When Boosting Hormones Associated with Strength – Free Weights or Weight Machines?
Researchers looked at the best training method to elicit “acute hormone response” in testosterone and growth hormone, the two primary hormones that support muscular strength and gains. The study, published in the Journal of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (2014; 28, 1032-40) looked at lower body strength conditioning specifically, with free weights and with weight machines. Ten men participated in the study. They completed a formula of six total sets, ten repetitions in each set of barbell squats and seated leg presses.
Blood samples were taken before and after workout sessions. Researchers noted higher levels of both hormones after both modalities of exercise. They did however note that free weights nudged the hormone levels higher overall. Using both methods is probably a good idea, since cross-training also keeps your muscles challenged.
-Amy Hendel, PA/HealthCoach