Testosterone and Cortisol Responses to FiveHigh-Intensity Functional Training CompetitionWorkouts in Recreationally Active Adults
Exercise Science and Sport Management
To determine the salivary steroid response to high-intensity functional training (HIFT)competition workouts, saliva samples were collected from ten recreationally trained male and femalecompetitors during a 5-week (WK1–WK5) international competition. Competitors arrived at theirlocal affiliate and provided samples prior to (PRE) their warm-up, immediately (IP), 30-min (30P),and 60-min (60P) post-exercise. Samples were analyzed for concentrations of testosterone (T), cortisol(C), and their ratio (TC). Generalized linear mixed models with repeated measures revealed significantmain effects for time (p< 0.001) for T, C, and TC. Compared to PRE-concentrations, elevated (p< 0.05)T was observed at IP on WK2–WK5 (mean difference: 135–511 pg·mL−1), at 30P on WK3 (meandifference: 81.0±30.1 pg·mL−1) and WK5 (mean difference: 56.6±22.7 pg·mL−1), and at 60P onWK3 (mean difference: 73.5±29.7 pg·mL−1) and WK5 (mean difference: 74.3±28.4 pg·mL−1).Compared to PRE-concentrations, elevated (p< 0.05) C was noted on all weeks at IP (mean difference:9.3–15.9 ng·mL−1) and 30P (mean difference: 6.0–19.9 ng·mL−1); significant (p< 0.006) elevationswere noted at 60P on WK1 (mean difference: 9.1±3.0 ng·mL−1) and WK5 (mean difference:12.8±2.9 ng·mL−1). Additionally, TC was significantly reduced from PRE-values by 61% on WK1 at60P (p= 0.040) and by 80% on WK5 at 30P (p= 0.023). Differences in T, C, and TC were also observedbetween weeks at specific time points. Although each workout affected concentrations in T, C, and/orthe TC ratio, changes appeared to be modulated by the presence of overload and workout duration.During periods of elevated training or competition, athletes and coaches may consider monitoringthese hormones for consistency and as a means of assessing workout difficulty.
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