Increase Natural HGH Without Injections, Sprays, or Pills

July 6, 2009

Time to talk about your body’s potent fat burning hormone: HGH. I wanted to let you guys know up front that this post isn’t a grand scheme to sell some sort of HGH supplement. There are some pills and supplements that can make a little difference, but this article will be dedicated to increasing your Human Growth Hormone (HGH) with just a solid diet and exercise routine. I’ve talked in passing about HGH in the past, but felt the need for a post that goes a bit more in depth.
natural hgh
[The science behind HGH is as simple or as complex as you want to make it. I will touch on how HGH works in your body, but mainly focus on actions you can take to increase this natural fat burning hormone in your body. Oh yeah, this picture is suppose to be a mad scientist.]

The Basics: What is HGH (Human Growth Hormone)?

Human Growth Hormone is a hormone that is naturally produced by your pituitary gland your entire life. When you are younger it is one of the factors in increasing your height. As you age it mainly plays a role in repairing and “turning over” muscle tissue…as well as breaking down fat in your fat cells. There are several other benefits to this complex hormone, but I want to laser focus this article on these benefits…maintaining muscle (or gaining muscle) & dropping body fat.

We Produce Less HGH As We Get Older

One of the major reasons that celebrities are injecting HGH is to maintain the level they had in their teens and early 20’s. By the age of 60, I have read that HGH can be as low as 25% of the level of a young adult. It seems that this decline begins to take place from the age of 30 onward. Maybe this is why so many people quickly put on weight in their 30’s. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way…keep reading if you refuse to become flabby as you age!

HGH Increases Dramatically With Short Intense Exercise

Every once in a while, you need to workout intensely to insure maximum release of your natural fat burning hormone. A strategic diet and staying active can get you decent fat loss results…but if you want to reach your fat loss results in much less time, you need to maximize your body’s output of HGH. Here are some workouts I have outlined that you can include in your routine to insure that this happens.

1) An Aerobic Workout Program That Forces Your Body to Burn Fat
2) Body Weight Circuits Are Kickin’ My Butt!
3) A Circuit Training Routine That Actually Makes Sense!

Fasting Is a Very Potent Way to Increase HGH

The problem with eating every few hours is that when insulin levels are too high, your body will not produce HGH. I like to think of insulin as a “fat storage” hormone and HGH as a “fat releasing” hormone. When food is present in your system, your body releases insulin to store nutrients into the cells in your body. When insulin levels are too high, your body cannot burn fat…since your body is in storage mode. When insulin is low, that is when your body switches to using fat for energy…this is also when HGH will kick in and help release stored fat for energy. Fasting is an easy way to make this possible. Of course you can’t fast all the time…so that is where Intermittent Fasting comes in as an amazing way to drop fat while maintaining muscle. It is a great eating strategy to maximize HGH release.

Getting a Solid Night’s Sleep Contributes to HGH Release

HGH gets released when you hit deep REM sleep. The main thing to maximize HGH during this time is to try to get at least 8 hours of solid sleep per night. I have gone through periods of my life where I was living off an average of 5 hours per night, but I always found it tougher (still possible) to stay lean during these times. Do what you can in this regards, because you will be healthier and live longer by resting well each night.

Some Pointers to Maximize HGH and Fat Loss

I like to stack everything in my favor when trying to stay lean or lose body fat, so here are some of the things I’ve learned that maximize HGH release and fat loss.

Go into every workout on an empty stomach
This tip is slightly controversial, but works nonetheless. Working out in a fasted state takes HGH release to a high level. You are taking advantage of an intense workout and low level of insulin…it creates a perfect storm for maximum HGH release. The arguments against this method involve the idea of having a lower intensity level, due to fasting. Here is a whole article I wrote that addresses this point: Fasted Workouts and Fasted Cardio vs EPOC – For Fat Loss

Wait one hour before consuming your post workout meal
The last thing you want to do after working hard to release HGH is kill it with a big release of insulin. A shake right after working out will stop the fat releasing actions of HGH. It won’t make a huge difference, since the workout will contribute to a calorie deficit…but why not stack all the odds in your favor? Here is an article I wrote on this subject: Post Workout Shakes? Not If Fat Loss is Your Goal!

Capitalize on HGH’s effect of releasing stored body fat
HGH will pull stored body fat out of your fat cells and release them as fatty acids into your blood stream. What happens is that your body will use some of these fatty acids for energy and the remainder of these fatty acids get stored once again into your fat cells. A way to burn even more of these fatty acids is to do a bit of “steady state cardio” during this short window of opportunity. I have outlined the exact technique in this little 3 page site I built a couple of years ago: Low Body Fat Percentage Course

The “HGH Flush” – An Indicator of a Good HGH Workout

Over 10 years ago I read about a term called the “HGH Flush”. This isn’t something discussed very often, but is a great indicator of a good HGH-releasing workout. I’ll just quote what I wrote on an earlier post…When your skin feels hot and a bit red and you are short of breath, you have achieved the HGH flush. Many people probably haven’t experienced a good HGH flush since P.E. class in junior high. Strive for this when you hit the treadmill (or other intense interval type workout).

Note: Again…I’m not against the use of supplements that encourage the release of your body’s natural HGH. My stance on injecting anything is to simply not do it. I also wouldn’t take any synthetic HGH of any type, but that is just my opinion. I have achieved outstanding results with just solid diet and exercise strategies.

One More Thing: This won’t be the last HGH post. There are many more issues to address. I wanted to do this post since most of my HGH articles were written close to 2 years ago. This will be a good starting point for me to expand upon the subject (depending upon interest levels).

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{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Grok July 6, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Looking forward to those next few posts Rusty.

flowerd July 7, 2009 at 12:02 am

hey rusty..if i were to do hitt during a 18-20hr fast of not eating anything would that be safe?im on the warrior diet and eat 1 meal a day but if i were to workout during the long periods of not having food in my system would that be ok?then eat dinner after my workout?

