Lactic acid is the precursor to growth hormone. When lactic acid builds up in your body the result is a greater increase in growth hormone that occurs for women than it does for men (Wideman, et al., 2002).
Multiple set resistance exercise increases and prolongs the GH response in females compared to single sets (Mulligan, et al., 1996); and resistance training with higher volume elicits a greater GH response than low volume training (Kraemer, et al., 1993).
The GREATEST GH release occurred with workout sessions using moderately to heavy weights with shorter rest periods.
This basically gives us a blueprint to how to train MOST effectively to help WOMEN ignite their most powerful fat burning hormones:
Train for strength and lean muscle mass while dieting to lose fat.
By focusing on the larger muscle groups that create a greater amount of lactic acid and burn fat more calories, but also supplementing your workouts with the smaller muscle groups, and focusing on strength set, you burn more fat than you would doing high-rep “fat loss workouts” with a large amount of cardio.
The side effect of this mode of training, along with an effective HIIT cardio routine, is either an increase or a maintenance of your lean muscle mass while you’re at a caloric deficit.
Muscle is your BEST FRIEND in your battle against fat loss for a number of reasons:
(a) Muscle helps increase insulin sensitivity. That is, you’re going to use more carbs as fuel rather than storing them as fat. When you LOSE your lean muscle mass, you may lose weight, but it will be lean mass, your body, then, is less equipped to fight fat because you’ve removed its greatest ally.
(b) Muscle BOOSTS YOUR METABOLISM. If you want LONG TERM fat loss and not short term WEIGHT LOSS, you want to keep all of your lean muscle mass, even while you’re eating in a way that will help you burn fat.
(c) Resistance training also helps you fight things like osteoporosis, keeping you strong and active and vibrant and young as you age, which is definitely a process we can fight.