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Hormonal Responses to Different Resistance Exercise Schemes of Similar Total Volume

Uchida, Marco C1,2; Crewther, Blair T3; Ugrinowitsch, Carlos4; Bacurau, Reury Frank P5; Moriscot, Anselmo S1; Aoki, Marcelo S5

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: October 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 7 - p 2003-2008
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b73bf7
Original Research

Uchida, MC, Crewther, BT, Ugrinowitsch, C, Bacurau, RFP, Moriscot, AS, and Aoki, MS. J Strength Cond Res 23(7): 2003-2008, 2009-This study assessed the effect of different resistance exercise scheme (RES) designs of similar total of load lifted on the responses of testosterone, cortisol, and creatine kinase (CK). Twenty-seven healthy males performed 1 of 4 bench press workouts described by the 1 repetition maximum (1RM) load: 4 sets of maximum repetitions at 50%-1RM (50%-1RM RES), 5 sets of maximum repetitions at 75%-1RM (75%-1RM RES), 10 sets of maximum repetitions at 90%-1RM (90%-1RM RES), or 8 sets of maximum repetitions at 110%-1RM (110%-1RM RES). Each RES was equated by the total volume of load lifted (repetitions × sets × load). Blood samples, collected pre-exercise (Pre) and post-exercise (Post) at 1 and 24 hours (24 h), were analyzed for total and free testosterone, total cortisol, and CK. In general, testosterone and cortisol showed little change within or between the different RES (p > 0.05), possibly because of the relatively low volume lifted and/or the small muscle mass activated by the bench press exercise. Cortisol was elevated after the 75%-1RM RES at the Post sample, with this response also exceeding the other RES (p < 0.05). The 24 h CK response was also elevated after the 75%-1RM RES (p < 0.05), thereby suggesting greater training strain for the same volume of load. These results confirm previous recommendations regarding the prescription of resistance exercise and the importance of total volume as a stimulus for activating the endocrine system and achieving long-term adaptation.

1Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil; 2Department of Biological Sciences and Health, UNIFIEO, Osasco, Brazil; 3The Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand, Hamilton, New Zealand; 4School of Physical Education and Sport, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil; and 5School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Address correspondence to Marcelo Saldanha Aoki,

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association