Rest Intervals and GH

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Rest Intervals and GH

Postby Canuck Singh » Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:54 am

If you were around in the 80’s and early 90’s you might remember seeing guys rushing around in the gym performing a lot of reps and resting only about one minute or so between sets. In between gasps, they’d tell you that this style of training was shown to promote a higher secretion of growth hormone. The fact is that while some studies showed this, many others didn’t. The small differences there may have been in acute hormone responses was a moot point anyway. No measurable physiological responses such as (strength or muscle mass increases) had been observed.

However, this lack of data didn't stop many "experts" from telling bodybuilders they should lift lighter weights for more reps and take shorter rests between sets. Now, a well designed and controlled, 6 month-long training study has been completed and the results debunked these recommendations totally.

This training study measured resting and acute hormone responses, strength and muscle mass gains in a group of bodybuilders over two 3-month training programs. One program involved moderate load (8-12 maximum rep range) and shorter rest intervals (up to 2 minutes) during training to see if this type of training would provide a better influence on GH responses and muscle gains. The other group used high overload (3-6 rep maximum) and rested up to 5 minutes between sets.

The shorter rest interval and higher reps didn’t have any better effect on hormone secretion, strength or muscle mass gains. No differences in hormone responses, strength or muscle size increases between the two training protocols were observed. In fact, when the bodybuilders followed the high overload approach, they gained more strength (because they lifted heavier weights). Remember, strength gains mean greater potential for muscle gains.
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