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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2017 Jul-Aug;57(7-8):1069-1079. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06421-5. Epub 2016 Jul 5.

Effects of mental training on muscular force, hormonal and physiological changes in kickboxers.

Author information

Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, Bizerte, Tunisia -
Research Laboratory "Sports performance Optimization", National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), Tunis, Tunisia -
Qatar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Athlete Health and Performance Research Centre, Aspire Zone, ASPETAR, Doha, Qatar.
School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK.
University of the West of Scotland, Institute of Clinical Exercise and Health Science, Ayr, UK.
Unit of Research "Molecular Bases of Human Diseases", Sfax Medicine College, Sfax, Tunisia.
High Institute of Applied Biology of Médenine, Médenine, Tunisia.



The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of mental training on muscular force generation, hormonal alterations, and physiological adaptations in male trained kickboxers.


Fifty-three male trained kickboxers (24.2±4.4 years, 1.75±0.08 m and 70.4±10.2 kg) were randomly assigned to a physical-training group (PG; N.=20), physical and mental training group (PMG: N.=18, mental-training package [MTP] plus physical training] or control group (CG: N.=15). Physical fitness tests: countermovement jump (CMJ), medicine ball throw (MBT), bench press, and half-squat tests; hormones: resting cortisol (C) blood sample, plasma testosterone (T) concentration, and T/C ratio; and physiological variables: resting heart rate (HR), and blood pressure (BP) were assessed before training commenced (baseline) and at week 6 and 12 of training.


PMG and PG improved performance in CMJ height (16.2%, 8.4%), MBT (27.9%, 14.2%), bench press (26.5%, 15.7%), half-squat (27.2%, 16.3%), T concentration (35.2%, 22.4%), and T/C ratio (60%, 0%, for PMG only), respectively. In contrast, the C concentration decreased for the PMG (16.3%) and increased for the PG (22%) after 12 weeks. The PMG and PG had significant decrease from pre- to post-training for the resting HR (9.1%, 3%, respectively) and BP (8.5%, 5.3%, respectively). Furthermore, there was a significant increase in MBT (9.3%) after 6 weeks in PMG. Outlined improvements (PMG and PG) were favorable compared to CG (P<0.05) in all instances.


The greater muscular force generation in PMG than PG seem to be explained by the reduction of hormonal and physiological stress after 12 weeks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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