M0L July 7, 2009 at 12:59 am

Dear Rusty,

Why does everything you write makes perfect sense to me?
Keep up the incredible work you are doing with this website, ppl need to realize what they’re doing wrong and start making it right..eating right and (HIIT)exercising…+ IF a couple of days a week and you’re good to go..there’s no magic formula (well that one above) but all of that plus stuff I already what’s making the magic for me, I read the entire website ‘literally’ and applying a bit of this and that and it shows man..I’m not there yet, but getting there..
once again, thanks for a wonderful job.


Yash July 7, 2009 at 1:00 am

Hey Rusty,

Just gotta say, the pictures accompanying your post are getting increasingly out there every time! haha

Chris - ZTF July 7, 2009 at 1:52 am

Awesome to know about the HGH flush I get those regularly when doing some intense weights sessions! Mix that with some IF before and after workouts and HGH must be sky high…..

Dragos July 7, 2009 at 3:02 am


great article as usual.

It would be great if you come up with an article about the supplements that can boost your hgh level

Brian Dickey - The Low Carb Junkie July 7, 2009 at 3:32 am

I always thought that fasting before a workout was just something that worked for me. For years I’ve always heard the opposite. Its nice to know I’m not some sort of metabolic freak. I usually always do my workouts on an empty stomach and then eat after my workouts. Great article.

Brian Dickey - The Low Carb Junkie July 7, 2009 at 3:37 am

And just for another note. It amazes me how many people eat just to eat. I try to eat only when I’m hungry, but I know people and know of people that seem to be stuffing their faces every chance they get. Mostly out of boredom I think. Allowing yourself to get hungry I think signals all the process in your body that allow a person to stay lean and healthy. Its amazing how the body will take care of its self if you let nature do its thing.

Anton July 7, 2009 at 3:57 am

This is a good summary to put what we’re doing in perspective. Thanks for advising fasting and body weight circuits – it is too early to tell if they affect my muscles etc, but they definitely affect my mood and attitude. Knowing that I can do it, even though it’s not that easy (not that hard either, once I start), makes me happier and more confident in other areas in life – a great result overall ๐Ÿ™‚

Aditya July 7, 2009 at 4:13 am

Hey Rusty, You wont believe how much I worship you and your articles and I promote your stuff wherever I can.

Ok coming straight to the point! I have two fast days every week and I do HIIT on the treadmill and do abs everyday 6 times a week. But my weight training is for 2 days where I do lateral pull downs, inclined dumb bell raises, shrugs and cable pulls. I get the HGH flush you are talking about. (I follow your low fat percentage workout routine)

My diet consists of 5 Egg Whites an Hour after my workout, 2 Peanut Butter Sandwiches 3 hours later, another 2 after 2 hours, a handful of almonds laters and dinner is Boiled Chicken Breast. Also, once a week I have beer with my mates, just 2 pints; and I visit Burger King on the Saturday.

Question is, will I be able to reach a body fat percentage of 6-7% regardless of what it is right now? Is my diet ok or I can binge a little bit more? I want visible abs!

Lillea Woodlyns July 7, 2009 at 5:41 am

I’d love to know what HGH levels are like in IFers compared to people who inject.

Younes July 7, 2009 at 5:57 am


I’ve been into fitness for 2 years now, and i’ve been “experimenting” alot..

Now my dad had this theory, which I find quite making sense to me, let me know what you think about it.

– Eat your last meal at 6 o clock (Prot+Vegs)
– Do you workout 2 to 3 hours later (hiit, circuit like you mentioned/pull up bar etc/compound,30 mins max)
– After your workout drink plenty of water, no food
– Go to sleep around 10-11
– Eat your next meal in the morning, containing of protein, vegetables and fruit

He says this approach will lead you to gains in strength while burning down the bodyfat, he says if you will do a post workout meal, you will inhibit this fat burning mechanism and will add muscles+fat to your system, he claims that if you do it this way, you will get the strength,muscles, lower body fat, but only not the bodybuilding physique.

At the moment i’m 1 week into this and will try to keep doing it for 7 more weeks,

I’ll let you know the results, tell me what you think about this svp

chica July 7, 2009 at 6:53 am

good article rusty. i’m hoping it’ll be followed up with an article with more info about what effect HGH actually has on fat loss soon though.

i’ve got a question about insulin levels and fat loss. if i keep my insulin levels fairly low, by eating small, frequent meals with low GI carbs and high fibre, and maintain a moderate calorie deficit through diet and exercise, will this enable me to burn fat all the time, or will my insulin levels still be too high?



Greg at Live Fit July 7, 2009 at 6:56 am

I’ve read a great deal about HGH as well. As far as I’m concerned, injections are a huge no-no. Probably the thing I do worst at is getting enough sleep. Must have more sleep…

gus July 7, 2009 at 8:12 am

hi rusty, i liked this article, i have been using fitness black book to help me reach my goals and your post`s have really helped me.

as i have been doing the things u have suggested on how to get lean i have really gotten new knowledge about training, dieting and a fast way to reach my goals.

the look i was going for was the one brad pitt had in fight club or cam gigandet in ” never back down” and in just 4 weeks i managed to loose 10 kg, from 78kg to 68 kg ( im 184 cm tall ) and i look and feel so much better now.

i don’t know what my body fat percentage is, butt i think it is getting low.

i will try to hold this weight for a while to get more tone and definition.
so thanks allot for your help.

Donรฉ July 7, 2009 at 8:44 am

Hello Darling!

How are you doing? Not bad this side… Great post again – as always!!!

Well since ive read your last post – ive been doing 3miles walking per day… and im addicted… Today it rained – no it p1ssed down… and i still went with my brollie! hehe ๐Ÿ™‚

I just have a question… when you on low carb diet.. (like 20grams per day low)… aren’t you suppose to burn fat anyway during the day – not only when you in fasted state?

Ive changed my regime now – i eat my main meal at lunch time then fast the rest of the day…

Thanks again for everything ๐Ÿ™‚


Gymless Jim July 7, 2009 at 9:08 am

Hey Rusty! ๐Ÿ™‚

I was just wondering how much cardio is too much? I think I read somewhere around here last night that steady state cardio shouldn’t be done at the end of every routine because it can lead to overtraining. Is it the same for HIIT?

