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As you delve deeper into the fitness challenge, you may face a battle of a different kind. Possibly trickier to deal with than body pain or lack of time, this is the battle of hormones! More and more training and exercise experts these days are talking about the trade-off between growth hormone (GH) and cortisol – both exercise related hormones that work against each other!
Have you been working out long and hard but are still struggling to look leaner? Perhaps you need “hormonal” intervention! The concept of growth hormone vs. cortisol is that when you exercise, your body releases both. While GHs burn accumulated fat deposits, give you sexy muscles and also have anti-ageing properties, cortisol does the opposite! It reduces metabolic rate, destroys well-earned muscles and generally dampens your fitness challenge.
How to Fix a Balanced Workout Routine for Women
1. Fall in love with growth hormone
When you’re looking at flat abs, it’s worthwhile falling in love with GH. What is human growth hormone? Just your best friend! A product of the anterior pituitary gland, it increases the synthesis of protein tissues for muscle repair or recovery. Not just that, it increases your overall metabolic rate, maintains and increases lean mass, improves sleeping patterns and releases more energy. And oh, if you want to make things a bit hotter, HG is also known to improve sexual performance. Now this can be the perfect complement to your daily fitness challenge!
2. But be wary of cortisol release!
Yikes, what releases cortisol? Well, there’s no thumb rule that guides this hormonal response to exercise. Higher workout intensities can peak either growth hormone or cortisol levels, and this varies across women. But in very high-intensity workouts, a cortisol spike tends to come on faster, while growth hormone release takes place in about 10-25 minutes of training time. Since the implications of cortisol release can make you look much older than your age, please actively ensure your body isn’t producing too much!
3. How on earth to suppress production of cortisol?
Easy! Divide your workout sessions into shorter durations. Start training multiple times across the hours that you have on hand. The reason is that as little as 30-second “bursts” of exercise sets or high intensity “mini workouts” trigger off multiple bursts of the growth hormone. But they also prevent cortisol levels from rising beyond repair. Although tough to manage with a hectic career and parenting, no gain without some pain right?
4. Does my workout need a change?
Now that you’re aware of what releases cortisol, it’s a good idea to stick to many short-duration exercise sets rather than trying to do it all at once or too quickly. Figure out a way to workout in the office or at varied points in your day at home. In line with the available time and schedules, chalk out small high-intensity sessions for your situps, planks, crunches and leg lifts. The “mini workout” principles are any day better than longer workouts for women.
Now that you know hormonal battles are very much real, try to adopt a balanced workout routine for women. The mantra is to space workout in a manner that reduces cortisol and optimises GH. So, what are you waiting for? Wow the world with lean, sculpted abs beginning today!