Muscle Sport Magazine

The Effect That Training Types Can Have on Muscle Properties and Hormone Concentrations

Everyone has different goals when trying to get into and stay in shape. Some simply want to lose weight and stay trim, while others work a little harder in order to try and look as much like a Greek god as is humanly possible. Others will try for something completely different, such as endurance, for their favourite sport.

Whatever your fitness goals may be, whether it’s training for muscle mass, brute strength or endurance, it’s necessary to stop and think about what effect your exercise routine has on your hormone concentration levels and muscles. A recent study was published to find out how different types of exercise affected them; and the results were surprising to say the least.


Four groups comprising of 45 people from different genders participated. One was the control group, while the others were assigned to strength, endurance and combined strength and endurance regimes for 12 weeks.

The endurance and strength groups trained three times per week, while the combined one trained twice as often. They performed a range of exercises including leg presses/knee extensions while muscle fibre types and hormone levels were recorded accurately after six and 12 weeks.


What the study found was that the ‘one rep max’ increased for both the strength and strength/endurance groups. Increases in two muscle types were seen after the halfway point and the end of the study for the strength group, but the strength/endurance group only saw increases after 12 weeks.

The endurance group didn’t see any growth – in actual fact, a decrease in adenosine triphosphate (P < 0.05) happened after 12 weeks of training. Hormones remained relatively unchanged on the whole.


In summary, the study found that suppression of some changes the body makes when undergoing strength training can happen. Capillarization of skeletal muscle can happen during an intense regime of strength and endurance training.

The findings didn’t come as any great surprise. The one rep max lifts increased the strength of one group that only did strength training, and it shows that endurance training can impact on it. Anyone undergoing mixed training will do well to pay attention to the study.

One part of the study that was particularly interesting was that after the 12-week training regime, the endurance group saw their energy levels drop considerably. If this happens to you during endurance training, supplementation with creatine may be beneficial.

In terms of hormone concentrations, very little was found, although there was one development of note. A decrease in urinary cortisol concentration was discovered in male participants in the endurance group after 12 weeks. The females in the mixed training group saw their levels increase.


Muscle fibre changes

Arguably the most important result for those who undergo strength training will take from the study is the way in which muscle fibre changed for those either doing strength or combined regimes. Type 2 fibres, the ones gained by force in strength training, were more prevalent in the strength group, while type 1 fibres from endurance had stayed the same for endurance trainers.

What many bodybuilders might think happens during strength training is a growth in testosterone levels. However, those conducting the study didn’t find anything relevant, but in terms of alterations to muscle properties, the fact that strength training alone was more effective in building up muscle by force is hugely relevant.

Can studies be trusted?

Although the science of fitness isn’t always the main concern when working out, it’s useful to know what could happen to your body and why changes occur. The experts at Predator Nutrition often divulge into interesting studies so their followers can make the most of their training.

Studies are always important, as they can help to keep you on the right track if you have any specific fitness goals in mind. In terms of building up strength and keeping hormones under control, the one mentioned earlier is of great significance.

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