Acute Hormonal and Force Responses to Combined Strength and Endurance Loadings in Men and Women: The “Order Effect”

S. Taipale, Ritva; Häkkinen, Keijo
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Purpose: To examine acute responses and recovery of serum hormones and muscle force following combined strength (S) and endurance (E) loading sessions in which the order of exercises is reversed (ES vs. SE). Methods: This cross-over study design included recreationally endurance trained men and women (age 21–45 years, n = 12 men n = 10 women) who performed both loadings. Maximal bilateral isometric strength (MVC), isometric rate of force development (RFD) and serum concentrations of testosterone (T), cortisol (C), growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), binding protein 3 (IGFBP3) and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) were measured during and after both loadings. Results: Both of the present combined (ES and SE) loadings led to a greater acute decrease in MVC in men than in women, while RFD was slightly affected only in men. Recovery of MVC and RFD to baseline was complete at 24 h regardless of the order of exercises. In men, neuromuscular fatigue was accompanied by increased C concentrations observed post SE. This was followed by decreased concentrations of T at 24 h and 48 h that were significantly lower than those observed following ES. GH response in men also differed significantly post loadings. In women, only a significant difference in T between ES and SE loadings was observed at post. Conclusion: These observed differences in hormonal responses despite similarities in neuromuscular fatigue in men indicate the presence of an order effect as the body was not fully recovered at 48 h following SE. These findings may be applicable in training prescription in order to optimize specific training adaptations.


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