Acute effect of resistance training volume on hormonal responses in trained men

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2011 Jun;51(2):322-8.


Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate the acute hormonal response to resistance training sessions with different volumes in men.

Methods: Ten recreationally trained men (24.5±7.6 years; 76.2±9.2 kg; 175.6±1.5 cm; 24.5±5.5 kg/m(-2)) participated in the study. All subjects completed two experimental protocols with different volumes. The first protocol consisted of 3 sets at 80% of 6 RM and the second protocol was 3 sets at 80% of 12 RM with 2 minutes rest between sets and exercises, separated by seven days between them. The exercise order used was: barbell bench press, leg press, machine front lat-pull down, leg curl, shoulder abduction and leg extension. The blood variables analyzed were: testosterone, growth hormone (GH), cortisol and testosterone/cortisol ratio (T:C) before (Pre) and immediately after (Post) each exercise session.

Results: The intra-groups comparison for testosterone and hGH revealed a significant increase in 80%-6RM and 80%-12RM. Cortisol levels was significantly higher in 80%-12RM and T:C ratio in 80% 6 RM when compared Pre and Post values. Inter-groups comparison showed higher hGH and cortisol levels and lower T:C ratio for 80% 12 RM. There was no statistically significant different between 80%-6RM and 80%-12RM for testosterone.

Conclusion: The present study confirms that the volume of resistance training can be an important factor in the modulation of acute hormonal responses.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Growth Hormone / blood*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Male
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Testosterone / blood*


  • Testosterone
  • Growth Hormone
  • Hydrocortisone