Growth hormone (Somatotropin) is secreted by the pituitary gland and is also responsible for the growth of nearly all human tissue. Without it, we could not grow physically in stature, some people even have a deficiency which prevents them from growing to a normal height.
Growth hormone stimulates the liver and tissues to produce IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor), which plays a major role in our growth and recovery as well as providing the lean and athletic physique many people desire.
Many people are administered growth hormone in the hopes of growing taller, leaner and developing normally. So it’s no wonder why people would want to increase their own growth hormone naturally in order to take advantage of the benefits.
So what does Occlusion training have to do with growth hormone?
Let’s find out…
Growth Hormone Secretion AND Occlusion Training (Blood Flow Restriction)
Studies show (For a certain group analyzed) that Occlusion training induces the increase of growth hormone more so than training with no blood flow restriction.
The levels have shown to increase 290 times as high after exercise than before when athletes were tested.
This is very beneficial information because during normal non-BFR training, our growth hormone levels increase which assists in muscle growth. So with Occlusion causing an even higher rise in levels can help to promote even more muscle growth.
So How Does Occlusion Training Actually Cause Muscle Growth?
Studies done on athletes actually show that due to the restriction of blood flow, lactate accumulates within the muscle requiring the recruitment of more motor units, resulting in the signaling of the pituitary gland to release higher amounts of growth hormone.
The studies also showed Growth hormone’s positive effects on protein synthesis but the study also favored the evidence that low-intensity occlusion training can benefit an athlete with biochemical changes. Also, the increase in lactate production (and the "pump" in general) further sensitizes IGF-1 receptors.
Can Anyone Expect An Increase In Growth Hormone With Occlusion Training?
Seeing that in many studies, growth hormone was elevated due to Blood Flow Restriction, you may expect to see some sort of increase in your own levels.
The only way to know of course is to measure the growth hormone levels before and after exercise and with Occlusion training and non-Occlusion training. This may not be possible for many people but if you notice quicker muscular gains, an increase in metabolism or appear leaner, then there can certainly be an argument for the increase in growth hormone levels.
Final Thoughts: Is Occlusion Training Ideal For Growth Hormone?
The research thus far is pretty promising with regard to Occlusion Training and Growth Hormone changes.
Occlusion training seems to have a lot of benefits and is really taking the fitness industry by storm. So although we don’t know everything about it as of yet, the studies keep getting better and Occlusion training may be another way to support healthy growth hormone levels.