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Massive Muscle Growth

Hormone Manipulation

By LA Muscle on 04.08.2009 04:15 pm


Every experienced bodybuilder knows that on a basic level, gaining muscle is a combination of both correct training and proper nutrition. However the key to making massive muscle gains is understanding all of the hormones involved in producing an muscle growth environment within the body for maximum muscle building potential.

Namely, increasing these muscle building hormones in the body:

  • Male hormone: Perhaps the number one hormone for bodybuilding, male hormone is responsible for the development of male physical characteristics, muscle mass, strength, fat distribution and sexual drive.
  • Growth Factor: This hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and stimulates the liver to produce IGF-1 which is ultimately responsible for the growth promoting and effects of growth factor.

It responds to carbohydrate and protein by storing glucose in muscle and liver, fat in fat cells and by the utilizing amino acids from food protein in body building and repair.

And reducing these catabolic hormones in the body:

  • Cortisol: Referred to as the ‘stress hormone’ since it’s released during times of physical or emotional stress, although it does have some positive affects on the body it suppresses the immune system and is likely to enhance fat storage at the expense of protein and muscle.
  • Adrenaline: This hormone is integral to preparing the body for action (‘Fight’ or ‘Flight’) but also elicits the muscles and liver to give up stored glucose (glycogen) so that you have instant energy to fuel that survival run.

Tip 1: Carbohydrates to reduce coritsol
During intense work outs our bodies increase more of male hormone and growth factor but more of the catabolic hormone cortisol. However studies show that by taking on carbohydrates during training you can decrease cortisol levels (Bird 2006) therefore ensuring the balance of hormones is in your favour.

Tip 2: Training
In addition to nutrition, your training strategy also greatly affects the production of certain hormones within the body, as suggested by authors Kramer and Ratamess in their research into Hormonal Responses and adaptations to resistance and exercise training; “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. male hormone and Growth Factor) compared with low-volume, high-intensity protocols using long rest intervals.” (Kramer and Ratamess, 2005)

Tip 3: Evening Workouts
Sports physicians state that cortisol levels are higher in the morning, so it may be better to train in the afternoon/ evening time since you have a more suitable hormone profile for bodybuilding. (*Note: I you have enough carbohydrates in the morning, pre-workout, it may be ok to train in the morning, perhaps best to trial different training routines.)

Tip 4: Sleep
Often overlooked by bodybuilders but interrupted sleep patterns are considered to be a contributing factor to poor muscle and strength gains.

Tip 5: Supplements
Norateen Heavyweight II
Is considered to be the most powerful muscle builder on the market studies show it increases both male hormone levels and growth factor levels, therefore ensuring the body has an optimum hormone profile ideal for muscle building.


Bird SP, Tarpenning, KM, FE. Effects of liquid carbohydrate/ essential amino acid ingestion on acute hormonal response during a single bout of resistance exercise in untrained men. Nutrition 2006 Apr;22(4): 367-75

Kraemer WJ, Ratamess NA, Hormonal Responses and apaptations to resistance and exercise training, Sports Med. 2005;35(4):339-61. Review



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