anabolic hormone Archives - Fitness Science | Fitness Science Fitness Science

Tag Archives: anabolic hormone

Effects of training order

(12-16-2012) Strength training is a very effectiveEffects of training order on testosterone means to increase concentrations of hormones like testosterone and cortisol. These hormones are believed to be one of the important factors responsible for training related adaptations in our muscles. Many athletes are therefore interested in ways to optimise the production of these hormones. A common question is what order of training leads to optimal results? Performing strength training first followed by endurance training or vice versa? Scientists from the University published an article this month investigating the hormonal effects of training order in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. So what is better for muscle growth: Cardio followed by strength training or strength training followed by cardio? Find out below.

Effects of Strongman Training on Testosterone Levels

(03-22-2013) Training to increase muscle Strongman trainingmass is usually done in the gym performing well known exercises such as the bench press or squat or equivalent machines. Athletes interested in increasing strength and power such as football, wrestling, rugby and basketball players are said to greatly benefit from Strongman training. Strongman training incorporates compound movements such as pulling and pressing oddly shaped objects such as stones, sleds, keg barrels, tractor tires and trucks. An important factor in training for muscle mass is an increased testosterone production following a training session. To determine if Strongman training is an effective way to increase muscle mass, researchers from New York conducted the following study investigating the effect of Strongman training on testosterone levels.

Squat vs. Leg Press: Effects on Testosterone, Growth Hormone and Cortisol

(Originally posted on 22-04-2014) WhetherSquat vs leg press training with free weights is more effective than training on machines has been an ongoing debate and both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. To see which has the largest effects on our hormones scientists of the University of North Texas started a study on the effects of two of the most popular leg exercises: the squat vs leg press.

Effects of Amino Acid Supplementation and Resistance Exercise on Muscle Adaptation

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to investigate and evaluate the effects of amino acid supplementation in combination with resistance exercise on muscle hypertrophy and strength. The mechanisms of different processes in protein turnover on which amino acid supplementation has an effect are explored. Amino acid supplementation in combination with resistance exercise increases serum IGF-1 concentrations, decreases testosterone concentrations and leaves myostatin expression unchanged. These processes increase mRNA translation, which results in an increase in hypertrophy and, if resistance training intensity is high enough, in increases in strength. In the end it seems that although not all effects of amino acid supplementation are positive for protein synthesis, the net effect is an increase in protein synthesis.

How to increase muscle mass effectively

One of the most important reasons for many men to train is to increase their muscle mass and look more athletic. To achieve this goal many different training methods have been tried and much research has been done to determine what works and what is less effective or even counter productive. This article will give you best tips science can give you on how to increase muscle mass effectively.

Rest Between Sets during Strength Training

The amount of rest between sets during resistance training is very important because it has a very large impact on the results of your training. When shorter rest periods are used, the training will result in adaptations directed at improving muscle endurance, whereas longer rest periods allow for higher training loads and therefore effective improvement of muscle strength and 1RM.

Local muscle endurance can be very important for athletes who participate in martial arts, and strength training is necessary to improve performance during power lifting events. The amount of rest is essentially determined by the goal of the training. The most used rest periods are between 30-90 seconds, and are a compromise between training for muscle endurance, strength and hypertrophy.

Longer rest periods, from 1,5 minute to 5 minutes allow higher training loads which increases strength. When very short rest periods are used, sometimes shorter than 10 seconds, muscular endurance improves and more growth hormone is produced.

Fact or fable: Strength training for children stunts growth

It is often said that strength training for children stunts growth and should not be done by them. Loading the bones in this way, would damage the growth plates (epiphyseal plates). These growth plates are responsible for the elongation of our bones and therefore our growth. This process eventually slows down and stops when we reach the end of puberty or early adulthood.

However, there is no research that indicates that the growth plates are damaged by performing strength training. Studies involving strength training for children show normal growth patterns and no adverse effects whatsoever. So strength training does not stunt growth in children.

Moreover, several studies even recommend it for its’ beneficial effects on children. Not only does it increase strength, but it improves children’s health and introduces them to a healthy habit at an early stage in life which they can easier maintain throughout their lives. It improves control over their body and strengthens muscles, tendons and bones.

