Growth Hormone Part 2: How to Optimize (naturally)

Posted: October 22, 2013 in fitness
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

naturally-increase-hgh

In Part 1, we talked about some of the reasons that GH is such a great little thing when we can get it flowing in our body at increased levels, now onto how to accomplish that. I’ll be breaking this down into 3 categories:

  1. Food
  2. training
  3. supplements

FOOD:

Nutritionally (meaning the three macronureints) there is not a lot known that can increase GH however Carbohydrates have been shown to blunt the GH response. For this reason, when trying to get increased GH, you will want to be wise with your use of carbs. In general this means keeping them low or non-existent in the early part of the day until after having done some intense exercise. Being in a fasted state has been shown to increase GH, but personally I’m not big on that idea. By limiting carbs you will be eating larger amount of fat and protein which will also be beneficial for reducing inflammation and supporting testosterone.

TRAINING:

The more intense the training, the higher the GH! But I think to be useful we should define “intense”. there are actually two types of intensity: Effort and Relative.

“Effort Intensity” is what people are talking about when they define intensity as being relative to their 1-rep-max. As an illustration, E-intensity would be greater lifting 100lbs for 1 rep than lifting 80lbs for 5 reps.

“Relative Intensity” is what people talk about when they use the term “progressive overload”. It is describing how stressful the activity is relative to your level of fitness.

So as far as intensity is concerned, it will often mean training heavy, and training with increasing workload, whether that means incrementally decreasing resting periods, doing super-sets, etc.

This is one reason why HIIT cardio is so popular. The full-out, highly intense cycles drastically raise GH.

High levels of lactic acid have also been shown to increase the GH response. This is created when you are incur an “oxygen debt” which creates a burning sensation in the muscles. To create this burn you often use a moderate weight for a high amount of reps (usually 12-15). This one can be tricky to manage because if the weight is too small you will not utilize enough energy to great the burn.

One clever way that has surface recently is the idea of occlusion training, which uses a small blood-flow restriction in order to induce the oxygen debt with even lighter weights and supposedly even more effectively. I’ll be doing an entire article on Occlusion Training in the near future.

So with all this knowledge, I will supply my two cents… I have had the best results when training heavy compound moves in the first part of the workout (usually 3-6 rep range), progressing to mid-range work in the 8-10 rep range, then finishing with either higher reps, or even using super drops.

SUPPLEMENTS:

If I’m honest, most supplements that claim to boost growth hormone are not worth the cost. That being said, this would be a perfect time to mention that GH levels have been shown to rise during deep sleep. So any supplements such as Magnesium (or better still, ZMA) or melatonin, which help with a good sleep could be beneficial here. L-Dopa is also supposedly help with the GH release which is why there are a few night-time products around that contain L-dopa, ZMA and Melatonin. I’ve made use of these, and whether or not they’ve helped GH is debatable, but they definitely helped me get a good sleep.
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Now that we’ve covered the primary ways to maximize GH, the next article will address what I find to be the most intriguing facit of it: Combining GH with other hormones

Related: GH Part 1, GH Part 3, Periodization

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  1. […] Growth Hormone Part 2: How to Optimize (naturally) […]

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