Changes in perceived recovery status scale following high-volume muscle damaging resistance exercise

J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Aug;27(8):2079-85. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31827e8e78.


Currently no research has investigated the relationship between muscle damage, hormonal status, and perceived recovery scale (PRS). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a high-volume training session on PRS and to determine the relationship between levels of testosterone, cortisol, and creatine kinase (CK) and PRS. Thirty-five trained subjects (21.3 ± 1.9 years) were recruited. All subjects participated in a high-volume resistance training session consisting of 3 sets of full squats, bench press, deadlifts, pullups, dips, bent over rows, shoulder press, and barbell curls and extensions. Pre-PRS and post-PRS measurements (0-10), soreness, CK, cortisol, and testosterone were measured before and 48 hours after training. Perceived recovery scale declined from 8.6 ± 2.3 to 4.2 ± 1.85 (p < 0.05). Leg, chest, and arm soreness increased from pre- to postexercise. Creatine kinase significantly increased from pre- to postworkout (189.4 ± 100.2 to 512 ± 222.7 U/L). Cortisol, testosterone, and free testosterone did not change. There was an inverse relationship between CK and PRS (r = 0.58, p < 0.05). When muscle damage was low before training, cortisol and free and total testosterone were not correlated to PRS. However, when damage peaked at 48 hours postexercise, free, but not total, testosterone showed a low direct relationship with PRS (r = 0.2, p < 0.05). High-volume resistance exercise lowers PRS scores. These changes are partly explained by a rise in serum indices of muscle damage. Moreover, free testosterone seems to have a positive relationship with PRS.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arm
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Leg
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Myalgia / etiology
  • Perception
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Resistance Training / adverse effects*
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Thorax
  • Young Adult


  • Testosterone
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Hydrocortisone