Relationships between salivary free testosterone and the expression of force and power in elite athletes

B T Crewther, L P Kilduff, Christian J Cook, D J Cunningham, P Bruce, R M Bracken, C M Gaviglio

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Abstract

Aim. This study examined the predictive relationships between the salivary free testosterone (T) concentrations of elite athletes and the expression of force and power. Methods. A group of elite male rugby players (N.-64) were assessed for peak force (PF), peak rate of force development (PRFD), force at 100 milliseconds (F100 ms) and 250 milliseconds (F250 ms) during an isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP), and/or peak power (PP) and height during a countermovement jump (CMJ). Saliva samples were collected before testing and assayed for free T. Relationships between individual T concentrations and performance were assessed as a pooled group and 4 sub-groups of equal size. Results. As pooled data sets, none of the IMTP and CMJ performance variables were significantly correlated with free T in either the PF or PP groups (r0.01-0.23). The PF and PP abilities of the 4 sub-groups were significantly different, so that PF1>PF2>PF3>PF4 (P<0.001) and PP1>PP2>PP3>PP4 (P<0.01). When the 4 sub-groups were analysed, the T concentrations of the PF4 group were significantly (P<0.05-0.01) correlated to PRFD (r0.69) and F100 ms (r0.55) during the IMTP, as was F100 ms in the PFl group (r0.66). In the PP1 group, free T also correlated to CMJ height (r0.62). Conclusions: The key conclusion is that the expression of force and power in an elite athletic group may be dependent, to some extent, on individual variation in salivary free T concentrations and existing strength or power levels. The current results also confirm that the grouping of elite athletes of mixed strength or power ability may bias predictive results in a manner not reflective of sub-groups within this population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Volume52
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

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    Crewther, B. T., Kilduff, L. P., Cook, C. J., Cunningham, D. J., Bruce, P., Bracken, R. M., & Gaviglio, C. M. (2012). Relationships between salivary free testosterone and the expression of force and power in elite athletes. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 52(2), 221-227.