Changes in Basal Levels of Testosterone, Cortisol and Their Ratio after 4 Weeks of Rock Climbing Training with Blood Flow Restriction in Elite Male Rock Climbers

Document Type : Research Paper I Open Access I Released under CC BY 4.0 license


1 PhD Student, Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 . Associate Professor, Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Exercise Physiology, South Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Resistance training with blood flow restriction (BFR) as a training strategy preventing joint and tissue injuries, increases anabolic hormones, hypertrophy and muscle strength. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of 12 sessions of rock climbing with BFR on testosterone, cortisol and their ratio in elite rock climbers. In this quasi-experimental study with a pretest-posttest design, 20 male rock climbers (weight: 64.55±4.69 kg, fat percentage: 15.30±8.50 and age: 26±2.6 years) were selected purposively and were randomly divided into two training groups (10 men each) with BFR and without BFR. The training protocol was 4 weeks and 3 sessions of rock climbing per week. Blood pressure was about 40 to 100 mm Hg. Fasting blood samples were collected 24 hours before and after training to determine testosterone and cortisol levels. Also, the strength of the dominant hand grip and climbing speed were measured. Data were analyzed using paired and independent t tests at P<0.05. Results showed that the testosterone (P=0.02), the ratio of testosterone to cortisol (P=0.03), hand grip strength (P=0.006) and climbing speed (P=0.03) increased significantly after rock climbing training compared with the period before the training. Also, cortisol did not change significantly in both groups after the training compared with the period before the training (P=0.54, P=0.85). It seems that rock climbing training with BFR increases anabolic hormones and it can be used to improve the performance of rock climbers.


Main Subjects

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Volume 13, Issue 1
May 2021
Pages 59-73
  • Receive Date: 23 November 2020
  • Revise Date: 20 February 2021
  • Accept Date: 21 January 2021
  • First Publish Date: 20 February 2021