The Salivary Testosterone and Cortisol Response to Three Loading Schemes

Health and Food Group, Hort Research, Auckland, New Zealand.
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Impact Factor: 2.08). 01/2008; 22(1):250-5. DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31815f5f91
Source: PubMed


This aim of this study was to examine the free hormone (in saliva) responses to squat workouts performed by recreationally weight-trained males, using either a power (8 sets of 6 reps, 45% 1 repetition maximum [1RM], 3-minute rest periods, ballistic movements), hypertrophy (10 sets of 10 reps, 75% 1RM, 2-minute rest periods, controlled movements), or maximal strength scheme (6 sets of 4 reps, 88% 1RM, 4-minute rest periods, explosive intent). To determine the relative importance of the different training variables, these schemes were equated by workout duration with the power and strength schemes also equated by load volume. Salivary testosterone (T) and cortisol (C) both increased following the hypertrophy scheme (P < 0.05), with little to no hormonal change across the power and maximal strength schemes (P > 0.05). In general, the postexercise T and C responses to the hypertrophy scheme exceeded the other two schemes (P < 0.05). The greater volume of load lifted in the hypertrophy protocol over the same workout duration may explain the endocrine differences observed. The similar T and C responses to the power and maximal strength schemes (of equal volume) support such a view and suggest that differences in load intensity, rest periods, and technique are secondary to volume. Because the acute hormonal responses to resistance exercise contribute to protein metabolism, then load volume may be the most important workout variable activating the endocrine system and stimulating muscle growth.

