Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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Strength training results in more muscle growth when combined with heat treatment

Strength training may result in more muscle mass if athletes also expose their muscle three times a week to a heat source that raises the temperature of their muscles by 4 degrees Celsius. Sports scientists at Korea University write about this soon in Aging - Clinical and Experimental Research. The Koreans performed experiments on people over the age of 65.

Japanese and Korean researchers have been studying the effect on the muscles of warmth-producing blankets and compresses for several years. They suspect that an increase of a few degrees in the temperature of the muscles strengthens anabolic processes in muscle tissue. At the bottom of the page you'll find links to a couple of earlier publications.

The researchers divided almost two dozen women aged 65-75 into three groups.

One group put a heating sheet - manufactured by the Kao Corporation - on their upper legs three times a week for eight consecutive hours during the 12 weeks that the experiment lasted. [HEAT] This caused the temperature of the upper leg muscles to rise from 35 to 39 degrees Celsius.

The study was not financed by Kao, by the way, but by the South Korean government.

Another group trained their upper leg muscles on a leg extension machine three times a week [RT], doing light training: the women did 3 sets with 40 percent of the weight at which they could just manage 1 rep. [1-RM]

A third group combined strength training and the heat treatment. [HRT]

The participants in all groups gained strength.

Strength training results in more muscle growth when combined with heat treatment

The concentration of growth hormone and IGF-1 in the blood of all three groups increased significantly, but only the participants who had combined both treatments built up significantly more muscle mass.

Strength training results in more muscle growth when combined with heat treatment

"Low-intensity exercise training with heat stress can be an effective resistance method for the improvement in elderly patients' muscle size and strength", the researchers conclude.

Aging Clin Exp Res. 2016 Nov 19. [Epub ahead of print].

Heat treatment boosts anabolic effect of strength training 01.08.2011
Muscle growth without training? Try anabolic heat therapy 10.10.2010

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