Also, if somebody does do HIIT every day, and always reaches a HGH flush, is there some way their body will be come less sensitive to HGH? That would be a shame ๐Ÿ™

Great stuff as always Rusty! I’ve almost got a 4 pack! *proud*


Elle July 7, 2009 at 9:08 am

Hmm. Just saw Lance Armstong’s most recent “can he do it again” commercial where he denies the doping charge. Then I got this post. The universe is trying to tell us something. ๐Ÿ˜‰

LynneP July 7, 2009 at 10:22 am

Thanks for the article, Rusty, and look forward to more. I turn beet red in martial arts class, lol. I’ve always been embarrassed. Maybe no longer!

Rafi Bar-Lev July 7, 2009 at 10:23 am


Interesting article. I’m curious why you think that HGH levels increase more dramatically with intense exercise as opposed to normal exercise?

I also have that theory (it seems logical to me the more intense you workout the more intense the bodies reaction…) but was wondering if you found any evidence to back up the claim? It would be cool to see if/how scientists were able to prove such a thing.


Rafi Bar-Lev

Ken July 7, 2009 at 10:26 am

Great stuff as usual Rusty! Your blog has become my #1 fitness reference site. You have a real knack for making complex concepts easy to understand. You keep posting and I’ll keep working!

ankur July 7, 2009 at 10:41 am

hey rusty you are doin a good work ,i agree wth you many people hvnt achieved tht hgh flush including myself actually i m tryin to gain some solid muscles thts y i stay away from any type of running .
by the way i hve a question for you,my dad’s age is 60 & he has never done any type of exercise in his whole life ,he is purely veg bt cant take yogurt & milk , he is very active and strong bt very little frame & very thin also ,coz of some nerve problem in his spinal cord doctor has advised him not to lift heavythings so plz tell me wht he can do in this age to improve his fitness level ,wht should be his diet so he can get proper amount of nutrients wthout milk , yogurt & any type of non veg.
wht type of exercise he should do plz give me a proper routine.
any advice will be appreciated.
thanks rusty

Gina July 7, 2009 at 11:16 am

I have been searching for other websites since your last HGH post. I’ve become fascinated with that particular hormone and it’s exciting to see how many great benefits it can bring. I’m so glad you wrote another one because this is the best article I have seen on boosting HGH naturally. All the other ones have too much of a supplement focus, which I think are not as beneficial when you read about the side effects. I also really like the way you break this article down and reference your past articles, as well as relate it to what you’ve basically write about in most of your articles for losing fat. I can’t wait to put this great information to use! Keep up the great work as always, and I’m looking forward to your future HGH articles!

Irish July 7, 2009 at 11:46 am

Thanks for doing this article Rusty it really clears things up and was exactly what I was looking for. I already do all of the things you pointed out because it’s what you’ve been advocating on your site all along. It’s nice to know I’m doing stuff correctly. I appreciate all your help and information.

Here’s a great jump rope workout for everyone that I like to do that really gets the hGH flush going it’s done in the tabata format.

15 double jumps (When the rope goes under you twice in just one jump)

10 seconds rest. (Repeat for a total of 8 times) If you aren’t able to perform the double jumps then just jump rope as fast as possible for twenty seconds and rest for ten like a normal tabata workout.

Another great quick workout for hGH flush that involves jumping is to use a flat weight bench. Jump laterally (side to side) over the weight bench for a total of twenty jumps and rest for 10 seconds between sets for a total of 8 sets. Make sure to jump from and land on both feet, don’t favor one foot to land on and jump from.

Norbi July 7, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Hey Rusty,

great article! I’m myself all about reaching my goals on a natural way… just like I said in another comment, messing with your hormone system doesn’t sound like a good idea on the long run, even if you can save a couple of month of work at the time. Also, I think most of these ‘magical ways’ to get in a perfect shape WITHOUT EFFORT just seem stupid if you think about it: such things usually only exist in a human’s imagination. So when somebody tells me to keep my heart rate only a little bit elevated, and make sure NOT to work too hard on the threadmill, that sounds fishy. Also, when somebody tells me that they produced the magical supplement that burns fat and builds muscle at the same time, at a rapid rate, and has NO negative consequences, it sounds fishy to me. And I don’t do / follow stuff that sound fishy to me. :-))

Anyway, I wanted to let you know that using almost exclusively the information you provided, I just hit the end of 12 weeks of my routine and so far lost 28lbs of fat, and I’m not always the most disciplined with my diet (gotta love IF ๐Ÿ™‚ ). Also, a couple of weeks ago I started your routine for ‘conquering low back pain’ (supermans, planks, bird dogs); although it got considerably better with the weight loss and regular exercising already, but I want to get rid of it completely. I’ll update you on my experiences a couple of months later. Thanks for everything!

Danny July 7, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Rusty, brilliant post!! Nothing can beat a hgh flush after a tough bout of HIIT, here is the circuit i have been using for a while now with good results

50 Star Jumps
45 Squats
40 Star Jumps
35 Pushups
30 Star Jumps
25 Tuck Jumps
20 Star Jumps
15 Burpees
10 Star Jumps
5 Burpees

Though id share this as other people may find it useful, feel free to critique this or add to it, be good to hear your thoughts. Keep up the good work Rusty, Good Stuff!!

Kane July 7, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Hey Rusty! HGH is something I’m very interested in, and its my main focus point while working out. It is why I workout fasted, Why I dont eat for an hour-two after workout and why My workouts are SHORT and INTENSE.

Would love to see more HGH posts!

p.s Do you think its this year that your coming to England?

Helder July 7, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Very good advice, there are always natural ways of boosting hormones, not only hgh but also testosterone, that is also a fat burner and muscle builder.

