Human Growth Hormone (HGH) – Breaking Down a Few Scientific Studies

July 10, 2009

Increasing natural Human Growth Hormone (HGH) levels in your body is a major key in staying lean year round. It is also a plays a big role in preserving muscle mass when losing those last few pounds of body fat. I’m convinced that anyone can lose weight up to a certain point, but it is that last little bit of fat that takes skill. In my opinion the two biggest fat loss skills to master are to eat in a way that produces a calorie deficit over time & workout in a way that boosts up your levels of HGH and increases that calorie deficit. Another great skill to master is to keep your insulin levels stable, but that is a topic for another post.

human growth hormone hgh

[Here is a picture from 1959 of a group of surfers. Surfers are almost always lean because many of them fast all day out in the surf. Their sport also mixes in short bursts of activity followed by slower steady activity. Does any of this sound familiar? It should because this interval-exercise-and-fasting-combo is a potent way to release HGH! It has been exactly 50 years since this photo was taken and most of these people are in better shape than 90% of gym go’ers today. Has the fitness industry gone backwards?]

You Asked for Scientific Studies and I Found Them

I am a big skeptic most of the time. The whole HGH thing does seem a little “out there”. Unlike lifting a weight and getting stronger the following session…Human Growth Hormone is something that you really can’t measure (well unless you want to get involved with blood tests…no thanks). If I can’t physically see something, I do like to see proof. I don’t need scientific studies for every last detail of my workout, but something major like HGH release…I like to read the available studies.

“Thanks” to All of Those Who Weren’t Scared to Give Blood!

Before I get started, I wanted to personally thank the members of these studies. I hate needles! I’m just not a big fan of getting poked and giving blood. I am sure that I would have turned so pale I would quickly get disqualified. So “thank you” to the people out there who are better with needles than I am!

The Exercise-Induced Growth Hormone Response In Athletes
Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK: 2003

These scientists have completed several studies on exercise and HGH. This paper was a summary of much of their findings. Here are the key points in the summary. Note: EIGR stands for Exercise Induced Growth Hormone Response…basically the HGH that gets released due to exercise.

“The EIGR to endurance exercise is associated with the intensity, duration, frequency and mode of endurance exercise. A number of studies have suggested an intensity ‘threshold’ exists for EIGR. An exercise intensity above lactate threshold and for a minimum of 10 minutes appears to elicit the greatest stimulus to the secretion of hGH. Exercise training above the lactate threshold may amplify the pulsatile release of hGH at rest, increasing 24-hour hGH secretion.”

“Ageing is often associated with a progressive decrease in the volume and, especially, the intensity of exercise. A growing body of evidence suggests that higher intensity exercise is effective in eliciting beneficial health, well-being and training outcomes. In a great many cases, the impact of some of the deleterious effects of ageing could be reduced if exercise focused on promoting the EIGR.”

My Comments: The paper also states that intense anaerobic work raises EIGR as well. So this would apply to lifting as well as body weight exercises if they were intense enough. So this scientific paper explains that you have to get above the lactate threshold to maximize HGH release with exercise…ideally for at least 10 minutes. Does that mean working out hard for 10 minutes straight? Not exactly! Sometimes studies will slightly contradict each other and you have to take into consideration both findings.

The Time Course of the Human Growth Hormone Response to a 6 s and a 30 s Cycle Ergometer Sprint
Dept. of Physical Education, Loughborough University, UK: 2002

This study was comparing 30 second all-out sprints to 6 second all-out sprints. The participants did just one set of this all out-sprint and then HGH levels were monitored closely for 4 hours after the single sprint. Here are some highlights…

“Metabolic responses were greater after the 30 s sprint than after the 6 s sprint. The highest measured mean serum hGH concentrations after the 30 s sprint were more than 450% greater than after the 6 s sprint.”

“Serum hGH also remained elevated for 90-120 min after the 30 s sprint compared with approximately 60 min after the 6 s sprint.”

My Comments: Pretty crazy how just one 30 second sprint can raise HGH levels in a big way. The study also showed that the 30 second sprint raised HGH levels by up to 530% over the resting baseline. I am betting that the reason the 6 second sprint was inferior to the 30 second sprint was that it takes a little longer than 6 seconds to reach lactate threshold. Some say that lactate threshold can be reached in 8-10 seconds, but I am sure it varies from individual to individual (remember lactate threshold is the best way to increase HGH with exercise).

So Why Don’t We Do Just One 30 Second Sprint?

Well, another study has shown that repeated short intervals can further increase the release of HGH…but it a case of the law-of-diminishing-returns. The second sprint produces less of an HGH response compared to the first, the third less than the second, etc. A common intervals routine for fat loss is doing 8 total sprints. You probably don’t need much more if HGH increase is you goal.

Another Reason for Doing Multiple Sprints

Remember HGH release is just part of the fat loss puzzle. We also want to burn calories and take advantage of the fat loss window that HGH creates. HGH helps release the fatty acids from your fat cells into the blood stream. Sprinting followed by a bit of walking is a good way to release the fat and then use that fat for fuel. In some ways doing intervals is like doing an anaerobic and aerobic workout at the same time. I also recommend that you follow intervals up with steady state cardio occasionally…low intensity cardio will help you use up more of the fatty acids that the interval workout has released.


Augmented Growth Hormone (GH) Secretory Burst Frequency and Amplitude Mediate Enhanced GH Secretion During a Two-Day Fast in Normal Men

Dept of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville: 1992

This study showed that short term fasting could produce 5 times the HGH production in 24 hours compared to eating a typical diet. What the body actually winds up doing is doubling the amount of HGH bursts in that same 24 hour period.

“Two days of fasting induced a 5-fold increase in the 24-h endogenous GH production rate.”

“This enhanced GH production rate was accounted for by 2-fold increases in the number of GH secretory bursts per 24 h.”

My Comments: No need to fast for 2 days straight…that is pushing it. I fast twice per week for 24 hours and it works extremely well. There is a reason that the body produces HGH while fasting…it releases stored body fat for energy, since you don’t have “food energy”…HGH also preserves muscle mass even during this period of time without food.

Effects of GH on Protein Metabolism During Dietary Restriction in Man
Aarhus Kommunehospital, Aarhus, Denmark: 2002

This study proves that you aren’t going to lose muscle all of the sudden if you go 24 hours without food. Most of the fitness world will have you believe that you will lose a bunch of muscle if you don’t “feed your muscles” every few hours. This simply isn’t the case.

“Physiological bursts of GH secretion seem to be of seminal importance for the regulation of protein conservation during fasting. Apart from the possible direct effects of GH on protein dynamics, a number of additional anabolic agents, such as insulin, insulin-like growth factor-I, and free fatty acids (FFAs), are activated.”

“Taken together the effects of GH on protein metabolism seem to include both stimulation of protein synthesis and inhibition of breakdown.”

My Comments: The occasional 18-24 hour fast will actually help you get lean. You have to be strategic and not go overboard, but it will skyrocket your HGH levels…burning fat while sparing muscle.

A Quick HGH Scientific Study Summary (for those who skim)

1) To release maximum HGH through exercise, you need to do intense exercise and aim to reach your Lactate Threshold.

2) One study shows you should aim to stay above the lactate threshold for 10 minutes…another shows a greater than 500% increase in HGH from just one 30 second sprint. I would recommend to do a series of 30 second sprints in interval fashion for 10-15 minutes. This is taking both studies into consideration.

