Monday, February 6, 2012

How exercise volume affects your testosterone by Jerry Brainum

   Studies show that manipulating the volume of exercise has a transient effect on plasma testosterone levels. What isn’t known is how exercise affects the 24-hour secretion of testosterone. To correct that deficiency, a study followed eight men who completed three training sessions separated by at least a month.1 The groups consisted of a nonexercising control group, a moderate-volume group doing 25 sets total and a high-volume group doing 50 sets per workout. The actual workout consisted of squats, bench presses, leg presses and lat pulldowns. Subjects rested 90 to 120 seconds between sets. Rep range was five to 10 per set. The men had their testosterone levels measured every hour for 24 hours after each session.

   The high-volume group showed a marked suppression of testosterone levels over a 24-hour period. They trained for an average of two hours per session. The moderate-volume group trained for one hour and showed no adverse effects on testosterone over the course of 24 hours. The results indicate that there’s a threshold of training beyond which testosterone levels drop precipitously. In practical terms, they mean that those who advocate marathon workouts are probably wasting their time.

1 Alemany, J.A., et al. (2004). Twenty-four hour serum testosterone concentrations following acute moderate and high-volume resistance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 36:S238.

©,2012, Jerry Brainum.Any reprinting in any type of media, including electronic and foreign is expressly prohibited.

See Jerry's book at