The most important thing is not to take drugs, whatever one does, just do it naturally, over the long term the results will be better and your health will thank you

Norbi July 7, 2009 at 2:29 pm


I’ve been doing HIIT during my 24hr fasts for 3 months – haven’t come across a single problem. I also tried not to eat for at least an hour after my HIIT sessions to maximize the profit (just like Rusty outlined in this article).


10kgs (22lbs) in 4 weeks is a VERY rapid rate for fat loss. First of all: congrats ;), secondly, be very alert and try to keep it off. As far as I heard such drastic losses are pretty easy to gain back.

Gymless Jim,

I do remember clearly reading in one of Rusty’s articles not to do HIIT every day. I guess too much of anything can backfire. I personally just try to listen to my body… if I wake up feeling exhausted and rather weak, I know it’s time to give myself a break (a day or 2). During these days I might still do planks and a few push ups, or walking, but for the most part I’m letting my body rest, and usually take in higher calories those days.

Astrid Celibataire Endurci July 7, 2009 at 3:02 pm

This is really good piece of information! I noticed that lately (I’m a bit over 30) I don’t loose weight as fast as before when I exercise. It may be because of low HGH levels.

caroline amour July 7, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Great article! But I got a little bit confused with the fasting. I read that if you eat small portions every 4 hours, you will lose fat cause your metabolism increases. So what is real story? ๐Ÿ™‚

Terry July 7, 2009 at 3:27 pm

I didn’t know most of this. Thanks for your good, easy-to- understand explanations.

Gotta get more sleep and get blushing.

ro July 7, 2009 at 3:40 pm

BIG QUESTION RE: POST WORKOUT… after an intense weightlifting session, i’ve been told to drink a protein shake within 30 minutes for maximum absortion. your article says not to eat anything for 1 hr for maximum HGH. if i’m trying to get more muscular, which of the above should i follow and why? thanks.

Josh July 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm

As usual a thought provoking post. I personally have been using Brad Pilon’s ESE protocol of two 24 hour fasts per week. It took me down from about 200lbs to my current 185 in about two months. Im very happy with the results and my current body composition. For workouts, I enjoy doing crossfit style type activites, with a pre or post fatigue exercise. I have noticed that HGH flushed feeling. I also recently discovered conditioning coach Istvan Javorek who is the godfather of the barbell/dumbbell complex. Your circut training article covers the idea of the complex in great detail, I gave one of his complexes a try yesterday and wow!! I got not only a great HGH flush from the workout, but I am also sore today from the forearms through the shoulders! I really had to check my ego, and ended up using 40lb dumbbells. I like the idea of the complex as sort of a one stop shop, you get some strength but these are really a metabolic/fat loss workout and will not build large ammounts of muscle mass though due to the high volume you will gain a good deal of functional muscle, I also imagine that your strength will increase as you increase the weight of your complex. I prefer to have the body type of an MMA fighter or spec ops guy which this sort of exercise if perfect for.

Cher July 7, 2009 at 5:35 pm

I understand the concept of working out on an empty stomach, but I am curious what your take is on this article: When an ammonia odor is present would you recommend still working out on an empty stomach?

sway July 7, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Hey Rust,

I am a gal who needs to stay away from exercises that give the legs a pump. I was wondering if rollerblading does that, or if it’s more like jogging.


The Fit News July 7, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Interesting concept… I’ll have to research it more to believe you though. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rahul July 8, 2009 at 4:05 am

Hi Rusty,

Your blog’s helped me like crazy. Abs, definition etc. leanness it’s amazing and I credit it all to HIIT, since there was steady state cardio that I was trying as well but I started seeing changes in leaps and bounds only after HIIT. Basically right now, I look great in jeans with top off but just look slim rather than muscular when wearing clothes. I am 5.3 and weight right now is about 128 pounds…….

So I wanted your advise as now I wanted to build up a little bit of mass specially on my arms and shoulders but without gaining any fat or losing definition.

At present, I am doing cardio (HIIT 15-20 minutes alternating one minute each between 9.6 mph and 15mph+ elliptical 10 minutes+ sometimes cycling) and abs (planks/crunches- I mix it up) 3 days a week and weights (2 body parts per day) 3 days a week. This is actually a step back from my earlier routine where I used to do cardio as well as weights every day. Diet wise too I am pretty careful, I believe. I have started taking a whey protien shake and believe I might be getting 100 grams of protien per day and there is rarely any excess in terms of fatty food etc.

The trainers at the gym in fact have been insisting that I keep off running as they claim it’s stopping me from showing results muscle wise. Though of course, shape and density wise, I can make out my muscles look a lot more attractive than most other guys in the gym……

I was thinking of backing off from cardio for a couple of weeks and let loose on the eating front etc. and gaining some weight and then again cutting back later (since I have already done it once and have started enjoying running I am pretty confident I’ll that should not be a problem.)

But is there another way to do both together? even if it takes more time I am willing to go for it……any theories on this since most research I did seems to tell me that it’s virtually impossible to add muscle without adding fat…..


sangita July 8, 2009 at 9:00 am

Once again a complex topic explained in such a simple manner. Great post Rusty! I am definately getting the HGH flush in my work outs. But gotta work on the sleep. You know that James Bond movie where the bad guy had a sleep machine that he used for half an hour? I want one of those!!

gus July 8, 2009 at 10:30 am

thx for the feedback Norbi, Ur absolutely right.
after i was dieting hard and training hard to loose 10 kg i thought this was to easy to be true in just some few weeks.

after this i didnt really look the way i hoped i would look and realized i had to hold this weight for a while until i started seeing any difference to my look, and after holding it for a month i really started seeing diffrences!

i couldn’t go back to eating as i normally would do if not dieting,, what would happen then is that the kilos would come cack really fast and would actually gain kg more easily than before!

