- 10-29-2007, 09:34 PM
Just been surfing the net reading up on hormones and ran into this. I dont think this is anything new, but it gives a decent layman's term explanation of Testosterone levels during a workout/strength training session:
Interview with Lyle McDonald on facts about fitness site
Q. Although you're probably best known in the industry for your diet books, you also have a massive amount of knowledge and experience in other areas, particularly strength training. One subject I think readers might be interested in is the hormonal response to exercise. Many people are told to keep the length of their workouts down to 45 minutes or less on the basis that testosterone levels drop and cortisol levels rise after this point. Is this good advice or not?
A. This is going to be another one of those yes and no types of answers.
On the one hand, the idea that testosterone drops after 45 minutes is one of those ideas that falls into the "If you repeat something enough times, it will become accepted dogma."
The idea supposedly came from Bulgarian Olympic lifting coach Ivan Abadjaev who claimed that androgen levels dropped after 30-40 minutes and who pioneered the idea of keeping his athletes in the gym all damn day by having them train for 30 minutes, rest 30 minutes, train again, etc.
As time has passed, it's come out that the main impetus behind his training schedule had more to do with controlling his athletes, simply exhausting them every day to keep them from partying and staying up late.
Just keep them in the gym for 12 hours per day by breaking training up into lots of tiny segments (this probably also allowed them to train intensely at each session) and they go home and sleep when training is over. Bulgaria, under new coaching has moved to a much more traditional system of training with 2-hour workouts as the norm.
As well, what I've seen of American research has never supported the idea of a drop in testosterone, and you can find plenty of successful athletes who spend far more time than that in the gym. Powerlifters, who are often taking very long rests between sets and having to muck with gear are often training 2-3 hours at a stretch.
This isn't to say that the idea of keeping your workouts high quality is a bad one. Certainly, I think that most bodybuilders spend too much unproductive time in the weight room doing too many sets of too many unnecessary exercises. For the natural athlete, quality should predominate over quantity for sure.
But I think setting some arbitrary time limit like 45 or 60 minutes is missing the point. Basically, I think the idea may be useful as sort of a check to keep people from wasting energy and time doing endless sets of useless exercises in the gym, but I don't think it's an absolute. When I train people, I'd say 60-90 minutes is about average. Much more than that and quality falls off too much.
Certainly, shorter workouts tend to be higher quality. By the end of a 2-hour workout, you're unlikely to be putting much effort into things. There is also the issue of crashing blood glucose and a potential increase in cortisol because of it.
That can readily be ameliorated by sipping a carbohydrate or carbohydrate plus protein drink during training. That will keep insulin higher and keep cortisol down during extended training sessions. It may also help to improve intensity.
- 11-03-2007, 12:18 PM
yeah, I think you have to keep the CNS part in mind. If you are working at 100% intensity its near impossible to keep that up for 90 minutes unless you are taking long breaks between sets or exercises. at least its true for me. So would I rather get the same stimulation in 45 min of 100% intensity with 30-60 sec rest between sets or break it all up with lots of rest or be forced to go lower intensity just to have some whoomph left for the stuff near the end?
11-03-2007, 12:21 PM
yea interesting, like go balls out for 30mins, take 15-30min break fool around do some cardio light and easy, then hit it again 30mins hardcore should finish your workout in 1.5 hours which isnt too bad
11-03-2007, 12:26 PM
my workouts rarely break an hour, but i'm sweating, wheezing, and ready to pass out by the end of that hour I usually go spend 10 minutes in the steam room afterwards just to relax and catch my body up before I jump in the shower and head to work.
11-04-2007, 06:23 AM
Theres that too thats why max lmg/xmass/revolt was one of the most interesting orals to me, cause of fast recovery/healing after workouts
11-04-2007, 07:28 AM
By the way, good find. I never understood why people would spend hours upon hours in the gym. For some, maybe they think that doing 5 sets of every exercise for a specific body part is the way to go (reading too much Flex). Others just need to shut up and train (those who carry on long conversations in front of equipment you want to use).
11-04-2007, 08:35 AM
The average length of my workouts is around 2 hours, although I am currently operating on a 3-day split.
I take long rests (and yes I workout at home, or late at night in the gym) and perform 1 or 2 warm up sets with 2 (or 3 occasionally) working sets.