3) The key is to do intense exercise for 30 seconds. Studies show that this can be resistance training. A good 10-15 minute circuit routine or body weight circuit will have the same effect as a sprint interval routine.

4) Make the intense part of your interval longer than 6 seconds. Anything above 8-10 seconds and not too much more than 30-60 seconds will probably suffice.

5) If you want a simple way to increase your HGH by 5 times the normal amount, fast for 24 hours. Don’t go overboard…I have done this for a couple of years now and I find 2 times per week works well.

6) The HGH release during a 24 hour fast insures that you will burn fat and won’t lose muscle.

Note: I couldn’t find studies comparing the effects of injecting HGH vs increasing HGH naturally. Also…there are a ton of studies that I didn’t mention here. I just wanted to talk about studies that dealt with increasing HGH with diet and exercise. One more thing, I decided against doing an article on taking supplements for releasing more HGH. I just feel like it is a waste of your money. If you are really curious…there are countless sites that will sell you their “proven” HGH releasing supplement. Just not my thing.


[Speaking of surfers…watch this video of Laird Hamilton. That wave is insane!]

Important Message: Although this site has received 25+ million visitors, I am starting from scratch and abandoning it. This site is dated and old school looking, terrible to read on mobile, etc.

It's like a Ford Pinto compared to my new site...which is like a Ferrari. Click the link to head over to my new site.

Starting Over...R.I.P. Fitness Black Book!


Thanks for reading all these years!



 

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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

Aditya July 10, 2009 at 7:11 am

Hey Rusty,

Good Informative post as always. I have your website as my homepage 😀

So heres some questions about HGH. Firstly, Does the pace of your sprint during the HIIT determine the amount of HGH secreted OR the duration of the sprint decides that. I am really curious because when I am doing my HIIT, which lasts 10 minutes, there are days when my Sprint Pace is low. This low can be as low as 8 mph on my first sprint to 10mph for my last sprint. On such days I seem to reach my fatigue level a bit earlier. But I do try to keep that pace up as much as I can.

Second Question, if my steady state cardio (which is usually a jog for about 10 minutes) is limited to just 6 or 7 minutes will I notice any change compared to someone who does that post HIIT steady state workout for 10-15 minutes?

Ok heres something Off Topic, if I am fasting on alternate days, i.e 3 days of fasting per week, will it be detrimental to my metabolism, strength, insulin levels?? I am a 25 year old male who just started out following your fat burning workouts 3 weeks back. And yeah, taking care of my diet(which you say delivers 80% of the result) and following a regular HIIT (5 days a week) and 3 days of fasting, I have managed to lose 7 pounds (BELIEVE me its 7 Pounds in 16 days). I would love to send you pics, but let me reach my aim of 6% body fat level. Dont know how long it will take me to reach that level which shows visible abs, but I am assuming atleast another 4 months, correct me if I am wrong 😀

Anyways, thanks for this awesome informative site Rusty. I read this site, whenever I get to use my laptop. I really love to go through the articles you post. FYI, I landed on this site like a months back!

Aditya July 10, 2009 at 7:18 am

I forgot to mention this, but my weight today was 179 pounds when I checked it post workout.

gus July 10, 2009 at 7:26 am

really good post rusty!, pretty much everything seems pretty logical to me in the way u explain it.

just one question, and if u could comment my program

do you think HIIT 3 times a week combined with a 3 low cal meals per day and strenght training also 3 times per week could lead to great results in feew weeks
( trying to get really lean really quick in a period of 3-4 weeks)

once again great post.
thx

Burhan July 10, 2009 at 7:35 am

Hi Rusty,

My post-weight-training HIIT routine lasts 20 min and includes 8 x 1 min sprint/1 min rest cycles.

I weight train 3 times per week and so on 2 “off” days I do a 30 min HIIT session (12 x 1 min sprint/1 min rest cycles). This I follow-up with 15 min steady-state cardio on a rower.

I also follow your advice of not eating 4-5 hours prior to working out and waiting 1 hour afterwards.

Unfortunately however, I don’t have the will-power to fast for 24-hours twice per week.

Do you think the above is sufficient to illicit a decent HGH response and lose fat?

As an alternative to fasting for 24-hours, is it possible to skip breakfast twice a week and eat at lunch? In my case case that would be 16 hours between dinner and lunch the following day.

Regards,
Burhan

Darri July 10, 2009 at 7:46 am

Great post!

For athletes, e.g. marathon runners. Let’s say that you exercise 6 days a week. Would fasting on your day off reduce your performance in any way or could this be beneficial to an already rigorous training regimen?

The Fit News July 10, 2009 at 7:59 am

Very interesting… I’ve been doing 10 second sprints for a while.. I never even thought of trying 30 second sprints. I’ll do 30s from now on and see what happens.

And I’m really liking this idea of 24 hour fasts without losing muscle. lol. I think I’ll try and implement that as well.

Have you got any tips for the two 24 hour fasts? Like how to stay away from food and what to eat the night before you start, etc.. ??

The Fit News July 10, 2009 at 8:09 am

If I do a huuuuge workout friday night, can I do a 24 hour fast on saturday? Or will I be catabolising like hell… I would imagine it’s better to take a day off weights THEN do the 24 hour fast. Any input into that one?

Greg at Live Fit July 10, 2009 at 8:11 am

This is a great synopsis of HGH. It answers several questions I’ve had about increasing its production naturally. Do you think fasting works for someone trying to increase muscle mass, or just for someone trying to get lean? Thanks!

Chris July 10, 2009 at 8:26 am

Brilliant summary Rusty. I’ve read a lot on HGH but never seen it all pulled together so well and your comments are really helpful. Quite a few studies I have seen that suggest supplementing with HGH works but begins to shut down your natural production, so unwise to do.

Helder July 10, 2009 at 8:43 am

Laird Hamilton one of my Surfing Heroes 🙂 about the post, i couldn’t agree more when you say that the fitness industry is going backwards, and making money at the expenses of people’s dreams and fitness goals is the dirty way it has been going for long.

It’s all so simple, just look at natural athletes and bodybuilders from the past, surfers are an excellent example, i don’t know if you remember a post i had in my former blog, it was called beach workout, i believe you still can find it at ezine articles. In that post i talked about how fit i get on the summer just spending days at the beach, swimming, surfing, running around, and fasting all day long just with a light breakfast until dinner.

It’a workout without working out, because i’m having fun, i’m doing some sort of interval training, swimm fast and relax, sprint around and rest, catching some waves and relaxing, it works so well and you don’t even have the notion you’re working out, because you’re having fun with your friends

kirk July 10, 2009 at 9:00 am

hey rusty,again,another amazing informative post.
jus wanted to say thanks for all the help, im 25 an every year i plan to go on a lads holiday an say sometime in march “im gonna get back on it in the gym an get that lean look i had when i went on my first lads holiday when i was 16”, but every year iv struggledto get back to that lean toned look i had in my teens.
iv never had any problems putting on muscle, as i seem to get bigger upper body strangely quick, but iv never really been able to slim the stomach down an get that toned look.i used everything from diet shakes to fat loss pills ect, all the usual rubbish quoted in the magazines, to no great success. but since iv found ur articles that tell the interesting parts, an then the summeries to make it obvious, i find that im gettin better results in the last 2 months than i did in the last 4 years of 6 month periods before goin away!
so once again, thank you rusty, now i cant wait to go to greece for the summer 🙂

oh,an it seems so straNGE that we dont realize what you are teaching for ourselves, because generally its painfully obvious when you think about it, i guess we are all blinded by the endless magazines and the BS they trying to sell us….

