The purpose of this study was to examine acute hormonal and neuromuscular responses in men and women to 3 heavy resistance but clearly different exercise protocols: (a) submaximal heavy resistance exercise (SME), (b) maximal heavy resistance exercise (HRE), and (c) maximal explosive resistance exercise (EE). HRE included 5 sets of 10 repetition maximum (10RM) situps, bench press, and bilateral leg extensions (David 210 machine) with a 2-minute recovery between the sets. In SME, the load was 70%, and in EE, the load was 40% from that used in HRE. A significant increase (p < 0.05) in serum growth hormone (GH) was observed after HRE both in men and women, but the increase was greater (p < 0.05) in men than in women. Serum testosterone (T) increased significantly (p < 0.05) only during HRE in men. Since GH and T are anabolic hormones, the acute exercise-induced response during HRE may play an important role in the long-term anabolic adaptation processes related to muscle hypertrophy and maximal strength development.
(C) 2005 National Strength and Conditioning Association