Is Cortisol The Most Anabolic Hormone??? - AnabolicMinds.com
    • Is Cortisol The Most Anabolic Hormone???


      By Greg Merritt & Jim Stoppani, Ph.D Flex

      Every bodybuilder has heard that you must keep training sessions to less than 45 minutes because after that, cortisol levels kick in. Based 
on the newest study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, the rise in cortisol might not be such a bad thing! Researchers examined 56 healthy (but untrained) young men who took part in a 12-week resistance-training program. The researchers measured testosterone, growth hormone (GH), IGF-1, and cortisol concentrations at the end of the program. If increases in testosterone and GH was the sole variable for increased muscle growth, then those with the highest levels should have made the most improvements in muscle mass, but they didn’t. The biggest winners appeared to be GH and cortisol.

      The lifters with the biggest post-workout spikes in cortisol were associated with gains in type-II muscle size but it was also the only hormone associated with greater gains in lean body mass. So if keeping training programs to less than 45 minutes to minimize cortisol was the key to muscle growth, the group with the largest increases in testosterone should have been the clear winner, but surprisingly the group with the largest post-exercise increases in cortisol made bigger improvements in muscle hypertrophy. According to Daniel West, the lead author of the study, “The idea that you can or should base entire exercise training programs on trying to manipulate testosterone or growth hormone levels is false. There is simply no evidence to support this concept.”

      REFERENCE: West, D.W.D., Jof Appl Physiol., 112 (11): 1805, 2012.
      Comments 23 Comments
      1. mTmatthews51's Avatar
        mTmatthews51 -
        Yeah you're right about the correlation not causation. And about the stirring titles. I do think its something to look into for research cause most of what we "know" about the body is theory anyways. Cortisol is not a muscle builder just possibly and indicator of optimal muscle stimulation.
      1. MANotaur's Avatar
        MANotaur -
        Originally Posted by mTmatthews51 View Post
        Yeah you're right about the correlation not causation. And about the stirring titles. I do think its something to look into for research cause most of what we "know" about the body is theory anyways. Cortisol is not a muscle builder just possibly and indicator of optimal muscle stimulation.
        that might be true, it could be a potential marker, that would be somethin worth looking at more in depth. too bad that is not anywhere near my side of research lol

        but the main problem with cortisol is that its non-stimulus indepedent. meaning that the release of cortisol into the blood stream isnt tied to one specific stimulus. It is brought about during any time of stress, that can be from direct stimulation of a muscle group or groups, ie weight training, or a rise in adrenalin from possibly participating in said study or even just being subject to outside negetive stress ie, family/home problems or anything else of the like.

        thats been the biggest problem with finding out how our bodies work because short of isolating humans in padded rooms and feeding them exactly what the study calls for, and forcing them to sleep the required time, or any of the other different controls and variables, its impossible to know exactly what is going on outside the lab. its super frustrating.
      1. TruthWalker's Avatar
        TruthWalker -
        For the record, marijuana ingestion by smoking causes an acute increase in cortisol levels according to a government study done a few decades ago. So we should all work out and then get high and get huge, right?!