Get Your Ideal Body: Pt 3 – Human Growth Hormone

If testosterone were a superhero, human growth hormone (HGH) would be it’s sidekick.  It’s there to pick up the slack or just give it that extra hand at the most critical time.  Testosterone is great, but with HGH it’s just better.  On ytretheir own, they do a really good job, but when they work as a team, they make each other better.  Kind of like diet and exercise!

HGH has an incredible impact on your body’s ability to burn fat and increase longevity.  It helps you feel younger.  Because of this, many people spend a butt load of money being injected with synthetic HGH to slow down the aging process.  I do not know too much about that industry, and the effects that plays on the human body.  I will focus solely on boosting your HGH naturally, through lifestyle, diet, and exercise.

What is HGH exactly?

HGH is produced in the pituitary gland, a small pea sized organ in the brain. (1) HGH is responsible for cell growth, meaning it helps grow muscle mass and bone cells.  Our body produces a great deal of it as we grow up as children into adults.  Unfortunately, but probably for good reasons that we do not understand yet, it slows down by the time we reach adulthood.  This is why some consider it the fountain of youth and are willing to dump money into staying “young”.  Another benefit is it keeps your immune system strong.  Basically gives you life and vitality.

I Don’t Care What It Does,…. Just Tell Me How to Boost My HGH?

  • Intermittent Fasting (2) – because you will fast during the morning.  You produce HGH as you sleep, once you wake up and eat, you will stop the secretion of HGH.  So pushing your first meal back a few hours will extend this even longer.
  • Sleep more  – like I stated above, HGH is secreted as you sleep, so try to get your recommended 6-8 hours a night.  However, don’t use this as an excuse to stay in bed all day and be a sloth.  Leading to a very important point with our next benefit….
  • Improve Sleep quality – Those 6-8 hours of sleep a night should be deep REM sleep.  Turn off the electronics, no tv as you fall asleep.  Reading a book is great for relaxing the body and mind.  Keep the room dark and even running a fan or something to drown out the noise from the street or others who are awake would be a good idea too.  I have a 2 year old son, so getting a full night of sleep is something I vaguely remember in my past.  Supplement Plug:  I have been using imagesONNIT’s New Mood.  You take it a few hours before bed (recommended on an empty stomach or lite meal.  But we are intermittent fasting and eating up until a certain time, probably before bed so we are not doing that.)  I personally, still have had great success with using New Mood, despite this.  I fall asleep, sleep like a rock, if my son wakes up I can get up soothe him back to sleep and fall back asleep like a rock until my alarm goes off.  I will bring New Mood up again with the serotonin blog.  
  • Lift heavier weights – quit being a lil’ bitch (3)
  • Supplement with BCAA’s – I sip on BCAA’s during my workout.  Normally the first thing I ingest after breaking my fast.
  • Eat BIG before going to bed – Awesome, with intermittent fasting we will be eating before bed! Check!  Going against conventional weight loss propaganda #fatlossrebels  Eating carbs before bed will help increase HGH levels while you sleep and fill up your glycogen stores for the next day’s workout.  *Bodybuilders pulling their hair out right now*
  • Perform sprints for cardio – A great way to break up boring cardio sessions.  Sprinters have muscle, marathon runners look like they are skeletons, enough said.
  • Do HIIT circuit strength training – great way to burn fat while building lean mass.
  • Refrain from eating fats before a workout – this will take some thought and awareness following IF, I personally workout right before I break my fast or slight after.  Just eat a protein and carbohydrate meal before exercising if you do.
  • Do not eat too many calories before exercising –  plan your workout where you will consume the majority of your calories for the day after your workout.


How can I train to increase my HGH levels?

A specific type of training to increase HGH levels is “lactic-acid training”.  I am sure if you have spent some time in the gym, that you have felt the effect of lactic acid filling in your muscles, making you scream in agony.  Well, maybe not that bad, but you will following this program.

To put it another way, the more you can push through the burn of the lactic acid, the better results you will get. So in away you will have really “earned” your body.


Lactic acid is produced by your muscles using glucose, the stored “energy” in your muscles.  As this energy breaks down and runs out you begin to feel a “burn”.  The more lactic acid you can create by pushing through the burn, the more HGH that is released.  Reminder:  HGH is needed to burn muscle and burn fat.  So the more the better!  

In order to achieve this your sets will be longer, since you will be pushing through as long as you can.  Followed by short rest periods in between sets.

To extend the set, you will be performing a very slow concentric contraction, like 3-4 seconds.  Normally, people do really fast concentrics, so this should turn your training upside down and feel really different than your norm.


Example:  Dumbell Bicep Curl – The concentric (upward portion) would take 3-4 seconds to complete.  This is a slow 3-4 seconds, so count the old school 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississsippi ….. don’t cheat yourself.

Since time under tension will be increased, lower your weight.  Trust me you will need to. Don’t try to be a hero.

Try to perform one lactic acid workout per week mixed in with your other strength training.

An example lactic acid workout would look like this…..

1A  Barbell Bench Press   (8-12 reps)

1B  Goblet Squat  (12 reps)

1C  1-Arm DB Row  (8-12 reps)

1D  Romanian Deadlift   (12 reps)

You will perform 1A-1D , with a very short rest, 10 seconds.  probably enough to get set up on the next exercise.  Once you finish 1A-1D give yourself a whopping rest of 45 seconds – 1 minute and repeat again for 2-3 sets.  When done with final round, rest for 1 minute 30 seconds, then move on to round 2

2A  DB Lateral Raise (10-12 reps)

2B  Split Squat (12 reps)

2C  Chin-up (8-12 reps)


Follow the same format as you did in Round 1, 10 second rest in between each exercise, a 45 second rest after all three are completed, then repeat for 2-3 sets.  One minute and a half rest then on to the final round, Round 3.  (Are you cursing me out right now?)

3A  DB Bicep Curl (10-12 reps)

3B  Leg Extension (12 reps)

3C  Tricep Rope Pulldown (10-12 reps)

Same format again, 10 second rest in between each exercise, a 45 second rest after all 3 are completed, and repeat for 2-3 sets.

So by incorporating both intermittent fasting and lactic acid training you will turn your body into a fat burning, muscle building machine.

About The Author

Kevin Fulton

Kevin Fulton is personal trainer in Pittsburgh, PA. His goal is to help his clients look, feel, and move better. In his spare time you can find him under a barbell or practicing jiu jitsu.

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