Strength training effects on physical performance and serum hormones in young soccer players

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2004 May;91(5-6):698-707. doi: 10.1007/s00421-003-1032-y. Epub 2003 Dec 24.


To determine the effects of simultaneous explosive strength and soccer training in young men, 8 experimental (S) and 11 control (C) players, aged 17.2 (0.6) years, were tested before and after an 11-week training period with respect to the load-vertical jumping curve [loads of 0-70 kg (counter-movement jump CMJ0-70)], 5- and 15-m sprint performances, submaximal running endurance and basal serum concentrations of testosterone, free testosterone and cortisol. In the S group, the 11-week training resulted in significant increases in the low-force portion of the load-vertical jumping curve (5-14% in CMJ0-30, P<0.01) and in resting serum total testosterone concentrations (7.5%, P<0.05), whereas no changes were observed in sprint running performance, blood lactate during submaximal running, resting serum cortisol and resting serum free testosterone concentrations. In the C group, no changes were observed during the experimental period. In the S group, the changes in CMJ0 correlated ( P<0.05-0.01) with the changes in the 5-m ( r=0.86) and 15-m ( r=0.92) sprints, whereas the changes in CMJ40 correlated negatively with the changes in the testosterone:cortisol ratio ( r=-0.84, -0.92, respectively, P<0.05). These data indicate that young trained soccer players with low initial strength levels can increase explosive strength by adding low-frequency, low-intensity explosive-type strength training. The inverse correlations observed between changes in CMJ40 and changes in the testosterone:cortisol ratio suggest that a transient drop in this ratio below 45% cannot always be interpreted as a sign of overstrain or neuroendocrine dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Constitution / physiology
  • Exercise Test
  • Hormones / blood*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Male
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Running / physiology
  • Soccer / physiology*
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Hormones
  • Testosterone
  • Hydrocortisone