thousands of supplements to rave about, an entire cloaked market of potent
steroids and the debate about their legalization, why on earth would anyone want
to discuss Human Growth Hormone (hGH)? Hasn't it been proven totally useless as
a muscle builder?
Well, if that were true then why is every
pro on the circuit injecting massive amounts of the stuff into his already
crowded veins? It should be obvious that hGH is one of the most active hormones
in the world today. The miracles of testosterone have amazed the world of
bodybuilding with its regular turnout of 300-pound behemoths and she-men, but GH
is another story altogether. When you take into account that hormones may hold
the secret to stopping aging in its tracks and that GH is the hormone produced
on the largest scale in the human body, it may be our own fountain of youth. I'm
not saying that if you start injecting large amounts of an illegal substance
you'll live to be 200, there is also the matter of tissue resistance, but again:
every little bit helps. GH starts to decline in the body as we grow older. After
the age of 30 it declines by 25 percent every decade, so by the time you hit 60
you are operating at 25 percent of original capacity. If hGH was present in the
same amount throughout our lives we'd easily live to 140, be several inches
taller and a lot more muscular.
The Benefits of hGH
Growth hormone was discovered in the
1920's and was isolated in the form of somatotropin in 1956. The benefits of hGH
are immense, even today new research pops up regularly that reveals new uses for
it. hGH is present in the body at a rate of 500 micrograms at any time in the
blood of males between the ages of 20 and 30. It's produced by the anterior
pituitary gland under the stimulation of the Hypothalamus (like LH, the
testosterone precursor). The effects on our system are tremendous:
* hGH promotes and increases the synthesis
of new protein tissues, such as in muscle recovery or repair. This is the way
new muscle is built.
* Recent research suggests its involvement
in the metabolism of body-fat and its conversion to energy sources. Tests were
conducted in obese people and medical use in treating obesity was proven beyond
a doubt. Pro's have used GH as a way of maintaining and increasing lean mass
while dieting for years.
* It improves the sleeping pattern, makes
for less unintended awakenings and betters REM-stage sleep.
* hGH produces more energy
* It may improve sexual performance
* It builds stronger bones
* Improves the quality and duration of
heart and kidneys
So you can tell the benefits are not few.
What's an even bigger card in the weighing of hGH against testosterone and its
derivatives is that it is not androgenic, causes no aromatization and shows no
side effects in limited doses. It just makes you bigger, huge even in
combination with testosterone. It is believed that we may benefit from doses up
to 1 to 1.5 mg in the bloodstream. That is somewhere in the optimal range for
How do I up my GH?
Well that's the point everyone was hoping
I'd get to. The ways to improving GH concentration is by utilizing the 4 areas
of bodybuilding: Training, rest, nutrition and supplementation.
|The first way of stimulating GH
release naturally is training. Working out, putting the body
under extreme stress, I'm sure it's something none of you are unfamiliar
with. Intense workouts, energy-consuming events and long periods of
physical exhaustion are keys in releasing more Growth Hormone because
these catabolic states require extra protein synthesis and in case of
lack of energy, fat metabolization to make up for glycogen depletion.
This is no doubt the most potent kind of
GH release as it's targeted to meet the demands of the bodybuilder. Of course
I'm not telling you anything new when I'm saying you have to work out to gain
muscle mass. I hope. Moreover the production of this GH is a direct
reaction to a catabolic state that is not wishful to those looking for gains.
The only interesting I can tell you is
this: I learned this in my first year of physiology. GH can be manipulated. The
general rule of thumb when working out is never to train longer than 45 minutes
because that's when GH tapers off and cortisol production sets in. But the
half-life of hGH can be influenced. If you train 40 minutes for a month and
increase it by 2 minutes every month, after 10 months, you could train for an
hour without inducing a catabolic state. No one has ever tested how far you can
push the envelope, but is a proven fact. At this point I see no use for working
out longer than an hour. Anyone using moderate to heavy intensity should be able
to finish 25 sets in that time. The highest I use at this time, being a
competitor myself, is 22 sets for back. Since I'm still growing I assume that's
enough. And since you have to match recovery to training intensity and vice
versa, 25 or more sets would nescessitate at least 4500 to 5000 calories, maybe
more. My stomach just isn't that big.
75 percent of your total daily hGH output
is produced while sleeping, and most of that in REM sleep. This again stresses
the need for a good night's sleep, in case that hadn't quite dawned on you.
Though cat naps may further your case a bit, it's unlikely that you can induce a
deep enough sleep to start producing GH. This GH, in any case, is not near as
potent as the other kinds because it is produced as a response to a need for
sleep protection and a need for energy repletion for the next day, not so much
in response to a need for EXTRA energy. But I think everyone understands that
without this amount of GH other sources of GH will not be used as efficiently.
Getting at least 8-10 hours of sleep is a sacrifice everyone should consider
making if you want to get big in a hurry. Also the regularity of your sleeping
pattern could promote more REM cycles and result in more hormonal output. So
keeping steady hours of rest is beneficial. If you are one to stay out late on
weekends it may be best to still wake up at the same time instead of sleeping
in. Otherwise you may disturb your sleeping pattern. If you are used to sleeping
from 10 to 8 and in the weekend you get home at 1, sleep until 8 and add a
1-hour nap every afternoon for the next 3-days to make up for the lack of sleep.
But if at all possible maintain steady hours.
