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Order Effects of Combined Strength and Endurance Training on Testosterone, Cortisol, Growth Hormone, and IGF-1 Binding Protein 3 in Concurrently Trained Men

Rosa, Claudio; Vilaça-Alves, José; Fernandes, Helder M.; Saavedra, Francisco J.; Pinto, Ronei S.; dos Reis, Victor M.

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2015 - Volume 29 - Issue 1 - p 74–79
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000610
Original Research

Rosa, C, Vilaça-Alves, J, Fernandes, HM, Saavedra, FJ, Pinto, RS, and dos Reis, VM. Order effects of combined strength and endurance training on testosterone, cortisol, growth hormone, and IGF-1 binding protein 3 in concurrently trained men. J Strength Cond Res 29(1): 74–79, 2015—Concurrent training (CT) has been widely used in fitness centers to simultaneously optimize cardiovascular and neuromuscular fitness, and induce a high-energy expenditure. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the acute effects of 2 different orders of CT on hormonal responses in concurrently trained men. Fourteen men (mean ± SD: 24.7 ± 5.1 years) were randomly divided into 2 groups: endurance training followed by strength (ES, n = 7) and strength training followed by endurance (SE, n = 7). Serum concentrations of testosterone, cortisol, growth hormone, and IGF-1 binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) were measured before and after both training orders. A significant interaction between exercise order and time was only found in the IGFBP-3 levels (p = 0.022). The testosterone and IGFBP-3 concentrations significantly increased in the ES group after the exercise trainings (57.7 ± 35.1%, p = 0.013 and 17.0 ± 15.5%, p = 0.032, respectively) but did not change significantly in the SE group (15.5 ± 36.6%, p = 0.527 and −4.2 ± 13.9%, p = 0.421, respectively). Conversely, cortisol and growth hormone concentrations significantly increased in both ES (169.2 ± 191.0%, p = 0.021 and 13,296.8 ± 13,009.5%, p = 0.013, respectively) and SE (92.2 ± 81.5%, p = 0.017 and 12,346.2 ± 9714.1%, p = 0.001, respectively) groups compared with baseline values. No significant correlations were found between the changes in the hormonal concentrations. In conclusion, these results suggest that immediately postexercise testosterone and IGFPB-3 responses are significantly increased only after the ES order. Therefore, an ES training order should be prescribed if the main focus of the training intervention is to induce an acute postexercise anabolic environment.

1Sport Sciences Department, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal;

2Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development, Vila Real, Portugal; and

3Exercise Research Laboratory, Physical Education School, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Address correspondence to José Vilaça-Alves,

Copyright © 2015 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.