Cody July 10, 2009 at 9:02 am

This has been on of my favorite posts of yours Rusty,since learning of your site from Marks Daily Apple. From Mark, I started beach sprints about 3 months ago,1-2 x per week. But they’ve been probably in the 6 second range, but followed by 1 or 2 sets of high intensity Kettlebell excercises or something along that line in between each sprint. So I feel I’m getting the same effects as a 30 second sprint. I think I’ll change it up for awhile and try the 20-30 sec. longer sprints and see how it works. I also do fasts through out the week that are normally 18-20 hrs But trying to get that last 2% BF off me is tough. I feel I’m doing pretty much everything right but @ age 52 it’s probably just going to take a bit longer for that to happen then say someone your age, wouldn’t you agree?

Trey July 10, 2009 at 9:08 am

Hey Rusty,

First of all…great blog! I’ve been following you for about a year now. I’ve really like your recent posts on HGH, HIIT and walking for fitness. I’m like you that I’ve been working out over 15 years (since my early teens). This past year has been the toughest (just turned 30 by the way) in that I’ve gotten so burnt out from the gym that I’ve taken over two months off! That’s by far the longest drought I’ve ever had. I have sporadically been working out at home with dumbells, push ups and pull ups. But I digress…

Here’s my situation, I’ve started doing HIIT at a field near my house. I’ll walk for a minute and then sprint at about 85-90% for a minute…for ten minutes (5 minute sprints/5 minute walks). Then I’ll do some low level jogging/walking after. I’ve had trouble finding outdoor HIIT activities so this routine is something I’ve composed myself (based off your get fit for the summer HIIT plan).

So my question is, do you have any recommendations for HIIT workouts that don’t require going to the gym?

Just FYI, I went back to the gym today and used your Two-Day split for to get ready for summer.(I know it’s summer time but it’s never too late to get in beach shape right?!?) I like the strength training and low reps…been doing 8-10 reps for waaayyyy too long. It’s a good change and I feel like I enjoy lifting again. Thanks for all your inspiration Rusty!

Gymless Jim July 10, 2009 at 9:56 am

Awesome Rusty! Any remaining questions I had on the topic are now answered! Cheers!

Gina July 10, 2009 at 10:06 am

Another great HGH article, Rusty!

Natural supplements that aid in boosting the body’s HGH are different from HGH supplements, those meant to mimic the HGH hormone.

The supplements that I have read that boost natural HGH are Arginine (~15g in powder form taken before bed on empty stomach) and Glutamine (~3gms in capsule form taken first thing in morning on empty stomach, waiting at least 1 hr before eating). These are the only two that I have read that show to boost natural HGH.

Even though these may be safer than taking an HGH mimicking supplements, which have far greater consequences in my opinion, both amino acid supplements can cause side effects in specific people. For example, people with the herpes virus (1 or 2) should not take arginine because it can aggravate the virus or bring on an outbreak if previously dormant. Also, glutamine can cause mania in people with bipolar disorder.

Also, the degree to which these amino acids work are largely age dependent, with its effectiveness declining drastically after age 45.

I think the best choice for the average person would be to boost HGH naturally rather than take any supplement at all. The risks involved don’t seem to be worth it, and the benefits may not even be worth it since they vary between individuals.

Nolongerbigdave July 10, 2009 at 10:08 am

Wow what a great post rusty, so glad to have some evidence to show my mates who all disagree with me fasting before workouts and doing HIIT.

Ive been following your site for a few months and have read literally every article and it all makes so much sense.

I’ve lost just over 5 stone (sorry from uk, about 75 lbs) in the last 4 months following a fairly strict low calorie diet and hitting the gym 5 days a week. Will definately be buying and following brad pilons eat stop eat diet when I finish my strict diet in the next few weeks.

Thanks for an amazing site rusty and for helping me lose weight!

Random hero July 10, 2009 at 10:22 am

Rusty,

When you say you fast for 24 hours, does this mean you eat nothing all day, or do you eat some food? If you do eat some food please let me know when and what you eat?

Random hero

Michael July 10, 2009 at 10:55 am

Rusty,

Its as if you monitor my life and then pick your posts accordingly.

I just started doing sprints a couple weeks ago. (30sec sprint, 90sec walk, repeat). Man is it tough. I was trying to build up to doing 10 sprints so thank you for telling me 8 is enough. haha.

But you’re right about hGH for sure. Just doing 1 or 2 sessions of intervals per week I’ve noticed my body leaning out, and I don’t have a lot of body fat to begin with.

Most importantly I think people need to realize that a sprint is not a quick run but an all out effort for a max. of 30 seconds. I always pretend I’m being chased. haha. It sounds ridiculous, but it works.

take care.

Rafi Bar-Lev July 10, 2009 at 10:57 am

Rusty,

This is definitely one of the most interesting articles that I’ve read on your site. I had no idea that human growth hormone was even measurable! Thanks for writing this.

-Rafi Bar-Lev

SJ July 10, 2009 at 11:01 am

I really enjoy your site. Do you think Tabata’s would be as effective?

deb July 10, 2009 at 11:12 am

Thank you. Been interested in learning more about the role of hgh in exercise myself.

Donkey Lips July 10, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Rusty,

Great article. One of the best on your site so far and that is saying a lot considering the massive amount of informative excellent posts you’ve done.

Can the SFP or HIIT be done on back to back days. I like to work out Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri. I like to do SFP on three of those days and HIIT following my Weight training on all of those days. I just want to know if I should change my workout days around or how I do stuff to maximize benefits and avoid overtraining. Thanks Rusty

Josh July 10, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Rusty,
Thanks for the post and also the observation that in yesteryear people often had much better physiques without spending their life in the gym. I have seen old pictures of my grandfather from WWII, he was a Navy Captain and flew a bomber in the South Pacific incidentially he also loved to surf! At any rate the man was shreaded and he never once set foot inside of a gym. I personally fast 2 times per week as well, also due to my schedule on my eating days I tend to go for 2 big meals per day. When I eat I like to EAT! I will have a big breakfast of eggs, fruit, ezekial toast and usually a protein shake. Then for dinner I usually go for 8 oz of meat/fish or I will use a can of beans, avocado, lots of veggies. Late night I might snack on a handfull of almonds or pecans. I estimate my daily totals to be 1800-2000, but I dont obsess. I still enjoy wings, sweets, beer and am planning to go to a Japanese steak house tonight! Once I stopped being neurotic with my food I really began to drop those last 10 sutbborn pounds. The only issues I have had have been with some loose skin around my stomach, I allowed myself to get heavy at one point and have a nice outline in my stomach, but the loose skin obscures some of the definition. I’m 32 so if I hold my weight down I should tighten up to some degree. But the fasting combined with crossfit style work, complexes and intervals have done wonders for me and I am positive in saying that it will work for anybody else out there also!

Mike OD - Fitness Spotlight July 10, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Ahhh….you son of a @&*#….I was just looking up all the same studies to do a post on GH induced exercise for next week and you beat me to it! Damn you….lol…just kidding of course about the son of a &^%@ part.

Anyways….got one of interest you don’t have….relating the ingestion of MCTs and GH response…interesting theory although I think it’s the only study out there on it….but could be one of the “fat burning” properties of MCTs like coconut oil (and the reason farmers cant get their livestock fat on it either when compared to corn/soy oil!)

