Effects of circadian rhythm on power, force, and hormonal response in young men

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Circadian rhythms (CRs) persist in many physiological systems related to performance. The effects of circadian patterns on dynamic muscular power are minimal and conflicting. Furthermore, no study to date has investigated the effect of CR on bench press throws (BPTs) despite its popularity as a modality to increase muscular power. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of circadian variations on muscular power output and hormonal changes in men. College aged men (n 7, age: 23.6 ± 1.3 years, height: 179.9 ± 5.4 cm, and body mass: 81.5 ± 19.7 kg.) were recruited for this repeated measures study. Testing occurred at 4 different times of day (04:00, 10:00, 16:00, and 22:00 hours). Testosterone (T) and cortisol (C) hand dynamometer strength (GS), heart rate (HR), mental readiness (MR), BPT and squat jumps (SJs), power (P), and force (F) were measured at each time point. Statistical significance was set at (p ≤ 0.05). There were no significant differences in HR, MR, and GS among all time points. There were no decrements in P or F in BPT or SJ among any time point (p ≥ 0.05). Testosterone and C decreased significantly throughout the day (p ≤ 0.05). Although P and F output differed at various percentages of 1 repetition maximum, they were not affected by circadian pattern, such that muscular performance was not impaired at any time point. Practical implications of these data indicate that high force and power exercises using BPT or SJ may be performed any time of day without detrimental decreases in acute performance.

Publication Title

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research