Hormonal and performance responses to a peak-taper cycle in collegiate throwers
Kern, Alexandra J.
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The purpose of this study was to monitor changes in performance and physiological markers in collegiate throwers across a training cycle. Four NCAA Division III male throwers reported once weekly for 8 consecutive weeks and were assessed for testosterone, cortisol, testosterone/cortisol ratio, training load, shot-put stand-throw, vertical jump height, estimated vertical jump peak power, broad jump distance, perceived recovery, and perceived lifestyle stress. Weekly sport-training volume and weekly resistance-training volume were recorded so that changes in these variables could be compared to changes in the other variables. Additionally, athletes were pre-post tested for body-composition. The main findings of this study demonstrated a trend for the athletes to respond directly to changes in training volume, so that increases in training volume led to decreases in recovery, and vice-versa, thus suggesting that recovery can be manipulated in collegiate throwers simply by altering total training volume so that throws, conditioning, and resistance-training all increase or decrease together. Since there was an improvement in competition performance from last season to this season in the retuming athletes, and each athlete improved from the beginning of the season to the end without incidence of injury, it can be assumed that this was an effective training program.