Mike OD - Fitness Spotlight July 8, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Great stuff Rusty….Here’s my list of important tips (as you probably have covered most of these…but I tend to rant on anyways.) on maximizing GH pulses (as GH is released in pulses through out the day)
– Do HIIT 3x a week, not everyday (as GH pulses can still be higher 24-48hrs after a great workout….but too much may supress)
– Sleep….biggest pulse is in first 1-2 hours
– No Sugar bursts….as High Blood Sugar will flatten any GH pulses….so people taking in high amounts of sugar will compromise fat burning (especially right before bed) all day
– No sugar before/during or after a workout….
– Intermittent Fasting helps improve the glucose metabolism and overall GH environment (as well as 24hr increases)
– Doing enough resistance/reps during exercise to elicit the lactic “burn”, as that will increase localized GH output too (which means more reps than 1-2…I like the 6-8 range slow and controlled on the negative side)

Hence why people thinking more cardio is the way to burn fat….are not looking at the big picture of how hormones control the “release” of stored fat to be burned up in the muscles. As the fat becomes more stubborn…the hormonal fitness response becomes more and more inportant (as well as optimal hormonal response dietary choices).

and yes Rusty….your pictures are getting weirder and weirder….lol.

Mike OD - Fitness Spotlight July 8, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Also interesting to note that a short but intense workout (even just a few all out sprints for 30-60sec) will increase GH levels hours after the workout….so for fat loss reasons it may be better to have shorter intense workouts spread throughout the day to increase GH (and therefore FFAs) for full day fat burning potential…rather than one big intense workout that may suppress GH (and other important hormones like Test) and lead to more muscle wasting and immune depression.

Patrick July 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Hey Rusty,
Do you or anyone else have any idea what type of cream would be effective for diminishing the red from stretch marks? The ones I have are old and all I want to do is get a good cream that will keep them faded, I noticed that they still get red from just lifting a couple times a week.
Any help or recommendations would be much appreciated

Irish July 8, 2009 at 2:11 pm


I had a question/request for a review. Have you heard of Jason Feruggia/ What do you think of his system? He has some pretty ridiculous claims on his site and says his ebooks are loaded with super secret information. I was wondering if you had an opinion on him or his system, if it’s any different from what you preach, or if it’s worth the money. Thanks Rusty.

Donkey Lips July 8, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Does caloric restriction (i.e. eating 1,000 to 2,000 kcals per day while burning anywhere from 2,500 to 4,000) have any affect on hGH or testosterone over a period of time? I have been at a caloric deficit for probably 16 consecutive weeks do I need to add in a week or two of caloric surplus eventually or is my “cheat days” (drinking, eating pizza, ice cream etc. and consuming anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 kcals in one day) enough to not worry about it? My goal is to get very defined and then go into maintenance and add muscle slowly but surely over time without increasing my body fat percentage. Also, have you heard anything about beer as well as soy products increasing estorgen and lowering testosterone in men? I guess red wine and liquor supposedly do not have this affect on men though.

Anna @ pathtofatloss July 8, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Hi Rusty,

Haven’t posted here in awhile (busy with the new boot camp business). Anyway, I love the HGH discussion! This is one of the reasons why I don’t eat at least 5 hours before I workout. Sometimes, I even workout in the middle of my fast! It feels good to know that I’m harnessing the benefits of HGH by feeling the flush and fasting at the same time.

Nice post!


Tyler July 8, 2009 at 5:41 pm


Great post, I have some questions though….. I’d kinda like to personalize this: I’m 6’2, 173 lbs, with 6% body fat. I do some pretty intense lifting 5 days a week, with intense cardio about 3 days a week. I’m very lean, and im not trying to lose weight, I’m pretty satisfied with my physical appearance. I’d just like to gain more muscle and stay as definded as possible. I’ve been fasting before I lift & I absolutely love it! But my question comes to the post-workout supplements, I’m that guy running down to grab the protein shake after lifting. Your post said that sorta decreases the HGH process, but if I wait the hour like you’re saying will I lose the benefit of my supplement (which I think really works)?

Thanks, and if people arn’t getting into better shape with all of your info & knowledge something is wrong. Keep it up!

admin July 8, 2009 at 7:29 pm


I will probably split up the HGH posts a bit with other posts. We will see.


That is exactly what I would recommend. It works well.


I do my best to make sense. I read and re-read my posts before I publish to see if my mind wanders when reading it. The main thing is that I want each post to be easily digestible. Thanks for reading the entire website. That is a lot of reading!


Just trying to make an impression for people who hit the site. I like to “draw people in” with the pictures and then keep them here with the articles. I am due for a normal pick soon. I enjoy putting up the odd ones better.


Intermittent Fasting mixed with intense brief sessions is a good technique for great HGH release!


I typically don’t do supplement posts, but I should put one up for those who are interested in supplementing for maximum HGH release. Seem like there is some interest there.


I think working out in a fasted state may be one of the biggest tips I give on a regular basis this site. It works extremely well for fat loss.


You will get great results over time with body weight circuits and Intermittent Fasting. It may just be the most time efficient way to stay lean.


Thanks for promoting my site…I appreciate this a bunch! I would limit the peanut butter sandwiches a bit if your fat loss stalls. Keep doing what you are doing if you are getting results and make slight adjustments. Maybe drop one peanut butter sandwich and keep everything else the same, etc. You look like you are definitely on the right track…you will just need to tweak things a bit as you get closer to your goals.


I will do a deep search to see if I can find that info…this seems like a common question from my last article.


You can do this if you are trying to get extremely lean, but you are risking muscle loss by not eating at all for so long after your workout. This will vary from individual to individual. For myself, I think I would have a tough time sleeping without at least a little food in my system and it would potentially lead to a bit of muscle loss. I could see using this approach maybe 2-3 times per week and mixing it in with days where you are a little 1-2 hours after working out. Your dad has the right idea…just monitor your strength during your workouts. If you experience a sudden drop in strength, then adjust.


You can certainly lose weight effectively by eating low GI foods and keeping your insulin levels low. This works well and is what I try to do on my non-fasting days (5 days per week). I like to do 2 fasts per week to just super charge this a bit, but a moderate calorie deficit and keeping insulin levels low is the foundation of a great fat loss diet.


I hate the idea of injections…something feels terribly wrong about sticking yourself with a needle (with the exception of people who absolutely need them for medical conditions).


