Int J Sports Med 2007; 28(5): 401-406
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-924366
Training & Testing

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Hormonal Responses after a Strength Endurance Resistance Exercise Protocol in Young and Elderly Males

I. Smilios1 , T. Pilianidis1 , M. Karamouzis2 , A. Parlavantzas1 , S. P. Tokmakidis1
  • 1Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece
  • 2Department of Medicine, Laboratory of Biological Chemistry, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Further Information

Publication History

Accepted after revision: May 10, 2006

Publication Date:
06 October 2006 (online)


This study examined testosterone, cortisol and growth hormone responses in elderly and young men after a strength endurance protocol. Eight elderly (age: 69 ± 5 yrs) and nine young (age: 23 ± 1 yrs) males with recreational experience in resistance training performed a strength endurance protocol, which included six exercises. At each exercise, the subjects performed 3 sets of 15 reps at 60 % of 1-RM with a 90 s rest interval between sets. The subjects also participated in a control session. Hormonal and blood lactate concentrations were measured before exercise, immediately after exercise and 15 min after the end of exercise. Blood lactate increased (p < 0.05) with resistance exercise in both age groups with the highest increases observed in the young males. Testosterone and cortisol concentrations were higher (p < 0.05) immediately and 15 min after exercise as compared to the respective control session values in both young and elderly subjects, whereas no differences were observed between groups (p > 0.05). Growth hormone concentration increased (p < 0.05) after resistance exercise compared to the control session in both age groups. This increase was higher (p < 0.05) in the young as compared to the elderly group. The above results show that a moderate intensity - high repetition resistance exercise protocol for the improvement of strength endurance, seems to be a sufficient stimulus that increases testosterone, growth hormone and cortisol concentrations in elderly males. These hormonal responses may create an optimal metabolic environment, which improves muscular function after a strength endurance program although the elderly subjects present an attenuated growth hormone response compared to younger ones.


Savvas P. Tokmakidis

Department of Physical Education and Sport Science
Democritus University of Thrace

University Campus (TEFAA)

Komotini 69100


Phone: + 30 25 31 03 96 49

Fax: + 30 25 31 03 96 83