Add this Exercise to Boost Muscle Mass
by: Robbie Durand
Most people will usually finish off their leg workout with either some leg extensions or leg curls, but researchers from New Zealand reported that ending your leg routine with jump squats boosted testosterone levels. The combination of resistance and plyometric training, or complex training, may yield greater functional gains than either method alone. As testosterone responses to complex training routines creates an enhanced anabolic physiological response. Studies have found that explosive full-body movements will simultaneously increase anabolic hormones (growth hormone, testosterone, etc.) while enhancing strength gains.
Researchers investigated acute responses of salivary testosterone and cortisol to complex squat exercise bouts. After a standardized warm-up, 16 semi-professional rugby players performed 1 of 4 exercise bouts in a cross-over manner:
Power-Power: Then they did 3 sets of jump squats
Power-Strength: Then they did 3 sets of jump squats
Strength-Power: Then they did 3 sets of box squats
Strength-Strength: Then they did 3 sets of box squats
- There were 3-minute rest periods between sets and 4-minute rest periods between exercise blocks.
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Each player completed each session twice a week over a 4-week period in a balanced random order such that each player performed a total of 8 bouts. The jump squat sets consisted of 3 sets at 50 percent of the weight with which the athletes could just manage 1 box squat rep. Each of the 3 box squat sets consisted of 3 reps with a weight that the athletes could just manage to do 3 reps with.
Saliva was sampled before, during, and immediately after the exercise bout. At the end of the study, the greatest overall hormonal responses were a small increase in testosterone (13%) and a trivial increase in cortisol (27%) after the strength-power bout. The hormonal response after the strength-power bout suggests that this exercise sequence provides an enhanced anabolic milieu for adaptation.
So the next time you do legs, try starting off with a couple of sets of box squats and end the workout with a few sets of jump squats to get the biggest increases in testosterone.
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