Most likely the most important section of
the article, and that of the most interest to the natural bodybuilder looking to
make the most of his GH. Naturally I have to ask you to take the past two
paragraphs into regard before continuing here. You can't expect gains from
nutrition or supplementation if your recovery is not adequately adapted. The
search for natural GH secretagogues (secrete and agogue (to teach), so literally
to teach to secrete or induce the production of) begins with the most basic of
nutrients. Yup you guessed it (or you read it in the previous article):
amino acids. But for
aminos to have a good effect you need to make sure that 15-20 percent of your
diet consists of clean fats. These induce cholesterol, the storage of the
base-hormone in the body that leads to the manufacture of most steroidogenic
hormones. The ultimate goal of this paragraph is to give you a complete stack,
with amounts, of amino acids that can synergistically produce more GH, but any
of them should further the case. I'll list them in order of importance (in this
instance, this is not the importance of the amino in the diet).
The doses I'm about to give you are the
best range for maximizing GH in a pre-workout stack. If you have anti-aging
properties in mind, smaller doses will work as well.
(5-8 g) or arginine Pyroglutamate,I hinted at this in my last article, are prime
movers in the production of natural GH.
(4-7 g) works synergistically with arginine, from which it is derived. Together
they have the best impact.
g) or Glutamine Peptides preserve the use of arginine in depleted circumstances.
Glycine (3-10 g)
OKG (3 g) is very
expensive, but useful
BCAAs (3-6 g) for
musclebuilding properties, enhanced by GH.
GABA and Lysine in
trace amounts, but since they may inhibit the other amino's, it would be best to
take these at different times.
Other dietary sources of GH promoting
nutrients are Vitamin C
(ascorbic acid), Vitamin B3 and most
your stack, which ever amino's it ends up consisting of, 45 minutes prior to
your workout for maximal levels of Growth Hormone. On non-workout days, take
your stack either before bed or in the morning, both on an empty stomach. If you
wish to learn more about specific amino acids in this stack, or others that may
be of benefit to your training regimen, I refer you to the
about amino acids. This stack is more than adequate to boost hGH gains by 50
percent. If I hadn't convinced you of the use of protein to gain muscle, the
potential amount of GH you get from maintaining protein levels should make you
change your mind. Whey
protein especially, and dessicated liver are high in arginine levels.
Gearing protein intake to specific goals could be a motivation to keep up the
work on the nutritional end of things.
|No I'm not telling you to inject
GH. Until it becomes legal and then still under a doctor's supervision,
I don't suggest you use it. GH supplementation has many benefits though.
It increases the protein synthesizing effect of testosterone and causes
growth in muscle tissue. Unlike most steroidogenic substances it is
currently undetectable in drug tests. What's more, in small doses it
exerts no side effects. In large doses it may be very harmful however.
Too much natural GH causes a condition
called acromegaly. A person's muscles grow, but so do his bones, his face, his
intestines. Not funny, huh? Plus the muscle you gain on GH is not functional. GH
causes no gains in strength. Larger muscles naturally increases strength a
little, but without training of the tendons and attachments, no strength
increase is noticeable. The enlarged intestines are what cause the bloated guts
on stage in Mr. Olympia contests. Only two substances cause this bloating: IGF-1
(insulin-like Growth factor 1) and hGH. Pros swear by the stuff. It's relatively
new to the market as well. For a long time the only source of GH was from
cadavers. This held a great risk of infection with BSE (Kreutzfeld-Jakob
disease) a debilitating disease that leads to death in weeks and is currently a
hot topic because of recent cases in the European bovine stock as a result of
processing animal waste in animal food. Now it's available as somatotropin,
synthethized outside the body.
So why did I bring up supplementation if
it's illegal? Well how do you suppose you make an illegal drug a legal
supplement? In the States there is a law that says that you can sell certain
substances over the counter if they are below a certain concentration. So GH is
currently being sold as a supplement, though suspended in alcohol. It is
supposed to be absorbed sublingually (under the tongue) or through the nasal
glands (in the nose). It's small enough to do this and yields high rates. It
can't survive the digestive process and find a way into the blood through
ingestion and the only other way is to inject it, which makes it illegal again.
The law is the same one that allows ephedrine in fat-loss supps and
pseudo-ephedrine in cold-medicine. The GH we are talking about here is not very
effective, nor very cheap, but it pays off as a recovery supplement. I tried it
once taking a few drops sublingually after every workout. I didn't gain much
extra muscle, none to speak of, but I found that my muscles recovered faster,
noticed a decrease in lactic acid buildup and slept better overall. So it has
its merits. The downside: a pricetag of 70 or 80 bucks for a months worth. I
wouldn't regard this last paragraph as key to your supplementation regimen and
take the three paragraphs prior to it, if you learn anything, but for those who
had questions about legal GH, I hereby answered them.
hGH is a necessary factor in your training
and recuperation, and knowing how to manipulate its release may be one of the
most important steps you could make towards optimizing gains in muscle mass.
Growth Hormone may not have revealed all its secrets yet, but to pass up on the
benefits would be a bad deal and unacceptable for the hard-working hardgainer
such as yourself. I could digress and deliver endless dissertations about the
remarkable Growth Hormone, but I think you have the core elements. Many believe
that making growth hormone legal, and authorizing hormone replacement therapy
for the elderly would be a great advantage to the health care system, but the
fact remains that GH is a dangerous substance to fool around with. I'm all for
it, but with the nescessary restrictions naturally. Whatever will be decided
about the furure of hGH, I'll be following the evolution closely (not that there
will be much movement in that department as long as there is a Bush in office).