Hormonal responses to different resistance exercise schemes of similar total volume

Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Impact Factor: 1.8). 10/2009; 23(7):2003-8. DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b73bf7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study assessed the effect of different resistance exercise scheme (RES) designs of similar total of load lifted on the responses of testosterone, cortisol, and creatine kinase (CK). Twenty-seven healthy males performed 1 of 4 bench press workouts described by the 1 repetition maximum (1RM) load: 4 sets of maximum repetitions at 50%-1RM (50%-1RM RES), 5 sets of maximum repetitions at 75%-1RM (75%-1RM RES), 10 sets of maximum repetitions at 90%-1RM (90%-1RM RES), or 8 sets of maximum repetitions at 110%-1RM (110%-1RM RES). Each RES was equated by the total volume of load lifted (repetitions x sets x load). Blood samples, collected pre-exercise (Pre) and post-exercise (Post) at 1 and 24 hours (24 h), were analyzed for total and free testosterone, total cortisol, and CK. In general, testosterone and cortisol showed little change within or between the different RES (p > 0.05), possibly because of the relatively low volume lifted and/or the small muscle mass activated by the bench press exercise. Cortisol was elevated after the 75%-1RM RES at the Post sample, with this response also exceeding the other RES (p < 0.05). The 24 h CK response was also elevated after the 75%-1RM RES (p < 0.05), thereby suggesting greater training strain for the same volume of load. These results confirm previous recommendations regarding the prescription of resistance exercise and the importance of total volume as a stimulus for activating the endocrine system and achieving long-term adaptation.

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May 22, 2014