Growth Hormone QA

O: I've heard that muscle fibers can split, ere -ating more and more fibers in a given bodypart. That would be one reason bodybuilders get so huge—their fibers are multiplying. I also heard that GH may help it occur. How do I make my muscle fibers split?

A: While research hasn't shown conclusively that muscle fiber splitting, or hyperplasia, occurs in humans, animal studies have proved that it does happen within muscle structures. For example, in one study the hyperplasia in rats was the result of stretch overload, which leads me to believe that if it does occur in humans, stretching and stretch-position exercises—like stiff-legged deadlifts for hamstrings, flyes for pecs and incline curls for biceps—can contribute to the fiber-splitting phenomenon, resulting in the potential for larger and larger muscles. We already know that stretch-position movements can increase the anabolic receptors on muscle tissue, so the possibility of fiber splitting is yet another reason to use stretch-position exercises for each bodypart.

Other animal-based studies show that the main hormonal stimulus for hyperplasia is IGF-1, which is produced from growth hormone. In Applied Metabolics #13 Jerry Brainum discusses hyperplasia. He writes that the process "centers on immature, dormant muscle cells termed satellite cells, a reference to their location outside the primary muscle cells. The current theory about hyperplasia is that under intensive exercise conditions satellite cells may fuse with existing muscle fibers and differentiate into new muscle cells or fibers."

Brainum also discusses a new study that points to the IGF-1-hypertrophy-hyperplasia connection. He states that the difference between this study and others is that the doses of IGF-1 used were far lower than what was used in other studies in order to avoid the systemic effects of IGF-1, such as organ growth. You've probably noticed that a lot of pro bodybuilders have distended bellies. Injecting high doses of IGF-1 is probably the reason in most cases. Here's Brainum's report on the new study: [The researchers] used doses of the hormone thai approximated the one produced directly in muscle tissue during the hypertrophy process. This dose produced muscle-size increases in

If hyperplasia does occur in humans, stretching and stretch-po-sition exercises—like flyes for pecs—can contribute to the fiber-splitting phenomenon, resulting in the potential for larger and larger muscles.

Bodybuilding Supplement Guide

Arginine increases the production of nitric oxide, which can relax and help dilate blood vessels. In other words, with more nitric oxide you get better pumps in all of your bodyparts, even the ones you train in the bedroom.

the specific muscle of the rat that the hormone was infused into. The main point of the study is that IGF-1 works to increase muscle growth most efficiently when it's produced locally in the muscle rather than in -jected systemically. A high-protein diet and possibly certain GH-stimu -lating amino acids combined with heavy-load weight training are probably the best way to increase localized IGF-1 synthesis in the mus -

Those conculsions suggest that taking a growth hormone booster prior to high-intensity workouts is best. While it's somewhat uncomfortable if you don't eat for two hours prior to a workout so you can take the GH Stak on an empty stomach, the results will probably be worth the hunger pains. The difference is that using the supplement right before a heavy weight-training session helps increase localized IGF-1 syn-

thesis in the muscles being I trained in the workout, which I is how the researchers trig-I gered muscle growth in the rats in the study. Taking GH I Stak before bed doesn't pro-duce those effects.

—Steve Holman, editor in chief, IRONMAN

O: I'm 45 years old and have been using GH Stak for about four weeks. I'm mak -ing some great gains in the gym, but I've also noticed an increase in the number of erections I'm getting. Is GH Stak the natural answer to Viagra?

A: Maybe so. There have been a number of reports tying GH Stak to new hard-

1— -- ness in that undertrained area

(at least most men feel it's undertrained). It may be because the supplement contains pyroglutamate arginine, which is a potent form of L-argi-nine that's made even more effective by the effervescent delivery system.

Arginine increases the production of nitric oxide, which can relax and help dilate blood vessels. In other words, with more nitric oxide, you get better pumps in all of your bodyparts, even the ones you train in the bedroom. Of course arginine also helps increase growth hormone output, but us older guys can appreciate the increase in hardness everywhere. Who needs Viagra?

Incidentally, foods that are rich in arginine include most seeds, nuts and legumes, but the arginine in plants is contained within the protein structures, so you probably won't get quite the same effect as you do when supplementing with the free amino acid, and taking L-arginine capsules probably won't be as effective as the pyroglutamate arginine in GH Stak.

—Sieve Holman, editor in chief IRONMAN

O: You've written that the trainees at the IRONMAN Training <6 Research Center use GH Stak and have gotten great results, but I've seen some other GH releasers advertised that are less expensive. Are they the same thing?

A: I've tried GH Stak, a.k.a. Pro hGH, and gotten some very good gains, especially for someone my age, 39, and training level. Jonathan Lawson, one of the trainees at the IRONMAN Training & Research Center, has also been using it, and he achieved almost a 15-pound body-weight increase from his first eight-week cycle with noticeably more cuts and striations, which means he was losing fat as he gained muscle (see his before and after shots below).

I also know that GH Stak has a patented delivery system that makes it superior to any other GH booster around, and it also contains compounds that suppress somatostatin, a hormone that can hinder the anabolic effects of GH.

Finally, I know that the developer of GH Stak, noted pharmacologist James Jamieson, who also developed the patch-delivery system for drugs, is filing lawsuits against a number of companies that advertise their product as having the same delivery system as GH Stak when they actually don't.

After considering the above facts, you may or may not want to try one of the cheaper knockoff products. The choice is yours. From what I understand, most of them are simple mixtures of a few specific amino acids, concoctions that get severely degraded by stomach acid because they don't have a protective delivery system.

—Steve Holman, editor in chief, IRONMAN

He achieved almost a 15-pound bodyweight increase from his first eight-week cycle with noticeably more cuts and striations, which means he was losing fat as he gained muscle.

Before and after GH Stak. The photo of IRONMAN Training & Research Center member Jonathan Lawson at right was taken after he competed at a bodyweight of under 185. The photo at the far right was taken a few months later, after his first eight-week cycle of GH Stak. He weighed around 200 pounds—about a 15-pound gain. Notice that he's just as ripped and vascular but much fuller. Also keep in mind that the after photo was taken with no tanning preparation, no oil and with only available light, not the flattering studio lighting used for the other photo.

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