Tag Archives: growth hormone

How Long Should You Rest Between Exercises and Sets?

17 Feb

Rest-period[1]Rest periods, between exercises and sets, can vary depending on the sport or exercise.  As a general rule, when strength or speed training, your rest intervals should be proportional to the intensity of your workout.  The purpose of rest periods is to ensure adequate recovery in order to perform subsequent exercises with maximal effort and proper technique.

Strength Training

Depending on your primary resistance training goal/strategy (and commensurate intensity level), below are recommended rest intervals:

  • Strength & Power: Heavy weight (75% – 90% loads, relative to % 1RM) and low repetitions (4-6 range) warrant longer rest intervals, 2-5 minutes.
  • Hypertrophy (size): Moderate-to-heavy weight (67% – 85% loads) and low-to-medium reps (6-12 range) = 30 seconds – 1.5 minutes rest intervals.
  • Endurance: Moderate weight (loads of 67% and less) and high reps (12+) = rest intervals of less than 30 seconds.

Speed Training

Since the goal of speed training requires exercises and drills to be performed at maximum speed — and with proper technique — you must avoid excessive fatigue.  Sprinting when you’re tired results in poor running mechanics and slower speeds.

  • Recover fully between sprints (30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on distance).
  • Don’t overdo it; 3-10 sprints, with full recovery, are adequate.
  • Sprints should be done toward beginning of workout when energy level is highest.

Growth Hormone and Testosterone

The length of your rest intervals can also influence production of growth hormone and testosterone, according to Rahimi, et. al., in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.  “… short rest intervals (60-second) elevated greater increase in growth hormone (GH) compared with 120-second rest,” while “… testosterone (TS) response was greater in the resistance exercise protocol with a 120-second rest interval between sets.”

At Athletic Performance Training Center, we utilize agonist-antagonist paired sets (APS), alternating “push and pull” exercises for opposing muscle groups (for example, the bench press and row), primarily for the purpose of increasing efficiency by reducing training time.  Basically, one muscle group’s “work” exercise is the opposing muscle group’s “rest.”  “The use of APS training is an efficacious and time-effective method for developing strength and power…” (Robbins, et al.; Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research).

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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More Sleep Can Reduce Injury Risk

6 May

terrell-owens-2[1]The number of hours athletes sleep may be the best predictor of injury, according to researchers in Los Angeles, who tracked the sleep and training habits of high school athletes.

These findings are consistent with the results of similar studies, showing that lack of sleep can adversely affect cognitive and fine motor skills.

Growth hormone, which occurs during deep sleep, is an essential ingredient for athletic recovery.

In the LA survey, average sleep per night and risk of injury were correlated, as follows:

  • 5 hours of sleep was associated with a 60% risk of injury
  • 6 hours of sleep was associated with a 75% risk of injury
  • 7 hours of sleep was associated with a 62% risk of injury
  • 8 hours of sleep was associated with a 35% risk of injury
  • 9 hours of sleep was associated with a 17% risk of injury

Get in the weight room, practice your sport-specific skills, fuel your body with good food, and add a good night’s sleep to your training plan.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

How Long Should You Rest Between Exercises and Sets?

18 Feb

Rest-period[1]Rest periods, between exercises and sets, can vary depending on the sport or exercise.  As a general rule, when strength or speed training, your rest intervals should be proportional to the intensity of your workout.  The purpose of rest periods is to ensure adequate recovery in order to perform subsequent exercises with maximal effort and proper technique.

Strength Training

Depending on your primary resistance training goal/strategy (and commensurate intensity level), below are recommended rest intervals:

  • Strength & Power: Heavy weight (75% – 90% loads, relative to % 1RM) and low repetitions (4-6 range) warrant longer rest intervals, 2-5 minutes.
  • Hypertrophy (size): Moderate-to-heavy weight (67% – 85% loads) and low-to-medium reps (6-12 range) = 30 seconds – 1.5 minutes rest intervals.
  • Endurance: Moderate weight (loads of 67% and less) and high reps (12+) = rest intervals of less than 30 seconds.

