Increase in hormones can help muscle growth

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    Increase in hormones can help muscle growth


    Physiological elevation of endogenous hormones results in superior strength training adaptation.
    Rønnestad BR, Nygaard H, Raastad T.
    Source
    Lillehammer University College, PB. 952, 2604, Lillehammer, Norway, bent.ronnestad@hil.no.
    Abstract
    The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of transiently elevated endogenous hormone concentrations during exercise on strength training adaptations. Nine subjects performed four unilateral strength training session per week on the elbow flexors for 11 weeks. During two of the weekly sessions, leg exercises were performed to acutely increase the systemic anabolic hormone concentration immediately before the exercises for one of the elbow flexors (L + A). On the two other weekly training sessions, the contralateral elbow flexors were trained without prior leg exercises (A). By randomizing one arm of the subjects to serve as a control and the other as experimental, both conditions have the same nutritional and genetic environment. Serum testosterone and growth hormone was significantly increased during the L - A training session, while no hormonal changes occurred in the A session. Both A and L + A increased 1RM in biceps curl, peak power in elbow flexors at 30 and 60% of 1RM, and muscle volume of the elbow flexors (p < 0.05). However, only L + A achieved increase in CSA at the part of the arm flexors with largest cross sectional area (p < 0.001), while no changes occurred in A. L + A had superior relative improvement in 1RM biceps curl and favorable muscle adaptations in elbow flexors compared to A (p < 0.05). In conclusion, performing leg exercises prior to arm exercises, and thereby increasing the levels of serum testosterone and growth hormone, induced superior strength training adaptations compared to arm training without acute elevation of hormones.

    Here is a review I wrote about the study: The Fall of the Greatest Theory of Muscle Growth - Part 2

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    An adaptation to exercise induced pulsatile hormone release also occurs. I believe it was Kraemers group who found that in a 12 week training program significant pulsatile hormone spikes curtailed around the 6th week.

    Also, we know that GH release is a long term hormone..in that it binds in the liver to cause the release of IGF-1. And it is IGF-1 that binds to muscles and has an effect (though so does GH, but to a lesser extent) on adaptation. However, IGF receptors must be translocated to the surface of the muscle fiber, and that is where the stimulus of exercise comes in.

    Good critique.

    Br
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    Thanks Zir Red.

    I just think the theory has got a lot of attention than it deserves. It is understandable considering it came out before we discovered the local factors which help in muscle growth. All it had was some correlation and biological plausibilty.
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    I wouldn't entirely discredit the theory...just the application.

    There is a hormonal response to multiple large muscle group exercise. That doesn't mean you need to do a large muscle group lower body movement every training session, or mix it with an upper body training session; however, it would stand to reason that upper body gains will be greater with lower body training encorporated into the same micro cycle vs. without any lower body training.

    Br
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    I wouldn't entirely discredit the theory...just the application.

    There is a hormonal response to multiple large muscle group exercise. That doesn't mean you need to do a large muscle group lower body movement every training session, or mix it with an upper body training session; however, it would stand to reason that upper body gains will be greater with lower body training encorporated into the same micro cycle vs. without any lower body training.

    Br
    When most people think of hormones helping muscle growth, they are thinking squats and deadlifts increasing upper body or arms. But this could easily be due to the isometric contractions of the arms and upper body in these exercises. And that is the reason why the researchers used just leg press and leg extensions.

    If you can do leg press and see increase in upper body muscle growth, then there is something to the theory. And there might be something to it, but that something might be too small to be clinically significant.
  

  
 

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