There should be no fear of excessive muscle growth either since both boys and girls at a young age lack sufficient amounts of anabolic hormones such as testosterone to produce noticeable changes in muscle mass.

Before children start going to the gym, there are several considerations:

  1. The child should psychologically ready to perform strength training.
  2. The child should understand proper exercise techniques for each exercise.
  3. The child should understand safety concerns of each piece of exercise equipment.
  4. Train at a moderate intensity (12-15 repetitions per set), higher intensities are harder to perform correctly and don’t yield better results.
  5. The training equipment should fit the child properly.
  6. Proper guidance is often necessary.
  7. Training should be fun.

References:

-Zatsiorsky, V.M., Kraemer, W.J. (2006). Strength Training for Young Athletes.Science and Practice of Strength Training. Second Edition. USA. Human Kinetics.

Benefits of strength training

Strength training or resistance exercise,  is a very well Man dumbbellknown form of fitness training. Strength training is characterized by performing exercises for short amounts of time at moderate to high external resistances resulting in localized fatigue and possibly muscle failure. Strength training is mostly done by lifting free weights, performing exercises on special machines or by bodyweight exercises such as pushups.

 

Resistance training has always been associated with fitness training and is essential for bodybuilding. It has many benefits for those that are willing to put in the effort, so here are the advantages of strength training.

  1. It increases maximal strength:

One of the most obvious effects of strength training is that increases muscle strength. Aside from professional strength athletes such as weightlifters, this is a very important effect for elderly as well. A certain amount of strength is necessary to perform everyday tasks. When people are hindered during activities such as walking, cycling or walking a flight of stairs, they tend to avoid these activities. If this pattern is not broken, muscle strength decreases even further, hampering these activities even more. Proper strength training prevents or slows the decrease of muscle strength effectively.

  1. It increases muscle size:

One of the most important reasons many men go the gym is to increase the size of their muscles and look more athletic. One of the adaptations that are necessary to increase strength is to increase the size of the muscle. This effect is very pronounced in men, but far more subtle in women.

  1. It helps weight loss and prevents weight regain:

Weight loss is achieved by burning more calories than are taken in. Muscle mass is active tissue and requires a constant supply of energy even in rest. When muscle mass increases, energy expenditure in rest increases along with it, making it easier to burn fat and improve body composition. And when active, larger amounts of energy can be used than with less muscle mass. Adaptation and recovery following a strength training session increase resting metabolism, helping in weight loss. Lastly, strength training prevents the loss of muscle mass during weight loss, which often happens while dieting. It therefore also prevents the well known yo-yo effect.

  1. It rejuvenates the body:

Resistance exercise stimulates the production of several hormones that help maintain and repair the body’s cells. There is even some research indicating that it helps protect our DNA as we age, effectively delaying the physical aging process.

  1. It decreases risk on metabolic disorders and diseases:

Because resistance exercise increases the amount of active tissue, metabolism is increased and improved. The body needs to optimize carbohydrate metabolism to adapt to the training. This helps in preventing metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetes mellitus type 2 or can help decrease or reverse their symptoms.

  1. It decreases osteoporosis:

Bone tissue, like muscle tissue, is constantly remodeled. As we age, quality and density of our bones often decreases as a result of increasing inactivity. Resistance exercise stresses the bones, and will slow down or even reverse the development of osteoporosis. Because of the higher training intensity and greater loads placed on the bones it can be even more effective than aerobic exercise in this respect.

See also:

-Advantages of cardio training

 

Strength training makes women large and bulky

Fact or fable: Strength training makes women large and bulky

Strength training is often seen as a training form best suited for men
Strength training for women
that want to increase their muscle mass. Women often want to lose weight and certainly don’t want to look like bodybuilders. But does strength training make women large and bulky?

It is true that strength training also increases muscle mass in women, which can cause an increase in total body weight. However this increase will be rather small, because women produce far less muscle mass increasing hormones than men. Only when women have exceptional genetic potential to build muscle mass and perform large volume high intensity strength training will have large increases in muscle mass.

Women who want to lose weight would do well to regularly perform strength training, despite a possible increase in body weight. Strength training stimulates fat metabolism after training and an increase in muscle mass increases resting metabolism. An increased resting metabolism makes it easier to lose weight because even in rest the body needs more energy than before. Moreover, strength training exercises all muscle groups, which causes all muscles to remain firm and give the body a more athletic look.

