A group of physiologists from McMaster University Research (Canada, Ontario) disproved one of the most common myths of bodybuilding — that testosterone and natural growth hormones play an important role in building muscle mass during strength training.
Thus, professional bodybuilders who try «manipulate» hormones, training according to specially developed personal schemes in order to achieve the desired results, are wasting their time, money and energy. The same applies to novice bodybuilders and amateurs, who devote a lot of time to studying special methodological literature, consultations with «by the experts at» and hormone tests.
Steroid hormones (physiologically active substances that regulate vital processes in animals and humans) do not affect the synthesis of the so-called «muscle proteins» and increasing muscle mass.
Steroid hormones include corticosteroids, or cortical adrenal hormones (cortisone and hydrocortisone, corticosterone, pregnan, prednisolone, aldosterone), and the sex hormones androsterone, methyltestosterone and testosterone (in women — estrone, estradiol, estriol and ethinyl estradiol).
«It is a very popular belief among gym-goers that elevated levels of certain hormones after exercise, such as testosterone, play a key role in building muscle. We have shown that this belief is wrong», — explains McMaster alumnus Danye West, the lead author of both papers.
The first series of experiments examined how the female and male bodies respond to naturally elevated testosterone levels during intense leg muscle exercise. Despite a 45-fold difference in testosterone concentrations, muscle proteins were synthesized at the same rate in the subjects.
«This is an important finding because it is the new muscle proteins that make the main contribution to muscle development»,
With artificial doping, when large doses of testosterone are injected from outside the body, this hormone can have an anabolic effect by accelerating the formation of new muscle structures in men and women. But in the case of naturally elevated concentrations of this hormone in the body, such an effect, as experiments show, is no longer observed.
The second study analyzed the hormonal response to exercise in 56 young men, aged 18 to 30, who exercised five days a week for three months.
No correlation was found between the levels of testosterone and growth hormones and strength and muscle mass growth, which remained almost unchanged in some cases and increased by up to 6 kg in others.
In contrast, to their surprise, the researchers found that muscle growth was positively correlated with concentrations of cortisol, which was thought to have the opposite effect from anabolic, inhibiting protein synthesis and slowing the formation of new muscle fibers. No correlation has ever been found with other hormones.
«The idea that a proper training program should be based on «competent» The manipulation of natural levels of testosterone and growth hormones has proven to be erroneous. There is no empirical evidence to support the validity of this concept», — summarizes Stuart Phillips, professor in the Department of Kinesiology (the discipline that studies muscular movement in all its manifestations) at McMaster University.
Thus, the methodology of healthy bodybuilding, which does not involve doping injections of anabolics, must be substantially reconsidered.