Saturday, November 5, 2011

TRAIN TO GAIN : Less Rest for a GH Surge?..Growth hormone release during training by Jerry Brainum

   A study presented at the NSCA conference by researchers from the University of Connecticut examined whether taking short rests between sets influences the release of growth hormone during exercise. The subjects were 10 bodybuilders with at least four years of training experience and 10 untrained but physically active men. The bodybuilders had previously trained on programs that featured short rests between sets. For the study both groups did six sets of 10 reps on the squat, resting two minutes between sets.

   Both the trained and untrained men showed similar resting GH levels, and both groups showed a significant rise in the hormone after the workout. The trained men, however, produced more lactic acid, which stimulates GH release during exercise. The ability to train at higher level of lactic acid release appears to enable more-experienced bodybuilders to produce a superior GH response to exercise.
    Recently, several studies have appeared that downplay the role of an exercise-induced anabolic hormone increase. According to these studies, the transitory increases in levels of growth hormone and testosterone after intense exercise doesn't appear to play as important a role in promoting gains in muscular size and strength as was previously believed. These researchers instead say that what's really important is the intensity level of the exercise and the force of muscular contractions, both of which promote an upgrading of muscle protein synthesis. It's the upgraded muscle protein synthesis resulting from exercise, rather than the rise in anabolic hormones, that is the key player in promoting gains in muscular size and strength. Or so say these researchers. What is undeniable, however, is the role of autocrine or intramuscular release of anabolic hormones induced by exercise. These include two variants of  insulinlike growth factor-1 (IGF-1), namely IFG-1Ea and mechano growth factor (MGF). These locally produced anabolic hormones are essential for the use of muscle satellite cells, which are a type of stem cell used for muscle repair and growth.In this sense, anabolic hormones, at least that produced within muscle, are important and vital for promoting muscle gains.

©,2013 Jerry Brainum. Any reprinting in any type of media, including electronic and foreign is expressly prohibited. 

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The Applied Ergogenics blog is a collection of articles written and published by Jerry Brainum over the past 20 years. These articles have appeared in Muscle and Fitness, Ironman, and other magazines. Many of the posts on the blog are original articles, having appeared here for the first time. For Jerry’s most recent articles, which are far more in depth than anything that appears on this blog site, please subscribe to his Applied Metabolics Newsletter, at This newsletter, which is more correctly referred to as a monthly e-book, since its average length is 35 to 40 pages, contains the latest findings about nutrition, exercise science, fat-loss, anti-aging, ergogenic aids, food supplements, and other topics. For 33 cents a day you get the benefit of Jerry’s 53 years of writing and intense study of all matters pertaining to fitness,health, bodybuilding, and disease prevention.


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