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Resistance exercise-induced hormonal response under the influence of delayed onset muscle soreness in men and boys


Corresponding author: Teemu Pullinen, Department of Biology of Physical Activity, Neuromuscular Research Center, University of Jyväskylä, PO Box 35, 40351 Jyväskylä, Finland. Tel: +358 14 2603160, Fax: +358 14 2602071, E-mail:


It was hypothesized that exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD)-related alterations in hormonal responses could be observed if a second exercise bout is performed soon after an identical unaccustomed bout leading to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Eight men (31 ± 7 years) and eight boys (14 ± 0 years) performed two exercise bouts (E1 and E2, with 48 h rest in between) consisting of three sets of bilateral knee extensions until exhaustion with 40% load. No differences between the groups or bouts were observed in the number of repetitions performed and maximal isometric force decline, or between groups in serum creatine kinase activity and DOMS. Decreased peak epinephrine (EPI) (−38%), growth hormone (GH) (−45%) and cortisol (COR) (−31%) concentrations were found in E2 in men (P<0.05). In men, the peak GH concentration was also lower in E2 and COR was higher in both bouts than in boys. No changes in norepinephrine and testosterone responses were found in either group. The results suggest that in men, the responses of EPI, GH and COR are attenuated when the second bout is performed under the influence of DOMS. In boys, the lack of this attenuation may not be explained by less severe EIMD.

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