Other effects of strength training that can be very important for women:

-Increase in bone density: Bones get stronger through strength training. Especially after the menopause bone density can decrease significantly. Strength training can prevent this to a large extent.

-Rejuvenation of body cells: Strength training stimulates the production of hormones in the body that aid the body’s cells with maintenance and recovery. This causes the cells to function better and age less quickly.

For women it is highly recommended to regularly perform strength training. It has many health benefits, but helps in weight loss and improving body composition as well. The fear of looking like a body builder is not necessary. Women don’t have the necessary hormone production to produce and maintain large amounts of muscle mass. Female bodybuilders do this by using anabolic steroids and other substances that stimulate muscle mass.

Split training or full body workout?

What is Most Effective for Muscle Growth: Split Training or Full Body Workout?

Increasing muscle mass and strength are important training goals for many people. Muscle hypertrophyNot only for cosmetic reasons but for health reasons as well, people seek to increase their muscle mass. A much used method to increase muscle mass more effectively, a process also known as hypertrophy, is using a split training program. In a split training program only a few muscle groups are trained every workout. This allows more exercises per muscle group which increases the training stimulus to the muscle compared with performing just one exercise per muscle group.

Unfortunately there has been little research comparing split training with a comparable full body workout up until now. However the following advantages and disadvantages are theoretically supported.

Advantages Split Training in comparison with Full Body Workout

-A stronger and more complete training stimulus per muscle group. As a result of combining multiple exercises in one training session, a larger part of the muscle is targeted which results in a larger number of muscle fibers that need to adapt.

-It allows for a higher training frequency. When the increase in muscle mass from a Full Body workout performed 3 times a week is not sufficient, it is a bad idea to perform this workout 4 times a week or more. This will not allow the muscle to recuperate and increase its’ size. A split training regimen, if designed properly, even allows daily training. While muscle groups that have been trained in a previous workout are allowed to recover.

Disadvantages compared in comparison with Full Body Workout

-It is less suitable for beginners. The training intensity is often too high for relatively untrained muscles. Moreover, most beginners will have a hard time reaching the necessary training intensity at all, since they still have to learn to activate their muscles to a larger extent. When they can’t reach the necessary training intensity, split training often offers few advantages.

-It requires a higher training frequency to train all muscle groups regularly. Ideally muscles are trained when they are fully recuperated and adapted to the previous training stimulus. For optimal results it is recommended to train every muscle group two times a week. When a split training is performed two times a week, the muscle will have recovered by the time it is trained again, but the training adaptations will probably have disappeared as well.

-Smaller increases in growth hormone and testosterone production. The increase in hormone production is strongly dependent on the amount of muscle mass that is active during training. Since split training targets a few muscle groups each training, the hormonal response on training is smaller. Recent studies have shown that this hormonal response is not a requirement of muscle growth. However, it is likely that growth hormone production has other beneficial effects, such as stimulating fat metabolism. A full body workout is probably more effective in this aspect.

Conclusion:

Using a split training regimen has both advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, no studies comparing both split training and full body workouts have been performed. However a split training allows for a higher training frequency and a more complete workout for each muscle group, while other muscle groups are allowed to recover.

References:

-Kraemer, W.J., Ratamess, N.A. Fundamentals of Resistance Training: Progression and Exercise Prescription. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2004, 36, 4, 674-688.

-Wescott, W.L. How Often Should Clients Perform Strength Training? ACSM’s Certified News 2010, 20, 2, 10-11.

When are you training too much?

Exercise normally stimulates the body to recover and through this process improve endurance, strength or other variables through super compensation. Well performed fitness training will increase growth hormone secretion, which stimulates recovery and rejuvenates tissue. A higher training frequency and training intensity normally results in better results. This is true up to a point. While it does not happen too often, it is possible to break down the body instead of improving performance by training too much.

This can occur when someone for example performs resistance exercise two times a day targeting the same muscle groups. This is rare however, since resistance exercise stimulates anabolic hormone production, such as growth hormone and testosterone, which stimulate recovery.

