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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2012 Oct;26(10):2755-64.
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182651fbe.

Influence of Rest Interval Length on Acute Testosterone and Cortisol Responses to Volume-Load-Equated Total Body Hypertrophic and Strength Protocols

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Free PMC article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Influence of Rest Interval Length on Acute Testosterone and Cortisol Responses to Volume-Load-Equated Total Body Hypertrophic and Strength Protocols

Matthew G Villanueva et al. J Strength Cond Res. .
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Abstract

We hypothesized that total body strength (S) and hypertrophic (H) resistance training (RT) protocols using relatively short rest interval (RI) lengths between sets will elicit significant acute increases in total testosterone (TT) and cortisol (C) in healthy young men. Six men, 26 (±2.4) years, completed 4 randomized RT sessions, after a control session (R). The S and H protocols were equated for volume load (sets × repetitions × load); S: 8 sets × 3 repetitions at 85% 1RM, H: 3 sets × 10 repetitions at 70% 1RM, for all exercises. The RI used 60 seconds (S60, H60) and 90 seconds (S90, H90). Blood was drawn preexercise (PRE), immediately postexercise (POST), 15 minutes postexercise (15 MIN), and 30 minutes postexercise (30 MIN). The H60 elicited significant increases in TT from PRE (7.32 ± 1.85 ng·ml) to POST (8.87 ± 1.83 ng·ml(-1)) (p < 0.01), 15 MIN (8.58 ± 2.15 ng·ml(-1)) (p < 0.01), and 30 MIN (8.28 ± 2.16 ng·ml(-1)) (p < 0.05). The H90 also elicited significant increases in TT from PRE (8.37 ± 1.93 ng·ml(-1)) to POST (9.90 ± 1.25 ng·ml(-1)) (p < 0.01) and 15 MIN (9.46 ± 1.27 ng·ml(-1)) (p < 0.05). The S60 elicited significant increases in TT from PRE (7.73 ± 1.88 ng·ml(-1)) to 15 MIN (8.35 ± 1.64 ng·ml(-1)) (p < 0.05), and S90 showed a notable (p < 0.10) difference in TT from PRE (7.96 ± 2.29 ng·ml(-1)) to POST (8.75 ± 2.45 ng·ml(-1)). All the protocols did not significantly increase C (p > 0.05). Using relatively short RI between RT sets augments the acute TT response to hypertrophic and strength schemes. Shortening RI within high-intensity strength RT may lead to concomitant enhancements in muscle strength and size over a longer period of training.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
A schematic of the experimental design for the study showing randomization of experimental acute resistance training sessions (*prior to experimental exercise sessions; **TT = Total Testosterone, C = Cortisol; RI = rest interval length between sets; 1-RM = 1-repetition maximum; PRE = pre-exercise; POST = immediately post-exercise; 15 MIN = 15 minutes post-exercise; 30 MIN = 30 minutes post-exercise).
Figure 2
Figure 2
Spaghetti graph of total serum testosterone concentration mean (SD) from rest (PRE) to immediately post-exercise (POST), Pre to 15 minutes post-exercise (15 MIN), and Pre to 30 minutes post-exercise (30 MIN) for the each of the two resistance training protocols: hypertrophic with 60 second rest interval length (H60 protocol; closed circles/dashed line), hypertrophic with 90 second rest interval length (H90 protocol; closed squares/solid line). The numbers represent the absolute hormone concentration (ng/mL) from pre-exercise (PRE) to the three different post-exercise time points.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Spaghetti graph of total serum testosterone concentration mean (SD) from rest (PRE) to immediately post-exercise (POST), Pre to 15 minutes post-exercise (15 MIN), and Pre to 30 minutes post-exercise (30 MIN) for the each of the two resistance training protocols: strength-type with 60 second rest interval length (S60 protocol; closed triangles/dashed line), and strength-type with 90 second rest interval length (S90 protocol; closed squares/solid line). The numbers represent the absolute hormone concentration (ng/mL) from pre-exercise (PRE) to the three different post-exercise time points.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Comparison of total serum testosterone concentration mean (SD) from rest (PRE) to immediately post-exercise (POST), Pre to 15 minutes post-exercise (15 MIN), and Pre to 30 minutes post-exercise (30 MIN) for the each of the four resistance training protocols: hypertrophic with 60 second rest interval length (H60 protocol; black bars), hypertrophic with 90 second rest interval length (H90 protocol; open bars), strength-type with 60 second rest interval length (S60 protocol; light grey bars), and strength-type with 90 second rest interval length (S90 protocol; hatched bars). The numbers represent the percent change from pre-exercise (PRE) to the three different post-exercise time points. *Significant (p<0.05) difference from Pre value in comparison with the control (R) condition.

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