Androgenic response to long-term physical training in male subjects

D. S. Seidman, E. Dolev, P. A. Deuster, R. Burstein, R. Arnon, Y. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 indiiduals. 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<0.02) and decreased significantly at 12 weeks (20.6%, p<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 21.8±0.3, and 17.3 ± 0.2 nmol/l at 0, 6, 12, and 18 weeks, respectively). Mean serum C was increased significantly (21.3%, p< 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-424
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990


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