Growth Hormone Response to Resistance Training

Lots of research has been conducted on how to elicit the greatest growth hormone (GH) response in the body. There are actually several GH isoforms, but by far, the most commonly studied is the 22-kD molecule that consists of 191 amino acids. If you’re attempting to get some more size on your frame, then you should be concerned about your body’s GH response to your lifts.

Rules of Thumb:

  1. GH is maximized via concentric muscle action, specifically.
  2. Men and women have similar GH responses to resistance exercise. However, women naturally have more GH at rest than men do.
  3. The idea the GH response is limited in “older” individuals is a fallacy. GH response is primarily linked to EFFORT, not age.
  4. Planning is crucial. If you are “winging-it” in the gym, you’re probably wasting your time - in terms of muscle growth. Everything is important: sets, reps, intensity, total volume, rest time, exercise selection. So, very difficult (some may say “insane”) set/rep schemes are in order. Ex. 10x10 @ 70% with 2-min rest or 6x15 @ 60% with 3-min rest.

Cocktail trivia you can breakout for your meat-head minded friends: growth hormone is secreted from the anterior pituitary, which receives its “orders” from a neural response initiated by higher brain centers – like the motor cortex – as they react to certain muscle actions.

One last tip: A Cup-O-Strength may be required to make it through 6x15 squats… hey, can’t hurt, right?