Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Views
2676
Download
143
from September 2014
 
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2008) 07, 560 - 561

Letter to editor
Hormonal Responses in Heavy Training and Recovery Periods in an Elite Male Weightlifter
Ching-Lin Wu1, Wei Hung2, Shin-Yuan Wang3, Chen-Kang Chang4 
Author Information
1 Graduate Institute of Sports and Health Management, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan
2 Department of Exercise Health Science,
3 Department of Athletics,
4 Sport Science Research Center, National Taiwan Sport University, Taichung, Taiwan

Chen-Kang Chang
‚úČ Sport Science Research Center, Taiwan Sport University, 16, Sec 1, Shaun-Shih Rd. Taichung, 404, Taiwan.
Email: wspahn@seed.net.tw
Publish Date
Received: 28-08-2008
Accepted: 10-09-2008
Published (online): 01-12-2008
Share this article
 

Dear Editor-in-chief

The endocrine system has been suggested as a useful indicator for training stress (Kraemer and Ratamess, 2005). An equilibrium between anabolic and catabolic states in athletes is often represented by testosterone-to-cortisol ratio (TCR). Changes in TCR have been positively related to weight training performance (Hakkinen, et al., 1987). The decreased TCR has been used as an indicator for overtraining (Roberts, et al., 1993, Vervoorn, et al., 1991) and insufficient recovery (Passelergue and Lac, 1999). Elite weightlifters undergo year-round training with various overreaching and recovery periods. Previous investigations have not established the detailed time course of the hormonal responses in these periods mostly due to insufficient sampling frequencies.

We investigated the changes in serum levels of total and free testosterone and cortisol, free testosterone-to-free cortisol ratio (FTFCR), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and free triiodothyronine (FT3) and thyroxine (FT4) every 2 weeks for 21 weeks in an elite male weightlifter. This study was performed from August, 2003 to January, 2004, including the preparation, taper, and recovery periods for the World Championship in November, 2003.

The 27-year-old male weightlifter holds the national records of Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) in 56 and 62 kg categories. The subject had ranked top 5 in the world for several years prior to this study and ranked first in the world in 2005 in 56 kg category. His height was 1.58 m and body weight ranged from 55.8 to 59.6 kg during the 21-week study period. The subject has no history of using anabolic steroid or other banned substances.

Venous blood samples were collected after overnight fast every 2 weeks between 7 and 8 am. The first blood sample after the World Championship was collected in week 15. Serum concentrations of total and free testosterone and cortisol were measured with enzyme immunoassay and IGF-1 were measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits (Diagnostic Systems Laboratories, Inc., Webster, TX, USA) according to the protocols recommended by the manufacturer. Serum levels of FT3 and FT4 were measured by electrochemiluminescence using an automatic analyzer (Elecsys 2110, Roche Diagnostics, Basel, Switzerland). Blood samples were frozen and analyzed within 3 days after collection.

Serum hormone concentrations in the end of each 2-week period and the total weight lifted during the 2 weeks prior to the day of blood sampling were shown in Table 1. After reaching the lowest in week 2, total testosterone level showed a general trend of mild increase throughout the tapering period. Free testosterone level decreased by 15.3% in week 2 when the training volume increased significantly. The concentration started to increase after week 2 and reached the highest value in week 12 before the subject left for the competition. Total and free cortisol concentrations continued to rise during the high-volume training period, reaching the highest level in week 8 to remain high in week 12. As the result, FTFCR remained low from week 2 to 12, returning to the basal level in week 15 (Figure 1).

After the high-volume training in week 2, serum IGF-1 concentration was decreased until week 6, and then started to elevate as the training volume decreased (Table 1). Serum FT3 concentration reached the highest level in week 4, and subsequently declined as the training volume decreased. On the other hand, serum FT4 concentrations remained relatively stable throughout the study period (Table 1).

To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate serum hormonal responses to the variation of training volume with such high sampling frequency in an elite male weightlifter. The results suggested that after high-volume training, free testosterone peaked while free cortisol remained high after 6 weeks of taper. It indicated that the physiological stress induced by such training may last for more than 6 weeks even when the training volume was markedly decreased by more than 50%. As the result, FTFCR was still low when the subject left for the competition. This may be one of the reasons that the subject only placed 5th in the competition. The longer tapering period and/or further reduction in training volume may be required for the optimal performance.

This study suggested that FTFCR may serve as a useful indicator of the degree of recovery from high-volume training commonly employed by these athletes, showing a marked decrease in high-volume training period and a significant increase after recovery. The routine measurements of these hormones would provide valuable information on physiological responses to the training program in elite athletes.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Journal of Sports Science and Medicine Ching-Lin Wu
Employment: Sport Science Research Center, National Taiwan Sport University
Degree:
Research interests:
E-mail:
 

Journal of Sports Science and Medicine Wei Hung
Employment: Sport Science Research Center, National Taiwan Sport University
Degree:
Research interests:
E-mail:
 

Journal of Sports Science and Medicine Shin-Yuan Wang
Employment: Sport Science Research Center, National Taiwan Sport University
Degree:
Research interests:
E-mail:
 

Journal of Sports Science and Medicine Chen-Kang Chang
Employment: Sport Science Research Center, National Taiwan Sport University
Degree:
Research interests:
E-mail: wspahn@seed.net.tw
 
REFERENCES
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine Hakkinen K., Pakarinen A., Alen M., Kauhanen H., Komi P.V. (1987) Relationships between training volume, physical performance capacity, and serum hormone concentrations during prolonged training in elite weight lifters. International Journal of Sports Medicine 8, 61-65.
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine Kraemer W.J., Ratamess N.A. (2005) Hormonal responses and adaptations to resistance exercise and training.. Sports Medicine 35, 339-361.
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine Passelergue P., Lac G. (1999) Saliva cortisol, testosterone and T/C ratio variations during a wrestling competition and during the post-competitive recovery period.. International Journal of Sports Medicine 20, 109-113.
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine Roberts A.C., McClure R.D., Weiner R.I., Brooks G.A. (1993) Overtraining affects male reproductive status.. Fertility & Sterility 60, 686-692.
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine Vervoorn C., Quist A.M., Vermulst L.J., Erich W.B., de Vries W.R., Thijssen J.H. (1991) The behaviour of the plasma free testosterone/cortisol ratio during a season of elite rowing training.. International Journal of Sports Medicine 12, 257-263.
 
 
 
Home Issues About Authors
Contact Current Editorial board Authors instructions
Email alerts In Press Mission For Reviewers
Archive Scope
Supplements Statistics
Most Read Articles
  Most Cited Articles
 
  
 
JSSM | Copyright 2001-2020 | All rights reserved. | LEGAL NOTICES | Publisher

It is forbidden the total or partial reproduction of this web site and the published materials, the treatment of its database, any kind of transition and for any means, either electronic, mechanic or other methods, without the previous written permission of the JSSM.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.