Are Increases in Anabolic Hormones During Training Necessary for Muscle Growth?

Anabolic hormones such as testosterone, growth hormone, and IGF-1 trigger protein synthesis. Many recent studies on muscle physiology have tried to determine the optimal combination of sets, repetitions and rest between sets and workouts that will boost anabolic hormones. They also study supplements and dietary patterns that can increase these hormones. Daniel West and Stuart Phillips from McMaster University in Canada concluded that post-exercise increases in anabolic hormones do not promote muscle hypertrophy. Studies should concentrate on training methods that increase muscle size and strength rather than measuring changes in anabolic hormones that presumably increase them. (Medicine Science Sports Exercise, 45: 2044-2051, 2013)

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