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Beaven, CM, Gill, ND, Ingram, JR, and Hopkins, WG.
Acute salivary hormone responses to complex exercise bouts.
J Strength Cond Res 25(4): 1072-1078, 2011-
The combination of resistance and plyometric training, or complex training, may yield greater functional gains than either method alone. As steroid hormones respond to exercise stimuli and modulate the functional outcomes, it is possible that complex training creates an enhanced anabolic physiological milieu for adaptation. We investigated acute responses of salivary testosterone and cortisol to complex exercise bouts. After a standardized warm-up, 16 semiprofessional rugby players performed 1 of 4 exercise bouts in a cross-over manner: power-power; power-strength; strength-power; or strength-strength. Each player completed each of the 4 bouts twice over a 4-week period in a balanced random order such that each player performed a total of 8 bouts. The power block consisted of 3 sets of 3 repetitions of jump squat exercise at 50% of 1-repetition maximum load. The strength block consisted of three sets of three repetitions of box squat exercise at a 3-repetition maximum load. There were 3-minute rest periods between sets and 4-minute rest periods between exercise blocks. Saliva was sampled before, during, and immediately after the exercise bout. The greatest overall hormonal responses were a small increase in testosterone (13%; 90% confidence limits ±7%) and a trivial increase in cortisol (27%; ±30%) after the strength-power bout. A clear difference was observed between the strength-power and the power-power bouts immediately after exercise for testosterone (10%; ±8%) and cortisol (29%; ±17%). The preceding exercise block had little effect on subsequent strength and power performance. The hormonal response after the strength-power bout suggests that this exercise sequence provides an enhanced anabolic milieu for adaptation.