the more the body believes it has a reason to ejaculate. Obviously, if it is compulsive and constant this is different. But your argument focused less on compulsive masturbation and more on masturbation in general and the merits of strict abstinence.
    Furthermore, ejaculating expels old and undesirable semen. Regular masturbation (about once a week, not to be confused with compulsive masturbation) rids the body of semen that is not desirable for reproduction. This semen is much more likely to have deformities and be unhealthy, and replenishing semen is healthy and actually necessary for the most optimal offspring. It may interest you to know that if you have abstained from sexual acts that would induce an ejaculation, you actually should not attempt to have a child. You will be dealing with old, deformed sperm with genetic mutations that will potentially reach an egg and provide the chromosomes for a child. This is less than optimal.
    The desire to masturbate exists so that healthy semen is used in reproduction. One thing to take from this? If you want to have a child, find some way to replenish your semen beforehand.

  16. David Eduardo from Honduras!
    Still struggling with this. Thank you man, this really helps :).

  17. I’m sorry but some of this is just plain nonsense. Stating that it has been confirmed pornography leads to an increase in rape, is factually wide of the mark. One study reads:

    ‘Following the effects of a new law in the Czech Republic that allowed pornography to a society previously forbidden to access it allowed us to monitor the change in sex related crime that followed the change.’

    Link to original article:

    As found in all other countries in which the phenomenon has been studied, rape and other sex crimes did not increase.

    Of particular note is that this country, like Denmark and Japan, had a prolonged interval during which possession of child pornography was not illegal and, like those other countries, showed a significant decrease in the incidence of child sex abuse.’

    And a previous study, published in The Scientific American, reads:

    ‘Perhaps the most serious accusation against pornography is that it incites sexual aggression. But not only do rape statistics suggest otherwise, some experts believe the consumption of pornography may actually reduce the desire to rape by offering a safe, private outlet for deviant sexual desires.’

    link to original article:

    The evidence actually shows that from a social welfare perspective, porn causes no measurable harm. In fact, as porn viewing has soared, rates of syphilis, gonorrhea, teen sex, teen births, divorce, and rape have all substantially declined. If Internet porn affects society, oddly enough, it looks beneficial.

    Now I am not in any way, shape or form promoting the consumption of pornographic material, but if you’re going to make such final judgement calls and claims, it at least helps if facts rather than personal opinion are used.

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