Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Its all about the hormones...

Ever wondered why the guy that’s banging in steroids, training like an ape and eating shit food gets results?.....Its because its all about the hormones! Getting the optimal hormonal balance within the body should not and cannot be over looked if you want to see great results. One of the most important, and the hormone I’m going to discuss in this post, is testosterone. The king when it comes to muscle and male health. It drives protein synthesis so whether your goal is to get bigger, faster or stronger having optimal T levels will make a massive difference. Oh, and it gets better. Optimal T levels will also mean more energy, higher libido and greater cognitive functions. The following points will make sure your body’s hormones are working in your favour:

·         Heavy compound lifts.
When it comes to boosting T levels making use of big complex lifts like the bench press, deadlift, power clean and snatch will make the world of difference. The reason – these lifts recruit a massive amount of total muscle. This demanding motor pattern puts high metabolic stress on the body, perfect for realising more testosterone.

·         Are you zinc deficient?
Zinc’s main roles in the body are skin and cell growth, healthy immune system and wound healing. Exercise increases your need for this vital mineral and even a mild zinc deficiency could result in lagging testosterone levels and reduced lean body mass.

·         Eat fat to get fit.
Fat, especially saturated fat has got a bit of a bad reputation these days in the media. Yes too much could be an issue, but it shouldn’t be avoided all together. Testosterone is derived from cholesterol so eating foods such as whole eggs, cheese and beef are essential in your quest for higher T levels. Omega 3’s should also be consumed on a regular basis as they have been proven to enhance protein synthesis and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone).
·         Sleep.
Not enough or poor quality sleep could reduce testosterone levels by up to 40%. When you rest your body recovers and rebuilds from your hard work you’ve put in at the gym. If you want optimal testosterone levels you should strive for better quality of sleep. Improving quality of sleep could be as simple as use the bathroom right before bed, keeping the room at a suitable temperature or even using sleep aiding supplements such as ZMA which contains zinc as discussed earlier. The message from this point is simple, for more T make sure your getting enough ZZZ’s.

·         Be a carnivore.
If you don’t eat enough meat (particularly red meat) on a regular basis you could be missing out on zinc, fat, iron, omega 3’s and protein.  All of which will have a negative effect on achieving that optimum Testosterone level within your body.

As a natural athlete these five points listed above are your ammo. So go on, chamber the cartridge and fire back to make sure your body is primed for strength, speed and lean muscle gains!