“Modifications of insulin and growth hormone after medium chain triglycerides ingestion:

Authors determined the variation of glucose, ketone bodies (KB), free fatty acids (FFA), insulin and growth hormone (HGH) in blood produced by the ingestion of 1.5 g./kg. of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in 10 healthy children between 5 and 11 years. Blood values were determined starting 30 minutes before the MCT ingestion and at 30 minutes intervals until 120 minutes post ingestion and a final determination at 180 minutes. The glucose did not change. The KB were increased (p less than 0.01) from 30 to 120 minutes and the FFA from 90 (p less than 0.01) to 120 minutes (p less than 0.001) after ingestion. Insulin secretion was elevated between 30–90 minutes with a peak value at 60 minutes (p less than 0.001). HGH began to increase at 60 minutes, remaining elevated at the last determination at 180 minutes. The HGH basal value was 0.5 +/- 0.2 ng./ml.; began to increase at 60 minutes and reached the value of 3.9 +/- 1.06 ng./ml. and 4.8 +/- 2.04 ng./ml. at 90 and 120 minutes respectively (p less than 0.001). We do not know the origin of the HGH increase. The changes may explain FFA elevation and other metabolic actions of MCT. The glucose-insulin ratio showed that the hyperinsulinemia was not caused by an increased glucose level.”

Ab Rocket July 10, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Hello Rusty!

I very rarely leave comments to blogs. But for this new article, I have to say that I really learned a lot from reading the post and the following comments! I had been chatting with a friend on whether HGH supplements are really effective. But, it’s good to read that proper exercise can trigger natural HGH release. Thanks for the great info!

Kevin July 10, 2009 at 7:58 pm

You say to fast for 24 hours twice per week for full HGH release. Was there any data showing the difference between a 24 hr fast and say an 18 hr fast?

The reason I ask is I’ve been doing 18 hour fasts twice per week recently and was curious what I’m missing out on by not extending my fasts to 24 hours?

Thanks!

admin July 10, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Aditya,

Very cool that my page is your start-page! As far as pace goes it doesn’t have to be insane. Just go at a speed that would be hard to maintain for long periods of time. It is more about how quickly the intervals fatigue the muscles than it is about actual speed. As far as steady state goes…there is a point where too much is a bad thing…a little is good, too much will break down the muscle. I feel fine with doing it for 10-20 minutes after HIIT, but that could be over training for some. If you do get stuck at a body fat level and it doesn’t fatigue you, you can add a few minutes to that total time, but save that for when you get stuck. You can do 3 24 hour fasts while reaching your target fat level. Once you get to that point, push it back to 2. Awesome job on the progess so far!

gus,

I have reached extremely low levels of body fat following the exact plan you outlined, so I know that will work well. To get really lean in 4 weeks, you could go even a bit extra aggressive for 10-14 days at some point. So maybe one week exactly like you have outlined…followed by 10 days of low calorie and low carb with a bit more time in the gym…finished off with 10-14 days of moderate low cal again. I don’t recommend anything too aggressive long term, but you can push it hard for 10 days if you make sure to go back to normal after 10 days.

Burhan,

You can get really lean without the two 24 hour fasts and yes, skipping breakfast for 16 hours will still elicit a decent HGH response. Your workout plan looks really solid, just monitor how you feel. You may be pushing it a bit with how many days you do HIIT, but then again it may not be too much for you. My advice would be to drop down to a total of 4 days per week once you reach your fat loss goal…possibly before that if you begin to lose strength or any indicator of fatigue.

Darri,

I can’t say for sure how fasting would affect an endurance athlete. My guess is that once per week would be fine, but it would depend upon a number of factors. The best way would be to test this and see how you feel. I actually gain energy on my fasting days, but my training sessions are short compared to an endurance athlete.

The Fit News,

The 24 hour fasts become easier and easier over time. I’ve been doing this solid for 2 years now. It was hard the first dozen times, but now feels completely natural. My advice, get into drinking green tea…It provides antioxidants and gives you energy. It is a healthy beverage to drink. I do that and drink the occasional diet soda. I guess it is one of those things that is easier than it sounds. You will enjoy it. As far as working out Friday night, I would eat one meal 1-2 hours after that and then begin the fast. Then you would be fine.

Greg,

Brad Pilon, author of Eat Stop Eat recommends creatine if you are trying to gain muscle on a low calorie diet. Here is a quote…”Lucky for you, the one supplement that is proven to increase strength and muscle mass in the long term is creatine monohydrate. And, since creatine is not metabolized for energy and does not raise insulin levels, taking creatine on your fasting days is perfectly acceptable (However, I would still advice taking your creatine at the times when you are eating).” – That is one of the only supplements that Brad recommends (as he explains in my ebook “The Supplement Conspiracy”).

Chris,

I would never supplement actual HGH. Some people believe in supplements that can encourage more natural HGH release, which is fine…but isn’t necessary.

Helder,

I stayed in amazing shape when I was younger during the summers all the way through high school doing the same thing. I spent all day Skimboarding from 10AM to 5PM with 4 other friends. Each one of us had a visible six pack without trying. I miss playing on the beach all day…my goal in life is to get to that point. I didn’t realize how good I had it when I was younger.

kirk,

My best friend went to Greece with his wife last year and said it was his favorite place in the world. I’ve wanted to go ever since I saw the movie “Summer Lovers” back in the early 80’s. It was filmed in Santorini…gotta go there. As far as fitness magazines go…stay FAR away. Seriously…you will just get pulled away from the things that give you the best results. Pumped that you are making such great progress. Keep it up!


[Kirk…you have to see this movie if you haven’t. It came out in 1982, but is still amazing. It is super cheesy, but the scenery is outstanding. There is an olive oil scene that is extremely entertaining.]

Cody,

Yeah…I turn 40 this year and imagine that it would be tougher at the age of 52, but look at Mark! I think he is 55 or 56 and is in better shape than just about anyone I know regardless of age. I am sure it is a bit tougher, but with age comes wisdom…you can do it. Glad you read Mark’s Daily Apple…that is an outstanding site! Did you read Mark’s guest post on this site “Why We Need Meat”…look it up using the search bar on my site.

Trey,

Thanks for the compliment on my blog…appreciate it. I know what you mean about burn out. It isn’t a bad idea to take extended periods away from the gym. In fact, quite a few of the fitest guys I know don’t workout in the gym at all. As far as HIIT workouts that don’t require going to the gym…click the link on the top of my site that says “Body Weight Training for Fat Loss”…give that workout a try at home. It looks easy, but I guarantee that it will be tough for you to do 3 sets of that circuit. You will love low reps…seriously…that alone will make it fun for you again. You will smash through personal bests, even if that isn’t your goal. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Gymless Jim,

Good to hear. I figured you would like it!

Gina,

I wasn’t putting down the idea of taking supplements to boost natural HGH, I just figured that there were so many sites that already explained what to take. Also…I would be basically just copying their advice, since I don’t take HGH boosting supplements…so it felt hypocritical for me to write on this topic. Thanks for touching on the subject and giving both the positive and negatives on taking these supplements.

Nolongerbigdave,

That is amazing that you have lost 75 pounds…Great job! Your friends should listen to you, by the way…you lost 75 pounds. Eat Stop Eat is an outstanding book. A “game changer” in my opinion…the type of book that comes around only once every 10-20 years.

