For athletes or those wishing to increase lean body mass, hormonal responses of the human body to resistance training are very important. These responses are very tightly linked to the type of exercise performed, the intensity of exercise (weight), nutritional variables and the rest intervals. By manipulating some of these variables in your workout, you can effectively target specific hormonal responses.
Let’s take testosterone first. Why is increasing blood levels of testosterone important for athletes or those wishing to gain muscle? Testosterone is the primary anabolic hormone that interacts with skeletal tissue, resulting in tissue growth (LBM gain) and enhancement of force potential (strength). This is usually seen as a good thing by those involved in resistance training for athletetic performance. So, to increase blood levels of testosterone by resistance training, these four manipulations to your workout should be made:
1) Focus on large muscle group exercises- deadlift, power clean, squats.
2) Use heavy resistance (6-10 rep max)
3) Use a high volume of exercise (through several sets or multiple exercises)
and 4) Take short rests (30-60 seconds)
Next, we’ll tackle growth hormone. Increasing growth hormone secretion is beneficial because GH can increase protein synthesis, increase collagen synthesis, stimulate cartilage growth, and enhance immune function. Basically, an increase in muscle mass, connective tissue, healthy immune system response, and a greater expression of strength are the benefits. Now, to increase the secretion of GH in response to weight training, do these things:
1) Use workouts with higher lactate concentrations (high intensity exercise with 10 rep max) with at least three sets.
2) Take short rests (less than one minute)
3) Supplement with carbohydrates and proteins just before AND after your workout.
With attention to these details when designing your workouts, you can essentially create a blueprint for “targeting” certain hormonal responses, responses that can benefit any athlete or trainee attempting to better performance or enhance their physique.
Emerge Fitness Training
St. Charles, Missouri