The first and second installments of this series on getting rid of leg fat focused on the importance of managing insulin levels and estrogen metabolism. This final article focuses on the importance of growth hormone and how to manipulate it through exercise and dietary protocols.
Lack of production of growth hormone is another factor that influences fat storage in the legs. It is often the result of improper exercise practices, age, and quality of sleep. To fix these problems, you must choose the right forms of exercise, supplement for improved growth hormone response, and make sure that your sleep is adequate in duration and quality.
You almost never see a strength and / or speed athlete with fat legs. One of the major reasons is that their exercise protocols predispose them to make more growth hormone.
Exercise intensities at or above 75% of capacity are ideal for growth hormone production. Growth hormone is correlated to increased blood lactate levels, and to raise blood lactate, you must exercise above 75% of capacity. A really simple way to distill this paragraph is contained in the following statement: Do not do undue amounts of cardiovascular exercise.
Cardiovascular exercise is steady-state, repetitive activity lasting at least 30 minutes in duration. The energy system requirements for this type of activity are too low in intensity to increase blood lactate levels sufficiently to increase growth hormone output.
Additionally, cardiovascular training elevates cortisol levels for an extended period of time. The extended elevation of cortisol depletes the adrenal glands of necessary nutrients, and, as explained in the first installment of this article, leads to a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
Extended cardiovascular activity – like the hours per week some people put in on the stairmaster / elliptical / treadmill – forces an adaptation to occur in the body that results in the storage of more fat in the legs, so that the fuel source is closer to the source of the need.
The nature of cardiovascular exercise – slow, sustained, and repetitive, also makes it an easy exercise protocol to adapt to. Adaptation is the enemy of progress. Although cardiovascular exercise is good for burning extra calories, it, as a standalone exercise mode, is not an efficient means of getting leaner.
Page 2 of this article outlines different exercise protocols that increase growth hormone production.
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