Random hero,

You typically start your fast after dinner and don’t eat anything at all until dinner the next day. So lets say you eat normal all day on Monday, you don’t eat anything after dinner on Monday at around 6-7PM…you fast until dinner on Tuesday at 6-7 PM. You never go an entire day without eating…does that make sense? If you do it the way Brad recommends (the Eat Stop Eat way)…then you eat a normal sized meal around the 600-900 calorie range (this is just an estimate of calories by the way). You can get away with doing this twice per week and it works extremely well. This is different that the Warrior Diet and more effective in my opinion.

Michael,

It does work best if it is all-out for sure. I like to warm up with a few at 75% speed and then get in my 8 all-out sprints. Last pic I saw of you on your site, you looked very lean…so if you are still getting leaner then you have your workout dialed in. Great Job! Ten all out sprints would probably be overkill…eight is plenty if you are going all-out. Your site is really looking sweet…love to see how each site develops its own feel.

Rafi,

You can measure HGH, but it involves blood tests. Not a big fan, but apparently it doesn’t bother some people.

SJ,

I think Tabatas are overrated. This is after years of trying Tabatas along with longer sessions of HIIT. Tabatas are one of those things that sound great on paper, but under-deliver.

deb,

People have been interested in HGH for some time…so much conflicting advice I was just trying to simplify it a bit.

Donkey Lips,

You still haven’t told me the origin of your name 🙂 As far as HIIT and SFP go…I wouldn’t recommend more than 4 total of these types of workout each week. I just think more than 4 of any type of interval routine will lead to over-training. To be honest, if your diet is really tight then 3 is even better. For short periods of time (up to two weeks) you can get away with being pretty agressive…but you have to back down after that.

Josh,

You know what is funny about those pictures of guys back in WWI and WWII? Those men and women almost always looked amazing. I think it had a lot to do with eating healthy and whole foods and the lack of contstant food around all the time. Back then people also ate 3 meals per day, so there were periods of time when “there wasn’t food in their system” and they could actually burn body fat. Imagine that! I still find it puzzling about how many who follow the 6 meal per day approach to eating. It can work, but they are just making it harder on themselves. Your skin will tighten up over time…all the way…just give it 3-6 months at that body fat level. You should reach a new degree of definition.

Mike,

My site intalls a virus on your computer that can read your mind! You should still do an HGH post, because you would certainly do a great job. Great reference to coconut oil…my girlfriend just bought some and we love it. You and Scott are pumping out the great posts recently, by the way!

Ab Rocket,

Thanks for leaving a comment. I enjoy the interaction that comments provide, plus the comment section is a huge resource on this site…a lot of well-informed readers. I think exercise and diet will provide most of the HGH response you are looking for…I don’t think you really need supplements.

Kevin,

The 18 hour mark is actually when the body really goes into fat burning mode according to Brad Pilon (Eat Stop Eat) and levels out at the 30 hour mark. He doesn’t recommend going past 24 hours because our lives revolve around a 24 hour clock and it would be crazy to wake up in the middle of the night to eat a meal, etc. The 6 hour period of time from the 18hour to 24 hour mark does provide a big benefit. Aim for 24 hours if possible…or at least close for maximum benefit.

Tons of great comments! Heading off to see Coldplay at an out-door amphitheater this weekend…the Gorge in Washington (the stage is on a cliff that overlooks the Columbia River…amazing place to see a concert). Beer Gardens, outdoor concert, camping, etc. I will be back Monday to followup on any new comments!

Rusty

Ron July 10, 2009 at 11:15 pm

Hey Rusty,

Long time no comment. I was wondering…
Lately, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have been fasting and working out (weights followed by 20 min. HIIT followed by steady state for 20 min) and then eating after an hour. Should I change something up? More workout days? Spread the fasts out? No working out on fasting days?

Elizabeth July 10, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Hi Rusty,
I just stumbled across your site, and I’m super-excited to incorporate your methods into my workouts! Your point at the beginning of this post about the last bit of fat being the toughest to lose is ringing very true to me–I find it easy to be not-fat, but very very difficult to become extremely fit…I’ve been lifting regularly for about 9 mos (started cardio regularly (5 or 6 days/wk) about a year before that) and have gone from 145 to 135lbs and 27% to 20.8% body fat in that time (I’m female, 26 y/o 5’8.5″), but my progress has seriously slowed down lately and I’m excited to try your methods to get my fat loss jump-started again!

I’ve been reading through your prior posts, and am trying to conglomerate your tips into a new routine for myself–could you let me know if this sounds about right, or if I’ve misinterpreted or missed something?:
1. exercise 1st thing in the morning before eating breakfast
2. rather than lift lighter weights at more reps, lift heavier weights for 3-5 reps (loved your post about tension and proper reps!), for 4-5 sets (Do I need a rest day between strength sessions?)
3. combine HIIT with steady state cardio for maximum fat loss (I’m thinking 25 minutes of intervals followed by 20 minutes of steady state?)
4. fast 1 or 2 24 hour periods/week (from dinner to dinner)

Thanks so much for all you do through these posts…I can tell you really love fitness, and it’s inspiring! Hope you had a great time at Coldplay!
elizabeth

Ron July 10, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Oh, and I forgot to ask…did you get a gander of my pics from my trip to Israel on Facebook? There’s some beaches and scubadiving to be jealous of in there! Not to mention some interesting exercise equipment.

Kevin July 10, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Thanks for the response to my 18 hour fast question, I’ll try to bump my fasts up to at least 20 hours and see how that goes, but not sure I’m up for the 24 hours due to my work schedule? My current fast periods start at 10:00 pm and end at 4:00 pm the following day (Tue/Thu fast days). I work out first thing in the morning so including sleep time, I currently work out after 11 hours of fasting? I guess the easiest adjustment for me would be to start my fast periods two hours earlier at 8:00 pm versus ending it later?

One more question pertaining to fasting. On my standard eating days I take in roughly 2000 calories over ten – eleven hours and I take in roughly 1500-1600 calories on my fasting days with a six hour eat window. Is that enough of a drop in calories for a fast day, or should the calorie difference be more dramatic between fast & non-fast days???

Hope you have a great weekend … Thanks!

Norbi July 11, 2009 at 12:55 am

Good post Rusty!

Although, it’s fine to read these scientific reports, I got to a point where I pretty much believe what you recommend (which is very unusual for me by the way). You see, there were quite a few things that I did following your advice and that worked, so at this point I don’t feel the need to see it confirmed by some research reports, as I confirmed them myself for myself. 🙂

OFF TOPIC:

If I put an outside link in the post does it automatically get ‘hidden’ / rejected? This is the 2nd time it happened, that I tried to post something, it didn’t show, then I tried to re-post it, but then it wouldn’t let me go through saying it was a duplicate. Also, I had a personal question that I’d really like you to answer personally, here it goes:

“Rusty,

thanks! Yeah, I’m a 5″10 23yo small frame guy, and I went from 182lbs to 154lbs. I have a personal question (I haven’t had one for a ‘long’ time anyway 🙂 ): I remember that at the end of High School when I was extremely lean, I was about 140lbs… now as I said currently I’m 154lbs, but I’m already getting a kind of ‘scrawny’ (and not just by ‘bodybuilder definition’). On the lower abs there’s still some fat that I can see should be lost (although it looks very very minimal and barely visible), but I can’t see 4 packs or anything. Your answer to another reader a kind of scared me (“if you see your 4 pack you’re 5-10 pounds away from the 6 pack”). I mean, if I can’t see anything right now, that would mean I have to go all the way down to 140lbs? I’d look like a tiny toothpick (I know, I’ve been there only a few years ago). You see I’m ‘originally’ lean and ectomorph, losing weight isn’t difficult for me, but I’m afraid of how I’m gonna look like at such a low weight, and then even more importantly, how much time it will take to put on some mass in the form of muscle (I read somewhere about 5lbs/year mass is realistic for a ‘hard gainer’, IF he follows a bodybuilding type of diet, exercise program, etc). What tactics should I follow in your opinion?

