, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 248–255 | Cite as

Salivary testosterone responses to a physical and psychological stimulus and subsequent effects on physical performance in healthy adults

  • Blair T. CrewtherEmail author
  • Liam P. Kilduff
  • Charlie Finn
  • Phil Scott
  • Christian J. Cook
Research paper


OBJECTIVE: To address the rapid influence of testosterone (T) on neuromuscular performance, we compared the T and physical performance responses of adults exposed to a physical and psychological stimulus. DESIGN: A group of healthy men (n=12) and women (n=14) each completed three treatments using a randomised, crossover design: exercise involving five × ten-second cycle sprints, viewing a video clip with aggressive content and a control session. Salivary T concentrations, hand-grip strength (HGS) and countermovement jump peak power (CMJ PP) were assessed before and 15 minutes after each session. RESULTS: The relative changes in T (17±29%) and CMJ PP (−0.1±4.4%) following sprint exercise were superior to the aggressive video (−6.3±19%, −2.2±5.9%) and control (−4.8±23%, −2.8±4.4%) treatments, respectively (p ≤0.05). Pre-treatment T levels correlated (r= −0.58 to −0.61, p <0.05) with the T responses of men (sprint exercise) and women (sprint exercise, aggressive video), but no variables were significantly correlated with the relative changes in HGS or CMJ PP. CONCLUSIONS: Sprint exercise promoted a general rise in T and maintained CMJ PP, relative to the video and control treatments. In both sexes, those individuals with higher pre-test T levels tended to produce smaller T responses to one or more treatments. These data highlight the importance of stimulus selection and individual predispositions when attempting to acutely modify T and associated physical performance.

Key words

Exercise Gender Gonadal Neuromuscular Priming 


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Copyright information

© Hellenic Endocrine Society 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Blair T. Crewther
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Liam P. Kilduff
    • 4
  • Charlie Finn
    • 4
    • 5
  • Phil Scott
    • 6
  • Christian J. Cook
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 7
  1. 1.Institute of Sport - National Research InstituteWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Hamlyn CentreImperial CollegeLondonUK
  3. 3.School of Sport Health and Exercise ScienceBangor UniversityBangorWales
  4. 4.Applied Sports, Technology, Exercise and Medicine (A-STEM) research centre, School of EngineeringSwansea UniversitySwanseaUK
  5. 5.University of the West of ScotlandPaisleyUK
  6. 6.England Team Strength and Conditioning CoachEngland and Wales Cricket BoardLondonUK
  7. 7.Queensland Academy of Sport’s Centre of Excellence for Applied Sport Science ResearchQueenslandAustralia

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