Happy Birthday, Jenny!
Dr Andy says lift heavy:
At CrossFit Mt Olympus we lift heavy things. In order to become stronger, you need to go HEAVY. Performing heavy weightlifting like squats, deadlifts, or presses shocks your body into action, driving the physical adaptations to prepare you for future heavy events, aka, makes you stronger. This is done by the effects of three specific hormones: Testosterone, Growth Hormone, and Insulin-like Growth Hormone.
We have all heard of Testosterone. This is the steroid most commonly associated with beefy weightlifters. The term steroid refers to its chemical composition (your body is full of steroids). The release of this hormone has the greatest effect on protein synthesis, which leads to muscle growth. This hormone also enhances the effects of Growth Hormone and Insulin-like Growth Hormone
Growth Hormone and Insulin-like Growth Hormone do virtually the same thing, and are appropriately named, since they build muscle. The presence of these hormones also leads to increased fat burning.
To maximize muscle growth, and get stronger, all three hormones are required. Guess what induces the body to increase production of all three… lifting HEAVY! When you lift heavy weights (or even sprint as hard as possible) the central nervous system puts the body on full alert. The central nervous system notifies the hypothalamus in your brain which then begins hormone production in the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland makes a chemical messenger that turns on testosterone synthesis. The pituitary gland also produces Growth Hormone. Growth Hormone travels to the liver, where synthesis of Insulin-like Growth Hormone is turned on. You now have the triple threat for muscle production.
It is important to go as heavy and you can. Your central nervous system will not even bat and eye at light weights. You need to shock your body.
The last part of maximizing muscle growth is recovery. Lifting heavy every day or not getting enough sleep will lead to cortisol formation. Cortisol is a hormone that breaks down protein in response to stress. You can’t get stronger when you are breaking down muscle. There is also an added benefit of sleep. Growth Hormone is most effective at building muscle and burning fat when you are asleep.
In today’s workout, go as heavy as you can and you will be amazed at what you can do next time.
Workout of the Day