How to build muscle while intermittent fasting? If you’re like me and looking for a simple yet effective way to help you stay lean year round or just to boost your body’s growth hormones than look no further.
Intermittent fasting is a technique used by models, actors, and athletes to help them stay in top shape and give them self an edge over others.
Here I will share some helpful facts and exercise tips to help you build muscle and boost hormones while fasting.
Increase Human Growth Hormones Naturally
Some people may laugh and raise an eyebrow when you tell them that you can naturally increase your growth hormones by fasting. Especially those guys in the gym that like to get juicy if you know what I mean 😉 ….. Although you may not get the same fast results as using steroids. You will certainly get a boost of growth hormones by intermittent fasting and avoid all the nasty side effects that come when cycling on and off steroids.
HGH (human growth hormones) are produced by the pituitary gland and is suppressed during feeding! It has been shown to increase up to 2,000% while fasting. This hormone is important because it helps muscle recover quickly and has a great anabolic effect. Intermittent fasting is one of the most powerful ways of increasing HGH.
When HGH is released by the pituitary gland it will only last a few minutes in the bloodstream until it gets metabolized in the liver and then it converts into other growth factors. The most important is IGF1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) which help turn on anti-aging pathways in the body. In other words, you will hold on to your youth longer.
Holding your youth longer and boosting HGH are only 2 of many other benefits caused by intermittent fasting. Other benefits caused by fasting are normalizing hormones, improve cellular health, and improves mental focus.
Build Muscle & Increase Testosterone
Compound exercises vs isolated exercises
Now that you know that intermittent fasting helps boost HGH lets look into some great weight lifting exercises to help increase the effect. When people focus more on compound weight lifting exercises they release more hormones into the body than doing isolated weight lifting exercises.
For those of you who do not understand the difference between compound exercises and isolated exercises here is a simple explanation. Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that involve the use of more than one major muscle group whereas isolation exercises focus on a single muscle group with minimal involvement from other supporting muscles.
Isolated exercises are great if you are focusing on increasing strength in a single muscle group that you find needs more attention. For example, if you find that your triceps are lacking in size and strength compared to other muscles, do some triceps extension exercises to help increase muscle mass and strength.
How to Build Muscle While Intermittent Fasting – Lift Heavy
Studies have shown that it definitely takes heavyweights to significantly boost testosterone. Full body heavyweight exercises like the bench press, squat, deadlift, shoulder press, and pull-ups (weighted) are 5 compound exercises that will help you boost your testosterone levels.
You should do 2-3 full body weight lifting workouts each week and use 85-90% of your 1RM (1 repetition maximum) to get a good testosterone boost. Your resting period should be 1.5-3 min max.
Here is an example of a full body workout you could do 2-3 days out of the week to boost testosterone:
- Warm up
- 4 sets of 5-8 repetitions of Bench Press
- 4 sets of 5-8 repetitions of Squats
- Cool down
- Warm up
- 4 sets of 5-8 repetitions of Deadlifts
- 4 sets of 5-8 repetition of shoulder press
- Cool down
- Warm up
- 4 sets of 5-8 repetition of Pull-Ups (add weights when experienced enough)
- 4 sets of 5-8 repetition of Squats
- Cool down
Do not let this scare you away if you do not have much experience in weight training. There are plenty of machines in the gym that can help you simulate these exercises. Once you experience enough and build a strong foundation move into free weight barbell and dumbbell versions to help you progress further. Doing free weights will teach you how to stabilize your body under pressure and make you stronger in general.
Sprint Don’t Jog
If you would like to get some cardio in during the week I recommend quick short sprints instead of running for miles. There are studies that have shown that sprinting short and intensive sprints increase your testosterone levels compared to jogging. Testosterone levels remained high even after the person is done recovering from the sprint workout.
Not only are there studies showing that this is true but you can see the results as well. Just think about how a sprinter looks compared to a marathon runner. Sprinters look lean and have great muscle mass, compared to a marathon runner who looks skinny and has very little muscle mass.
A good way to implement this strategy is by sprinting 6-8 quick sprints. Each sprint should be kept about 6-10 seconds long and a rest period 1-2 minutes before starting your next sprint. You should consider doing sprints about 2-3 times a week to get the best results.
We have all heard while growing up that we need good sleep and rest to grow up healthy and strong. When it comes to repairing muscle tissue after a hard workout in the gym to increasing and regulating hormones in the body, sleep should not be overlooked! Remember that your body grows and repairs itself while you sleep. It’s important that we get 7-8 hours of sleep each night to keep us at our peak. You will have more energy during the day and be in a better mood. Naps help also if you find yourself with some extra time to spare in the day take a nap instead of browsing social media! Your body will thank you for it.
Fast, Lift Heavy, Sprint, Sleep
Try to take baby steps if you are new to fasting and lifting weight. If you find any of the compounds exercises hard then try to focus on the ones you find easiest to do.
People adapt to intermittent fasting differently and it may be difficult to switch your eating habits at first but once you get the hang of it you will find yourself having more self-control and discipline.
Combine intermittent fasting, lifting heavy, with a few sprints after your workouts and you will see and notice a difference. And of course, get some good sleep and let your body grow into the physique you always wanted!
Next time someone asks you how to build muscle while intermittent fasting you will know how to answer that question.
If you guys have questions or find my post helpful in regards to your fitness journey please feel free to comment below!
Thanks for visiting My Fast Fit!