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  • Hormone Manipulation and Lean Muscle

    Trying to gain muscle mass without the addition of unwanted body fat can often be hard and whilst the right combination of cardio and weight training can help, perhaps the key to lean muscle mass is your endocrine system. Here we look at what exactly your endocrines system is, the role it has to play in lean muscle growth and what exercises can help to stimulate it.

    The endocrine system is basically the bodily system that consists of the endocrine glands (such as the thyroid gland, pancreas and testes) that release their secretions (hormones) into the bloodstream to reach and act on target cells of specific organs. It’s often viewed as the master system of the body, especially for bodybuilders or athletes looking to increase muscle since its integral to the production of anabolic hormones. Hormones are chemicals that are manufactured at one tissue location in the body, and then secreted into the blood stream, so that they may act on other tissue locations in the body. Below is a list of the various tissues found in the body that comprise the endocrine system, as well as their respective hormonal products.





    So how is this relevant to building muscle mass? Well, when trying to build muscle most people will rely on creating a calorie surplus (I.e. you eat more calories than you expend) and whilst this is very effective, you will put on unwanted body fat as well. However by manipulating the hormones of the endocrine system (specifically testosterone and growth hormone) you will virtually guarantee continuous growth without increasing body fat. One way of doing this is to employ multi-muscle exercises within your workout since they place the most stress and stimuli upon the body, which in turn causes the body to adapt and grow via the endocrine system.

    Studies have shown the 4 exercises that have been shown to have the best effect on your endocrine system, due to the large number of muscle fibres they recruit and stimuli they provide are:

    The deadlift: A compound movement that involves both strength and speed, targeting primarily the lower back, it also works
    the trapezius, the quadriceps, the hamstrings, and gluteus.

    The clean and press: Although this exercise mainly targets the front deltoids and triceps it also works the trapezius, the
    quadriceps, the hamstrings, the gluteus during the initial lifting phase.

    The squat: A big strength movement that targets mainly the quadriceps, it also works the gluteus, the hamstrings, the hips and
    the lower back.

    Bench Press: Perhaps the most widely performed upper body exercise, this targets the pectorals, deltoids, triceps, trapezius
    and lastly the lats as well (not a lot of people know they share a significant amount of the work, as they assist in the movement.)


    Discuss on the MP Forum.
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. Dolphinski's Avatar
      Seriously? So if I do compound exercises and eat 30% over maintenance I won't put any fat on?! We all know that's not true.

      Slightly misleading and incomprehensive article I think.
    1. sendos's Avatar
      Come on MP, you're better than this. When anyone say's 'studies have shown' and don't provide the references, I automatically call BS and disregard the article. Sounds like you've got a Marketing or English graduate to write this stuff.
    1. hailtotheking's Avatar
      Almost every article MP has hosted recently has been 'bro-tastic'. This one and the Somatotypes one were no better. This one has no references, and the Somatotypes one had Arnie's Bodybuilding Encyclopedia, some ideas by a shrink 50 years ago that dont have any proven relevence to training, and Loliquin as references.

      The only decent article writer for MP seems to be Martin McD.
    1. SpiderDan's Avatar
      Come on guys its not that bad, its just suggesting that hormonal environment has just a big a part to play in muscle building as eating lots. Hopefully people will take this as a spring board and look deeper.

      Whilst yes the language is a little "Bro-tastic" (like "guarantee continuous muscle growth") but I do think people would probably find if they trained with a bit more intensity and did their conditioning they could probably get away with eating quite a bit more than they do without unnecessary fat gain.
    1. Waterfield's Avatar
      Loliquin, excellent. hahaha.

      Seriously MP, just host an article competition and the winner gets 5kg of whey. You'll probably end up with 30-40 decent articles with a few gems and less broscience.
    1. Ben Coomber's Avatar
      Although it lacks some substance I kinda agree with Spiderdan, a group of compound movements is going to crank up calorie expenditure and metabolism more over time than 4 isolation based exercises, and yes the hormonal response will be greater. Although all the facts are not there, as a short and sweet article the point is still largely correct. Whether 30% is correct would be my key question, but I don't think it's a pure S*** the bed moment

      Loliquin.... love it! - now he LOVES supplements - just buy all of them cause they help you be massive and sub 6% BF!
    1. kingcobra's Avatar
      I know there are a few persons on MP who really know their stuff and can expand greatly on this article.
      30% more calories, might be good idea to mention nutritional info here.
      Most of us know about whole body excercises to increase hormonal activity.
      Rest, Eat, Excercise, Eat, Rest ...... AHH the lifestyle.
      But links to valid scientific articles not marketing bilge put out by marketeers.

      Good to be reminded by the way, we sometimes get lost in the details, so simplistic reminders do help.
      P.S. I aint Stephen Fry, so pardon me for any grammar burps!
    1. MartinM's Avatar
      Quote Quote
      Originally Posted by hailtotheking View Post
      Almost every article MP has hosted recently has been 'bro-tastic'. This one and the Somatotypes one were no better. This one has no references, and the Somatotypes one had Arnie's Bodybuilding Encyclopedia, some ideas by a shrink 50 years ago that dont have any proven relevence to training, and Loliquin as references.

      The only decent article writer for MP seems to be Martin McD.
      Its Martin MacD... (assuming to meant me.... haha)

      Thanks HtK. 2 more articles to do this year... better make sure I reference properly now!!

      p.s. I thought Arnie's Bodybuilding Encyclopedia was irrefutable fact. No?
    1. hailtotheking's Avatar
      Quote Quote
      Originally Posted by MartinM View Post
      Its Martin MacD... (assuming to meant me.... haha)

      Thanks HtK. 2 more articles to do this year... better make sure I reference properly now!!

      p.s. I thought Arnie's Bodybuilding Encyclopedia was irrefutable fact. No?
      Sorry for getting your surname wrong mate!

      Looking forward to the articles.

      I have committed heresy by refuting the validity of Arnie's book
    1. stavrog1's Avatar
      Agree with Waterfield, think an article competition should be held every week or every 2 weeks. maybe with a specific topic to write about set by MP. Winner gets some form of supplements, fish oils, whey, clothing, zma etc.

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