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Burn More Fat: A Personal Trainer On Maximizing Those Workouts

Two hormones in particular — growth hormone and testosterone — help your body burn fat. Here's how to get them 'aflowing.

You likely know that growth hormone is released in the body after exercise, and that it helps build muscle and other tissue, as well as bones and organs. You may not know this fact, however: One of the primary functions of growth hormone is fat mobilization. Meaning that, for about three hours after growth hormone is released, your body will burn more fat at a higher rate than normal.

So, how do you ‘turn on’ these fat-burning hormones? Great question. It all comes down, really, to the type of workout you do: You’ll want to choose strength training or interval training for peak growth hormone production. The release of growth hormone after cardiovascular exercise is minimal in comparison to anaerobic training.

To get a little specific here, training ‘big-bang’ exercises with short rest intervals should be your ‘go-to’ workout routine, as it will yield the highest return of growth hormone production. For example, superset a deadlift and an incline bench press for 4 sets of 8-10 reps with only 45 seconds rest between exercises. Once you’re done, another superset consisting of a barbell back squat and chin-up (or lateral pull down) for 4 sets of 10-12, also with a 45 second rest interval per exercise, will keep that growth hormone climbing. If you pick the right weight, by the end of those 8 sets, your heart rate will be sky high, sweat will be pouring off your body and those anabolic hormonal responses will be in full effect!

Testosterone is another hormone that is greatly induced with strength training or other anaerobic-style exercise. And while it may not have as long of a lifespan after a workout as GH does, over time, it will continually rise. Some benefits of testosterone include its ability to help the body burn fat and gain lean muscle, as well as to improve cardiovascular activity and libido (yes, in both males and females).

While there may be a time and a place for cardiovascular exercise, I strongly encourage you to push heavy weight or do interval training to the point where it is difficult and you are out of breath and working at an 8 out of 10 range. Just remember the intensity of exercise paired with shorter rest intervals will yield more growth hormone and testosterone than the cardiovascular alternative, and your life will be better because of it.

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