11-04-2007, 08:40 AM
11-04-2007, 11:19 AM
11-04-2007, 11:24 AM
Thats what the anecdotal evidence says, I think its part of them being wet compounds, so pheraplex is probably similar, but something dry like superdrol or epistane not so much.
11-04-2007, 01:13 PM
Usually my workouts are no longer than say an hour and fifteen minutes. I'm trying to find more info on this, but I think its just old dogma that you have to keep workouts under 50 mins for them to be effective.
11-04-2007, 01:53 PM
im currently doing DC training and my reps go like this
10-5-2 or 15-7-3 or 20-10-3
now if i was spacing my workout out like normal people making it all really easy my reps would be 10-10-10 or 10-9-8 or something like that. the question really is, which workout hits the muscles harder?
i cannot answer that
ps- then when you throw in negatives vs no negatives bands vs no bands chains vs no chains it gets interesting
id personally rather bench 225w/bands 20x then bench 405 cuz thats a scary weight
11-04-2007, 06:45 PM
My grip really suffers in my last sets of shrugs because I perform them as my last exercise. Occasionally if I leave far too long between sets, because I get called to do something else in my house, I try to push the weight and continue from where I left off and it won't budge. But other than that, I don't really have a problem with energy so long as I psyche myself up adequately before heavy lifts.
11-05-2007, 07:07 AM
11-05-2007, 07:09 AM
11-05-2007, 07:54 AM
i used to do 20-40lbs for like 20-30seconds on chest flye stretch then i read someone doing 1min-2min so i grabbed 20 or 15 and tried for a min, lol nope damn did it burn
DC seems tobe going well, i kinda like how its soo fast paced im done at each station in 2mins, other then of course the harder stuff, squats etc
gonna stick wiht dc i guess till i get bored of it or hit a wall, each week i seem to be hitting some kinda PR somewhere so hopefully thie keeps up, rep PRs that is not 1rep max since DC isnt about that
11-05-2007, 06:55 PM
I was doing some reading from a few bodybuilders and trainers back in the 1970s and they all seemed to be in agreement that strength gains translate into muscle mass gain but not necessarily at the same time.
In other words you might get stronger for 3 months with no muscle mass gain...then in the 4th month you seem to grow quickly. So there is a direct correlation but the timing of the mass gain might lag sometimes.
Nobody mentions this today...it seems like lost wisdom....I wouldn't be surprized if a guy today gets stronger on one program, sees no mass gain, switches to something else and grows as a result of the efforts made in the first program. Of course he then thinks the 2nd program was responsible.
Anyway it is just something to keep in mind. Keep pushing that weight up a little bit at a time and you'll get there for sure.
11-05-2007, 08:19 PM
i dont expect any program no matter how easy or hard it is to be better then another at pure muscle growth. each have their own benefits.
since doing DC ive gotten stronger but my weight hasnt changed at all in 3-4 months, but im almost postivie im getting alittle leaner, so i hope thats 1-2 lbs fat dropped 1-2 gained in muscle or carb stores or something
11-07-2007, 04:53 AM
From memory, Lyle also kinda likes full body workouts.. so if you're doing 3x a week Full body lifting it might be worthwhile to go for longer, If you work out for 6 days a week, you might not want to go 90mins everyday. I think it would depend more on your own recovery ability tbh.
11-07-2007, 08:54 PM
11-07-2007, 09:01 PM
this brings up something sort of funny. Other than today from having used the hip adductor/abductor machine yesterday for the first time ever, i find myself unable to work out a body part hard enough that i'm ever really sore the next day. Maybe a little beat, stiff, etc. but not really sore
11-07-2007, 09:05 PM
11-07-2007, 09:13 PM
thats even with a new routine.... just started a new one monday. some of the exercises are the same, but the patterns and rep counts per set are different.
I get good pumps, just no or next to no soreness the following day
11-08-2007, 01:59 PM
Interesting topic. A lot of College Football teams lifting sessions only take around 30-35 minutes at very high intensity. The whistle is always blowing for the next set. We know what type of physiques a lot of those guys have just by lifting heavy and eating. If you could find a way to only spend 30-35 mins in the gym a day rather than an hour + and reach your goals wouldnt you give it a try?
11-08-2007, 06:06 PM
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