Effect Of Different Seasonal Strength Training Protocols On Circulating Androgen Levels And Performance Parameters In Professional Soccer Players
ISSPF FACULTY MEMBER PUBLICATION
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STUDY OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of three seasonal training programs, largely different in strength volume, on androgen levels and performance parameters in soccer players. DESIGN: Sixty-seven soccer players, members of three different professional teams, participated in the study. Strength intensity of the training programs were assessed as high (for Team-A, n=23), moderate (for Team-B, n=22), and low (for Team-C, n=22). Blood samples were analyzed for total-testosterone, free-testosterone, and the metabolic product of activate testosterone 3a-androstendiol glucuronade (3a-Diol-G). Players were tested for maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), squad-jump (SJ), countermovement-jump (CMJ), 10m and 20m sprint performance prior at the beginning of the pre-season period, at the middle (mid-point), and at the end of the competition period (end-point). RESULTS: All performance parameters increased significantly until mid-point in all teams (p<0.001). However, performance was further increased only in Team-A only for jumping and sprinting ability between end-point vs mid-point (p<0.001). An effect of the training program of Team-A on TT levels was evident exhibiting significant differences between at all point-measurements (baseline/mid-point:p=0.024, baseline/end-point:p<0.001, mid/end-point:p=0.008), while a marginally significant effect (p=0.051) was detected within Team-B and a non-significant effect in Team-C. Similar results were obtained for 3a-Diol-G in Team-A (p=0.001) where significant differences were found between end-point to both baseline (p=0.001) and mid-point (p=0.038). No differences were detectable for FT. A borderline significant negative correlation was observed between 3a-Diol-G and VO2max in Team-B at mid-point. No other correlations were evident between performance and hormo-nal parameters.
- Findings suggest that the volume of strength training combined with intensive soccer training caused an elevation of circulating TT and 3a-Diol-G levels in parallel to the induction of performance capacity
- It is our opinion that the elevation of endogenous androgens as a result of the volume of strength training indicates that the only method to improve athletic performance is hard training.
- There are no substitutes or shortcuts. If the organism needs more androgens it will produce them endogenously.