As we get back into the swing of routine and begin to incorporate some potential new fitness goals, we thought it fitting to introduce our guest blogger Brandon Basque. He is a personal trainer, with a special interest in bodybuilding at the competitive level. This is an area of fitness in which we see the importance of proper nutrition and supplementation to maintain healthy hormone levels. Having both experience and passion driving him to help others succeed in this sport we have invited him to share some strategies. He has compiled a list of ways to ensure maximum training results while maintaining healthy hormonal balance in those who are weightlifting either competitively or recreationally.
-The JTND Team
Saving your hormones while crushing your fitness goals.
Bodybuilding and weightlifting tend to have polarized views on the internet. The volume of information is overwhelming. Although it is incredible we are able to access information and educate ourselves in a variety of different subjects, it is important to discuss or consult with an expert in the field to navigate misinformation. Hormonal burnout is common among weightlifters and those who train at a full-time level (4-5 days a week). It Is also something that does not seem to be discussed frequently among this population. I believe that training hard should not result in a disruption of your hormones. Hormone imbalances can lead to disrupted sleep, changes in mood (i.e irritability and inconsistency), inability to lose weight and fatigue. I have compiled a list of strategies to help you get the most out of your training efforts while maintaining healthy hormone levels.
1. Make sure you are eating enough and properly. It is important to consume nutrient-dense foods, as well as consuming enough of these foods. After intense exercise, you need nutrients to fuel your recovery process. You need to take your body out of the fight or flight response of intense exercise and replenish! Protein is important. Quality carbohydrates are just as important! Protein and carbohydrates provide the building blocks for hormone production. They are also important to replenish glycogen (the storage form of glucose—used as energy for the cells) and lower cortisol levels post exercise.
2. Consider taking an adaptogen. Adaptogens are a group of medicinal herbs that help the body modulate the stress response. If you are increasing your intensity in the gym or working a bit harder than usual, you might want to consider speaking to your health care professional about beginning one of these herbs. They can help support your body as it adapts to the new workload. By supporting the stress response in the body they help to ensure hormones like testosterone, cortisol, DHEA are balanced and not hanging too low.
3. Make sleep your top priority. Most of your hormones are synthesized while you are sleeping! The majority of cell turnover and recovery occurs while you sleep. Experts agree that people training or exercising at high intensity require more hours of sleep compared to individuals who do not exercise. You should be aiming for a minimum 8 hours. Skip the next episode and get your zzz’s!
4. Rest days. A mistake I often see people make is going all out 7 days a week, 2-3 hours a day! If that is you, stop right away! You can only handle so much before things go haywire hormonally. Your muscles and central nervous system also need a break. 4-5 days a week, 45 minutes to an hour is more than enough!
My ultimate goal is to optimize you. Nutrition, training, and supplements are my passion. I want to help people achieve their fitness goals as fast as possible through the above-listed variables. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM on Instagram "@brandonbeefit". Thank you for reading.