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Serum hormones during prolonged training of neuromuscular performance


The effects of a 24-weeks' progressive training of neuromuscular performance capacity on maximal strength and on hormone balance were investigated periodically in 21 male subjects during the course of the training and during a subsequent detraining period of 12 weeks. Great increases in maximal strength were noted during the first 20 weeks, followed by a plateau phase during the last 4 weeks of training. Testosterone/cortisol ratio increased during training. During the last 4 weeks of training changes in maximal strength correlated with the changes in testosterone/cortisol (P<0.01) and testosterone/SHBG (P<0.05) ratios. During detraining, correlative decreases were found between maximal strength and testosterone/cortisol ratio (P<0.05) as well as between the maximal strength and testosterone/SHBG ratio (P<0.05). No statistically significant changes were observed in the levels of serum estradiol, lutropin (LH), follitropin (FSH), prolactin, and somatotropin. The results suggest the importance of the balance between androgenic-anabolic activity and catabolizing effects of glucocorticoids during the course of vigorous strength training.

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HÄkkinen, K., Pakarinen, A., Alén, M. et al. Serum hormones during prolonged training of neuromuscular performance. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 53, 287–293 (1985).

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Key words

  • Strength training
  • Serum hormones
  • Detraining