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What you do in the gym can affect the way that your body does or does not build muscle outside of it. For example, the exercises you choose, the resistances you put on them, and the length of your rest period all affect your anabolic hormonal response. This is a key driver of muscle growth. To help you design more effective anabolically charged workouts, here are 10 key training variables that affect your hormonal response.

Multi-joint Exercises

Squats, deadlifts, bench presses, Olympic lifts and other such multi-joint exercises allow your body to release more testosterone compared with isolation exercises such as triceps extensions or calf raises. Build your program around compound movements to get the greatest hormonal response.

Heavy Weights

The greatest increase in testosterone levels is achieved with heavy weights. Work up to maximum sets using 85% to 95% of your one-rep maximum (1RM) for between 4-6 reps.

Long Rest Intervals

Longer rest periods promote a greater hormone response. In one study that reviewed the hormonal effects of rest periods on squats and bench presses, using 85% of one-rep max and rest periods of 60, 90 and 120 seconds, the greatest testosterone response was observed in the group that rested 120 seconds. This will also provide the greatest amount of time to recover from the previous set and prime yourself for the one ahead. Incorporate this tip with the previous one so that you are resting around two minutes when you do your heaviest sets.

Short Rest Periods

While longer rest periods promote a greater release of testosterone, shorter intervals of rest provide for a greater growth hormone response. Growth hormone is necessary for protein synthesis, tissue remodeling and fat burning. Moderately heavy resistance is best to promote GH release, with resistances between 75% to 85% of your one-rep max. The rest periods between 30 seconds and one minute are the best. Combine this step with the previous one by adjusting your rest periods according to how heavy the weight is. As the poundage increases, slightly increase your rest period.

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Eccentric Enhanced Training

Eccentric training relates to the negative, or lowering, portion of the rep. Longer eccentric training tempos result in maximal GH response, even when longer rest periods are used. Research shows that using an eccentric enhanced program, where you spend up to 4 seconds on the negative portion of the wrap, can increase growth hormone response by up to 50%. As a result, you should build eccentric training into your program.

Slow down the negative part of your rep so that it takes about double the time that it requires to lift the weight. So, if it takes one second to bring the weight up, it should take two seconds to lower it back down.

You should, however, use a variety of lifting tempos (speeds), because varying the tempo of training elicits the greatest hypertrophic response with maximal release of three hormones

• Growth hormone

• Insulin-like growth factor 1

• Mechano growth factor (MGF)

MGF is a muscle-building hormone that is closely related to IGF-1.

Weighted Chains and Bands

Because you are weak when your muscles are contracting (for example, in the down phase of the squat you can lower more weight than you can with rising in the concentric contraction), you’ll gain more strength by challenging the concentric portion of the lift. Chains and bands allow you to do this. There is not a lot of research on how using chains and resistance bands specifically affects the endocrine system, but these methods are essential to include in optimizing anabolic response with plenty of evidence that this type of hypertrophy-enhanced training boosts growth hormone levels.

Isometric Pauses

The most powerful muscle fibers are the high threshold, fast-twitch motor units. Isometric pauses, as and when you hold the bar on your chest for four seconds before pressing during a bench press, increases intramuscular tension and elevates IGF-1 levels.

Wavelike Loading

Although wavelike loading is well known in weightlifting circles, bodybuilders may not be familiar with this type of training. It involves progressing to heavier weights in a series of waves. For example, you work up to a maximal weight in a pyramid fashion and then reduce the weight by a significant amount, then work back up in pyramid fashion to an even higher maximum weight.

Wavelike loading training has been shown to significantly increase all of the anabolic hormones. That makes this method a no-brainer when you are planning your training program.

Forced Reps

With a forced rep you perform a lift to positive failure, and then have a partner assist you in completing additional reps. This type of training produces the greatest response in growth hormone and IGF-1. One study compared a forced repetition protocol and a maximum rep scheme using squats. The forced rep protocol included 12 reps, of which eight were typically performed alone and forward forced, whereas the maximum rep scheme had participants working to failure. The forced rep protocol leads to a significantly greater testosterone response than the maximum rep program in both trained and untrained individuals. Fully exhausting muscle fibers during training have been shown to trigger protein synthesis for up to 72 hours after a workout.


Finishers include isometric pauses or eccentric enhanced lifts or both, depending on how much pain you can stand. Finishers performed at the end of workouts fully thrash muscle fibers and elevate IGF-1 and MGF levels. An effective finisher for your back or biceps workout is the 90-degree chin-up. Use a supinated, close grip on the chin-up bar and pull yourself up to 90 degrees of elbow flexion. Hold that addition for as long as possible – preferably for at least 30 seconds.

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Plan your workouts around these 10 anabolic hormone-promoting training variables to ensure that all of your hard work in the gym is rewarded with solid muscle on your body.