Thanks!”

Also, Jason G, my answer to you at the previous post didn’t go through, here it goes:

“Thanks for the very valuable comment! Your advices make a LOT of sense, which I’m always glad to see. You see, I’m a guy who had some extra for about a year, and was gaining the other (rest of the) extra during another year – it’s not like I’ve been overweight for my whole life. Also, I’ve never really had muscle mass, but have always been lean and ripped for the rest of my life (‘blame’ soccer 🙂 ) Rusty’s advices made an immediate and very rapid effect on my fat loss. Anyway, I know that I will not be able to avoid “strength training” at all, as I’m training in Krav Maga (sort of martial arts), and they include a lot of strength training, body weight exercises. This a kind of limits how much I can go for muscle building (the idea of trying to fatique a group of muscles such as my arms and the next day try to do an hour long ‘hitting drill’ is pretty messed up). I do know that I have to lose some more fat, but on the other hand I have to build muscle mass. I might as well just do a bodybuilding kind of workout routine, without the extreme amount of protein included in the general ‘bodybuilding diet’ (somebody wrote that that’s what the guys did participating in the preparations of ‘300’), and when I’m at a low body fat I can adjust the diet for it to be more like a bodybuilder’s routine for a while. If you have any advices as for resources for the plan, I’d greatly appreciate it: pnorbee@gmail.com. Thanks a lot!”

Another thing, today I met 2 surfers during work, who were damn freaking ripped. I talked to one of them, asking if he worked out a lot in the gym, etc. He basically said not really, just doing gymnastic stuff sometimes, and surfing / swimming a lot. He was a guy with the exact “Cam Gigandet” look. Lean body with the right amount of mass that was extremely ripped. Just thought I’d share it here as it fits the scenario posted in the article. 🙂

jake July 11, 2009 at 10:19 am

Hey rusty great stuff again! First post man.. See I am a college student so I enjoy the drinking scene but I am love trying to get ultra lean. I wanted to know what tips did you have where I can go out have drinks with my friends and stay at my 7-8% body fat

Rodney July 11, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Hey Rusty,

I’m not sure where to find this in prior posts, so at the risk of repetition here goes…What sort of workout or activity do you do on fasting days? Are these rest days, sprint days, or do you do a hard weight session around 4-5pm and eat following that workout? More importantly, are there certain types of workouts that should be avoided on 24hr fasting days? Thanks!

Lillea Woodlyns July 12, 2009 at 2:34 am

Keep this info coming! It makes me feel better and better about fasting and short bursts of exercise.

I would really like to see the comparison of HGH injections and what happens with fasting and sprints, etc. I guess it may be a long wait but if they are at all comparable then it is a tremendous cost savings to do things ‘naturally’ and given the possible side effects, clearly a safer way to go too.

Neihana July 12, 2009 at 7:13 am

Great post, interesting stuff. Im always suprised reading the comments how often people get so indepth and ask you how and what to do down to the tiniest detail.

Its not so difficult to burn fat and build muscle. The thing is, people need to give things a decent go before trying to get all scientific. Read the basic jist of info Then put it into action for MONTHS. If nothing has worked by then or you havent learnt about your body after MONTHS then ask for advice. Life is the best school and Time is the best fat burner and muscle builder

Thanks Rusty!

Frank Z July 12, 2009 at 7:24 pm

Hey Rusty, to stray from the subject for a little bit, may I suggest writing something about Paul Chek or maybe even contacting him about your website if you haven’t already? I’m researching some of his work and the guy seems to be really really well learned about what he’s doing and he also advocates all around healthy and happy living

Frank

Yash July 12, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Hey Rusty,

I think a big factor in the muscle breakdown scares/constant muscle feeding dogma that floats around is that it applies mainly to bodybuilder types who are carrying around excess lean muscle, which is way more than any physiologically normal human needs for our evolved purposes. The body, being the crazy smart machine it is, picks up on the fact that there’s so much more muscle than it’s been evolutionarily trained to use and tries to use some of it as food. Basically, the advice that applies to serious bodybuilders somehow permeated the fitness literature and is being applied to normal people, when it doesn’t apply, just like body part splits and 2 am protein shakes.

On the flip side of this HGH research, i think sprints can be really valuable for building muscle too, as opposed to burning fat. What do you think? I’m almost fully recovered from that injury and I need to put on a few pounds [through strength training, of course] and I’m thinking intense 20-30 sec sprints with much longer breaks in between will emphasize the hGH secretion without concentrating too much on the fat loss, since muscle building actually requires a caloric surplus and I don’t want to burn much besides what’s required for that hGH boost from the sprints. Basically, my theory is that concentrating less about that metabolic fat burning window and sprinting with a lot of recovery time in between will maximize that short burst intensity and ramp up HGH secretion. My take on those “diminishing returns” you talked about is that they may be in part to lower intensity on consequent sprints, so I’m trying to take that out of the equation. I’ll let you know how it goes.

PS – Thanks for your tips and help on starting a site. I bought my domain some time ago and I’m tying the ends together and I’m hoping to get it running very soon!

Yash

CraigB - Fatblastzone July 13, 2009 at 10:02 am

This is really informative…thanks for this post. Now, the 30 second sprint has always been what I shoot for and often recommend. But I really underestimated the HGH inducing benefits associated with it. The part about fasting is also pretty interesting – a 5-fold increase…WOW. We need people like you who disseminate and break-down this sort of information for people like us who may not have a clue otherwise. Keep up the good work.

Donkey Lips July 13, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Hey Rusty. So I got the name because I dressed up as Donkey Kong for a few years during Halloween. I didn’t need the mask because I can mimick Donkey Kong’s face really well just by puffing up my face. I can also eat a lot of food and it amazes my friends. Lastly, I have big lips and there was a character named Donkey Lips on a Nickalodean show called “Salute your Shorts” growing up when I was a kid. Add up all the following and it comes to getting this nickname. But I have a lot of nicknames from my friends this just happens to be one of my more favorites. Anyway, I just wanted to comment on the fact that I was also at that same Colplay concert with my girlfriend, and some family and friends. It was awesome. Such a great concert, I got real drunk (but not too drunk) and really had a blast. The surrounding area made for a great weekend. You should stay at Crecsent Bar (Up by Qunicy) next time you see a show if you haven’t before. It’s a great place on the Columbia. I also go to Dave Matthew’s every year for his three day show over Labor Day Weekend. Between the boozing, boating, beach relaxing, camping, and the concert you really can’t do much better for a weekend vacation. Take care, and try to make it to Oaxaca Mexican Restaurant in Ballard (right on Ballard Ave across from Matador) if you ahven’t already. It’s amazing, fresh quality mexican food.

Mindbodygoal July 13, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Hi rusty, very enjoyable post thank you. In terms of physical transformation and nutrient repartitioning, and of course hgh release, high intensity exercise rocks. Slowly coming round to the idea of a 24 hour fast, and am starting to think about giving it a go myself! Keep up the great posts.

tim July 13, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Hey rusty I’m 6 1 177 I just got the leanest ever been 7% but I feel kinda small because I of my have a 39 inch chest. I was thinking of bulking for 8 to 10 weeks to gain some more muscle so when I get leaner I’ll be more defined what’s your take on this?

