How Your Fitness Is Defeating Your Hormones
Have you heard about the hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid axis or the HPT Axis for short? This is the most important hormone area in my opinion for those trying to lose weight or balance hormones. A study done found that when you do long high intense workouts the Serum T and Free Testosterone will start to decrease in a number of weeks. This has an effect of that “low t” syndrome that you may have heard about. When you exercise you want to feel those great endorphins that are released by your pituitary gland when it’s working well. Overexercising then starts to cause this inflammatory issue within the HPT Axis. And then add in this over abundance of hormones that you don’t want raised and you start to inhibit your endorphin production.
Also they’ve studied and found that for both men and women this decrease, especially the lower FT level is a significant predictor for loss of muscle mass. I saw a Finish study that showed that doing a heavy lifting session of just 5 reps produced the highest testosterone response. And so for those lifting to increase testosterone you want to make sure most of your resistance training is being done with compound exercises that work many muscle groups at once. Think CVX or Total Synergy.
I know so many moms that get 3 hours of sleep, then do a long run and cannot figure out why their testosterone is so off. Let me share with you, cortisol reduces and antagonizes free testosterone levels.This cortisol dysfunction promotes abdominal fat gain and again, muscle loss. Stressing your body out by overtraining, too much stress and not enough sleep is a one way ticket to this HPT Axis crash.
Yesterday I talked a lot about estrogen, but that is because estrogen inhibits thyroid activity. That leads you down the road to low thyroid. If you have the right compliment of progesterone, testosterone and balanced cortisol levels your thyroid is a happy camper. That means you have to balance out the testosterone in order to have functional estrogen.
Dr. Willian Hrushesky believes that natural killer cell activity and interleukin 2, both powerful immune system components, are compromised by estrogen dominance and promoted by adequate progesterone. His opinions were presented in the Journal of Women’s Health.
Dr. John Morrow, PhD and Dr. David Isenberg PhD say that estrogen has been shown to decrease the size of the thymus [depresses immune system] and to cause a reduction in the level of thymic hormone in the blood.
So how are you going to balance out that testosterone, for you that means less heavy, and more HIIT. Something like Focus T25 is going to be better for someone dealing with PCOS and higher testosterone levels than someone that has low testosterone and needs to boost it.
So it’s time to balance out those hormones
Mark Sisson has said you should lift heavy things, sprint a little, and move at a slower pace. And my favorite doc, Dr. Daniel Amen, recommends to optimize your hormone levels throughout the day you should do daily interval training, balance your insulin levels, sleep well and lower your stress. Getting the right workout matters, and it has to be the right one for your hormones, too. Am I right? You will give your body a better fighting chance if you functionally approach your fitness in a manner that works with your body. Otherwise you will be like most of the studies I have seen that show group after group that saw almost no changes in their weight regardless of weeks of putting in hours and hours of time on the treadmill. So make sure you balance your hormones with the right workout. Lower estrogen, lower testosterone… eat right and try something fast and simple like P90X3 or even Body Beast. For those with high testosterone, struggling with PCOS give a good HIIT workout like Focus T25 or Combat a look over.
If you are looking to get tested to see where your hormone levels are head over to my coaching lab and order your own tests. http://bijacoaching.com/LabTests I would be happy to help you in any way that I can, but this can help and you can take your results to your doctor to start putting together an action plan for health.