Endocrine responses to overreaching before and after 1 year of weightlifting

Can J Appl Physiol. 1994 Dec;19(4):400-10. doi: 10.1139/h94-032.


Nine elite male junior weightlifters (mean age 17.6 +/- 0.3 yrs) performed weightlifting tests before (Test 1) and after (Test 2) 1 week of increased training volume (overreaching) and repeated the protocol after 1 year of their training program. Strength increased by Year 2 (p < 0.05) but did not change during either week of increased training volume. The 1-week overreaching stimulus resulted in attenuated exercise-induced testosterone concentrations during Year 1, but augmented exercise-induced testosterone concentrations during Year 2. Testosterone concentrations at 7 a.m. decreased for only Year 1. For both years, the 1-week overreaching stimulus increased cortisol at 7 a.m, indicative of the increased training volumes. Testosterone/cortisol was not affected by increased training volume for either year. One year of chronic weightlifting and prior exposure to the overreaching stimulus appears to decrease the detrimental effects of stressful training on the endocrine system.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adolescent
  • Blood Volume / physiology
  • Endocrine Glands / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Lactates / blood
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*


  • Lactates
  • Testosterone
  • Hydrocortisone