Speed Training

Since the goal of speed training requires exercises and drills to be performed at maximum speed — and with proper technique — you must avoid excessive fatigue.  Sprinting when you’re tired results in poor running mechanics and slower speeds.

  • Recover fully between sprints (30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on distance).
  • Don’t overdo it; 3-10 sprints, with full recovery, are adequate.
  • Sprints should be done toward beginning of workout when energy level is highest.

Growth Hormone and Testosterone

The length of your rest intervals can also influence production of growth hormone and testosterone, according to Rahimi, et. al., in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.  “… short rest intervals (60-second) elevated greater increase in growth hormone (GH) compared with 120-second rest,” while “… testosterone (TS) response was greater in the resistance exercise protocol with a 120-second rest interval between sets.”

At Athletic Performance Training Center, we utilize agonist-antagonist paired sets (APS), alternating “push and pull” exercises for opposing muscle groups (for example, the bench press and row), primarily for the purpose of increasing efficiency by reducing training time.  Basically, one muscle group’s “work” exercise is the opposing muscle group’s “rest.”  “The use of APS training is an efficacious and time-effective method for developing strength and power…” (Robbins, et al.; Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research).

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Performance-Enhancing Substances

26 Sep

Performance-enhancing, or ergogenic, substances (PES) include a broad range of products – from anabolic steroids and growth hormone to caffeine and creatine.  The two main types of PES are hormones (and hormone mimetic drugs) and dietary supplements.  There are known and suspected risks of steroid use, and the benefits are not well-defined.  Reliance on ergogenic substances may distract athletes from appropriate training techniques and produce side effects that impede athletic performance.  Anabolic steroids are prohibited by most athletic organizations, with the risk of sanctions against the athlete and possibly against the athlete’s team or school.  It is illegal to possess steroids for uses other than medicinal.

Anabolic steroids increase lean body mass and weight.  They can be administered orally or by injection, depending on the preparation.  There are many different anabolic steroids used by athletes, and primary among them is testosteroneDespite the benefit of increased lean muscle mass, there is no definitive evidence that anabolic steroids enhance athletic performance.  Health and performance risks have been associated with anabolic steroids, including increased aggressiveness (which can emerge as recklessness and loss of judgment), adverse effects on lipid levels, liver tumors, and temporary infertility.

Growth hormone is secreted from the pituitary gland, and stimulates physical growth of the body.  Although growth hormone is effectively used as replacement therapy for individuals with growth hormone deficiency, there is no evidence that supplemental growth hormone enhances athletic performance in normal men and women.

There is a long history of clinical use of hormones for treatment of medical conditions, providing substantial data on effects and health risks.  The data on benefits to athletic performance are fewer and inconclusive.  There is virtually no information regarding the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements such as “steroid replacers” and “growth hormone replacers.”

Dietary supplements may be useful to athletes who have specific nutritional deficiencies or nutritional “gaps” in their normal diets.  Unfortunately, dietary supplements (and their claims) are poorly legislated, and there are few safeguards to ensure that these products are safe and effective.

Data suggest that vitamins are important in disease prevention, especially at higher-than-normal levels of intake.  There is no basis for the use of vitamins as performance enhancers in athletes who are not vitamin deficient.  Excess vitamin use can even cause health problems, especially overuse of vitamins B6, A, and D (although dosage levels would have to exceed 10 times the RDA).  Vitamins C and E are antioxidants, which reduce tissue damage caused by oxidative stress.

Caffeine and creatine are two of the few dietary supplements that are known to be effective in enhancing specific types of athletic performance for some individuals.  The ergogenic potential of caffeine has been demonstrated in several studies, benefitting strength, power, and endurance athletes.

Accurate information from Strength and Conditioning professionals and coaches can have a significant impact on athletes’ perception of performing-enhancing substances.  This information should include the risks and benefits of these products, and ethical issues regarding their use.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER (and do it naturally, safely, and ethically!)

Your thoughts?

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