Whenever you hear of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) in the news, it’s usually in a negative context and associated with cheating in a sport of some sort. However, HGH isn’t just some illegal supplement than athlete can take to get a heads-up on the competition. It is a natural hormone that our body is capable of producing at higher levels than it currently does.
We have the answer to creating more HGH naturally.
It’s by sprinting.
That might sound far-fetched and way too simple, but hear us out.
What is HGH?
There are many reasons why athletes have turned illegally (and in times of injury, legally) to taking HGH. This chemical is a:
- Natural testosterone booster
- Amplifies muscle mass
- Stimulates the breakdown and disposal of fat cells
- Boosts bone density
- Facilitates protein synthesis
Instead of turning toward supplements and shots, there is a way to replenish levels of HGH internally and organically. Naturally, the synthesis of HGH takes place inside the pituitary gland. When the pituitary gland secretes this hormone, it remains active within the bloodstream for a few crucial minutes.
It is during this time that the liver converts the hormones into a bunch of different functions that includes cell revitalization, the repair of vital tissues inside the brain and organs, and the synthesis of insulin-like growth factor known as IGF-1. This chemical reacts with every cell in the body to promote growth.
There are many ways to trigger the growth of HGH. One of the most effective and heart-healthy ways to go about this is by sprinting.
Sprinting and HGH
The act of sprinting is a short burst of running at full speed. Running as hard you as you can, you immediately demand an extraordinary amount of energy from your body. During the peak of a sprint, our body goes through some damage. Coming down so hard and fast on joints and bones, the muscle cells become damaged. Pressure puts strain onto bones and connective tissue.
Due to the tough conditions placed on your body during a sprint, the area in our central nervous system known as the hypothalamus receives stress signals. When this happens, the hypothalamus sends out a signal of its own. This one is to the pituitary gland, the home of HGH.
In turn, the pituitary gland secretes HGH, causing the five bullet points alluded to above to come to fruition.
Studies on Sprinting and HGH
It wasn’t until the turn of the new century did the correlation between sprinting and HGH came to light. First when a study published in 2002 found, “Exercise result(s) in significant, acute increases in GH (Growth Hormone) secretion…Our laboratory has shown that regardless of age or gender, there is a linear relationship between the magnitude of the acute increase in GH release and exercise intensity.”
This suspicion was further inspected and confirmed in a 2003 study that found, “An exercise intensity above lactate threshold and for a minimum of 10 minutes appears to elicit the greatest stimulus to the secretion of HGH.”
With promising results such as these, you might be wondering the best way to add sprinting into your workout regimen. The answer is simple and quick.
The Sprint 8 Workout and Increasing Your HGH Levels
The best way to start a new exercise regimen is to have a plan. One of the most popular trends for sprinting to boost HGH levels is through a program known as the Sprint 8 Workout.
Sprint 8 Workout’s goal is to reach the four distinct benchmarks necessary to secrete HGH. The basis of the program is to run 60 meters while simultaneously increasing the intensity of each of the 8 sprints in between.
Once you complete a sprint, you take a 1.5 to 2 minute walk back as a way to allow your body to recover. You continue this for 20 minutes. It may sound daunting, but your body will only be working at a real high-intensity for all of two minutes.
What’s great about the Sprint 8 Workout is its versatility. You can perform this while cycling, swimming, or power walking. It can also be performed on an elliptical, treadmill, or a stationary bike. You can do it in the privacy of your own home, on the streets, or in the gym.
The major difference performing the Sprint 8 Workout via running as opposed to cycling is that riding bicycles helps support bodyweight. Therefore, to reach the four benchmarks of HGH production, you will have to ride longer than as if you were running.
Other Benefits of Sprinting
Putting your body under such sudden stress and then allowing it to heal before doing it again has many benefits for the body besides the production of HGH.
This unique form of exercise can also:
A study was published a 2005 edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology measuring the correlation between sprints and endurance. Six times over a two week period, participants in the study performed three to seven high-intensity bicycle sprints for thirty seconds. This was done with a four minute rest period between each of the six repetitions.
Results found this form of exercise equivalent to 90 to 120 minutes of moderate-intensity that was done six times over a two week period as well. Both forms of exercise saw an improved capacity for endurance by almost 100%.
Improves Heart Health
Seeing as sprinting is a form of “cardio,” it’s a no-brainer that this form of high-intensity workout can be seen as a strengthener of cardiovascular health.
Sprinting has the ability to lower the resting and active heart rate. In turn this form of exercise improves the arterial structure by pressuring the heart to pump fresh blood at a rapid pace. By pushing the blood so feverishly, the walls of the arteries are thoroughly cleansed of debris, and escorted out of the body.
As explained by the government-funded National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH), “Over time, plaque can harden or rupture (break open). Hardened plaque narrows the coronary arteries and reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart.”
Sprinting makes sure the plaque does not harden around the arteries. In turn, your body is continuously receiving all the oxygen-rich blood in pivotal areas such as the brain, reproductive organs, and of course, the heart.
Saves You on Time
As we mentioned in the study above, sprinting has been found just as effective as cycling for up to 120 minutes. Sure, everyone loves a beautiful bike ride. It’s great to switch up your routine. However, in a time-crunched world, why schedule gym time to run on a treadmill when you can go in your backyard and do a Sprint 8 workout?
It Strengthens Our Brain
In the intro, we pointed out that sprinting causes protein synthesis. One of these proteins is FNDC5. When released into our systems, this protein facilitates the secretion of the neurotransmitter, Brain Derived Neurotrophic Growth Factor (BDNGF). This neurotransmitter’s main function is to protect neural nerves and promote the growth of new ones as well.
This continuous growth not only will make us smarter and able to retain more information, but also fights against grey matter growth in the brain. As research has shown, “Grey matter was more vulnerable to age-related neurodegeneration, and that it degenerated sooner than other brain areas.”
Start Sprinting Now
If you are looking to improve your HGH growth naturally, the healthiest approach is to incorporate sprinting into your workout routine. On top of producing more HGH, your heart, endurance, and brain all become stronger. Not to mention sprinting will save you time over any other form of cardio.
Try out the Sprint 8 workout challenge and record your results. You will note a difference in your body’s tone and your testosterone in no time.