Training to optimise your hormones

Bodybuilding and Hormone Levels

Optimising hormone levels is necessary for one to enjoy and maintain health and vitality. “Work Smarter, not Harder” as they say,.. so to achieve your fitness goals, especially as you get older, it is important to understand the role hormones play and how you can work with them in order to achieve your goals.


How do insulin levels contribute to the effectiveness of one’s training:

Insulin is a peptide hormone that regulates glucose in the body. It drives glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells, this including the muscle cells. What many bodybuilders fail to understand is that insulin is critical for building muscle and is highly anabolic. The key is to understand fully the mechanics that drive its regulatory system. In this way, we may be able to hone into its benefits for bodybuilding.

So long as the pancreas is in proper functioning order, when we eat carbs and protein, both independently or together, insulin is released.

Insulin consists of a chain of amino acids which are strung together. The way the insulin protein chain is folded makes it function like a signalling mechanism instead of a building block.

Insulin enters the bloodstream, and it travels to muscle tissue. Lining the muscle fibres (cells) are insulin receptors. When insulin docks onto an insulin receptor, this signals the muscle cell to allow entrance within. Glucose, amino acids, and creatine enter the muscles.

Also, when insulin docks onto the muscle cells via the insulin receptor, it instigates biochemical reactions in the tissue. These reactions increase protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is the building of muscle from amino acids that have entered the muscle cells. Insulin also decreases muscle breakdown. This promotes muscle growth.

Insulin causes the blood vessels to relax and dilate, which results in greater blood flow to the muscles. By increasing blood flow, insulin can get more nutrients like glucose and amino acids into the muscles.

  • Insulin decreases significantly during cardiovascular exercise.
  • Exercising at between 65-75% of your maximum heart rate will cause a massive release of adrenaline.
  • Adrenaline will stop the production of insulin at the pancreas.
  • As your insulin levels drop, FFA’s become readily available to be used as a primary fuel source.
  • Controlling your insulin levels is of vital importance for diabetes prevention.


Achieve results by optimising Somatotropin:

  • Lactic acid release increases at the ‘cross-over point.’
  • This point is where your body stops using fats as your primary source of fuel and starts using carbohydrates (in the form of blood glucose and muscle glycogen) as your main fuel source.
  • Increased use of type II muscle fibres, decreased the availability of free fatty acids (FFA) as well as the increase in adrenalin levels are all causes carbohydrates (rather than FFA’s) being utilised as a fuel source during exercise.
  • The amount released during exercise is related to your lactic acid levels. The greatest increase in these levels is achieved by training at roughly 70-75% of your one repetition maximum and completing 4 or more sets of each exercise. Each set should be comprised of 10-12 repetitions. There should be a 1-minute rest between sets.



How do testosterone levels contribute to the effectiveness of one’s training:

  • To increase testosterone levels through resistance training, one needs to train very heavy, for short periods of time and employ long rest breaks.
  • Complete; 3-5 sets for each exercise.
  • Each set should be comprised of 5 repetitions.
  • Each repetition should be completed at 85% of your maximum.
  • It is important that there is an, at least, a 3-minute rest in between each set.
  • It is also best to use compound movements with large muscle groups, such as squats and bench press.