Page 1

Testosterone And Cortisol With Relation To Training Volume And Playing Time In Professional Spanish Basketballers Schelling, X.1, Calleja-González, J. 2, Terrados, N. 3, Mjaanes, J. 4, Benjamin, H. 5, 1Bàsquet

Manresa, Catalunya (Spain). 2Universidad del País Vasco, Vitoria (Spain). 3Universidad de Oviedo, Asturias (Spain). 4 Rush University Medical Center, IL (USA). 5 University of Chicago, IL (USA)



The primary purpose of this study was to describe the trends in Total Testosterone (TT) and Cortisol (C) and the relation to workload during the course of a complete season in elite Spanish basketball players.

TT concentration showed significant variations between blood samples: Apr vs. Sep (-4.4 nMol/l, p=0.010), Apr vs. Oct (-4.9 nMol/l, p=0.004) and Apr vs. Feb (-6.8 nMol/l, p=0.013). TT did not correlate with playing time. C concentration and TT/C ratio did not show significant variations during the season and did not correlate with playing time either.

Table 1. Correlations between variables.


Figures 1 and 2. Blood samples (left). Basketball player (right)

Figure 4. % variation of Total Testosterone

Figure 5. % variation of T/C ratio

Materials and methods

The effect of a basketball season is clearly reflected by testosterone, decreasing in specific phases of the season, and showing values in some of the players which could jeopardize the athlete’s health. It is interesting to differentiate between 3 phases during the season: preseason, the first 2/3 of the regular season and the last 1/3 of the regular season. TT could be an indicator of the athlete’s state which could justify, in conjunction with other indicators, necessary action to optimize workload individually and to prevent overload or overtraining states. The hormones studied and the TT/C ratio have several modulators and are mainly dependent on the moment of the season (planning and training workload). The interpretation of the studied parameters has to be made individually, not as an attempt to evaluate the team’s general state. Future investigations are needed to study more modulator variables (mood state, training intensity, diet, etc.) in relation with endocrine markers.

Literature related

We studied a professional basketball team consisting of twelve male players (27.8 ± 4.9 years; 97 ± 9.5 kg; 24.7 ± 1 BMI; 8.2 ± 4.5 years of experience in 1st Spanish Division -ACB-). Eight players comprised the final sample (n=8). Blood samples were collected just after the transitory period and were considered as baseline. During the season, samples were taken every 4-6 weeks, after a 24-36 hour period of rest from the last game played. Eight samples were collected from August to April.

Hackney, A. and A. Viru (2008). "Research methodology: endocrinologic measurements in exercise science and sports medicine." J Athl Train. 43(6): 631–639. Hoffman, J. R., S. Epstein, et al. (1999). "Hormonal and biochemical changes in elite basketball players during a 4-week training camp." J Strenght Cond Res 13(3): 280-285. Martínez, A. C., J. Seco, et al. (2010). "Testosterone and Cortisol Changes in Professional Basketball Players Through a Season Competition." J Strength Cond Res 24(4): 1102-1108. Figure 7. Training volume during the season Figure 6. % variation of Cortisol

Figure 3. . Microcycles and blood extractions. G: Game; X: Copa del Rey rest. ▲: Blood extraction.

For further information Please contact to Xavi Schelling or on Twitter: @xschelling. More information on this (PDF-version of the poster) and related projects can be obtained at

Acknowledgments The authors of this article would like to thank Dr. Ramón Serra, the team’s Chief of Medical Services, as well as Mútua Intercomarcal and Laboratorios Nogueras for their cooperation and timeliness in collecting the samples. We would also like to thank the technical staff and players for their collaboration, as well as Dr. Antoni Planas for his valuable advice on statistical analysis.


Poster presented on "58th ACSM Annual Meeting & 2nd World Congress on Exercise Is Medicine" May 31-June 4, 2011. Denver, Colorado, USA.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you