High-intensity interval training is well-documented for being able to help burn fat and boost testosterone and growth hormone production. But recently, sports scientists at the Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel have discovered a hit trick to bolster growth hormone even further.

The Israeli study, which was published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, saw 12 handball players between the ages of 17 and 25 perform two HIIT workouts on separate occasions. The workouts were performed on a treadmill with a total of 1000 meters ran in each session. The difference between the two sessions was the length of the sprints and the rest periods.

On one training session, the rest periods became longer the further the workout progressed and on the other, the rest periods became shorter. On one occasion, the athletes started their workout with a 100m sprint followed by 2 minutes rest. They then sprinted 200m followed by 3 minutes rest, then a 300m sprint followed by 4 minutes rest and finally they ended off the session with a 400m sprint. On the other occasion, the athletes performed the workout in reverse by starting with the 400m sprint, followed by 4 minutes rest, and then a 300m sprint followed by a 3-minute rest, and then a 200m sprint followed by a 2-minute rest and finally finishing with a 100m sprint.

The sports scientists analysed the athlete’s blood before and 1 hour after the workout.

What they found was that with the decreasing distance workout the athletes experienced a greater rise in lactic acid and growth hormone production. In both workouts, the athletes experienced rises in cortisol, testosterone, IGF-1 and IGF-BP-3, the inflammatory proteins interleukin-6 and interleukin-1-beta and the inflammation inhibitor interleukin-1- receptor antagonist as a result of interval training; however, the rise was the same in both training sessions. The sports scientists then asked the athletes which workout they found more tiring and they found that all of the athletes found the decreasing distance workout the least tiring.

For a lesser level of perceived effort and the higher rise in growth hormone, it may be worth following this handy HIIT trick, or should we say HIIT tip, to peak your growth hormone even further.

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