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Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
ORIGINAL RESEARCH: PDF Only

The Effect of Short-Term Use of Testosterone Enanthate on Muscular Strength and Power in Healthy Young Men

ROGERSON, SHANE; WEATHERBY, ROBERT P.; DEAKIN, GLEN B.; MEIR, RUDI A.; COUTTS, ROSANNE A.; ZHOU, SHI; MARSHALL-GRADISNIK, SONYA M.

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Abstract

Use of testosterone enanthate has been shown to significantly increase strength within 6-12 weeks of administration (2, 9), however, it is unclear if the ergogenic benefits are evident in less than 6 weeks. Testosterone enanthate is classified as a prohibited substance by the World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA) and its use may be detected by way of the urinary testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) ratio (16). The two objectives of this study were to establish (a) if injection of 3.5 mg[middle dot]kg-1 testosterone enanthate once per week could increase muscular strength and cycle sprint performance in 3-6 weeks; and (b) if the WADA-imposed urinary T/E ratio of 4:1 could identify all subjects being administered 3.5 mg[middle dot]kg-1 testosterone enanthate. Sixteen healthy young men were match-paired and were assigned randomly in a double-blind manner to either a testosterone enanthate or a placebo group. All subjects performed a structured heavy resistance training program while receiving either testosterone enanthate (3.5 mg[middle dot]kg-1) or saline injections once weekly for 6 weeks. One repetition maximum (1RM) strength measures and 10-second cycle sprint performance were monitored at the pre (week 0), mid (week 3), and post (week 6) time points. Body mass and the urinary T/E ratio were measured at the pre (week 0) and post (week 6) time points. When compared with baseline (pre), 1RM bench press strength and total work during the cycle sprint increased significantly at week 3 (p < 0.01) and week 6 (p < 0.01) in the testosterone enanthate group, but not in the placebo group. Body mass at week 6 was significantly greater than at baseline in the testosterone enanthate group (p < 0.01), but not in the placebo group. Despite the clear ergogenic effects of testosterone enanthate in as little as 3 weeks, 4 of the 9 subjects in the testosterone enanthate group (-44%) did not test positive to testosterone under current WADA urinary T/E ratio criteria.

(C) 2007 National Strength and Conditioning Association

 

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