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John Hough, Caroline Robertson, and Michael Gleeson

Purpose:

This study examined the influence of 10 days of intensified training on salivary cortisol and testosterone responses to 30-min, high-intensity cycling (55/80) in a group of male elite triathletes.

Methods:

Seven elite male triathletes (age 19 ± 1 y, V̇O2max 67.6 ± 4.5 mL · kg–1 · min–1) completed the study. Swim distances increased by 45%. Running and cycling training hours increased by 25% and 229%, respectively. REST-Q questionnaires assessed mood status before, during, and after the training period. Unstimulated saliva samples were collected before, after, and 30 min after a continuous, high-intensity exercise test. Salivary cortisol and testosterone concentrations were assessed.

Results:

Compared with pretraining, blunted exercise-induced salivary testosterone responses to the posttraining 55/80 were found (P = .004). The absolute response of salivary testosterone concentrations to the 55/80 decreased pretraining to posttraining from 114% to 85%. No changes were found in exercise-induced salivary cortisol concentration responses to the 55/80. REST-Q scores indicated no changes in the participants’ psychological stress–recovery levels over the training camp.

Conclusions:

The blunted exercise-induced salivary testosterone is likely due to decreased testicular testosterone production and/or secretion, possibly attributable to hypothalamic dysfunction or reduced testicular blood flow. REST-Q scores suggest that the triathletes coped well with training-load elevations, which could account for the finding of no change in the exercise-induced salivary cortisol concentration. Overall, these findings suggest that the 55/80 can detect altered exercise-induced salivary testosterone concentrations in an elite athletic population due to increased training stress. However, this alteration occurs independently of a perceived elevation of training stress.

Open access

Gabrielle McNamara, Caroline Robertson, Tegan Hartmann, and Rachel Rossiter

Regular exercise is reported to improve depressive symptoms and quality of life for people experiencing mental illness. For older adults, including strength and balance can also decrease falls. Mental health services seldom include funding for Accredited Exercise Physiologist programs. A 9-week Accredited Exercise Physiologist-led program for older adults receiving mental health treatment with a community Older People’s Mental Health Service was trialed in regional Australia. This clinician-conceived small-scale feasibility study utilized a two-phase concurrent triangulation mixed-method design to evaluate physical and psychological program outcomes and identify factors related to engaging in physical activity. This tailored exercise program led to improvements in measures of psychological distress and physical and psychological function. These changes corresponded with participants identifying benefits of exercising as a group of adults living with mental illness. Such findings suggest a supervised, individualized program for older mental health consumers confers physical and psychological benefits; however, further research evaluating exercise interventions with this population is required.