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Comparison of serum testosterone and androstenedione responses to weight lifting in men and women


To determine if a sex difference exists in the androgen response to heavy-resistance exercise, serum testosterone (T) and androstenedione (A) concentrations were measured in 20 men and 20 women before and during a 2-h period following 30 min of weight lifting. Hormone concentrations from venous blood samples were determined by radioimmunoassay. Prior to weight lifting, T for men (3.51±0.24 ng·ml−1) was approximately 10 times that for women (0.36±0.04 ng·ml−1), whereas A for women (1.26±0.07 ng·ml−1) was 43% higher than for men (0.88±0.07 ng·ml−1). Immediately following weight lifting, T was increased significantly (p<0.01) in men (0.76 ng·ml−1, 21.6%), but nonsignificantly in women (0.06 ng·ml−1, 16.7%). Resting T levels were restored within 30 min. Serum A levels decreased significantly (p<0.01) below pre-exercise levels at 2 h post-exercise for both men and women. It was concluded that men have a greater absolute T response to weight lifting than women, whereas the absolute A response to weight lifting is similar in men and women.

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Correspondence to Dr. Lawrence W. Weiss.

Additional information

Supported by grants from Nissen/Universal Corporation and the University of Georgia Faculty Research Fund

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Weiss, L.W., Cureton, K.J. & Thompson, F.N. Comparison of serum testosterone and androstenedione responses to weight lifting in men and women. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 50, 413–419 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00423247

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Key words

  • Androgens
  • Androstenedione
  • Sex difference
  • Testosterone
  • Weight lifting