Kanaley, J. A., J. Y. Weltman, J. D. Veldhuis, A. D. Rogol, M. L. Hartman, and A. Weltman. Human growth hormone response to repeated bouts of aerobic exercise. J. Appl. Physiol. 83(5): 1756–1761, 1997.—We examined whether repeated bouts of exercise could override growth hormone (GH) auto-negative feedback. Seven moderately trained men were studied on three occasions: a control day (C), a sequential exercise day (SEB; at 1000, 1130, and 1300), and a delayed exercise day (DEB; at 1000, 1400, and 1800). The duration of each exercise bout was 30 min at 70% maximal O2 consumption (V˙o 2 max) on a cycle ergometer. Standard meals were provided at 0600 and 2200. GH was measured every 5–10 min for 24 h (0800–0800). Daytime (0800–2200) integrated GH concentrations were ∼150–160% greater during SEB and DEB than during C: 1,282 ± 345, 3,192 ± 669, and 3,389 ± 991 min ⋅ μg ⋅ l−1for C, SEB, and DEB, respectively [SEB > C (P < 0.06), DEB > C (P < 0.03)]. There were no differences in GH release during sleep (2300–0700). Deconvolution analysis revealed that the increase in 14-h integrated GH concentration on DEB was accounted for by an increase in the mass of GH secreted per pulse (per liter of distribution volume, lv): 7.0 ± 2.9 and 15.9 ± 2.6 μg/lv for C and DEB, respectively (P < 0.01). Comparison of 1.5-h integrated GH concentrations on the SEB and DEB days (30 min exercise + 60 min recovery) revealed that, with each subsequent exercise bout, GH release apparently increased progressively, with a slightly greater increase on the DEB day [SEB vs. DEB: 497 ± 162 vs. 407 ± 166 (bout 1), 566 ± 152 vs. 854 ± 184 (bout 2), and 633 ± 149 vs. 1,030 ± 352 min ⋅ μg ⋅ l−1(bout 3),P < 0.05]. We conclude that the GH response to acute aerobic exercise is augmented with repeated bouts of exercise.

  • endocrinology
  • deconvolution


  • Address for reprint requests: A. Weltman, Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Memorial Gymnasium, Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

  • This study was supported in part by National Institute on Aging Grant RO1-AG-10977 (to M. L. Hartman) and by General Clinical Research Center Grant RR-00847.

  • Present address of J. A. Kanaley: Dept. of Health and Physical Education, Syracuse Univ., Syracuse, NY 13244.

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