Effects of Low-Volume Resistive Exercise on Beta-Endorphin and Cortisol Concentrations

R. R. Kraemer, E. O. Acevedo, D. Dzewaltowski, J. L. Kilgore, G. R. Kraemer, V. D. Castracane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


It has been recently suggested that high and sustained lactate levels may elicit increases in peripheral B-EN concentrations (16), We have observed elevated and sustained lactate concentrations in response to a low-volume resistive exercise protocol (14) that were similar to those from other exercise protocols that produced elevated beta-endorphin (B-EN) concentrations. Thus, the purpose of the study was to determine the effects of a low-volume (21,700 J) resistive exercise repetition maximum (RM) protocol using weight machines on peripheral lactate, B-EN and Cortisol concentrations. Subjects completed 3 sets of bench press, lat-pull, leg extension, and leg curl exercise at a 10-RM load. Blood samples were collected and rating of perceived exertion (RPE, 15-point Borg scale) was assessed before exercise (-40 and -10 min), after each exercise, and after the exercise session (+ 35 min); blood samples were collected at 7 additional post-exercise times. RPE increased significantly throughout the exercise. Lactate concentrations rose significantly to peak at 8.54 mM at LE. B-EN and cortisol concentrations (-10) of 4.63 ± 0.54 pmol · I-1 and 12.09 ± 1.44 μg · d-1 respectively, were not significantly elevated over time. The data suggest that a low-volume resistive exercise protocol using weight machines elevates lactate concentrations without altering B-EN and cortisol concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-16
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Lactate
  • Pituitary-adrenal axis
  • Weight training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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