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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.

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.

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.

Cortisol

Cortisol, also known as a stress-hormone, is a hormone produced by the adrenal cortex and plays an important role in glucose regulation. Since nerve cells can only produce their energy from carbohydrates and glycogen, when blood sugar levels and glycogen stores are low, cortisol stimulates conversion of protein to carbohydrates. This results in increased protein breakdown and it inhibits protein synthesis, effectively breaking down muscle tissue to produce carbohydrates. Cortisol is secreted during times of stress but high intensity resistance exercise stimulates cortisol production as well. Since resistance exercise also stimulates testosterone and growth hormone production, this is not a negative effect, since these more than counter the influence on hypertrophy of cortisol. In fact, it is believed that cortisol plays an essential role in remodeling muscle tissue after training.