You can often hear the question of whether it makes sense to train with hormonal disruption. Apparently, it arises in connection with the confidence that the hormones circulating in the body completely determine the changes taking place in our body. Whether it is increasing muscle mass or decreasing fat stores.
However, this belief is false and highly exaggerated. Undoubtedly, hormones are the strongest regulators of metabolic processes, but we also have other mechanisms that make it possible to adequately respond to stimuli created by physical activity.
The role of non-hormonal mechanisms of activation of enzymatic reactions
Any processes occurring in cells, tissues, or organs occur exclusively under the action of the corresponding enzymes. The more active the enzymes are, the more pronounced the reaction. The action of hormones is precisely due to the activation of enzymes by them. So active physical activity can in itself have a similar effect. For example, in order for glucose from the blood to enter muscle cells, undergo oxidation in them – conversion into energy and stored in the form of glycogen, the muscle cell must receive a signal from the hormone insulin. It activates enzymes that provide glucose transport, glycolysis, and glycogenesis. And in order for the muscle cell to oxidize fat to a greater extent than glucose, it must receive a signal from the hormone somatropin.
So, after physical activity, mainly of anaerobic orientation (resistance training), all of the above reactions are activated regardless of hormonal signals. Glucose circulating in the bloodstream is utilized by cells even without the participation of insulin, as, for example, brain cells do, and fat oxidation increases without an increase in the level of growth hormone.
It is noteworthy that the first 3-4 hours after training, insulin, which has the properties of inhibiting fat oxidation in cells, cannot realize this function. Fats continue to be oxidized in an increased amount, no matter how much the concentration of insulin in the blood changes (which occurs in response to consumed carbohydrates and proteins). Access to fat stores, their mobilization from the depot, is regulated by a whole set of hormones – adrenaline, norepinephrine, somatropin, cortisol, glucagon, which, if necessary, can compensate for each other’s insufficient secretion or excessive secretion of hormones with the opposite effect, the same insulin. In the case of hormonal disruptions in the work of the endocrine system, access to fat reserves never stops as long as there is an energy deficit and the load is one of the tools for creating it.
Effect of hormones during exercise on muscle hypertrophy
And the adaptation of muscles to stress in the form of hypertrophy is regulated to a greater extent by intracellular changes than by external stimuli emanating from anabolic hormones. True, this is true only for those cases when the concentration of anabolic hormones is within the normal human physiology. Artificially high many times hormonal levels already have a much stronger effect on muscle cell hypertrophy.
Natural, physiological concentration is almost not responsible for muscle growth in response to strength training. Studies convincingly demonstrate that both temporary acute changes in hormone levels in response to exercise and long-term chronic changes, both upward and downward, do not significantly affect adaptive hypertrophy. Physical activity initiates the activation of signaling pathways in muscle cells that control enzymes responsible for protein synthesis. In addition, hormone-like substances are formed right inside the cell in response to stress – a mechanical growth factor, an insulin-like growth factor.
Their effect on muscle cells in relation to protein metabolism is similar to that of somatropin and insulin combined. Reduced degradation and increased synthesis. Interestingly, such local changes in response to stress persist in the muscles until old age. Therefore, with sarcopenia – age-related loss of muscle mass and strength, despite the natural decrease in the level of anabolic hormones (testosterone, growth hormone) for old age, resistance training is recommended. They successfully resist her. Both strength and muscle mass increase. Just like physical activity is recommended for people with diabetes. Inadequate work of insulin or its lack is compensated for by physical activity, which, as mentioned above, is capable of duplicating hormonal effects, and in addition to increasing sensitivity to hormonal signals.
Does physical activity make sense in the case of hormonal disorders?
That is, for people with endocrine pathologies and abnormalities, the load is even an integral part of the treatment. Why, then, a healthy person asks the question whether it makes sense to exercise with hormonal disru