Marika Zoll July 14, 2009 at 3:59 am

Hi Rusty, any chance to converse with you regarding the interview you did with Jack Humphrey? I am in that place you once were. 🙂 Think your site is beautiful. Love the photography. Would love to know how you create links in your header and footer? Do I need to learn HTML? Where are you located? Hope to hear from you. Fun interview. Nice to know what other people out there are up to. This blogging thing can feel pretty lonely at time. All the best.

Liam | EverythingZing.com July 14, 2009 at 4:04 am

Very interesting indeed. It makes perfect sense that 30s sprints would have the greatest HGH release but I hadn’t heard about fasting. Although I’m not too keen on the idea I certainly think it’s a safer option than injecting.

Jason G July 14, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Amazing article Rusty!

Anyway to simplify the topic: human growth hormone appears to be a hunger hormone. By fasting for 48 hours, like the extreme example above, we create an intense hunger and/or growth hormone response (the larger the hunger the larger the HGH response). More Intense workouts create more intense hunger (the bodies need for immediate compensation) and by delaying food consumption after the workout we can benefit from the human growth hormone because we will stay hungry. As soon as the body is exposed to food and especially insulin (very effective energy source) the hormone is shut off. Why? Because we are no longer hungry. The questions I would like to see answered:

Is HGH more important than utilizing the body’s insulin and protein sensitivity after the workout even for a person who is looking to bulk up?

Would we benefit from not eating(staying hungry) even longer than an hour after a workout?

What is the optimal eating cycle (not including 24 hour fasts) for providing adequate protein consumption and HGH release? I was thinking of eating a large breakfast and large dinner with no lunch in between as a way to stay lean year round.

Rusty I wouldn’t expect you to answer these questions in the near future, but these questions could make interesting topics. Needless to say it is my feeling that modern society is getting to much food and as a result they are giving up the benefits of this wonderful hormone. I also am wondering if HGH is also responsible for those calorie restricted apes life span being so much longer than the normal apes. If so we might want to fast regularly to increase our longevity.

Based on this information I would conclude that the warrior diet is probably the most effective diet at releasing human growth hormone.

Hassan July 14, 2009 at 11:19 pm

doing these sprints and getting a HGH increase would also promote growth wont it?, well im only 19, and i was wondering..if doing this could give me a chance to grow taller as well as lose fat?

admin July 15, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Ron,

Sometimes I like to go periods of time where I increase the time lifting weights and decrease the cardio and HIIT. It is a great way to mix things up. Maybe aim for 3 days of lifting per week and increase the amount of time lifting…do a few more sets. Reduce your cardio by half. Maybe two of the days you do 15 minutes HIIT and one of those days you followup with a bit of steady state cardio. This will be a nice change for you. Jealous of your vacation photos!

Elizabeth,

Glad you found this site. The Coldplay concert was outstanding…incredible to see them play out over a 200 foot cliff above the Columbia River. Right after that, me and my girlfriend drove from the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington to Eugene Oregon…to go to “Country Fair” in Eugene (think along the lines of “Burning Man”, but in the woods). Anyway…drove a lot this weekend but had a blast! You are right on track with everything you listed. It will work well for you. You can ethier train in the morning or before dinner…just make sure you go into the workout in a fasted state. This will work wonders for you.

Kevin,

If you are doing Eat Stop Eat style of Intermittent Fasting…I would reduce the calories a bit on those two fasting days for best results. If you could reduce it down to 1,000-1,200 calories on those two days you will get better results (obviously experiment and see what works best for you). Also…you may want to reduce that window of eating to around 4 hours…or at least see how this works out for you. This is what I’ve found to work best for me.

Norbi,

Thanks for trusting me. The stuff I recommend works extremely well, but I do like to make sure people see the science behind the madness. My blog is really picky with links. Sometimes it will post them other times it won’t. I wish it behaved better. As far as your question goes…I have a good answer for you. Sometimes naturally slim guys that tend to get skinny fat if they do too much cardio or go into too great of a calorie deficit. I want you to try something and tell me how it works. Add 20 minutes to your lifting routine, reduce the rest a bit, add more sets per body part, and make sure you get 5 reps each and every set. You are also going to try to work up a light sweat during this workout. This is a way to build your muscles slightly, while still working in the lower rep range. The reduced rest periods are going to jack up your HGH. As far as HIIT and steady state goes. Stick to 10-15 minutes per workout and that is it (your lifting isn’t going to be circuit style, but will burn a decent amount of calories and boost HGH). Report back to me in two weeks and let me know what your body looks like. You just sound a bit over trained to me.

jake,

I do have good tips for you. What you will simply want to do is to make sure you have a good average calorie deficit over time. If on a Saturday night, you may put down 3,000-4,000 calories with food and drinks…you are going to want to make that up with a couple of days of 1,000-1,200 calories. The reason Intermittent Fasting works so well is that it does just that. You basically pick 2 days per week where you don’t eat anything until dinner…and that dinner is regular size 800-1,200 calories. You are aiming for a 24 hour fast, so eat your dinner at the same time as you last meal the previous day. Ideally you will want to limit how many calories you injest in one day, but I went through college and I know what can happen. One more tip…stick to light beer…it will be less calories and cheaper too!

Rodney,

I have found that workouts are easier on fasting days…it is kind of crazy. The ideal situation in my opinion is to do a workout in the afternoon before dinner, wait 1-2 hours and then eat your meal. You don’t have to do it at this time, but if it works for your schedule this creates the “perfect storm” for fat loss.

Lillea,

I too would like to see a Natural HGH vs HGH Injections study. I guess we will have to wait for this info.

Neihana,

It does pay to avoid some of the “land mines” like bulking up or wasting time doing inneffective types of cardio, but I get where you are coming from. My hope is that people will read these tips and then put them into action. It seems like the majority of the readers and commenters are people of action. I love it!

Frank Z,

I will check out his site. Luckily this site gets a lot of traffic now, so I can pull some of the bigger names to do guest posts. I have heard the name, but can’t say I remember what he advocates.

Yash,

So true…the guys with crazy amounts of muscle do tend to lose it if they eat anything resembling a normal diet. Those of us who like a natural amount of muscle have nothing to worry about. I subscribed to your RSS Feed by the way…can’t wait to see how TheUniversityofFitness.com turns out. I will help you along the way. I know a thing or two about this little “blogging thing”…I think it is going to catch on 🙂

Craig,

Thanks for the compliment. You are also being humble…you know a lot about fitness and nutrition. That is obvious from visiting your site. Great site design by the way!

Donkey Lips,

That is hillarious! Did you ever see the movie “King of Kong”? Steve Weibe was a year older than me in the same fraternity. I remember playing Nintendo (Baseball Stars and Blades of Steel) in his room when I was suppose to be studying. I need to go to Oaxaca…I went to Matador last week…forgot about going to Oaxaca. It was a beautiful day at the Concert! I didn’t drink too many beers…I just hated paying $9 per beer. With a tip it was $20 for me and my girlfriend to have a beer. They did taste netter than normal since it was 97 degrees during the day. Thanks for explaining your nickname…that is funny.

