Effects of resistance exercise type on cortisol and androgen cross talk in resistance-trained women

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Sport Sciences, University of Bojnord, Bojnord, Iran


The current study aimed to compare the effect of hypertrophy-, strength-, and power-type resistance exercise in resistance-trained women with considering cortisol and androgen cross talk. After one-repetition maximum (1-RM) estimation, ten resistance-trained women (age: 26.30 ± 4.95 years; body mass index: 22.07 ± 2.02 kg/m2; body fat: 24.64 ± 4.98%) conducted hypertrophy- (70% of 1-RM), strength- (90% of 1-RM), and power-type (45% of 1-RM) resistance exercise for three consecutive weeks. The movements included lever leg extension, reverse-grip lat pull-down, horizontal leg press, standing biceps cable curl, lying leg curl, machines bench press, standing cable triceps extension, and seated calf raises. Fasting blood was taken before and immediately after each trial. Statistical analyses were performed at a significance level of P

What is already known on this subject?

Hypertrophy-, strength-, and power-type resistance exercises can improve anabolic responses in resistance-trained women.


What this study adds?

In addition to hypertrophy-type resistance exercise, women can use strength- and power-type resistance activities to develop body mass.


Main Subjects

Ahmadi, M. A., Zar, A., Krustrup, P., & Ahmadi, F. (2018). Testosterone and cortisol response to acute intermittent and continuous aerobic exercise in sedentary men. Sport Sciences for Health, 14(1), 53-60. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11332-017-0399-9
Anderson, T., Lane, A. R., & Hackney, A. C. (2016). Cortisol and testosterone dynamics following exhaustive endurance exercise. European journal of applied physiology, 116(8), 1503-1509. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-016-3406-y
Bartolomei, S., Sadres, E., Church, D. D., Arroyo, E., Gordon III, J. A., Varanoske, A. N., Wang, R., Beyer. K. S., Oliveira, L. P., Stout, J. R., & Hoffman, J. R. (2017). Comparison of the recovery response from high-intensity and high-volume resistance exercise in trained men. European journal of applied physiology, 117(7), 1287-1298. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-017-3598-9
Beaven, C. M., Hopkins, W. G., Hansen, K. T., Wood, M. R., Cronin, J. B., & Lowe, T. E. (2008). Dose effect of caffeine on testosterone and cortisol responses to resistance exercise. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 18(2), 131-141. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.18.2.131
Casadio, J. R., Storey, A. G., Merien, F., Kilding, A. E., Cotter, J. D., & Laursen, P. B. (2017). Acute effects of heated resistance exercise in female and male power athletes. European journal of applied physiology, 117(10), 1965-1976. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-017-3671-4
Da Silva, D. K., Jacinto, J. L., De Andrade, W. B., Roveratti, M. C., Estoche, J. M., Balvedi, M. C., De Oliveira, D, B., Da Silva, R. A., & Aguiar, A. F. (2017). Citrulline malate does not improve muscle recovery after resistance exercise in untrained young adult men. Nutrients, 9(10), 1132. Doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9101132
Fry, A. C., & Lohnes, C. A. (2010). Acute testosterone and cortisol responses to high power resistance exercise. Human physiology, 36(4), 457-461. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1134/S0362119710040110
Gonzalez, A. M., Hoffman, J. R., Townsend, J. R., Jajtner, A. R., Boone, C. H., Beyer, K. S., Baker, K. M., Wells, A. J., Mangine, G. T., & Stout, J. R. (2015). Intramuscular anabolic signaling and endocrine response following high volume and high intensity resistance exercise protocols in trained men. Physiological reports, 3(7), e12466. Doi: https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.12466
Hakkinen, K., & Pakarinen, A. (1993). Acute hormonal responses to two different fatiguing heavy-resistance protocols in male athletes. Journal of Applied Physiology, 74(2), 882-887. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.1993.74.2.882
Henselmans, M., & Schoenfeld, B. J. (2014). The effect of inter-set rest intervals on resistance exercise-induced muscle hypertrophy. Sports Medicine, 44(12), 1635-1643. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-014-0228-0
Kraemer, W. J., & Ratamess, N. A. (2005). Hormonal responses and adaptations to resistance exercise and training. Sports medicine, 35(4), 339-361. Doi: https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200535040-00004