Looking for a pre- or post-workout boost? Check out Enhanced Labs, the home of two-time and reigning Mr. Olympia champion Big Ramy, 11x Olympia competitor Dennis “the Menace” James and hundreds of other professional bodybuilders, athletes, fitness enthusiasts and biohackers.

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Ripped Leg Blast for Carved Thighs



Powerful and thick thighs require gut-busting exercises like squats and leg presses. However, once you have acquired adequate thigh mass and strength, you should consider adding some balance and sharpness to the muscle bellies in your thighs. Although tough to accomplish, leg extensions provide a great way to carve the separations between the muscle bellies, and to accentuate the “teardrop” shape of the four quadriceps muscles of the anterior thigh.

Active Muscles in Leg Extensions

The three vasti muscles comprise most of the anterior thigh.1 The vastus medialis covers the medial (inner) part of the femur bone (thigh bone). When it is well developed, it forms a teardrop-like shape over the medial side of the knee joint. The vastus lateralis muscle attaches to the lateral (outer) part of the femur bone. The vastus intermedius connects to the femur bone between the vastus lateralis and the vastus medialis muscles. The fibers of all three vasti muscles come together at the quadriceps tendon, which crosses the patella (kneecap) to attach to the tibia bone just below the knee.1

Together, the three vasti muscles extend the leg at the knee joint, although the vastus intermedius may be more fatigue resistant than the vastus lateralis.2 The vastus medialis oblique (VMO), which is a small part of the vastus medialis muscle, attaches to the medial part of the patella. It is thought to help the patella track properly during movement of the knee. Improper tracking can increase the likelihood for knee injury.

The vastus medialis and especially the VMO part of this muscle are primarily responsible for tibial rotation (rotation of the tibia bone of the lower leg on the femur) during knee extension. This rotation or “twist” has been shown to increase the activation of the VMO portion of the vastus lateralis even more than doing knee extensions with the hip adducted (thigh rotated so that the medial portion of the knee is facing mostly upwards).3 Dorsiflexion of the foot (moving the ankles so the toes are pointing towards your head) also increases the activation of the VMO by more than 20 percent.4 Likely this is because the dorsiflexor muscles stabilize the tibia during knee flexion and resist rotation of the tibia on the femur as the knee straightens.

The fourth muscle of the quadriceps group is the rectus femoris muscle. It attaches to the anterior part of the hip bone just above the hip joint.1 The largest bulk of the muscle fibers are located on the upper three-quarters of the thigh, whereas the largest belly of the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis are more inferior (i.e., closer to the knee). The distal end of the rectus femoris muscle becomes tendinous and it creates a deep valley between the lateral and medial vastus muscles as it approaches the knee.1 It assists the other quadriceps muscles by extending the leg at the knee joint, although it is less effective when the hip is flexed than if it is straight.

Leg Extensions

The three vastus muscles of the anterior thigh are strongly activated by single-leg knee extensions. The rectus femoris is not activated as strongly, but it does undergo some overload when the anterior thigh is under contractile effort, about halfway up to the top of each repetition.

1. You should always warm up your knees with some stationary cycling prior to getting into leg extensions. Furthermore, the resistance on your first set should be fairly light to allow the joint to fully warm up before you get to the heavier stuff.

2. Adjust the knee extension machine so that the pivot point of the lifting arm is directly adjacent to the center of the side of your knee joint.

3. Position the ankle roller/leg pad over the lower part of the leg (above the ankle joint).

4. Take about three seconds to slowly extend (straighten) both leg so that the weight is lifted upward from the stack.

5. Continue upwards until the tibia and the femur bones form a straight line and the knee angle is straight. Hold this for two seconds at the top.

6. Slowly lower the weight (about four seconds down) towards the starting position. Once the knee has reached 90 degrees, start the upwards extension phase again. Continue for 12-15 repetitions for the first set. Lower the number of repetitions but increase the resistance for subsequent sets.

7. On the next sets, lift the weight upwards until the knee joint becomes almost straight, but just slightly short of a total knee lockout. Be careful that you do not “jam” the knee joint into a fully locked out position, because this could cause knee cartilage damage5, especially with heavy weights. Hold the top position for a count of three before lowering the weight.

8. Lower the weight slowly (four to five seconds) towards the starting position where your knee is flexed to 90 degrees. Just before the weight stack contacts the remaining plates at the bottom, start lifting it upward for the next repetition.

The downward movement should be slower than the upward phase because you are resisting the pull of gravity. The slow lowering of the weight stretches the muscle under a resistance and this is a great stimulus to improve muscle shape and size.6

Make sure that you do not hold your breath during the lift upwards.7 Rather take a breath at the bottom (start) of the lift, and exhale as you extend the knees/legs. Take another breath at the top and slowly exhale as the weight is lowered. Take another breath at the bottom and repeat the sequence.

