|Kettlebell swings - According to the results from the study at hand, probably great to shed body fat. not exactly what you should be doing to gain tons of muscle.|
I know, there is no reliable evidence that the GH, testosterone and cortisol response to exercise is a good predictor of the exercise induced muscular adaptations - including muscle and strength gains and fat loss, but there are a few neat associations due to which looking at the study results probably isn't totally useless.
Based on the previously cited study by West et al. (2009 & 2012), the things we should be looking for are elevations of cortisol and growth hormone, but not those of testosterone, which were not associated with either lean muscle mass or type I / type II fiber cross sectional area (CSA).
As you can see in Figure 1, we could expect increases in muscle fiber size with significant increases in cortisol, and increases in total lean body mass if the amount of GH that's circulating in the blood of the ten healthy male volunteers' n (19–30 years; mean 24 years, 175 cm, 78.7 kg) was significantly increased in response to performing 12 rounds of 30 seconds of kettlebell swings alternated with 30 seconds of rest.
The subjects of which the scientists say that they were recreationally trained, had been engaged in resistance exercise >2 times a week for at least the previous 3 months. They had no history of anabolic steroid use, but more importantly, they had no experience with the kettlebell swing exercise and were thus the perfect candidates for maximal hormonal responses (and strength outcomes) in response to an unaccustomed workout. As Budnar Jr. et al. point out, ...
"[...] Lake and Lauder (2012) have previously demonstrated that training using this exercise protocol improves lower-body strength and power. A 16-kg kettlebell (Perform Better, Cranston, RI, USA) was used by all participants because it is the recommended starting weight for men and has previously been used in evaluating the effect of kettlebell swings on strength training adaptations and acute aerobic responses (Lake. 2012)." (Budnar Jr. 2014)Fasted blood samples were collected using intravenous catheter before the warm-up (PRE), immediately postexercise (IP), 15 minutes postexercise (P15), and 30 minutes postexercise (P30) and were analyzed for testosterone (T), growth horomone (GH), cortisol (C), myoglobin, and lactate concentrations.
|Table 1: 1.Heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE; range, 6–20) at rest (HR only) and immediately after each round of kettlebell swings and number of swings per round (Budnar Jr. 2014)|
"[...]completed 12 consecutive rounds of kettlebell swing exercise with each round consisting of 30 seconds of exercise followed by 30 seconds of rest. Investigators provided verbal encouragement to the participant to complete as many swings in the 12-minute period as possible." (Budnar Jr. 2014)Immediately after the completion of the exercise bout, the participant was seated and the IP blood sample was obtained. The participant remained seated comfortably for the remainder of the session, including during the collection of the P15 and P30 blood samples.
|Figure 1: Human growth hormone, cortisol and testosterone response to <15 min of kettlebell swings (Budnar Jr. 2014)|
- Budnar Jr, Ronald G., et al. "The acute hormonal response to the kettlebell swing exercise." Journal of strength and conditioning research/National Strength & Conditioning Association (2014).
- Lake, Jason P., and Mike A. Lauder. "Kettlebell swing training improves maximal and explosive strength." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 26.8 (2012): 2228-2233.
- Phillips, Stuart M. "Strength and hypertrophy with resistance training: chasing a hormonal ghost." European journal of applied physiology 112.5 (2012): 1981-1983.
- West, Daniel WD, et al. "Resistance exercise-induced increases in putative anabolic hormones do not enhance muscle protein synthesis or intracellular signalling in young men." The Journal of physiology 587.21 (2009): 5239-5247.
- West, Daniel WD, and Stuart M. Phillips. "Associations of exercise-induced hormone profiles and gains in strength and hypertrophy in a large cohort after weight training." European journal of applied physiology 112.7 (2012): 2693-2702.