You have made great progress. Keep it up and you will have that ultra lean Cam Gigandet look.


Low carb will work if you still maintain a daily calorie deficit. The idea is to keep insulin levels low and low carb does this well. Great job on developing a walking habit. I didn’t do a good job this week on keeping up with walking…still developing the habit.

Gymless Jim,

I think you can maintain a level of 2-3 times per week of HIIT year round without over training. I do it 3 times per week year round and make it 4-5 times per week for short 2-week bursts if I want to get a little extra sharp. My rule of thumb is that your body can handle higher stress loads for short little 10-14 days bursts, but it is better to be moderate the rest of the time. Walking can be done every day, just as a way to stay healthy and active. Jogging type steady state cardio should be limited to 2-3 days per week just like HIIT…again, you can do more for short periods of time. You should be able to achieve and HGH Flush most of the time if you do your workout right. If you ever have a problem. Do that Body Weight Circuit I recommend (listed as a link at the top of my site). Once you get a 4 pack, you are typically 5-10 pounds of fat away from a great 6 pack.


I really look up to Lance Armstrong…he is one of the World’s elite athletes…and I love his story about how he overcame cancer.


If you turn beet-red in your class, you are probably going to derive more fat burning advantage to those who don’t. You should feel great about that.


My next HGH post will link to quite a few scientific studies. It will leave little doubt. I think you will enjoy it.


Thanks for the compliment. You sound like a person of action and I like that. Keep working hard.


It is so hard to give advice, since your dad is a very special case. He certainly should consult his doctor. I wish I could give you more advice, but this is beyond my expertise.


Thanks for the compliment on the post. I try to give techniques that will work for everyone, regardless of whether they take supplements or not. My future HGH articles will reference scientific studies and possibly do a post about HGH boosting supplements (I am on the fence about the supplement post).


Sounds like a great workout to improve vertical leap as well.


That is unbelievable that you have lost so much fat…congrats! That lower back pain 3-part article will help you a lot. I have eliminated all back pain by following this advice.


Sounds good to me & if it gives you an HGH Flush I am sure it will work well. It is amazing at how simple workouts like this can get outstanding results.


I want to come to England within the next 18 months…basically by the end of 2010. That is my goal and I will contact you before I head on over. I really want to travel with my girlfriend all over Europe. My girlfriend is excited for France, by I want to travel all over the UK. Actually all of it sounds fun…Spain, Greece, Croatia, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, etc.


I am really closed minded about drugs. I see them as an emergency only type deal. I am shocked at the amount of people who have no problem taking tons of meds and using needles, etc.


It is harder than it used to be, but I just eat a little less…over time you get used to eating a little less. Save money and easier on your digestive system.


Type in: six meal per day … into my search bar on the right hand corner of my site. There are 5-6 posts that address this question directly. The eating every few hours to increase your metabolism is an outdated concept and the benefits are incredibly exaggerated.


I think most of us could use more sleep…myself included.


If you want to become more muscular and are not worried about losing body fat, then go ahead and drink the protein shake within 30 minutes…you will be able to gain muscle and maintain body fat, but probably have a tougher time losing body fat following this approach. It depends upon your goals.


You will like doing the complexes…it is kind of a one stop shop or can be done maybe once per week if worked in strategically within your workout routine.


At times, sites like bodybuilding-dot-com makes the whole fat loss and muscle gain thing more complex than it needs to be. I honestly would worry about any ammonia odor. I haven’t even experienced this, because enough water intake will get the job done. I skimmed the article and it really seems like a non-issue for the most part. You will be fine when training on an empty stomach.


I am guessing that rollerblading would be fine. See if it gives you a pump to be sure.

Fit News,

Yes…I will do a post exclusively referencing scientific studies.


Here is what I would recommend: Increase your time doing weights by about 15 minutes…twice per week. Rest less in between sets as well. Stick to sets of 5-6 reps. You are going to try to do a lot more work with the weights by reducing your rest and increasing the total time a bit. Add in HIIT after one workout per week, just to insure that you get some benefit from this type of exercise. When you are doing your lifting, you want to rest long enough to be able to lift heavy weights, but you don’t want to recover all the way. Remember…when lifting for mass you want to emphasize fatigue…this is different than lifting for strength where you are emphasizing tension and need longer rest periods. By the end of your lifting session when lifting for mass, you should be sweating at least a little bit. The shorter rest intervals and slightly longer time lifting, will ensure enough volume to add a bit of mass. Hope that helps!


I need a sleep machine as well. I am not the best sleeper. I have a sister who can fall asleep on demand at any time, any place.


Yeah…I like sticking to around 2-3 days per week with HIIT or body weight circuits. I have noticed that people get stuck with those last 10-15 pounds of fat. I am sure it is because they lost the initial weight just by calorie deficit, but those last few stubborn pounds really need the help of HGH. As I have said many times…the fat loss rules change as you get lean. Glad you noticed my eccentric picture choices! You and Scott have mixed in some crazy ones on your site over the past year as well!


I don’t know what will work, but I do know they will diminish over time. I have stretch marks on my biceps and legs that I got close to 20 years ago and they seemed bad at the time…now you have to look pretty hard to see them.


Jason Ferruggia is on the opposite side of the spectrum from me. His site is really geared towards guys that want to get as large as genetics will allow. He also has pictures of muscular girls on his site. That being said, he has extensive credentials and can help people to get big without the use of drugs. He doesn’t fit with the target demographic of this site, since I am helping people aim more for the slim look…like the men and women in a James Bond movie (men that look great in a suit but looked ripped on the beach and women who are fit, but still look like women). Jason is much more towards the bodybuilding side of things. Again…he is very knowledgeable, just a different focus.

Donkey Lips,

First off…I have to award you for the craziest name out of all of the people who comment. You have to give me the story behind that! You need to be very careful about severe and prolonged calorie restriction…it can mess with your testosterone levels. I think it is fine to have short periods of time under more severe conditions, but I’m talking 10-14 days max and then back to normal for a while. I would limit the intake of soy products, due to the increase in estrogen…but a little isn’t going to make much of a difference. As far as beer goes…just make sure you offset the extra calories by eating a little less food when you do enjoy a few beers. I have been able to get ripped while still enjoying the occasional drink or drinks…it isn’t a problem if you aren’t overdoing it.