In addition the intensity of resistance exercise, when performed right, is too high to sustain for longer periods or very often because of muscle soreness. When performing cardiovascular exercise, one runs a greater risk of overtraining, because the total exercise duration is often longer and relative intensity is lower than resistance training. The longer duration increases cortisol production, a stress hormone which breaks down muscle for energy and inhibits testosterone production. The lower intensity does not stimulate growth hormone and testosterone production as much as resistance exercise.

So on the one hand, cardiovascular exercise can break down the body and inhibits recovery and on the other hand, not much growth hormone and testosterone is produced to stimulate recovery. As a result, people get weaker by training too much. In addition, the immune system is suppressed, increasing the risk of infection. This does not mean that cardiovascular exercise should be avoided altogether, it merely means that one should be wary of performing too much exercise without adequate rest. The negative effects of too much training can already occur by training 8-10 hours per week, which is normal for quite a few endurance athletes.

How does strength training increase muscle mass?

The increase in muscle mass due to resistance exercise is a result of several hormone mechanisms. High intensity resistance training increases hormone concentrations of testosterone, growth hormone and IGF-1. These hormones stimulate protein synthesis and therefore increase muscle mass.

Men naturally produce more testosterone and growth hormone and these levels rise more strongly than in women as a result of resistance exercise. In men testosterone seems to be the most important regulator hypertrophy in muscle mass, in women, who produce much less testosterone, this role is reserved for growth hormone.

The amount of these hormones produced depends on several factors, the amount of muscle mass active during training, training intensity and rest periods between series. When more muscles are activated during training, anabolic hormone levels rise. The same applies to higher training intensity and shorter rest durations.

References:

-Heyward, V.H. (2010). Designing Resistance Training Programs. Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription Sixth Edition. USA. Human Kinetics

Testosterone

Testosterone is an androgen (male sex hormone) that promotes the development of secondary male characteristics during puberty.  These include characteristics as a deeper voice, facial hair and an increase in muscle mass. Testosterone stimulates, directly (through testosterone receptors on muscle fibers), and indirectly, (through stimulating Growth Hormone production in the pituitary), hypertrophy. The increase in muscle mass caused by testosterone increases muscle strength. However this is not the only reason muscle strength increases. Testosterone can also bind with receptors on neurons (nerve cells), where it influences the production of neurotransmitter and the structure of nerve cells. Testosterone increases strength not only by increasing muscle mass but by improving muscle activation as well.

Testosterone is primarily produced in the testicles in men, and in the ovaries and adrenal glands in women. Men produce 15-20 times more testosterone than women, and the effect of different training protocols is greater on testosterone levels in men as well. In women, testosterone levels are hardly influenced by strength training or other forms of exercise, which partly explains the lower potential in women for increasing muscle mass.

In addition, an artificial form of testosterone (androgenic anabolic steroids) is used to stimulate muscle strength, hypertrophy and contraction speed, to increase performance in sports and athletic events. Most athletic organizations have banned the use of androgenic anabolic steroids and athletes who are caught using them risk suspension. Moreover, the use of androgenic anabolic steroids increases risk of developing cardiovascular disease and several forms of cancer.

References:

– Baechle, T.R., Earle, W.R. (2008). Endocrine Responses to Resistance Exercise. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. Third Edition. USA. Human Kinetics. -Wilmore, J.H., Costill, D.L., Kenney, W.L. (2008). Ergogenic Aids and Sport. Physiology of Sport and Exercise Fourth Edition. USA Human Kinetics.

Insulin

Insulin is an anabolic hormone which is responsible for transporting excess glucose from the blood into the cells. In healthy person’s blood glucose will rise after a meal rich in carbohydrates. When the blood glucose is high enough, insulin will be secreted from the pancreas’ beta-cells which will transport the glucose to other storage sites, such as the glycogen stores in the muscles or liver, or when those are filled, the fat cells in adipose tissue. It stimulates protein transport into body cells and therefore stimulates muscle hypertrophy. And in addition insulin inhibits the usage of fatty acids to generate energy as well, so the body temporarily depends more on glucose metabolism.

Growth Hormone

Growth hormone is produced in the anterior pituitary gland. The best known function of growth hormone is stimulating cell growth in almost all tissues, hence the name. Growth in children is regulated by growth hormone. In adults it still has many important functions, not the least of which are inducing muscle growth or hypertrophy, stimulating bone mineralization and increasing lipolysis or fat metabolism.