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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Dec;291(6):E1325-32. Epub 2006 Jul 25.

Suppression of endogenous testosterone production attenuates the response to strength training: a randomized, placebo-controlled, and blinded intervention study.

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Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, 5230 Odense M, Denmark.


We hypothesized that suppression of endogenous testosterone would inhibit the adaptations to strength training in otherwise healthy men. Twenty-two young men with minor experience with strength training participated in this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded intervention study. The subjects were randomized to treatment with the GnRH analog goserelin (3.6 mg) or placebo (saline) subcutaneously every 4 wk for 12 wk. The strength training period of 8 wk, starting at week 4, included exercises for all major muscles [3-4 sets per exercise x 6-10 repetitions with corresponding 6- to 10-repetition maximum (RM) loads, 3/wk]. A strength test, blood sampling, and whole body DEXA scan were performed at weeks 4 and 12. Endogenous testosterone decreased significantly (P < 0.01) in the goserelin group from 22.6 +/- 5.5 (mean +/- SD) nmol/l to 2.0 +/- 0.5 (week 4) and 1.1 +/- 0.6 nmol/l (week 12), whereas it remained constant in the placebo group. The goserelin group showed no changes in isometric knee extension strength after training, whereas the placebo group increased from 240.2 +/- 41.3 to 264.1 +/- 35.3 Nm (P < 0.05 within and P = 0.05 between groups). Lean mass of the legs increased 0.37 +/- 0.13 and 0.57 +/- 0.30 kg in the goserelin and placebo groups, respectively (P < 0.05 within and P = 0.05 between groups). Body fat mass increased 1.4 +/- 1.0 kg and decreased 0.6 +/- 1.2 kg in the goserelin and placebo groups, respectively (P < 0.05 within and between groups). We conclude that endogenous testosterone is of paramount importance to the adaptation to strength training.

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