Optimizing your hormone levels - NATURALLY.
Analysis of anabolic and catabolic hormones
Kovacs, B.S, CSCS, ACSM HFI
Editor of High Performance Training
The aim of any serious resistance training is to promote tissue growth by increasing the amount of anabolic hormones released into the body. These include: testosterone, insulin, growth hormone and IGF (Insulin-Like Growth Factors). Catabolic hormones on the other hand, are the enemy of resistance training. These types of hormones include: cortisol and progesterone, which contribute to the breakdown of muscle protein, to be used for glucose (energy) synthesis. (1)
Hormones are secreted during and after resistance training. Muscle remodeling takes place due to these hormonal secretions, and our aim is for these hormonal changes to be of the anabolic variety. In the situation where you had a heavy training session, catabolic actions in the muscles may occur as a result of the inability of anabolic hormones to bind to the receptors.(2)
Examination of the main hormones involved in resistance training and the ways in which to increase their anabolic output, while also limiting the role of catabolic hormones, will help when determining the appropriate training program.
To increase testosterone levels, the following NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association, USA) suggestions should be incorporated into your training program.
-Testosterone levels are typically highest in the morning and drop with
time during the day. This makes gains in the morning easier, but if you train
in the afternoon your total testosterone levels will be higher throughout
the entire day, since resistance training according to the below guidelines
actually increase testosterone output.
GROWTH HORMONE (Anabolic)
The major physiological uses of Growth Hormone are:
The largest increases in GH levels are seen while undertaking the following
training guidelines. (4)
INSULIN-LIKE GROWTH FACTORS, IGFs (Anabolic)
Some of the physiological functions of epinephrine include:
As you can see it is not easy to obtain an anabolic state while limiting
cortisol. To reduce the release of cortisol a quality diet of carbohydrates
and protein before and after each workout is essential to help promote testosterone,
GH, IGF and Epinephrine levels. Always remember to vary your workout routine
in order to prevent the chronic catabolic responses that can occur when too
much cortisol is released, often in an overtraining state.
|The aim of any serious resistance training is to promote tissue growth by increasing the amount of anabolic hormones released into the body. These include: testosterone, insulin, growth hormone and IGF (Insulin-Like Growth Factors). Catabolic hormones on the other hand, are the enemy of resistance training. These types of hormones include: cortisol and progesterone, which contribute to the breakdown of muscle protein, to be used for glucose (energy) synthesis. (1)|
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1) Baechle T.R., & Earle R.W., eds. Essentials of Strength Training
and Conditioning, 2nd Ed. Human Kinetics. 2000. p.95
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