Training reduces catabolic and inflammatory response to a single practice in female volleyball players

J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Nov;27(11):3110-5. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31828d61d1.


We examined the effect of training on hormonal and inflammatory response to a single volleyball practice in elite adolescent players. Thirteen female, national team level, Israeli volleyball players (age 16.0 ± 1.4 years, Tanner stage 4-5) participated in the study. Blood samples were collected before and immediately after a typical 60 minutes of volleyball practice, before and after 7 weeks of training during the initial phase of the season. Training involved tactic and technical drills (20% of time), power and speed drills (25% of time), interval sessions (25% of time), endurance-type training (15% of time), and resistance training (15% of time). To achieve greater training responses, the study was performed during the early phase (first 7 weeks) of the volleyball season. Hormonal measurements included the anabolic hormones growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and IGF-binding protein-3, the catabolic hormone cortisol, the proinflammatory marker interleukin-6 (IL-6), and the anti-inflammatory marker IL-1 receptor antagonist. Training led to a significant improvement of vertical jump, anaerobic properties (peak and mean power by the Wingate Anaerobic Test), and predicted VO2max (by the 20-m shuttle run). Volleyball practice, both before and after the training intervention, was associated with a significant increase of serum lactate, GH, and IL-6. Training resulted in a significantly reduced cortisol response ([INCREMENT]cortisol: 4.2 ± 13.7 vs. -4.4 ± 12.3 ng · ml, before and after training, respectively; p < 0.02), and IL-6 response ([INCREMENT]IL-6: 1.3 ± 1.0 vs. 0.3 ± 0.4 pg · ml, before and after training, respectively; p < 0.01) to the same relative intensity volleyball practice. The results suggest that along with the improvement of power and anaerobic and aerobic characteristics, training reduces the catabolic and inflammatory response to exercise.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Performance / physiology
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 / blood
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Conditioning, Human / physiology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Volleyball / physiology*


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1
  • Lactic Acid
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone
  • Hydrocortisone