Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology & Public Health Education

First Advisor

John S. Fitzgerald


Background: The anabolic hormone testosterone plays a pivotal role in the healthy aging of men and tends to decline with age.

Objective: The aims of this systematic review and meta-analysis were twofold: 1) to evaluate the effect of exercise training on resting total testosterone concentration in men; and 2) to determine if the effects of exercise training differed by training type, age or weight status.

Methods: Electronic databases (MEDLINE, Scopus, CINAHL, and SPORTDiscus) were systematically searched (up to and including 19 September 2019) for peer-reviewed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) meeting the following criteria: apparently healthy, previously sedentary men (aged ≥18 years) participating in exercise training (any modality and ≥ 4 metabolic equivalents) lasting a minimum of 4 weeks, and reporting the effect of exercise training, in comparison to a sedentary controls, on resting total testosterone concentration. Intervention effects, weighted by the inverse of the pooled variance, were calculated relative to the control group as standardized mean differences.

Results: Ten RCTs were identified and descriptive data were extracted. Data from 389 men aged 20–70 years across 14 intervention groups participating in aerobic, resistance, or combined training lasting a median of 12 weeks, were included in the analysis. Overall, exercise training had a negligible effect on resting total testosterone concentration (mean SMD [95% CI]: 0.02 [–0.22 to 0.18]). Subgroup analyses indicated that the effect of exercise training was not significantly influenced by training type age, or weight status.

Conclusions: Exercise training does not appear to affect resting total testosterone concentration in previously sedentary, eugonadal men.