Relationships between salivary testosterone and cortisol concentrations and training performance in Olympic weightlifters

Blair T Crewther, Christian Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Aim. This study examined the relationships between salivary testosterone (SaI-T) and Cortisol (Sal-C) concentrations and training performance in Olympic weightlifters. Methods. Four male and four female Olympic weightlifters each provided saliva samples before and after four workouts during a four-week training period. Training involved the same three exercises; snatch, clean and jerk, and front squat with the one repetition maximum (IRM) calculated for each exercise during each workout. Results. Significant (P < 0.05-0.01) training improvements in IRM performance (4.0-5.2%) were noted during the snatch and clean and jerk exercises, along with the Olympic total lift. For male participants only, the pre-workout concentrations of Sal T were significantly (P < 0.05-0.01) correlated with the snatch (r = 0.70) and clean and jerk IRM (r = 0.62), and the Olympic total lift (r = 0.66). Conclusions. A short period of training improved the IRM performance of Olympic weightlifters in two exercises (snatch and clean and jerk) and the Olympic total. For male participants, their Sal-T concentrations before each workout was also related to IRM performance during these exercises, thereby highlighting one possible short-term causative mechanism. Limitations of this study include the short duration of hormonal monitoring, the limited number of workouts assessed and the small number of participants recruited. Also, correlations between the outcome variables still only reflect casual associations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-375
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010
Externally publishedYes


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