Kraemer, W. J., Fleck, S. J., Dziados, J. E., Harman, E. A., Marchitelli, L. J., Gordon, S. E., Mello, R., Frykman, P. N., Koziris, L. P., & Triplett, N. T. (1993). Changes in hormonal concentrations after different heavy-resistance exercise protocols in women. Journal of applied physiology, 75(2), 594-604. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.1993.75.2.594
Lane, A. R., Duke, J. W., & Hackney, A. C. (2010). Influence of dietary carbohydrate intake on the free testosterone: cortisol ratio responses to short-term intensive exercise training. European journal of applied physiology, 108(6), 1125-1131. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-009-1220-5
Levers, K., Dalton, R., Galvan, E., Goodenough, C., O’Connor, A., Simbo, S., Barringer, N., Mertens-Talcott, S. U., Rasmussen, C., Greenwood, M., & Kreider, R. B. (2015). Effects of powdered Montmorency tart cherry supplementation on an acute bout of intense lower body strength exercise in resistance trained males. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12(1), 1-23. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-015-0102-y
Li, C. Y., Hsu, G. S., Suzuki, K., Ko, M. H., & Fang, S. H. (2015). Salivary immuno factors, cortisol and testosterone responses in athletes of a competitive 5,000 m race." Chinese Journal of Physiology, 58(4), 263-269. Doi: https://doi.org/10.4077/CJP.2015.BAE367
Linnamo, V., Pakarinen, A., Komi, P. V., Kraemer, W. J., & Häkkinen, K. (2005). Acute hormonal responses to submaximal and maximal heavy resistance and explosive exercises in men and women. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 19(3), 566-571. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1519/R15404.1
Luccia, T. P. D. B. D., Natali, J. E. S., Moreira, A., Chaui-Berlinck, J. G., & Bicudo, J. E. P. W. (2018). Bouts of exercise elicit discordant testosterone: cortisol ratios in runners and non-runners. Archives of endocrinology and metabolism, 62(3), 325-331. Doi: https://doi.org/10.20945/2359-3997000000042
Nindl, B. C., Kraemer, W. J., Gotshalk, L. A., Marx, J. O., Volek, J. S., Bush, J. A., Hakkinen, K., & Fleck, S. J. (2001). Testosterone responses after resistance exercise in women: influence of regional fat distribution. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 11(4), 451-465. https://paulogentil.com/pdf/F52.pdf
Rahimi, R., Rohani, H., & Ebrahimi, M. (2011). Effects of very short rest periods on testosterone to cortisol ratio during heavy resistance exercise in men. Apunts. Medicina de l'Esport, 46(171), 145-149. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apunts.2011.03.002
Ruige, J. B., Mahmoud, A. M., De Bacquer, D., & Kaufman, J. M. (2011). Endogenous testosterone and cardiovascular disease in healthy men: a meta-analysis. Heart, 97(11), 870-875. Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/hrt.2010.210757
Shariat, A., Kargarfard, M., Danaee, M., & Tamrin, S. B. M. (2015). Intensive resistance exercise and circadian salivary testosterone concentrations among young male recreational lifters. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 29(1), 151-158.  Doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000632
Sheikholeslami-Vatani, D., Ahmadi, S., & Salavati, R. (2016). Comparison of the effects of resistance exercise orders on number of repetitions, serum IGF-1, testosterone and cortisol levels in normal-weight and obese men. Asian journal of sports medicine, 7(1): e30503. Doi: 10.5812/asjsm.30503
Sinha-Hikim, I., Roth, S. M., Lee, M. I., & Bhasin, S. (2003). Testosterone-induced muscle hypertrophy is associated with an increase in satellite cell number in healthy, young men. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 285(1), E197-E205. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00370.2002
Velasco-Orjuela, G. P., Domínguez-Sanchéz, M. A., Hernández, E., Correa-Bautista, J. E., Triana-Reina, H. R., García-Hermoso, A., Peña-Ibagon, J. C., Izquierdo, M., Cadore, E. L., Hackney, A. C., & Ramírez-Vélez, R. (2018). Acute effects of high-intensity interval, resistance or combined exercise protocols on testosterone–cortisol responses in inactive overweight individuals. Physiology & behavior, 194, 401-409. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.06.034
Vingren, J. L., Kraemer, W. J., Ratamess, N. A., Anderson, J. M., Volek, J. S., & Maresh, C. M. (2010). Testosterone physiology in resistance exercise and training. Sports medicine, 40(12), 1037-1053. Doi: https://doi.org/10.2165/11536910-000000000-00000
Volume 1, Issue 1
June 2021
Pages 8-14
  • Receive Date: 10 March 2021
  • Revise Date: 25 May 2021
  • Accept Date: 31 May 2021
  • First Publish Date: 31 May 2021