Hormone Responses to Resistance Training

From James Seng, Program Director.

When your goal is hypertrophy, there is really only one thing that truly matters: Growth Hormones! So what are hormones and how do we stimulate the body to make these wonderful little chemical messengers? https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Hormones.aspx

Hormones function in the body to deliver messages between your cells and regulate the cycles and actions of the body. They are responsible for moderating fertility, hunger, stress, metabolism, and growth. There are two types of growth hormones we want to know about, those are Anabolic and Catabolic Hormones. Anabolic hormones tell our cells to build tissue and catabolic hormones tell our cells to break down tissue. When we exercise we teach our bodies to produce more anabolic hormones and decrease the production of the catabolic hormones. We need to be careful though and give our bodies the chance to rest and avoid over-training. IF you want to read more check out this article: (https://blog.bridgeathletic.com/hormonal-response-to-strength-training)

Luis M. Alvidrez and Len Kravitz, Ph.D. in their article on the subject gave us this, “With resistance exercise there is an immediate increase in epinephrine and norepinephrine (Kraemer and Ratamess, 2005). These hormones increase blood glucose and are important for increasing force production, muscle contraction rate, and energy production (i.e., the synthesis of ATP-the energy currency of cells). These hormones actually begin to rise prior to the resistance training workout (Kraemer and Ratamess, 2005). This is an anticipatory response of the body preparing for the challenging exercise to follow.” So even psyching yourself up for exercise has a benefit!

(Full article: https://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/hormoneResUNM.html)

In an article on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15831061/ William J Kraemer, and Nicholas A Ratamess state, “Protocols high in volume, moderate to high in intensity, using short rest intervals and stressing a large muscle mass, tend to produce the greatest acute hormonal elevations (e.g. testosterone, GH and the catabolic hormone cortisol) compared with low-volume, high-intensity protocols using long rest intervals.” This means we need to keep sustained pressure on the body throughout the workout through higher intensities and shorter rest periods. They also added that, “Other factors such as nutrition, overtraining, detraining and circadian patterns of hormone secretion are critical to examining the hormonal responses and adaptations to resistance training.

Think about your energy systems and training stimulus. Is decreasing the rest time appropriate for your clients goals? Perhaps you might start developing ideas on how to motivate people to put out that extra effort. Maybe you could make sure to psych your clients up for the session to increase the hormone response and get more gains!