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Seasonal changes in performance and free testosterone: cortisol ratio of elite female rowers

  • C. Vervoorn
  • L. J. M. Vermulst
  • A. M. Boelens-Quist
  • H. P. F. Koppeschaar
  • W. B. M. Erich
  • J. H. H. Thijssen
  • W. R. de Vries
Article

Summary

The aim of this study was to investigate the seasonal behaviour of the plasma free testosterone: cortisol ratio (FTCR) and to relate hormonal changes to daily training volume and performance parameters on a rowing ergometer in elite female rowers. During 9 months of training preceding the 1988 Olympic Games the resting values of the FTCR in six elite female rowers were regularly (ten times) studied. Daily training volume was analysed in terms of rowed distance (lrowad) and time (t). In addition, two performance parameters, the power at 4.0 mmol·l−1 lactate concentration in the blood and the maximal power, were determined by a test on a rowing ergometer. The results indicated that the mean FTCR test value did not differ significantly from the level of the initial test or from the mean value of the directly preceding test. A significant negative correlation (r=−0.98, P<0.01) between FTCR and lrowed was found in a period i.e. at a training camp, when there was a sudden increase in training volume. When FTCR was related to t a significant positive correlation (r=0.88, P<0.05) was found only for the period at the training camp. Our data further suggested that the FTCR alone was not an adequate indicator for the anabolic/catabolic balance in elite female rowers. This finding was contrary to previous findings in elite male rowers. However, in training practice the FTCR seems useful as an indicator of the hormonal training status of elite female rowers when complemented with data about total and free testosterone, performance parameters and knowledge concerning cyclic variations of the FTCR.

Key words

Elite female rowers Free testosterone:cortisol ratio Training volume Rowing ergometry Overstrain 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Vervoorn
    • 1
  • L. J. M. Vermulst
    • 1
  • A. M. Boelens-Quist
    • 1
  • H. P. F. Koppeschaar
    • 2
  • W. B. M. Erich
    • 1
  • J. H. H. Thijssen
    • 2
  • W. R. de Vries
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Physiology and Sports MedicineUniversity of UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Endocrinology, University Hospital UtrechtUniversity of UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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