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The Ultimate Guide to Testosterone Pt. 1/3

pharma1

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I found this amazing read the other day and wanted to share it with you guys:


No anabolic reference guide would be complete without the mention of the most anabolic of all hormones: testosterone! GH and testosterone work synergistically together when produced in conjunction with intense exercise. It seems the increases in both GH and testosterone results in the greatest increases in muscle mass and reductions in bodyfat. For example, when the effects of GH or a combination of GH and testosterone on lean muscle mass and fat mass were compared, a combination of GH and testosterone resulted in superior increases in lean muscle mass and reduced fat mass compared to GH or testosterone alone26, 27. The effects of GH and testosterone on lean body mass appeared additive, suggesting that both GH and testosterone are synergistic yet increase muscle hypertrophy thru different mechanisms.

Testosterone: The King of Muscle Building
Testosterone is the king of anabolic hormones, don't expect much increases in size or reductions in bodyfat without increases in testosterone. For example, one study administered a drug that suppresses natural testosterone production to a group of healthy men which reduced circulating testosterone levels to sub-normal levels and found that testosterone decreases in protein metabolism, decreased lean muscle mass, decreased strength, and increased adiposity. If that's not bad enough, there was a decrease in gene expression for IGF-1 in muscle28. One of the major mechanisms that testosterone is suggested to increase protein synthesis and subsequent muscle growth is through the stimulation of satellite cell number and an increase in the actual binding of satellite cells to muscle fibers. Testosterone administration has been shown to increase satellite cell number. Several factors appear to influence the acute serum total testosterone responses to resistance exercise. The magnitude of elevation of testosterone during resistance exercise has been shown to be affected by the muscle mass involved (i.e. exercise selection), intensity and volume, nutrition, and training experience. A bout of resistance exercise produces acute changes in testosterone have been linked to those cellular processors involved in protein turnover and muscle growth2, 29. In brief, elevated testosterone concentrations produced during intense exercise increase testosterone-receptor interactions, thereby initiating a cascade of events leading to the acute (e.g. protein metabolism) and chronic (e.g. muscle growth) adaptive response to training. Acute elevations in serum free testosterone occur after high intensity exercise in both young and elderly men after resistance exercise. However, the magnitude of elevation was greater after 10 weeks of progressive resistance exercise stimulus; thereby suggesting that a resistance training base may enhance the acute response to a workout. In addition, a significant elevation in resting serum free testosterone was observed in the young men30. Testosterone is thought to be the predominant factor that produces greater hypertrophy in men than women when placed on identical training regimens. Strength protocols which take prolonged rest periods produce smaller testosterone responses than short rest period hypertrophy schemes. Such a notion is supported by the larger muscle fiber sizes of bodybuilders versus power-lifters/Olympic lifters, which may be attributed to the training methods employed by these athletes (bodybuilders =hypertrophy schemes, power/Olympic lifters = strength schemes) and associated testosterone responses.

More Explosive Power with Testosterone
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Like feeling strong...it's your testosterone levels! Higher testosterone levels are correlated with maximal strength levels and higher resistance levels of fatigue in weightlifters8. Additionally, testosterone levels are directly related to how high a person can jump and how fast a person can run23. Testosterone appears to augment power activities and activities with high force output. For example, work from Bosco and colleagues tested 97 high level athletes involved in various sports. They found that the highest values of testosterone were for jumping performance in sprinters, while the lowest values were in cross-country skiers, and intermediate values were found in soccer players23. They also found that testosterone was directly related to both the height in the countermovement vertical jump and average sprinting speed. What is most fascinating is that actual increase in testosterone concentrations in a maximal continuous vertical jumping test for 60 seconds in professional soccer players was directly correlated with average power output15. One study documented that without testosterone, you can expect impaired strength gains from a heavy resistance training protocol. In the study, young men performed several weeks of performing a resistance training program while receiving a medication that turn blunts the production of testosterone. The strength-training period of eight weeks included exercises for all major muscles (three to four sets per exercise x six to 10 repetitions) and one-minute rest periods between sets. The protocol was designed to cause acute increases in testosterone, which has been validated by previous investigations. The subjects who received the testosterone suppression medication had a decrease in testosterone that was 10 percent lower than that of normal males, whereas testosterone remained constant in the placebo group. So here is where the importance of testosterone becomes clear for muscle strength and weight loss. The group that received the testosterone suppressing medication showed no changes in strength after training, whereas the placebo group had increased strength gains. Body fat mass increased in the testosterone suppression group while it decreased by 1.3 pounds in normal group. The testosterone blunting medication group made a small gain in lean mass, but not as much as the placebo group24. So this study demonstrates that maintaining or increasing testosterone levels are essential for strength gains.

Testosterone and Resistance Training Intensity
An intense bout of resistance exercise produces acute changes in testosterone which have been linked to those cellular processors involved in protein synthesis and muscle growth. Resistance training routines, that incorporate short rest periods between sets, produce higher testosterone concentrations than training protocols that use the same workload and prolonged rest periods. For example, male strength athletes performed two different training intensities while maintaining similar rest periods (3 minutes). The first session consisted of maximal strength training session (20 sets x 1 RM x 100 %), while one week later they performed a sub-maximal bodybuilding training session (10 sets x 10 RM x 70%). Testosterone levels with maximal training (20 sets x 1 RM) did not change immediately and 1-hour post exercise, however testosterone and cortisol responses to submaximal training (10 sets x 10 RM) increased during after and 1 hour post-exercise with the submaximal training loads1. It was concluded that high intensity resistance exercises can stimulate testosterone production, while low intensity heavy resistance exercise does not. If you perform a high intensity bout of heavy resistance exercise, not matter what your previous training experience you will increase testosterone production. One study compared bodybuilders and powerlifters of the same age, size, and experience to an intense resistance training protocol, which shorted rest periods. The experimental sessions consisted of 3 sets of 10 repetitions for 10 exercises with 10-second rest periods between sets and 30 to 60 second rest periods between exercises. Testosterone increased in both groups, but regardless of previous training experience, both bodybuilders and powerlifters had similar increases in testosterone concentrations2.
 

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