Exercise, Training, and the Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Gonadal Axis in Men

  • Michael Zitzmann
Part of the Endocrine Updates book series (ENDO, volume 29)


Human life, in its various aspects concerning mentality, behaviour, abilities, social status, and physical abilities, is a constantly flowing process of bidirectional interactions between the individual and his environment. Sports or physical efforts are a significant part of these processes, but can, ultimately, not be totally differentiated from the other aspects: different experiences and expectations as well as social factors wield a significant influence on the above mentioned categories. Somatic properties such as hormone levels are also part of the dynamic processes which contribute to our existence. In animals, especially in seasonal breeders, we can see the powerful impact of sex hormone secretion on behaviour and physical appearance/abilities. As human life is of other complexity, these effects are much less potent though, especially in the case of androgens, various aspects of mutual influence/reciprocity have to be considered.

In fact, correlates between endogenous testosterone levels and sports in humans have been reported. As man consists of more than unrelated components, is this approach simplifying and misleading, at least in applying the results to individuals? Or is examining the effects of testosterone on special physical or mental properties in sports a helpful matter in understanding the physiological role of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis?

In the following, various aspects of testosterone correlates to sports in men will be dealt with, referring as far as possible to controlled studies.


Testosterone Level Strength Training Endurance Training Mental Stress Physical Stress 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Reproductive Medicine and Andrology/Clinical AndrologyUniversity Clinics MüensterMüensterGermany

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