Learn what types of hormones are and how to properly manage hormones to maximize muscle and strength gains. By and large, any of our actions causes a hormonal response in the body. These substances govern all actions of the body and it is important for athletes to know how to manage their hormones. Recall that hormones are special substances synthesized by the endocrine system. Once in the bloodstream, they are transported to targeted tissues, where they interact with certain types of receptors. To achieve high performance in sports, athletes must be familiar with the basic principles of these powerful substances.
What changes occur in muscle tissue under the influence of hormones?
The most important change in muscle tissue is the increase in the contractile protein compounds myosin and actin. Of course, the ongoing changes are not limited to this. For example, the processes of non-contractile protein compounds, which are often called satellite cells, are activated. As a result, they become part of the contractile apparatus of the muscles.
These mechanisms are activated through strength training. If you understand the principles of slowing down the processes of destruction of protein structures of muscles and accelerating the reactions of their creation, you can achieve positive results in sports. These processes are maximally influenced by testosterone, somatotropin, insulin, as well as insulin-like growth factor.
You should also be aware of the catabolic hormonal substances, in particular, cortisol. The more actively muscle fibers are stimulated by means of physical activity, the stronger the hypertrophy process will be. Also, hormonal substances are able to influence the structure of the fibers of muscle tissue.
In the scientific world, there is a theory of "key and lock", according to which each hormonal substance can interact with a certain type of receptor. The receptors play the role of the lock, and hormones are the key to it. When the lock is opened, the cell receives a certain signal for action.
The nuclei of all cells contain genetic material that is able to recognize the message transmitted by hormones. As a result, anabolic or catabolic reactions are activated. When a cell reaches the maximum level of its ability to adapt, it no longer responds to signals from the endocrine system.
What types of hormones are there?
To understand how to manage your hormones, you need to understand the types of these substances that exist. There is nothing complicated here, since there are only two of them - polypeptide and steroid hormonal substances. They produce different effects on the fibers of muscle tissue. The sex glands and adrenal glands synthesize steroid-type hormones. When a hormonal substance dissolves in the lining of the striated muscle cells (sarcolemma), it begins to act on the receptors. As a result, the cell is activated. After the penetration of the hormone into the cell nucleus, elements specially encoded for the synthesis of protein compounds are opened.
All hormone receptor complexes are capable of determining only certain mechanisms of regulation in genes. Once this happens, messenger RNA molecules are processed and delivered to the sarcoplasm, where they are converted into protein compounds. Polypeptide hormones, in turn, are composed of amine chains. This group of hormonal substances includes growth hormone and insulin.Since they cannot dissolve in fat, they are not able to penetrate the sarcolemma. For the transmission of information by cells, they are forced to use excipients.
Strength training and hormones
The question of how to manage your hormones is primarily of interest to representatives of strength sports disciplines. As we said above, exercise with weights can cause serious changes in muscle tissue. It is the hormones that promote muscle growth and performance. Under the influence of strong physical exertion, the endocrine glands synthesize hormonal substances.
They are designed to transmit information and, as a result, cause a certain reaction in the body. It is important to remember that the type and duration of the movements performed largely determine the type of hormones synthesized, and, as a result, the body's response. The increase in the concentration of hormonal substances after strength training has significant differences from the reactions stimulated by endurance exercises.
Training with weights, due to the specificity of the movements performed, involves certain motor units, which remain inactive during the performance of other exercises. This is due to the fact that the motor units under consideration have a high threshold of sensitivity and respond to exercises only after a certain effort is applied, which can be developed only with the use of weights.
After the motor units are triggered, the muscle fibers located in them are also activated. This leads to the fact that the sarcolemma of the cells is under serious stress. As a result, the index of permeability of the membranes of muscle fibers changes and nutrients penetrate into the cells. Also, everything described above affects the synthesis processes and the indicator of receptor sensitivity.
During and after training, the body synthesizes a large amount of hormonal substances. This is done for the sole purpose of suppressing catabolic reactions and accelerating the synthesis of contractile protein compounds. If the physical activity turned out to be excessively high, then the reverse processes occur in the muscle tissues and the destruction of cells begins.
As the athlete progresses, the rate of synthesis of contractile proteins fades into the background in terms of muscle growth. In this situation, the main goal of strength training is to suppress the activity of catabolic hormones. It should also be remembered that hormones only affect the muscles that you worked on in class. For this reason, it becomes necessary to alternate exercises. Only the stimulated muscle fibers can be changed. When an athlete performs the same movement at each workout, the growth of fibers will not be optimal, since the same fibers are involved in the work as the last time. It is enough to change, say, the load angle, and the situation will change.
The reaction of muscle tissue to hormonal substances depends on several factors. When the concentration of hormones in the blood is high, the chances that they will interact with receptors are increased. All cells have a genetically predetermined potential for their development. The closer they are to this threshold, the weaker the receptors respond to hormonal substances. It is very important to give your body enough time to recover. If you use an illiterately designed training program, then there is a high probability of getting the opposite results - catabolic processes are activated. It should be noted that various factors influence the processes of muscle fiber hypertrophy. If we talk about the growth of power parameters, then here the influence of not only hormonal substances is great.A huge role in this issue belongs to the nervous system and its ability to activate the largest possible number of motor units.
Testosterone hormone and muscle growth
If you want to know how to manage your hormones, then you should have some knowledge about all the main hormonal substances. You must understand that a high concentration in the blood of one or another hormone does not mean at all that the corresponding reactions will be triggered in the cells. At the same time, the chance of successful interaction of hormone molecules with receptors is higher. In order for the muscles to increase in volume, it is necessary to achieve a higher concentration of anabolic hormones in comparison with catabolic ones.
This hormone is well known not only to athletes, but also to ordinary people. A large number of crimes, heart muscle problems and strokes are often associated with this substance. Also, everyone knows that testosterone helps to gain muscle mass.
Testosterone has an indirect effect on the synthesis of protein compounds and somatotropin. An increase in the concentration of growth hormone leads to an acceleration in the synthesis of insulin-like factor. The male hormone acts on the central nervous system. This is an important property of the hormone, since as a result, the concentration of neurotransmitters increases, as well as the number of nerve-muscle connections. All this has a positive effect on the rate of hypertrophy processes. In addition, we have already noted the role of the nervous system in increasing power parameters.
After the synthesis of the hormone, globulin (a transport protein compound), transports testosterone molecules into the tissues. After interacting with the receptors, a message is activated, which is then transmitted to the nucleus of the muscle fiber. You must remember that the process of synthesizing protein compounds is the result of a whole series of events. There are several methods that can increase the concentration of the hormone in the blood:
- The lesson should last about one hour.
- Multiple approaches are performed.
- Basic exercises are used.
- The duration of rest between sets is no more than one minute.
- The weight of the weights is 80–90 percent of the maximum.
Those of you who visit the gym have probably heard the phrase many times about the need to do squats or deadlifts to gain mass. In practice, this is what happens, because it is the basic exercises that allow you to achieve the maximum hormonal response of the body. If you work only on simulators in training, then there will be no significant progress.
Almost all studies of this hormone have been conducted on men. However, the substance is also present in the female body. However, the concentration of testosterone in women is about ten times lower than that of the stronger sex. It has not yet been proven that physical activity leads to an increase in the concentration of testosterone in the female body. This suggests that girls should not be afraid of strength training. With its help, you can not only quickly get rid of fat, but also tighten muscles, which has a positive effect on the appearance of the body. That's all the information on how to manage your hormones.