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Re-Sculpt Your Body, Don't Just Lose Weight


I'm sure you've driven past them...I know I have. Diligent exercisers jogging along on the trails or on the side of the streets. They're getting in a lot of exercise which, of course, is critical in the effort to get down to and maintain a healthy body weight. But there's often something that just doesn't look right.

Sometimes they look like merely smaller versions of the rest of us. You know- they're still puffy looking, with plenty of insulation should they choose to take a dip in the cold Pacific surf. What's wrong here? What we're seeing is weight loss without an appreciable change in the ratio of lean body mass to fat.

Human Growth Hormone And Fat Burning

An article published in 1999, entitled Impact of Acute Exercise Intensity on Pulsatile Growth Hormone Release in Men brought to light the role that high-intensity exercise (as opposed to steady-state, moderate-intensity exercise) can play in getting more human growth hormone (HGH) circulating throughout the bloodstream.

Before we get too far down the HGH path, however, let's establish that HGH actually provides any benefit to begin with. Human growth hormone has been found by the researcher Bengtsson and his team to result in the following:

The results show that GH replacement in growth hormone deficient adults results in marked alterations in body composition, fat distribution, and bone and mineral metabolism and reduces psychiatric symptoms.

Well, where do we sign up? We want some of that: reduced adipose tissue, less subcutaneous adipose tissue, a reduction of up to 30% of visceral (gut) fat, and some muscle volume increase. Read Bengtsson's abstract, it's all there.

High Intensity Exercise And HGH

Getting back to the 1999 Pritzlaff study alluded to above, there is a measurable increase in the amount of circulating HGH in the bloodstreams of exercisers who've engaged in high-intensity 'interval' training (some call it HIIT). If you couple that finding with the study by Bengtsson, you can conclude that incorporating some interval training into an exercise program is a fine way to 're-sculpt' your body.

But being highly trained scientists (aka cynics), the Pritzlaff group wanted to find out why there was more HGH after hard core exercise. Was it due to more 'pulses' by the pituitary gland (after-all, HGH is emitted from the pituitary gland in a pulsatile pattern), larger amounts secreted per pulse, or was it due to the HGH not getting reabsorbed out of the bloodstream as quickly?

And the winner was...larger amounts secreted per pulse of the Pituitary gland.

How To Cash In On Interval Training

I hope I haven't bored you to tears getting to the 'practical' part of the article. Without further delay, let me lay out a few sample workouts. I do this style of workout on my indoor trainer, but you could use a treadmill, an elliptical, a stair-stepper, or a stationary recumbent bike.

Sample #1

* Ten minutes easy intensity to warm-up.

* 30 seconds hard effort, followed by one minute easy...repeat ten times.

* Ten minutes easy intensity to warm-down.

Sample #2

* Ten minutes easy intensity to warm-up.

* 30 seconds hard effort, followed by thirty seconds easy.

* One minute hard effort, followed by one minute easy.

* Two minutes hard effort, followed by two minutes easy.

* Three minutes hard effort, followed by three minutes easy.

* Two minutes hard effort, followed by two minutes easy.

* One minute hard effort, followed by one minute easy.

* Thirty seconds hard effort.

* Ten minutes easy intensity to warm-down.

Sample #3

* Ten minutes easy intensity to warm-up.

* Ten minutes, alternating 10 seconds of very hard effort with 10 seconds easy effort.

* Ten minutes easy intensity to warm-down.

Because of the intensity of interval workouts, it is very important to consult your doctor about any health conditions which would preclude you from this type of activity.

Re-sculpt With Intervals

So there you have it...a bit of scientific evidence of the benefits from an increase in human growth hormone, the 'exercise' way to increase circulating human growth hormone and, finally, a few examples of how to do interval training.

Hop on your exercise bike, jump onto your treadmill, or step into your stair machine. Add some intensity to the workout, and roll back a few years in the body composition world.

About the author: Dr. Ron Fritzke currently maintains his private Chiropractic practice in Mount Shasta, CA while helping the sports medicine team at the College of the Siskiyous. A few decades ago, he was a competitive runner with a 2:17 marathon to his credit. His last race was at the 1984 US Olympic Trials Marathon.


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