I see that you are really making a name for yourself in the fitness world! Great job on building a blog and working in the bootcamp business…you are going to do very well. People who work hard like yourself (doing the right things) always come out ahead. I see your blog mentioned in quite a few places online. Keep up the great work.


I am the first to admit that these tips aren’t 100% applicable to everyone. My rule is to not change what is working. If at some point in the future you gain a bit of fat or can’t get as lean as you like, then hold off a bit longer before drinking your protein shake. For now, it sounds like it is working extremely well. Just take your time when adding on muscle. You sound about the same size as the typical slim male model…so no rush to add a bunch of weight. Depending upon your bone structure you will probably not need to gain that much more…maybe 10-15 pounds max. The great thing is that you can look great the entire time if you avoid the “bulking up” trap. Congrats!

Keep the Comments Coming and I Will Try To Keep up!


tim July 8, 2009 at 8:13 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?

Norbi July 8, 2009 at 10:30 pm


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 ๐Ÿ™‚ ): 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?


Norbi July 8, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Ohh and just so you know, I’m going for the “Cam Gigandet look”, who’s pretty darn lean, but has a decent amount of muscle mass to it too.

sandruzzo July 9, 2009 at 8:47 am

hi Rusty

great article.I know that intake fat before and after workout can lower your hgh level..they don’t love each other


Donkey Lips July 9, 2009 at 1:40 pm

@ Sandro,

Just remember to intake plenty of fat though (at least 30% of your daily caloric needs) because fat is the most important nutrional component for testosterone in men. Lots of fat and a balance of carbs and protein for optimal testosterone levels. Too much protein in the blood or not enough fat will lower levels. So even if you avoid it around your workout just get it during other parts of your day still.

Michael July 9, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Are your points ordered according to there importance,as in is cardio exercise more important than short periods of fasting for increasing HGH levels? I found this post and the previous one to be very imformative( I had’nt even heard of HGH before the posts). Thanks for the imformation, I am looking forward to your next post.

Rahul July 9, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Hi Rusty,

Thanks, I’ll go for it and see what happens. Should I also reduce cardio a bit? Currently doing 3 days a week HIIT + Elliptical +Abs…


Jason G July 9, 2009 at 3:59 pm


I have stretch marks and asked a few different doctors about them. I got prescribed a skin steroid from a doctor that helped a little. Mederma also helped get the red out. I would recommend taking Mederma for six months which is supposed to be where you stop getting results. Then I would use a cocoa butter lotion there after. Just remember that scar tissue is sensitive to sun light so a day out in the sun will get them red again for a day or so.

Jason G July 9, 2009 at 4:38 pm


I love this site and was really excited about it when I found it. I was a somewhat muscular heavy set guy who then got motivated by this site and as a result I am very close to looking very impressive. All humbleness aside this site seems to be more geared towards people who either need to lose weight or maintain their current body size. I sometimes find that Rusty has trouble saying โ€œworkout in the eight to twelve rep range and eat as much as possible without getting fatโ€. This is when I like to come in so Rusty doesnโ€™t have to commit fitness black book blasphemy.

That being said I would recommend that you either cycle between periods of strength training (Rustyโ€™s style training) and bodybuilding (eight to twelve reps to failure) or focus solely on body building. Planks are great for your abs when you are happy with their size but the abdominal machines at the gym can help add new size. You are also a person who could benefit from some deadlifts and/or squats until you reach your ideal size. Furthermore because you lost thirty pounds you probably have a little less muscle than before your diet. I believe that bodybuilding will activate muscle memory better than strength training so you will get some of your old muscle back (theory based on the nature of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy). However the growth hormone advice here is still applicable to bodybuilding . When you are happy with your size there is no better fitness site out there then this one at showing you how to become more cut and lean looking.

Patrick July 9, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Jason G
Thanks for the helpful information, can you get that mederma and cocoa butter lotion at a walmart or walgreens, if not where should I get it at? Thanks again man, Patrick

drew July 9, 2009 at 7:02 pm

These ideas absolutely work and I am proof. IF, HIIT, fasted state workouts, HGH flushing, good nights sleep. I can’t stop losing fat now, its crazy. Common sense now really. If you’re not using food energy for fuel and you still have energy, then you are using and burning fat!

Rafi Bar-Lev July 9, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Jason G,

Just wanted to say that you have a knack for giving simple yet amazing advice. It’s pretty impressive!

thomas July 9, 2009 at 11:40 pm

would you bulk/

myra July 10, 2009 at 6:53 am

Hi Rusty,
Ive been following your advice for over a year, and you have helped inspire me to continue to work out and your posts are always very informative. I wish to thank you for that.

I have in the past, struggled to shift the last few lbs, but thanx to your site, i learnt about fasting and HIIT etc, I really have had no problem reaching my goal. I cant stress enough to other people out there who end up so depressed and lacking in confidence because of their size, how easy it is to lose those seemingly stubborn lbs so easily by following your posts such as this one. I really hope to god this catches on, and with your dedication to inform us on these lifestyle changes, i think your onto a winner . its certainly done me the world of good. so a personal thanks from me. xx

Mike OD - Fitness Spotlight July 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm

“You and Scott have mixed in some crazy ones on your site over the past year as well!”

Yes thanks to you we have started adding more bikini clad women. ๐Ÿ™‚

…that and any excuse I can have to get up a picture of Jessica Biel I will take….now only if I could get rid of that restraining order….(kidding of course)

Patrick July 11, 2009 at 5:16 pm


You can get Mederma at Walgreens or on Good Luck!

Jason G July 14, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Ravi Bar-Lev,

Thanks I appreciate the encouragement. Your site looks like its a great resource to.

