Endurance training of moderate intensity increases testosterone concentration in young, healthy men

Int J Sports Med. 2009 Jul;30(7):489-95. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1202340. Epub 2009 Mar 19.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of short-term, moderate intensity and low volume endurance training on gonadal hormone profile in untrained men. Fifteen young, healthy men performed an endurance training of 5-week duration on a cycle ergometer. Before and after the exercise program all participants completed a maximal incremental test. Concentration of testosterone (T), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and cortisol (C) as well as blood morphology were determined in venous blood samples at rest both before and after the training. The training program resulted in 3.7% improvement of maximal oxygen uptake (VO(2max)) and 8.2% improvement of power output reached at VO(2max) (PO (max)). This was accompanied by significant increase in T (from 18.84+/-5.73 nmol.l(-1) to 22.03+/-6.61 nmol.l(-1), p = 0.0004) and calculated fT concentration (from 374+/-116 pmol.l(-1) to 470+/-153 pmol.l(-1), p = 0.00005). Moreover, the training caused a significant decrease in SHBG concentration (from 34.45+/-11.26 nmol.l(-1) to 31.95+/-10.40 nmol.l(-1), p = 0.01), whereas no significant changes were found in the cortisol concentration (334+/-138 nmol.l(-1) vs. 367+/-135 nmol.l(-1) for pre- and post-training measures, respectively, p = 0.50) and T/C and fT/C ratios. We have concluded that short-term, moderate intensity and low volume endurance training can significantly increase testosterone concentration in previously untrained men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bicycling
  • Ergometry
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / metabolism*
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Testosterone
  • Hydrocortisone