Hormonal adaptations to different training intensities during the preparation of elite judokas for competition
Keywords: athletes, anabolic, catabolic, IGF-I, Judo
AbstractMany efforts are made to quantify objectively the balance between training load and the athlete’s tolerance. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the balance between anabolic (i.e. testosterone and IGF-I) and catabolic (i.e. cortisol) hormones in elite judokas during their preparations (4 months) for the European championships. Five healthy elite Israeli judokas (four male, one female, age range 17–26 years) were tested at baseline, after two months of moderate training, after another one month of intense training, after one month of tapering down prior to the competition, and during the week after the championships. Hormonal level remained relatively unchanged during period of moderate training. Circulating levels of IGF-I and testosterone decreased and the cortisol/testosterone ratio increased during intense training. However, only the decrease in circulating IGF-I level reached statistical significance. Both levels of IGF-I and testosterone increased significantly, and the cortisol/testosterone ratio decreased significantly following tapering down, prior to the championships, compared to the levels during intense training. Changes in the balance of anabolic and catabolic hormones during the training season may help elite athletes and assist their coaches in their preparation for the competition.