As men reach the fourth decade of their lives, growth hormone (made by the pituitary gland) begins to decline. Although some men choose to accept the inevitability of the drop, others naturally increase their levels of growth hormone by upping the intensity of resistance training.
When lifting weights, men over the age of forty should pay extra attention to their joints, taking care to avoid excessive stress on knees, ankles, elbows, and wrists. The gradual aging process requires a subtle shift in the way that you treat your body, compensating for the natural effects of time. Use weight-lifting safety belts and braces; be sure to follow all safety rules listed on exercise equipment. Limit how often you "max out," meaning that you work your muscles to exhaustion (failure). In an article by Luis M. Alvidrez and Len Kravitz, Ph.D, of the University of New Mexico, it is noted that "always taking each set to failure can have negative effects on strength, power, and hormone responses (Izquierdo et al., 2006)."
If you enjoy cardio workouts more than weight training, you'll be glad to know that intense workouts can also promote the release of growth hormones. Running sprints increases the amount of time that the body burns fat – and it also increases the release of growth hormones.
Growth hormone is important because it impacts carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism.
Carbohydrate metabolism:growth hormone, along with other hormones, helps to maintain a normal range of blood glucose; growth hormone is sometimes known to have anti-insulin activity.
Lipid metabolism: growth hormone promotes the utilization of fat by stimulating oxidation in adipocytes and triglyceride breakdown.
Protein metabolism: growth hormone stimulates protein anabolism in some tissues, as evidenced by decreased oxidation of proteins, increased protein synthesis, and increased amino acid uptake
Five Reasons to Test Hormone Levels
- check for reduced pituitary gland function
- identify growth deficiencies
- help diagnose hyperpituitarism
- help diagnose pituitary tumors
- evaluate hGC therapy
His AdvancedPlus Hormone Profile effectively tests thyroid, adrenal, and reproductive hormone levels in the comfort of your own home.
Research Editor: Jennifer Cebulak