This is a mechanically simply exercise, but it really can be very challenging and blood depriving8,9, especially if you try to control the weight as it is moving up and down. However, if you are willing to work through some discomfort, you will be soon enjoying your new shape and slabs of carved thighs.

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1. Moore K.L. Clinically Orientated Anatomy. Third Edition. Williams & Willkins, Baltimore, 1995; pp 373-500.

2. Watanabe K, Akima H. Neuromuscular activation of vastus intermedius muscle during fatiguing exercise. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2010;20:661-666.

3. Stoutenberg M, Pluchino AP, Ma F et al. The impact of foot position on electromyographical activity of the superficial quadriceps muscles during leg extension. J Strength Cond Res 2005;19:931-938.

4. Coburn JW, Housh TJ, Cramer JT et al. Mechanomyographic and electromyographic responses of the vastus medialis muscle during isometric and concentric muscle actions. J Strength Cond Res 2005; 19:412-420.

5. Senter C, Hame SL. Biomechanical analysis of tibial torque and knee flexion angle: implications for understanding knee injury. Sports Med 2006;36:635-641.

6. Alway SE, Winchester PK, Davis ME et al. Regionalized adaptations and muscle fiber proliferation in stretch- induced enlargement. J Appl Physiol 1989;66:771-781.

7. Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2011;43:1334-1359.

8. Denis R, Bringard A, Perrey S. Vastus lateralis oxygenation dynamics during maximal fatiguing concentric and eccentric isokinetic muscle actions. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2011;21:276-282.

9. Ueda C, Kagaya A. Muscle reoxygenation difference between superficial and deep regions of the muscles during static knee extension. Adv Exp Med Biol 2010;662:329-334.

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By: Stephen E. Alway, Ph.D., FACSM
Title: Ripped Leg Blast for Carved Thighs
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Published Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2022 19:11:16 +0000

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PRIMAL Preworkout



Training hard and intensely is the only way to train – you can’t step into the gym in low gear or
asleep at the switch and expect results. To get the most out of every training session with no
compromises, you need a pre-workout that will power your performance and enable you to crush
it every time you train. Bottom line, you need to maximize your workouts by pushing yourself to
your limits and that’s what Animal’s PRIMAL Preworkout delivers.

A Better Pump

PRIMAL is Animal’s most comprehensive pre-workout supplement ever, and is scientifically
designed for the advanced, hard trainer. Animal worked tirelessly to find the right combination of
ingredients that could be worthy of the Animal name. First on the agenda was giving you a better
pump, which is why PRIMAL Preworkout is empowered with the breakthrough, patented
3DPump-Breakthrough ® . Not only does it increase nitric oxide for the valued “pump,” but it also
helps increase exercise capacity and endurance and helps optimize vascular endothelial function,
aka vascularity.†

Other key benefits of PRIMAL come from four scientifically formulated blends that work in tandem
to deliver the ultimate pre-workout:

• Endurance & Performance Complex so you can train longer and harder. Beta-alanine,
betaine and taurine are combined as a powerful endurance trio†. Beta-alanine is a vital ingredient
used to combat the urge to quit.

• Focus & Intensity Complex helps you keep your head in the iron game so you train hard and
maintain focus. Includes the amino acid tyrosine, which is involved in neurotransmitter production;
Huperzine A for brain health; and choline bitartrate, which supports energy metabolism and helps
the brain send messages for improved mental endurance and focus†.

This blend is completed with the patented Teacrine ® . Among its many benefits includes increases
in energy without the jittery feeling, increases in motivation to accomplish tasks, mental energy
and decreases in feeling of fatigue†.

• Quick and Sustained Energy Complex is the energy core of PRIMAL Preworkout . It is
powered by a combination of tried-and-true caffeine, along with an herbal complex of green tea,
coffee bean extract and guarana†.

• Electrolyte Complex to support muscle hydration and help get you through those intense
training sessions – because proper hydration is key for maximal performance. PRIMAL
Preworkout tops it off with a combination of AstraGin ® to support nutrient uptake and Senactiv,
which helps the production of citrate synthase, an important enzyme that is responsible for
producing more ATP†.

How to Use PRIMAL
30 minutes prior to training, consume 2 rounded scoops (20.3g) with 8-12 oz of water or your
favorite beverage. Users that are sensitive to stimulants should start off with 1 rounded scoop
(10.1g) to assess tolerance.

PRIMAL Preworkout

• Enhances energy and endurance†
• Supports muscle hydration†
• Supports intense focus†
• Contains AstraGin ® to support nutrient uptake†
• Contains Senactiv ® which helps the production of citrate synthase, an important enzyme that is
responsible for producing more ATP†
• Absorption and nutrient enhancers
• Great tasting, easy to mix

PRIMAL is a pre-workout that will power your performance and enable you to crush it every time you train.

For additional information, visit
†These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This product is not
intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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By: Team FitRx
Title: PRIMAL Preworkout
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Published Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2022 16:51:41 +0000

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