Exercise is the most powerful and potent anabolic agent available to the bodybuilder. Itâ€™s also the most catabolic.
While testosterone and growth hormone increase as the intensity and duration of exercise continues, they will become severely depressed if you overtrain. At the same time, cortisol increases as does the cellular breakdown of protein and, ultimately, muscle. Because of this, itâ€™s important to train at the right intensity and pace to maximize hormonal response, while insuring that you donâ€™t overdo it.
A short, intense approach to workouts is probably the best for the bodybuilder, whether on the highÂ fat diet or not. A rigorous workout limited to no more than 35â€“45 minutes seems wisest here,Â although some allowances for personal preference or training structure can be made.
All resistance programs will result in some increase in GH or testosterone, but what weâ€™ve found so far is that, in general, using moderately heavy weights for 6â€“20 reps maximum with only limited rest between sets optimally increases both GH and testosterone. So if youâ€™re still doing those 2-hour marathon sessions at the gym, WAKE UP. Youâ€™re sabotaging your growth.
The object is to limit cortisol production while increasing growth hormone and testosterone. If practical, measuring serum levels of testosterone, GH, and cortisol in the blood would be an excellent way of telling when an athlete is training to the maximum level, and when heâ€™s going into overtraining.
Without this, you can keep a careful eye out for the classic warning signs of overtraining. Irritability, depression, loss of motivation, increasing soreness, swelling of lymph nodes, loss of appetite, andÂ bowel problems can all be indicative of overtraining syndrome. If youâ€™re overtraining, back off. Look for that level of work where youâ€™re right at the edge between maximum growth and doing too much.
As weâ€™ve pointed out, itâ€™s necessary for all aspects of a personâ€™s lifeâ€”including diet, training and lifestyleâ€”to combine to create a synergistic effect on muscle growth. Along this line, exercise complements the high fat diet very well. Exercise increases the use of free fatty acids in muscle and decreases fat buildup, thus adding to the lipolytic effects of the high fat diet.10 The reduction of carbohydrates available on the high carb diet has also been shown to play a role in increasing the mobilization of triglycerides during exercise, thus enhancing the fat-burning process.
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