Long Rest Interval Promotes Durable Testosterone Responses in High-Intensity Bench Press

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Scudese, E, Simão, R, Senna, G, Vingren, JL, Willardson, JM, Baffi, M, and Miranda, H. Long rest interval promotes durable testosterone responses in high-intensity bench press. J Strength Cond Res 30(5): 1275–1286, 2016—The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of rest period duration (1 vs. 3 minute between sets) on acute hormone responses to a high-intensity and equal volume bench press workout. Ten resistance-trained men (25.2 ± 5.6 years; 78.2 ± 5.7 kg; 176.7 ± 5.4 cm; bench press relative strength: 1.3 ± 0.1 kg per kilogram of body mass) performed 2 bench press workouts separated by 1 week. Each workout consisted of 5 sets of 3 repetitions performed at 85% of 1 repetition maximum, with either 1- or 3-minute rest between sets. Circulating concentrations of total testosterone (TT), free testosterone (FT), cortisol (C), testosterone/cortisol ratio (TT/C), and growth hormone (GH) were measured at preworkout (PRE), and immediately (T0), 15 minutes (T15), and 30 minutes (T30) postworkout. Rating of perceived exertion was recorded before and after each set. For TT, both rest lengths enhanced all postexercise verifications (T0, T15, and T30) compared with PRE, with 1 minute showing decreases on T15 and T30 compared with T0. For FT, both 1- and 3-minute rest protocols triggered augmentations on distinct postexercise moments (T0 and T15 for 1 minute; T15 and T30 for 3-minute) compared with PRE. The C values did not change throughout any postexercise verification for either rests. The TT/C ratio was significantly elevated for both rests in all postexercise moments compared with PRE. Finally, GH values did not change for both rest lengths. In conclusion, although both short and long rest periods enhanced acute testosterone values, the longer rest promoted a long-lasting elevation for both TT and FT.

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