Hormonal response to Taekwondo fighting simulation in elite adolescent athletes

R. Pilz-Burstein, Y. Ashkenazi, Y. Yaakobovitz, Y. Cohen, L. Zigel, D. Nemet, N. Shamash, A. Eliakim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Exercise training efficiency depends on the training load, as well as on the athlete's ability to tolerate it. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of fighting simulation (3 fights, 6 min each, 30 min rest between fights) on anabolic (IGF-I, LH, FSH, estradiol, and testosterone) and catabolic hormones (cortisol) in elite, male (n = 10) and female (n = 10) adolescent (12-17 years) Taekwondo fighters. Blood samples were collected before the first and immediately after the third fight. The fighting simulation practice led to significant (p < 0.05) decreases in IGF-I (males-27.1 ± 25.6, females-22.4 ± 36.3 ng/ml), LH (males-0.7 ± 1.2, females-2.3 ± 3.3 U/L), and FSH (males-0.9 ± 0.5, females-1.5 ± 1.1 U/L), and to a significant increase (p < 0.05) in cortisol (males 141.9 ± 30.1, females 64.1 ± 30.6 mcg/dL) in both genders. Fighting simulation decreases in testosterone (males-1.9 ± 1.6, females-0.02 ± 0.06 ng/mL), and free androgen index (males-20.1 ± 21.5, females-0.3 ± 0.5) were significant (p < 0.05) only in male fighters. Exercise had no significant effect on estradiol, sex-hormone-binding globulins or thyroid function tests. Our data demonstrate that the physiologic and psychologic strain of a Taekwondo fighting simulation day led to a catabolic-type circulating hormonal response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1283-1290
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Anabolic/catabolic hormones
  • Fighting simulation
  • Gender
  • Taekwondo
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


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