Shorter Rest Periods To Increase Growth Hormone

If you’re currently trying to build muscle and gain weight, growth hormone should be a concern for you. Essentially, growth hormone is one of the important hormones in the body that will serve to aid with the development of new muscle tissue and get you seeing the muscle gain results you’re after.

Growth hormone tends to be highest when we are in the puberty years, as this is when the most growing is taking place. Additionally, growth hormone is typically released in higher concentrations in males than females, which again is why you see teenage boys overpowering the girls in the height department (albeit sometimes slow to catch up).

Simply stated, growth hormone makes you grow.

Once you hit your early twenties onwards though, unfortunately, growth hormone concentrations that are released by the body start to dwindle. No longer are you growing inches in height a year and as such, the body simply sees no need to manufacture as much.

Since growth hormone does have an impact on not just height but your ability to build muscle though, this serves to be a hindering fact when it comes to gaining weight.

This is a big reason why now, if you’re trying to put on more muscle and are past the age of twenty, you need to be taking into consideration natural ways you might be able to boost your growth hormone so you can optimize the results you get.

The Role Of Rest Periods With Growth Hormone Release

In a study performed out of the University of Brasilia in Brazil, researchers looked at how varying rest period intervals would affect the growth hormone response during a weight lifting session.

The study took a group of twenty healthy weight-trained females and had them perform one of three different weight lifting protocols, over three different sessions.

Each workout they performed consisted of four lower body exercises with three sets performed for each exercise, using a 10-rep max as a guideline for weight lifted.

In the first workout, they took a rest interval of 30 seconds between sets, in the second interval, the rest interval was lengthened to 60 seconds, and in the final workout, the rest interval was set to 120 seconds (2 minutes).

After each workout was performed, blood samples were tested for serum growth hormone levels, as well as cortisol concentrations in the body. These readings were taken before the exercise session, immediately after it was finished, five minutes after, 15 minutes after, and then finally 30 minutes after.

The Results

The results demonstrated that while there were no differences in either cortisol or growth hormone before the exercise session began, after the workout was performed, regardless of rest interval, there was an increase in growth hormone experienced.

Further, the growth hormone release was highest in the workout that had a rest interval of 30 seconds, compared with the 60 and 120 second groups.

Therefore, from this we can see that strength training itself will enhance growth hormone output from the body, but even more importantly, shorter rest periods around the thirty second mark tend to create the greatest spike in this powerful muscle building hormone.

So, next workout session, keep this in mind. Obviously you do want to take a long enough rest period so that you can maintain a heavy weight and recover to a degree between sets, but allowing yourself extra time to just ‘hang around’ the gym between sets may not be in your best interests.

Gentil, P. et al. (2007) Effects of rest duration between sets of resistance training on acute hormonal responses in trained women. J Sci Med Sport. Dec 17.

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