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Int J Sports Med. 1990 Dec;11(6):421-4.

Androgenic response to long-term physical training in male subjects.

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Heller Institute of Medical Research, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel.


An increase in endogenous androgen production has been observed following long-term physical training and the beneficial effects of training have been attributed in part to this phenomenon. Other investigators, however, found, in contrast lower testosterone levels in trained compared with untrained subjects. The purpose of the present study was to follow the long-term changes in total testosterone (T) and cortisol (C) levels in intensely training individuals. The changes in the body's anabolic state, induced by intense long-term physical training, were determined using the plasma resting T/C ratio. T and C levels of 35 young untrained subjects were measured at 6 week intervals during 18 weeks of strenuous physical training. All samples were drawn within one half hour of awaking (05.30-06.00). Mean serum T levels increased significantly at 6 weeks (28.7%, p less than 0.02) and decreased significantly at 12 weeks (20.6%, p less than 0.02), but did not differ at 18 weeks compared with levels before training was commenced (mean +/- SE, 16.9 +/- 0.2, 21.8 +/- 0.3, 12.8 +/- 0.2 and 17.3 +/- 0.2 nmol/l at 0, 6, 12, and 18 weeks, respectively). Mean serum C was increased significantly (21.3%, p less than 0.005) at 18 weeks (463.5 +/- 19.3, 507.7 +/- 22.1, 480.1 +/- 19.3, and 565.6 +/- 22.1 nmol/l). T/C ratio decreased significantly after 12 and 18 weeks of training. Our results do not support an association between reduced total testosterone levels and prolonged training. However, hypercorticolism with a relative catabolic state may occur.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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