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Old 07-22-2008, 01:58 PM   #1
Garrett Smith
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Exclamation Negative long-term effects of excessive GPP?

For your consideration, a potential long-term negative effect of overstimulation of the neuroendocrine pathways via GPP:

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to compare the concentration changes in hormones from pituitary - gonadal axis, induced by the 400 m run in the well-trained athletes (vice-champions in the Hall and Summer Athletic World Championship in 1999) to the changes observed in the competitors with shorter training period and achieving worse final results. METHODS: This research was conducted on 6 males - members of the Polish Olympic Team, who won vice-championship in the Hall and Summer World Championships 1999 and 6 athletes trained in the academic sport clubs. In the recent investigation, the 400 m run was assumed to be a stimulating impulse for evoking hormonal changes. The blood samples were taken from the elbow vein before the run, immediately after the effort and after the 24-hour rest. In the serum, the luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), total testosterone (TT), free testosterone (FT) as well as the sex hormones-binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations were determined. RESULTS: During our research, immediately after the 400 m run in group I - the top class sportsmen - the statistically significant increase in both gonadotrophins (LH, FSH) was determined as well as the decrease in the total and free testosterone. In the group II - the athletes with the lower training level - the increase in FSH and the total and free testosterone concentrations was noticed. There were no statistically significant differences in the SHBG concentration. After-effort increase in the lactic acid concentration was observed in both groups. In the master group I, the increase in lactic acid concentration was higher than in group II. In both groups after the 24-hour restitution, the examined parameters, except LH levels in the group I, showed the concentrations similar to those before the effort. Analysis of the time needed to cover the distance of the race showed that the athletes from group I covered the distance of 400 m in the shorter time. CONCLUSIONS: The group of master class athletes, whose average intensive training period was 8 years, had higher VO(2max) and higher after-effort increase in the lactic acid concentration than in the group of sportsmen with the shorter training period (4 years), who had lower VO(2max), worse sport results and lower after-effort increase in the lactic acid concentration, gave different hormonal response (particularly TT, FT concentration) for the same exercise impulse. The difference based on the fact, that after the run in group I the decrease in the total and free testosterone levels and in group II the increase in the same parameters were observed. The observed hormonal changes in the master class athletes induced by the years-long anaerobic training might provide evidence for the reduction of functional reserves in gonads when compared to the group of less trained sportsmen.
EDIT: link to study

For a discussion on this study related to bodybuilding, see here: http://mesomorphosis.com/articles/dh...one-levels.htm
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Last edited by Garrett Smith; 07-22-2008 at 06:48 PM. Reason: added link to original abstract, see EDIT
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:40 PM   #2
Pat McElhone
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I base a lot of my decisions on samples sizes this small. In fact, I usually use a sample of 1 (me). What was the "effect" size? What was actually "statistically significant"?, what was the p-value. The only thing worse then making clinical decisions based solely on studies is making them after reading abstracts of potentially flawed studies. Maybe the elite eastern European athletes took exogenous testosterone (no offense to any Polish readers).
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:54 PM   #3
Garrett Smith
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Pat, I understand where you're coming from. The exogenous hormone point is a valid one.

Generally, elite athletes are not well-known for longevity. Could this be the reason? That's an issue at hand.

The point to considering this early is that there will be lots of samples to look at in 5-8 years, after the "more is better" GPP trend of current times has come and gone. I for one don't want to find out later that my hormonal axis is permanently tuckered out by overtaxing them too much, too often when I was younger.

I've been dealing with too many burned out, excessively overtrained, GPP-heavy folks lately to not seriously take this into consideration (and these are only short-term people, often with significant sporting backgrounds).

This is the early research. Take it or leave it...
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:05 PM   #4
Pat McElhone
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I will leave the research. Study is not good enough for me to base decisions on. But, your first hand knowledge is.

It sounds like in your practice you are dealing with physical fit patients who are hitting the wall from excessive high intensity exercise. Is that correct? I am guessing that you believe (based on your first hand knowlegde) that all this high intensity training may not be good for us either now (burn out, injury, illness) or long term (HPA axis suppression leading hormonal imbalances in the future).

This reminds me of something I have heard from the Cardiology guys.. that we all have a finite number of heart beats, once we hit it.. the thing stops. This is a serious theory.
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Old 07-25-2008, 08:06 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Well, I would say some of it is being adapted to training hard = lower reponse.

Also, would consider that this is just pre/peri/post workout. Did they test response after they were out of competition after a year? Would their bodies have recovered by then to "return" to normal or is it permanent damage? Probably some of both I would assume... just like marathon runners and the oxidative damage they accumulate.

For most people I think burnout/overreaching/etc. is just a temporary thing. Unless they've been doing it for years on end (actual overtraining syndrome) I don't really see it going to be something that is going to permanently mess anything up.

Then again, we'll see if I get arthritis in my shoulders from too much strength work, eh? Everything is one big experiment unless you have definite evidence from predecessors (and it's not a given you're gonna listen to them either o_o).
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:11 PM   #6
Steve Liberati
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Yep, recovery is twice as important as training. However, my only concern about this study is the population being sampled - elite athletes. Wouldn't you say that elite athletes are at a much greater risk of burnout and other negative long-term effects associated with high intensity GPP, training as they are much closer to their genetic potential? Whereas, your average and above avg trainee, can get ride out the rigors of high intensity training for a longer period of time til they reach elite levels (if that ever happens).

Seems like a dig to the CrossFit program to me. I'm sure you can find more studies like this if you dig deep enough.
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:33 AM   #7
Allen Yeh
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While I can of course see this posting as a "dig" towards Crossfit. The gist I got from Garrett was just to discuss that particular study. People will see things that aren't there when it's a sensitive issue (i.e. seeing any conflicting information as a dig). Granted there are plenty of places and people that put down CF at the drop of a hat. I really didn't get that vibe this time.
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:03 AM   #8
Brandon Oto
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Can you summarize your reading of that study, Garrett? I don't think I'm seeing the same conclusion you are.
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:09 AM   #9
Danny John
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Maybe I am blind, or just not as attuned, but I can't see how this is a dig against crossfit.

As to the point of studying Elite athletes, I would argue that studies of jiggling joggers on treadmills has had very little impact on our understanding of much. Elite athletes, by the way, usually tell the researchers what to study. I'm responsible for a lot of doctoral work in Ex Phys after I showed a number of candidates what people were actually doing...
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:17 AM   #10
Liam Dougherty Springer
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What is excessive training? what where these sportsmen doing durring the durration of there training history? how much rest did they take, sleep, diet, medication? I don't know what the common practices of elite athletes are when training at an olympic level but from reading about swimmers I get the idea it could be hours on end of strenuouse training in their sport every morning 6 days a week and supplemental strength traing a few afternoons. I can't imagine a program like that could in anyway be geared towards longevity. Thats not to mention their diet. CF I dont think could be in the same catagory it IS the supplamental training Olympic athletes use in conjunction with their primary. This article is interesting but I cant apply it easily.

On another note I recently hurt myself lifting do to a want to take every day to the max as I was not happy with my strength. Gains were everything for me. Simoutaniousely I was happy with my Metcon and bodyweight times and was only puting in a "balls to the wall" max effort like one out of every three work outs. Durring this time my Metcon times droped steadily and I hit a plateau in my strength training ending in a injury. (my own careless falt)

I guess what I am saying is as far as gains are concerned I have learned I make better safer and possibly quicker gains when I take it easy some times but am sure to really give it my all others. You can have too much of a good thing.
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