Mindbodygoal,

The 24 hour fasts are way easier than they sound. It is tough the first few times, but I love the way they make me feel these days.

tim,

It is funny that 3 people had a similar question on this post. I will give you the same advice I gave Norbi…”Add 20 minutes to your lifting routine, reduce the rest a bit, add more sets per body part, and make sure you get 5 reps each and every set. You are also going to try to work up a light sweat during this workout. This is a way to build your muscles slightly, while still working in the lower rep range. The reduced rest periods are going to jack up your HGH. As far as HIIT and steady state goes. Stick to 10-15 minutes per workout and that is it (your lifting isn’t going to be circuit style, but will burn a decent amount of calories and boost HGH).” So this will fill out your muscles a bit, while still keeping the body fat low. I wouldn’t go out of your way to eat extra calories and bulk up…simply stick to the same diet (maybe a little less strict at times). In 6-12 weeks you should notice a big difference. If you don’t add body fat easily you can also drop the HIIT just down to 1 day per week during this time.

Markia,

Thanks a bunch. I looked at you site and just sent you an e-mail.

Liam,

The fasts are just 1-2 times per week until dinner. Actually quite easy and you feel steady energy all day…a good approach to eating especially for people who tent to eat out with friends and family from time to time.

Jason G,

Those are great topics. I wrote them down for future posts. If I don’t know the answer I will seek out the person who does. Thanks for the ideas.

Hassan,

I don’t think there is anything you can do to grow taller. I’m convinced that this is almost 100% genetic. I’m tall and some people say things like “you must have eaten your vegetables growing up”…and things along those lines. The truth is that I ate very poorly and hit 6’3″ by 7th grade. Being tall is nice at times and sucks at times…in a lot of ways it is overrated…I wish I was about 3-4” shorter a lot of the times.

Great comments!

Rusty

Norbi July 15, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Hey Rusty,

thanks a lot for your answer, it’s very appreciated! In all honesty, I have not really had a concrete weight lifting routine. I was doing cardio a lot. Then about 3-4 weeks ago I started Krav Maga, which includes lots of body weight exercises, plus I started doing your ‘conquer lower back pain’ routine every other day. So my strength training only consisted of bodyweight exercises. So translating your advice to my situation, starting today I’ll add a 3 day split weight lifting routine, and I figured it would make sense to do it the way Pavel recommended (for strength + size). On the days I’m lifting I’ll do a short HIIT session afterwards or play soccer if it’s available, on the other days (2-3 times a week) I can do the Krav Maga training (self defense classes, not conditioning though cause those would lead to over training real quick probably), and I’ll keep doing the ‘lower back strengthening’ sessions at home.

As for the ‘skinny fat’, I don’t think I gained it recently, it’s rather still left there waiting to be destroyed. 🙂 It’s interesting though what you said with the over training and being in a big calorie deficit… last week I was working a LOT (like 14-16 hours a day), so I ate whatever, and did not exercise. Funny enough, in the last 1 – 1,5 months I lost the biggest amount of weight during this ‘cheat’ week (as compared to other weeks’ fat losses).

Thanks again!

ps.: the thing with the links is interesting, especially because the first such post that got rejected had links only to articles on your site. 🙂

Hassan July 15, 2009 at 8:16 pm

lol…i know what you mean…but me being 5’5, i was expecting a growth spurt according to my doctors, as im a late bloomer…so i was just wondering if this could just help boost me up for the final time, my only problem is…im short but have chunky legs…and i hate it…if you have a way to slim them down completely then ill be happy 🙂

Ron July 16, 2009 at 6:11 pm

I had a caliper test done about a week ago and was told I’m at 15% bf?! What?! I found this EXTREMELY hard to believe. I just don’t understand it.

Will increasing the lifting & decreasing the cardio help me to continue getting lean (specifically, losing the lower belly & lovehandle fat)? I’m almost wondering if I should add more to my abs routine (or just start doing planks EVERY day instead of just when I’m at the gym). The abs are fairly flat, but there just isn’t much definition. I’m doing planks and v-sits. Should I do a little something to increase the ab mass?

If I increase the weightlifting to 3 days/week and am doing a split (Day 1=chest/back, Day 2=shoulders/biceps/triceps), what should I do on the 3rd day?

Also, should I eat on these days and do my fasting days (only 1-2 per week) on my resting days? And do you think Arizona Diet Green tea is ok?

Hell, you’ve seen the facebook vacation pics of me without my shirt at the Dead Sea. What could use improvement? I’m starting to feel like, after about year, I just haven’t made nearly as much progress as I should.

Sorry, I know that was about 20 questions…ok, 5 questions, but that’s still a lot. I just want to be the guy who makes it in Hollywood without needing a personal trainer 😉

Norbi July 17, 2009 at 2:38 am

Ron,

just in general, when / if you want to lose fat, especially those last pounds, then increasing cardio, specifically HIIT cardio would be beneficial in my opinion. Plus try to make sure to do them in a fasted state: try not to eat about 4-5 hours before your HIIT session, and then try not to eat for at least an hour afterwards.

As for your Arizona Diet Green Tea question, it’s funny, cause I’m drinking Lipton’s Diet Green Tea, and just researched if it had anything to do with real tea. In fact it does, but it has aspartame in it, which can have some screwed up side effects. I guess nothing can be perfect. But it’s still a 100 times better than any soda. 🙂

Michael August 26, 2009 at 10:21 pm

Great advice. I am a certified trainer and will try the 30 s sprint system. I am 64 yrs. young and have trained all my life and still fight 2 nights a week. I am sick of all the unknowns in suppliments even though I still use them. Off the pills and on to sprints!! I will keep you posted.

ADRIAN PACE September 17, 2009 at 8:06 am

Hi Rusty
i find your articles interesting but Natural Gh does nothing to the body as does Inj G.H. if it was so people wouldn’t spend thousands on Gh if the effects were the same .
I would like to see real studies on this matter .

Scott December 15, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Injectable Gh does nothing. So im not sure what a 20 min spike during a workout would do.

Leonid January 6, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Hi, Rusty,
I have come across your blog by chance. Very impressive and informative. Thanks for it! A quick question if you don’t mind. What if we substitute fasting with just carb free diet? I mean, completely carb free for 24 hours – HGH is released when sugar levels are low and this can be achieved without fasting. This way, for example, an adaptogene such as Aralia Manchu works – decreasing sugar levels by up to 20 % and thus substantially increasing HGH release. This effect is nothing short of amazing except for ravenous appetite.
Thanks!

Super Scientist September 23, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I went to 3 sixty second sprints in the first mile of a two mile run that I run twice a week. And my testosterone went off the chart. Now I have been experimenting for over twenty years with different workouts in the hope to expand the Life-Span and I believe I am now in the category with the Wright Brothers and Davinci.

I have figured out how and why it works. Penn State studies have told us that three set of 8 to 10 reps in lifting gives the maximum testosterone surge and if you apply this to sprinting it works.

Note, do not, I repete do not do 4 or more sprints. This will cause it to not work.

Peter Griffin February 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Got here through google. Great article. Thank you

shaun March 26, 2013 at 11:04 am

“A good 10-15 minute circuit routine or body weight circuit will have the same effect as a sprint interval routine.”

— No freakin’ way, dude.

human.growthormones.com June 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm

After you turn 35, your body slows down production of growth hormones.

It really is amazing that these supplements, paired with
a healthy and active lifestyle, are able to help men to enjoy a much higher quality
of life. It is required throughout our life to maintain and carry on regular
functions in our body.

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