Jason G July 14, 2009 at 4:49 pm


It looks like you answered your own question. Just kidding. I think a couple of days ago I must have put your name in the name box. Sorry I will try not to steal your identity again.

Rahim August 21, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Great post Rusty. Now sleep is something that I’m definitely a victim of not getting enough of. But this cleared up a lot of misconceptions and ignorance that I had about HGH.

Tezza September 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Thanks for this. I’d heard of intermittent fasting and only eating 2/day from “primal eating” sites, but this explains WHY it works. This gives me more confidence to pursue it.

Yen January 19, 2010 at 5:21 am

This is such a great info! I just have few questions. Is it ok to do HIIT and weight training at the same time?? You said here that you should wait 1 hr before you can take your shake (I agree to that), but I hear from other people that you should take your protein shake right after your weight training. I’m a bit confused with the idea of taking your protein shake right after weight training. I would very much appreciate for your kind reply and any more info you can give. Thank you!

mina May 29, 2010 at 7:38 am

i am 22+ yr old. And my problem is my poor figure. Now,my weight is 37 kg and height is 4’9″. And my total body is not correct for my age.And i am fully,solve my problem and give proper guideline of food routine. pls this answer send to my email-id adress. Thank u

An August 7, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Hi, I’ve got a question. The article says that HGH releases stored body fat as fatty acids into your blood stream. But if you’re sleeping, little calories are burnt. So won’t the remaining fatty acids just get stored once again into your fat cells.

uriel September 9, 2010 at 9:36 pm

i hope this works cause i have just bought some protein and don’t wan’t waste it

sleepig pills December 4, 2010 at 7:49 pm

lol that picture looks just like lady gaga.

Drew_Coy May 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Great post Rusty. I’ve got a great frame for an excellent build. Doing the VIMB routine right now with my older brother. I am 24, diagnosed with Lance Armstrong cancer, lol, had it removed etc. I’m great now, have to take Testosterone injections just to feel halfway normal and have any sort of energy. Still tired but working out and cardio have helped tremendously.

Well, since my cancer surgery in Sept. 2009, I have put on some weight due to hormone changes and lack of T. Have some belly fat I’m trying to get rid of. The cardio interval training and dieting focused around the HGH is brilliant. I will be sure to post results as soon as they are worth posting.

Starting the ESE diet this week.

Any other advice would be great!

Thanks a Ton,

Drew Coy

Niko - noeXcusefitness December 26, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I have been trialing a 24 hour fast once a week for the last 6 weeks with amazing results. My strength has continued to increase, while I have dropped my body fat percentage from 12 to 10%, all without any other changes to my diet or training. If you haven’t already, give IF a go. What have you got to lose?

Roberta Saum July 25, 2012 at 11:03 pm

I read about this in your vacation body blueprint book and for the last two weeks I have been working out fasted in the morning. The first day I did Ron’s โ€œExtra Deluxe Barbell Interval Routine” which I LOVED. But the next day I started the Venus Index Phase 3 since it was just released to a few of us and it’s awesome. I have been doing the Venus workout every day and did one day of fasted running. The Venus workout are pretty advanced and take about 1.5 hours to complete, between this as being fasted my cardio is much less intense. Today I finally ate a late breakfast and headed to the gym for my Venus workout and HIIT and I felt incredibly strong.

Mainly what I wanted to say is that the fasted workouts are leaning me out fairly quickly and it works perfectly for me. I’ve never successfully been able to workout fasted in the past. I’m not sure what changed other than I’m must more fit now than when I tried it last year and I really don’t have much fat left to lose.

I find ESE fasts worked well for me when I needed to lose fat, but not when I’m lean (10%).

Since I’ve been working out fasted I’m essentially doing a mini fast every day (15-17 hours) and lifting (fasted) for 1.5 hours, and cardio (fasted) for 30 minutes to an hour, and then not having my first meal for 2 hours. IT’S WORKING, or I should say, it worked because I’ve got pretty good definition. I really don’t need to lean out any further and I’m surprised at how quickly this process worked. I will continue to work out fasted but will probably bring my calories up just slightly and I plan to get a DXA done in about a week and a half so it will be interesting.

Rusty, thank you so much for providing all this aweome information. I love being in a place where I can experiment like this.

manish pateriya January 4, 2013 at 9:05 am

mera kehna sirf itna hai ki vaisse to height 14-16 year me hi jitneee badtee , ok phir nahin badti. TNX.

Edwards May 1, 2013 at 1:06 am

I get good results with high intensity interval training and no sugar or carbs for 2 hours after training. I also use cold processed whey and an oral HGH spray that helps the body produce more growth hormone. I get blood tests to monitor my HGH and this protocol has helped to bring my blood levels of HGH indicators up to an optimum range. I also feel stronger and seem to have nicer skin.

Wesley July 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Just wanted to share some knowledge with everyone with a generic supplement that i originally wanted to use in my nootropic stack. I wasn’t aware of the performance boost it gives so one day I hit the gym and was super motivated and had one of the most amazing workouts, ever. Did more sets with more weight and it wasn’t a problem. Got home and read up on the stuff and it turns out it increases HGH levels naturally, and quickly too i might add.

So I started looking into that and lo and behold the all mighty supplement, Alpha GPC. Check out the reviews, the research on the interwebs. No worries, I just want to “pass it forward” in the form of knowledge as it has helped me out tremendously. Not only in working out as I found out as a side effect but also with improving my memory, cognition and quick-wittiness of the mind. It has changed my life. My mind feels refreshed as it did when I was a teenager.

Relax now, I don’t want to sell it to you, it’s a non patentable supplement that you can get from many respected supplement manufactures. Local health food store probably carries it but I got mine on amazon. I take 2 600mg pills in the morning with light breakfast and you feel it within 45 minutes; it stays with me the whole day.

Fun fact: they use this stuff in Europe to treat Alzheimer’s disease. It helps the body produce acetylcholine, the number one neurotransmitter in the brain. Read all about it on the net, but if this post was useful to you – please pass it forward for the benefit of men kind ๐Ÿ™‚

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