Sex Hormones, Menstrual Cycle and Resistance Exercise
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There have been a number of studies about the effects and influence of the menstrual cycle on aerobic and anaerobic performance, but most studies that investigated muscle strength responses to resistance exercise over the menstrual cycle have not found any changes. However, since there are many factors that can influence exercise performance, the effect of the menstrual cycle on muscle strength is probably very individual-specific and hence, the effect of menstrual cycle status on hormonal responses to acute resistance exercise is not clear. To this end some studies have demonstrated that the responses of anabolic hormones to acute resistance exercise in women vary with menstrual cycle status. Women with menstrual disorders associated with low serum estradiol and progesterone levels have an attenuated anabolic hormone response to acute resistance exercise, suggesting that menstrual disorders characterized by low ovarian hormone levels may affect exercise-induced changes in anabolic hormones in women. These differences might critically affect long-term adaptations to resistance training; however, there is little data available to examine this point. Further studies are needed to demonstrate the short-term and long-term effects of changes in hormonal responses to resistance exercise on skeletal muscle by menstrual cycle status in women.
KeywordsSex hormone Anabolic hormone Resistance exercise Menstrual cycle phase Menstrual disorder
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