Neuromuscular Performance and Hormonal Profile During Military Training and Subsequent Recovery Period
Salonen, M., Huovinen, J., Kyröläinen, H., Piirainen, J., & Vaara, J. P. (2019). Neuromuscular Performance and Hormonal Profile During Military Training and Subsequent Recovery Period. Military Medicine, 184(3-4), e113-e119. https://doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usy176
Published inMilitary Medicine
© 2018 Oxford University Press
Introduction Military training loads may induce different physiological responses in garrison and field training and only a little is known about how short-time recovery, lasting a few days, affects neuromuscular fitness and hormonal profile. This study aimed to investigate the effects of garrison and field military service on neuromuscular performance and hormonal profile and to evaluate the effects of a 3-day recovery on those factors. Methods Twenty healthy male soldiers (20 ± 1 years) participated in the study, which consisted of 4 days of garrison training [days (D) 1–4] and 7 days of military field training (Days 5–12) followed by a 3-day recovery period (Day 15). Serum hormone concentrations [testosterone (TES), cortisol (COR), sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG), free thyroxine (T4)] were assessed at D1, D5, D8–12, and D15. Handgrip strength was measured in 10 participants at D1, D5, D8, D12, and D15. Maximal isometric force, electromyography, and rate of force development (RFD) of the knee extensors and arm flexors were also measured at D5, D12, and D15. Results The maximal force of both the arm flexors and knee extensors was not affected by the garrison or field training, whereas the RFD of the knee extensors was decreased during the field training (D5: 383 ± 130 vs. D12: 321 ± 120 N/s, p < 0.05). In addition, handgrip strength was mostly no affected, although a significant difference was observed between D8 and D12 (531 ± 53 vs. 507 ± 43 N, p < 0.05) during the field training. TES decreased already during the garrison training (D1: 18.2 ± 3.9 vs. D5: 16.2 ± 4.0 nmol/L, p < 0.05) and decreased further during the field training compared to baseline (D8: 10.2 ± 3.6 - D11: 11.4 ± 5.4 nmol/L, p < 0.05) exceeding the lowest concentration in the end of the field training (D12: 7.1 ± 4.1 nmol/L, p < 0.05). Similar changes were observed in free TES (D1: 72.2 ± 31.4 vs. D12: 35.1 ± 21.5 nmol/L, p < 0.001). The TES concentration recovered back to the baseline level and free TES increased after the recovery period compared with the baseline values (D15: 19.9 ± 5.3 nmol/L, D15: 99.7 ± 41.1 nmol/L, respectively). No changes were observed in the COR or SHBG concentrations during the garrison period. COR was decreased in the end of the field training (D12: 388 ± 109 nmol/L) compared with baseline (D1: 536 ± 113 nmol/L) (p < 0.05–0.001) but recovered back to the baseline levels after the recovery period (D15: 495 ± 58 nmol/L), whereas SHBG linearly increased towards the end of the field training (p < 0.05–0.001). Conclusions The present findings demonstrate that neuromuscular performance can be relatively well maintained during short-term garrison and field training even when a clear decrease in hormonal profile is evident. In addition, hormonal responses during field training seem to be greater compared to garrison training, however, the recovery of 3-day in free-living conditions seems to be sufficient for hormonal recovery. Therefore, a short-term recovery period lasting few days after the military field training may be required to maintain operational readiness after the field training. ...
PublisherOxford University Press
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