Understanding Growth Hormone
For the serious trainer, maximizing the opportunities for muscle growth and repair are essential. Maintaining low levels of body fat for health reasons are of great importance as well. A scientific approach to constructing a formula for success includes:
- Timing of meals
- When to train
- How much rest is needed
- Proper supplement protocol
- How to make use of the resources our body provides for us naturally
Bodybuilders and strength athletes are well aware of the benefits of naturally occurring hormones and how to harness their powers. One of the most respected hormones responsible for taking your physique to the next level is growth hormone (GH).
What Is Growth Hormone?
Growth hormone is a protein comprised of close to 200 amino acids that are secreted by cells called somatotrophs in the anterior pituitary gland. It is a catalyst for growth, as it plays a major role in stimulating the liver, and other tissues, to produce IGF-1, which in turn, promotes lean muscle tissue, strong bone density, revived skin elasticity and fat loss.
The metabolic effects of GH are astounding, as it plays a major role in metabolizing proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, and creates a better absorption rate for these macronutrients.
With the above knowledge, athletes can turn their attention to boosting their natural growth hormone levels in a variety of ways to promote growth, recovery, and maximize performance.
Training & Growth Hormone
Knowing the right time to train will ultimately set you apart from the rest. Due to the nocturnal secretion of growth hormone, the most significant rise in natural levels occur at night, so it was once believed that weight training in the morning was the best time. However, if you take into consideration our circadian rhythms, the best time to weight train would be in the evening when your core body temperature is at its highest. That’s not to discount the idea of training in the morning, as you can still take advantage of GH’s ability to burn unwanted body fat at this time.
There is a direct link between the intensity and volume of your training, and the levels of GH produced.
Choosing compound exercises like squats, bench press and dead lifts that involve more than one muscle and joint are recommended. Also, train heavy and rep out until muscular fatigue or failure. This type of training is extremely taxing on your body and it will respond with an enormous flush of GH into your blood stream.
The last thing to keep in mind is that GH is delivered via pulsatile release, which means the more frequently you train, the more fit you become. This is important for two reasons:
- The magnitude of the pulsatile release of GH is directly related to your fitness level.
- Studies have shown that after two weeks of consistent training, basal levels of GH increased by up to 37% compared to not training.
Supplements that Stimulate Growth Hormone
ALLMAX Nutrition’s AMINOCORE, with its rich profile of BCAAs, is a good place to start when it comes to supplementing your diet. Amino acids such as arginine, lysine and ornithine are all powerful secretagogues that increase natural GH levels by stimulating the pituitary gland. AMINOCORE is most often taken intra-workout, but is also useful throughout the day to coincide with the pulsatile release of GH.
Finally, don’t forget about the importance of whey protein supplements that promote an anabolic environment for muscles to thrive in. A top quality protein mixed with fast-digesting carbohydrates is exactly what your body needs post workout. Mix ALLMAX’s Waxy Maize and ISOFLEX together for astounding results. A supplement protocol such as this will definitely help you boost GH levels and bring about the muscle-building results you desire.
What Else Can I Do to Stimulate GH?
Sleep! As I mentioned at the beginning, GH is secreted in its greatest amount at night, so a good, deep sleep is the last piece of the puzzle. When you rest, you grow. Getting eight hours of sleep at night facilitates that GH to create an anabolic environment for maximum recovery, which is at its core, growth.
Eating clean can also promote healthy GH levels; plenty of slow carbs during the day, and fast carbs post workout, combined with lean protein sources at each meal will keep all systems functioning at their peak levels.
Stimulating natural GH is a practice all serious trainers need to be aware of. For incredible results and massive gains – train hard, train heavy, get lots of sleep, and supplement your diet to support growth and recovery – and you will take your physique to the next level.
- Antonio, Jose, Chromiak Joseph A. “Use of Amino Acids as growth hormone-releasing agents by athletes”; The International Journal of Applied and Basic Nutritional Sciences; Volume 18, Issue 7, July 2002.
- Jenkins, Paul J. “Growth Hormone and Exercise”; Clinical Endocrinology; Volume 50, Issue 6, June 1999.
- Vanhelder W, Radomski M, Goode R. “Growth Hormone responses during intermittent weight lifting exercise in Men”; European Journal of Applied Physiology; Volume 53, 1984.