I love this stuff. A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine may help explain what I have been saying for quite some time here: that exercise stimulates the natural production of growth hormone (the very same HGH we just wrote about yesterday). But it’s the type of exercise that makes all the difference. And this further confirms something else we’ve been saying: that it’s short intense bursts that work the best.
While we have known this for years (that exercise and sleep are the best ways to produce natural HGH), there hadn’t been a good explanation of what kind of exercise was best or why certain forms of exercise had that HGH effect – and what exactly caused it. Until this paper. In this elegantly designed study, researchers used people with McArdle’s disease – people who don’t produce lactic acid – to show that when hard work is performed without lactate production, there is no EIGR (exercise-induced growth hormone repsonse). Very cool. OK, well, not for them…
As you also know by now, I was a chronic aerobiciser for 20 years, but have since reformed my ways. I was your typical skinny marathoner/triathlete with less muscle mass than I wanted – but I was always exercising like a fiend. Turns out the type of exercise I was doing was so much (that’s the chronic part) and so wrong for achieving health that I was “catabolic” much of the time (constantly breaking the muscles down instead of building them up). This of course also led to my being sick and injured a lot as well.
I now espouse weight-training and intense anaerobic bursts as a major part of my “Primal Blueprint“. These are exercise forms that we can use to naturally get stronger, leaner, fitter, healthier and even smarter. Sure some low level cardio is good for the heart once in a while, but the real results come from the anaerobic work. I am so pleased to see that this study shows that it’s the lactate (lactic acid) produced by intense anaerobic work that actually stimulates the growth hormone. The take-home message once again – if you want to get the most advantage from time spent exercising, pick those exercises that stimulate release of HGH naturally. It’ll take less time and you’ll show the results even sooner. Now, once I recover from the knee surgery I had last week, I’m heading to the beach for more sprints…
Tips for Sprint Training
Primal Health Intro Part I
Primal Health Intro Part II
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