For those bodybuilders who have been working out for many years, if not decades, you suddenly begin to notice your body changing. It is very common that drastic hormonal changes occur once you pass the age of 40. This is why, the notion of manipulating the body’s release of natural hormones through exercise and diet is one that is new and, yet, very exciting. There are three main hormones that are contributed to bodybuilding, those three are testosterone, GH and insulin. When you age, you cannot help the hormonal changes that naturally occur. However, you can actually change them by either taking pro-hormonal supplements, or just changing your training habits and your diet.
The human body is one that is extremely surprising — even to the most knowledgeable of doctors. However, many people – including bodybuilders, aren’t aware that the body’s natural production of testosterone can actually be increased with large, compound movements, such as those as squats and deadlifts. The key is keeping your compound movements large, where the entire body actually moves up and down. Another little tidbit, is that the larger muscle group in which you are working, means the more testosterone that is released in response to your movement – and the two largest muscle groups in your body are your legs and back. That is why when you want to up your testosterone, it is very smart to start your workout with 3-5 sets of heavy squats or deadlifts, with reps ranging from 6-10. However, it has been said that you should not workout more than one major muscle group within one complete workout. Yet, if you are wanting to increase your testosterone, which you are going to want to do, it is all right to begin your exercise with 1-3 sets with moderate weight. You definitely won’t want to max out your lower body, but by doing a lighter set, you will get the blood flowing, as well as the testosterone, which will boost the rest of your workout. By doing this, you will be, according to Vince Gironda, “set(ting) your adrenal gland(s) up for growth.”
However, you can start a split routine, which means you can design a split routine that has you doing squats on one day and then deadlifts on another day. However, many bodybuilders say that it is best not to perform these exercises with such limitations. One major reason why this type of split routine isn’t exactly the best way to go, is that when you grow older your body actually begins to shut down its output of anabolic hormones after 45-60 minutes of working out. This is why, if you are going to split your workout, there are far more convenient ways to do so.
So now that we have discussed testosterone, what about GH? This hormone is literally secreted along with testosterone, and its main duties is to magnify the effects of testosterone within your body. Thee is research that says there is a direct connection between the burn of lactic acid buildup and GH release. Which basically means, the more the burn, more GH. There are several ways in which one can actually extend a set in order to increase the GH levels in your body. One way is to do the rest pause routine. Basically, when you perform this type of set you will extend a sex by first reaching your failure point, then you will “rack” the weight for ten counts and continue with 3 or 4 more reps. You can do this 2-3 times for a really great set. There is also the 1 ½ reps, which means as you are completing a complete, normal rep, continue and then do the first half of the rep by going halfway up and then coming back down to the starting position. You can also do super sets, which means you do two different exercises back-to-back, with no rest. You can do this with the same body part or with two different body parts. Now, here is one that millions of bodybuilders find extremely important, it’s calls 21s. Basically what you will do is perform 7 full reps, followed by 7 half reps from the starting position to halfway up followed by 7 half reps from halfway to the top of the movement. This one will really get your muscles pumped.
Now, we must discuss insulin. This little hormone can do a lot to our bodies. It can literally cause our body to store fat. This is the reason why you must watch your simple carb intake. The key to getting insulin to work for you, is to have two “spikes” a day. By doing this you will get the anabolic actions without the fat storage. You will want to have these insulin “spikes” when you first wake up in the morning and then right after your workout, which is called the “first anabolic window.”
But how do you do this? You can accomplish these spikes by drinking a mixture of protein and fast carbs — which means you need to consume around 40-60 grams of carbs and then 40 grams of protein. One of the simplest ways to achieve this is to mix protein powder with orange juice, skim milk and a banana. The reason why you want to have these spikes at those times of the day are because right after your workout you are wanting to take advantage of the anabolic actions that insulin causes. And the reason why you want it to happen in the morning, is because your body has literally just gone through a mild fast after sleeping. And you are wanting to “awake” your insulin in a healthy way that is actually beneficial to you and your body. By doing all of the above you will make the most out of your body’s hormone production, and help you pump up!