Different training types/schedules and their impact on hormones?

bluejeff

Level 5 Valued Member
I have often read that after a training bout (of moderate to high intensity, I'm assuming) the body enters a catabolic state, followed by an anabolic state which creates the benefits of exercise. I am interested in training's effects on hormones because I am in my late 30s and would like to maintain a higher level of testosterone, GH, etc for health as I age.

How does the body react hormonally to higher frequency training (4+ days per week) vs 2-3 higher intensity sessions? Does anyone know of any literature on this?

For instance, I know that 2-3 intense sessions per week (say, a full-body workout completed in under 45 miutes or 1 hour at the VERY maximum) has been shown time and again to improve many factors such as insulin resistance, lean body mass, conditioning, etc..... How does that training style compare to say. . .Doing either the same routine nearly daily (at a lower daily volume, intensity) or training nearly every day by doing slightly different sessions? If one trains nearly daily, obviously the intensity much drop to a degree. There are tons of higher-frequency programs in the general SF literature.

Another example would be someone doing a heavy lifting program such as PTTP or powerlifting alongside something like S&S or Q&D. Obviously you need a level of pre-conditioning to do this in the first place, but how would this look in terms of hormonal function?

If possible I'm looking for literature to support this. Much appreciated :)
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Compound lifts create a stronger hormonal response in general - more muscles used at one time = better response.

Training to failure using higher volumes produces a stronger Gh effect but not a stronger T response.

HIIT spikes Gh and T, and done regularly will elevate transient levels of both somewhat.

Depleting muscle glucose either a little or a lot helps with insulin response.

Mix and match various approaches and you're looking at folks' best guesses. The differences from one approach to another are not going to yield massive deltas, although the research DOES show some big changes over the short term most don't show much difference in resting levels from one to the other. They all make a huge difference compared to sedentary controls.
 

bluejeff

Level 5 Valued Member
Maybe another way to phrase my question would be to ask if training more often than a few days a week has net positive or negative effects on hormones. My line of thinking is that if one is in a net catabolic state after a session, and trains again the next day (although using a lower intensity or different modality) are they prolonging the catabolic state by doing so?

here is a short excerpt from The Quick and the Dead to point to what I am asking:

"Russians did a study to evaluate the anabolic and catabolic effects of different types of exercises and loads. Among those tested was a typical HIIT workout, 3x60 seconds on a veloergometer with two-minute rests. It was the most catabolic of all types of exercise; the anabolic phase was not reached even on day four."

Tsatsouline, Pavel. The Quick and the Dead: Total Training for the Advanced Minimalist . StrongFirst, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

So I am basically wondering how to reap the most hormonal benefits (that is, progress instead of regress) without having to drop training to just 2-3 days/week.

Edit: additionally, is is possible to see anabolism without going very intense, HIIT style or otherwise. Like just lifting heavy for low reps, etc?
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Among those tested was a typical HIIT workout, 3x60 seconds on a veloergometer with two-minute rests. It was the most catabolic of all types of exercise; the anabolic phase was not reached even on day four."
I'd like to see the actual study on that one, HIIT is not known to interfere with anabolism...at all. It actually spikes mTor and improves proliferation and incorporation of satellite cells.

You may be overthinking this, esp the catabolic effect of resistance training or HIIT (or even LISS for that matter). If you train with high intensity of effort you need to train less often - its that simple. The less metabolically taxing your sessions are the more often you can train.

Even in a somewhat overtrained state the body will compensate - it becomes significantly more efficient at dealing with ROS and cortisol. Up to a point. The next question then becomes "how much am I doing that isn't harmful, but also is not triggering any additional adaptive response - a waste of time?"

 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

I found this on Craig Weller's Instagram. There is no mention of hormonal response though:
"Your heart makes different structural adaptations depending on the nature of your training. ⁠

Intense exercise, such as running a mile or three as fast as you can or racing through a "metcon" circuit, strengthens the heart's left ventricle to help it push blood more powerfully against high levels of pressure. This thickens the chamber of the heart - known as concentric cardiac hypertrophy. ⁠

Lower-intensity exercise, such as a strength circuit using several exercises done for low reps at each station with adequate rest in between (thus keeping your average HR around 130-150), or rucking with your heart rate below 150 beats per minute, causes your heart to adapt to higher blood *volume* needs. This means eccentric cardiac hypertrophy. Rather than thicker chamber walls, your heart develops to expand to a larger chamber that allows for more blood per beat. ⁠

This higher stroke volume means that the heart rate you need to sustain effort at *any* level is lower. You're more efficient. ⁠

Relatively moderate activities like running around to get from one place to another or to meals can be done without a high heart rate, which decreases the cost of the activity to you. Your stress load is lower, and your capacity for recovery is higher. ⁠

At highly intense activities, the higher stroke volume afforded by your prior lower-intensity training gives you a higher ceiling. As you reach the limits of your cardiac output, you are able to move more blood at a maximal heart rate than someone whose training was exclusively high-intensity. You can perform better during max-effort events, and recover faster in between them. ⁠

Thus, it's not about one form of training or another. It's about how multiple forms of training support each other, and how to effectively layer them together."

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Starlord

Level 4 Valued Member
Compound lifts create a stronger hormonal response in general - more muscles used at one time = better response.

Training to failure using higher volumes produces a stronger Gh effect but not a stronger T response.

HIIT spikes Gh and T, and done regularly will elevate transient levels of both somewhat.

Depleting muscle glucose either a little or a lot helps with insulin response.

Mix and match various approaches and you're looking at folks' best guesses. The differences from one approach to another are not going to yield massive deltas, although the research DOES show some big changes over the short term most don't show much difference in resting levels from one to the other. They all make a huge difference compared to sedentary controls.

This.

Anymore than that is majoring in the minors. Getting a good nights sleep decreasing cortisol levels. Increases testosterone and GH levels.

As does a good diet at well.

Getting these major things in place yields massive positive changes in results and hormone balance.
 
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