Download full-text


Available from: Justin W L Keogh, Jul 10, 2015
  • Source
    • "Furthermore, investigations comparing the acute anabolic hormone response to different resistance exercise protocols (e.g., traditional hypertrophy, strength, or power designs) have been unable to demonstrate that a greater metabolic stress is more advantageous for stimulating augmented testosterone and IGF-1 responses (Kraemer et al. 1990; Schwab et al. 1993; McKay et al. 2008; McCaulley et al. 2009; West et al. 2009, 2010; Hasani-Ranjbar et al. 2012). Interestingly, high-volume training programs have consistently elicited a greater cortisol response to training (Hakkinen and Pakarinen 1993; Crewther et al. 2008; Buresh et al. 2009; McCaulley et al. 2009; West et al. 2010). Although chronically high levels of cortisol are associated with decreases in lean muscle mass (Crowley and Matt 1996; Schakman et al. 2013), the effects of transient elevations in cortisol thought to mediate , in part, tissue remodeling remains poorly understood. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This investigation compared the effect of high-volume (VOL) versus high-intensity (INT) resistance training on stimulating changes in muscle size and strength in resistance-trained men. Following a 2-week preparatory phase, participants were randomly assigned to either a high-volume (VOL; n = 14, 4 × 10-12 repetitions with ~70% of one repetition maximum [1RM], 1-min rest intervals) or a high-intensity (INT; n = 15, 4 × 3-5 repetitions with ~90% of 1RM, 3-min rest intervals) training group for 8 weeks. Pre- and posttraining assessments included lean tissue mass via dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, muscle cross-sectional area and thickness of the vastus lateralis (VL), rectus femoris (RF), pectoralis major, and triceps brachii muscles via ultrasound images, and 1RM strength in the back squat and bench press (BP) exercises. Blood samples were collected at baseline, immediately post, 30 min post, and 60 min postexercise at week 3 (WK3) and week 10 (WK10) to assess the serum testosterone, growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1), cortisol, and insulin concentrations. Compared to VOL, greater improvements (P < 0.05) in lean arm mass (5.2 ± 2.9% vs. 2.2 ± 5.6%) and 1RM BP (14.8 ± 9.7% vs. 6.9 ± 9.0%) were observed for INT. Compared to INT, area under the curve analysis revealed greater (P < 0.05) GH and cortisol responses for VOL at WK3 and cortisol only at WK10. Compared to WK3, the GH and cortisol responses were attenuated (P < 0.05) for VOL at WK10, while the IGF1 response was reduced (P < 0.05) for INT. It appears that high-intensity resistance training stimulates greater improvements in some measures of strength and hypertrophy in resistance-trained men during a short-term training period. © 2015 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015
  • Source
    • "Acute program variables, including exercise intensity, volume, and rest interval, influence the endocrine response following resistance exercise (Kraemer and Ratamess 2005). Specifically, HV resistance exercise has been suggested to produce significantly greater elevations in both anabolic and catabolic hormones compared to HI resistance exercise (Kraemer et al. 1990; Hakkinen and Pakarinen 1993; Smilios et al. 2003; Linnamo et al. 2005; Crewther et al. 2008; McCaulley et al. 2009; Uchida et al. 2009). Systemic elevations of circulating hormones increase the likelihood of interaction with receptors located within muscle tissue and have been suggested to contribute to muscle growth consequent to resistance training (Kraemer and Ratamess 2005). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Resistance exercise paradigms are often divided into high volume (HV) or high intensity (HI) protocols, however, it is unknown whether these protocols differentially stimulate mTORC1 signaling. The purpose of this study was to examine mTORC1 signaling in conjunction with circulating hormone concentrations following a typical HV and HI lower-body resistance exercise protocol. Ten resistance-trained men (24.7 ± 3.4 years; 90.1 ± 11.3 kg; 176.0 ± 4.9 cm) performed each resistance exercise protocol in a random, counterbalanced order. Blood samples were obtained at baseline (BL), immediately (IP), 30 min (30P), 1 h (1H), 2 h (2H), and 5 h (5H) postexercise. Fine needle muscle biopsies were completed at BL, 1H, and 5H. Electromyography of the vastus lateralis was also recorded during each protocol. HV and HI produced a similar magnitude of muscle activation across sets. Myoglobin and lactate dehydrogenase concentrations were significantly greater following HI compared to HV (P = 0.01-0.02), whereas the lactate response was significantly higher following HV compared to HI (P = 0.003). The growth hormone, cortisol, and insulin responses were significantly greater following HV compared to HI (P = 0.0001-0.04). No significant differences between protocols were observed for the IGF-1 or testosterone response. Intramuscular anabolic signaling analysis revealed a significantly greater (P = 0.03) phosphorylation of IGF-1 receptor at 1H following HV compared to HI. Phosphorylation status of all other signaling proteins including mTOR, p70S6k, and RPS6 were not significantly different between trials. Despite significant differences in markers of muscle damage and the endocrine response following HV and HI, both protocols appeared to elicit similar mTORC1 activation in resistance-trained men. © 2015 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015
  • Source
    • "In sport, salivary testosterone (T) and cortisol (C) are widely used as biomarkers to assess the effects of exercise, training and competition [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]. Saliva collection enables the repeated sampling of hormones over short time-frames where blood collection is undesirable, lacking in compliance, or difficult in these situations, whilst also being non-invasive and stress-free [9] [10], which will enhance adoption and compliance in athletic populations [11]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Salivary testosterone (T) and cortisol (C) concentrations were monitored across a sports competition. Data were compared using two enzyme-immunoassay (EIA) methods and two sample preparations to determine their influence on hormone concentrations. Design and methods: A group of male athletes (n=19) provided a saliva sample the morning before and one day after (24h post) an international rugby union match. Following an extraction procedure, the samples were analysed for T and C concentrations using a commercial kit (CM(E)) and an in-house method (IH(E)). Raw samples (no extraction procedure) were also tested using the commercial kit (CM(R)). Results: There were no significant changes in T and C levels from pre to post competition with each EIA method and sample preparation, but significant differences in T (IH(E)>CM(E)>CM(R)) and C (CM(R)>IH(E) and CM(E)) concentrations were seen when both samples were pooled. Bland-Altman analyses confirmed the presence of fixed and proportional bias. Strong and significant correlations were demonstrated between the IH(E) and CM(E) measures of salivary T (r=0.93-0.97) and C (r=0.95-0.97). The T and C values from the raw and extracted samples were also strongly correlated (r=0.93-0.96). Conclusions: The measurement of salivary T and C concentrations across an international sports event was influenced by different EIA methods and sample preparations, but all measures were strongly correlated with some bias. Both T and C were unresponsive to the sports event, but within the group results large individual variation was seen.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Clinical biochemistry
Show more