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The effect of concurrent high intensity low volume with supplemental low intensity high volume resistance training on salivary cortisol and testosterone levels in elite athletes

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 19:47 authored by Coates, TS, James Fell, Stephen MyersStephen Myers, Bootes, MR, Wu, SX
This study investigated the effect of concurrent high intensity low volume (HILV) and low intensity high volume (LIHV) resistance training on salivary cortisol and testosterone levels in 8 elite athletes. Participants completed HILV resistance exercises as a control (CON) (4 sets x 3 repetitions at 90% of 1RM with 2-minute rest periods) and an intervention (INT) consisting of the same HILV exercises with supplemental LIHV arm exercises (4 sets x 10 repetitions at 10RM with 30 second rest periods) in a randomised crossover design. Each condition was completed at least two days apart. The HILV component consisted of four exercises completed in sequence: box jump, back squat, bench press and bench pull exercises; the LIHV component consisted of two exercises completed in a superset: standing cable bicep curl and standing tricep pushdown. Salivary testosterone and cortisol were measured immediately before (Pre) and 15 minutes after exercise (Post). Pooled hormonal changes were as follows (Testosterone: CON -0.132 ± 5.33 pg/ml, INT 7.05 ± 12.54 pg/ml, Cortisol: CON -0.19 ± 9.62 ng/ml, INT 4.17 ± 7.71 ng/ml). Magnitude based inferences revealed the chances of a practically beneficial/ trivial/ harmful effect of INT on testosterone as 71.4/27.7/0.9% and 4.5/57.7/37.8 for cortisol. A significant (p<0.05) order effect was detected with participants who completed the INT second having larger Pre to Post testosterone changes (15.97 ± 8.97 pg/ml) than participants who completed the INT first (-1.86 ± 5.97 pg/ml). Varied individual hormonal responses were observed, particularly for the testosterone response to the INT. Practitioners should be aware of and monitor individual hormonal responses following resistance training. Future research should control for order.


Publication title

Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning




School of Health Sciences


Australian Strength and Conditioning Association

Place of publication


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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the health sciences

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    University Of Tasmania