Human growth hormone (HGH) is a synergistic, foundational biochemical produced in your brain’s pituitary gland that plays an important part in supporting your overall health and longevity. It has been dubbed “the fitness hormone” because it promotes muscle growth and effectively burns excess fat.
The production of human growth hormone in your body peaks in adolescence and steadily declines as you age. If you’re over the age of 30, you’ve likely entered a phase known as somatopause or age-related growth hormone deficiency. As your HGH levels decrease, your body also produces less insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), another important hormone that influences aging, Dr. Joseph Mercola explains.
A sedentary lifestyle and poor diet contribute to somatopause, which likely impacts millions of baby boomers in the U.S. and around the world. Somatopause symptoms include:
- Decreased bone density and muscle tone
- Increased body fat (especially around the waist)
- Loss of energy
- Skin wrinkling
- Weight gain
Increase Your HGH Levels with Peak 8 Exercises
Renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Harvey Cushing discovered somatropin or synthetic HGH almost 100 years ago. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of synthetic HGH for medical conditions, except for growth-hormone deficiency in children and AIDS- or HIV-related muscle wasting. The use of HGH is also banned by the International Olympic Committee and most professional sports in the U.S.
Thousands of Americans are believed to be injecting HGH – despite being an illegal practice — for its anti-aging benefits. There are a few clinical studies that have looked at the effects of using synthetic HGH for prolonged periods of time. HGH advocates usually refer to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1990, where twelve men ages 60 years and above were given high doses of HGH injections for six months. At the end of the study, they experienced a 14 percent decrease in body fat, an 8.8 percent increase in lean body mass, and a 1.6 percent increase in spinal bone density.
However, the cost and health risks associated with using injectable HGH are unjustifiable. But you don’t have to settle for synthetic hormone replacement therapy, because there’s a natural and more effective way to increase your HGH levels: Peak 8 exercises.
Children and most animals are perfect examples of natural movement. They sprint at high speeds for short amounts of time and rest in between spurts. Essentially, they’re performing interval training workouts. Your body was designed to do this type of movement, which produces growth hormone, Dr. Mercola points out.
Peak 8 exercises are interval training workouts that impact your super-fast (white) muscle fibers, the only muscle fibers that trigger HGH production. Traditional cardio and strength training only work your slow (red) muscle fibers, while power training or plyometrics only engage your fast muscle fibers. Dr. Mercola recommends performing Peak 8 exercises two or three times a week to increase your HGH production.