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Int J Sports Med. 1990 Apr;11(2):91-8.

Neuromuscular adaptations and serum hormones in females during prolonged power training.

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Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.


Training-induced adaptations in the neuromuscular and endocrine systems were investigated in seven females during prolonged power type strength training. Great (p less than 0.05) changes occurred primarily during the earlier weeks of the 16-week training especially in the time of force production (from 161 +/- 107 to 93 +/- 65 ms to produce a 500 N force) and, correspondingly, in the average forces in the earlier positions of the (absolute) force-time curve of the leg extensor muscles. These changes were accompanied by significant (p less than 0.05) increases in the neural activation of the trained muscles in the earliest positions of the IEMG-time curve. Hypertrophic changes, as judged from muscle fibre area data of both FT and ST types, were only slight (ns.) during the entire training period. No statistically significant changes occurred during the training in mean concentrations of serum testosterone, free testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), cortisol, progesterone, estradiol (E2) or sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). However, the individual mean serum levels of both total and free testosterone correlated significantly (r = .81-.95, p less than 0.05-0.01) with the individual changes during the training in the time of force production and in the forces in the force-time curve of the trained muscles. The present results in female subjects indicate the important role of training-induced adaptations in the nervous system for muscular power development. In females testosterone may be of great importance for muscular power and/or strength development during prolonged training and an important indicator of the trainability of an individual.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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