Int J Sports Med 2002; 23(6): 422-427
DOI: 10.1055/s-2002-33738
Training & Testing
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Training Intensity Influences Leptin and Thyroid Hormones in Highly Trained Rowers

C.  Simsch1 , W.  Lormes1 , K.  G.  Petersen2 , S.  Baur1 , Y.  Liu1 , A.  C.  Hackney3 , M.  Lehmann1 , J.  M.  Steinacker1
  • 1Dept. of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany
  • 2Dept. of Endocrinology, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  • 3Dept. of Exercise and Sports Science Dept. of Nutrition, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, U.S.A.
Further Information

Publication History

Accepted after revision: November, 10, 2001

Publication Date:
05 September 2002 (online)


Leptin (L) is associated with body-weight-regulating and adipostatic functions. Its receptors also may be found centrally. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolic processes mainly by binding at peripheral receptors. Aim of this study was to show if there is a link between those central and peripher regulation systems and to investigate the influence of different training intensities on L and the hypothalamic-thyroid-axis (HTA) in highly trained rowers. Six rowers (18.9 ± 2.6 y; BMI 22.8 ± 2.1 kg/m2) undertook high intensity resistance training (RT) for three weeks followed by three weeks of endurance training (ET). After each training cycle the subjects had one week for recovery (R1, R2). Blood samples were taken before and at the end of RT, R1, ET and R2. L, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3 (fT3) and free T4 (fT4) were measured. After RT, a significant reduction in L, TSH and fT3 was found (p < 0.05). fT4 was unchanged. L remained decreased until the end of R1. After ET, a significant increase of TSH was found. L correlated to basal TSH levels (r = 0.49, p = 0.006) during R. BMI and body fat were unchanged throughout the study and were not correlated with hormonal levels. We speculate a high energy flux during intensified training (RT) caused the decrease of L and the HTA, independent of BMI or body fat. Thus, we conclude a depression of L and HTA is associated with training intensity.


Dr. C. Simsch

Dept. of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation · University of Ulm

Steinhövelstr. 9 · 89070 Ulm · Germany

Fax: +49 (731) 500 26686