Acute hormonal and neuromuscular responses to hypertrophy, strength and power type resistane exercise

Grant O. McCaulley, Jeffrey M. McBride, Prue Cormie, Matthew B. Hudson, James L. Nuzzo, John C. Quindry, N. Travis Triplett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


The purpose of the current study was to determine the acute neuroendocrine response to hypertrophy (H), strength (S), and power (P) type resistance exercise (RE) equated for total volume. Ten male subjects completed three RE protocols and a rest day (R) using a randomized cross-over design. The protocols included (1) H: 4 sets of 10 repetitions in the squat at 75% of 1RM (90 s rest periods); (2) S: 11 sets of three repetitions at 90% of 1RM (5 min rest periods); and (3) P: 8 sets of 6 repetitions of jump squats at 0% of 1RM (3 min rest periods). Total testosterone (T), cortisol (C), and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) were determined prior to (PRE), immediately post (IP), 60 min post, 24 h post, and 48 h post exercise bout. Peak force, rate of force development, and muscle activity from the vastus medialis (VM) and biceps femoris (BF) were determined during a maximal isometric squat test. A unique pattern of response was observed in T, C, and SHBG for each RE protocol. The percent change in T, C, and SHBG from PRE to IP was significantly (p≤ 0.05) greater in comparison to the R condition only after the H protocol. The percent of baseline muscle activity of the VM at IP was significantly greater following the H compared to the S protocol. These data indicate that significant acute increases in hormone concentrations are limited to H type protocols independent of the volume of work competed. In addition, it appears the H protocol also elicits a unique pattern of muscle activity as well. RE protocols of varying intensity and rest periods elicit strikingly different acute neuroendocrine responses which indicate a unique physiological stimulus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-704
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


  • Cortisol
  • Force
  • Testosterone


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