Accordingly, a new study has been undertaken to evaluate the effect of intense training during somatic growth and skeletal development on the onset of puberty in male gymnasts. The researchers hypothesized that after several years of training, the increased energy expenditure by elite gymnasts would result in lower levels of testosterone than other boys of their age, leading to a delay in physical growth characteristics and markers of sexual maturation.
A New Study
The study, entitled "Physical and Pubertal Development in Young Male Gymnasts" was conducted by Brendon Gurd and Panagiota Klentrou, both of the Department of Physical Education and Kinesiology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Their findings appear in the September 2003 edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology. The journal is one of 14 scientific journals published monthly by the American Physiological Society (APS) (http://www.the-aps.org).
A total of 21 elite gymnasts (GYM) (13.3 0.3 years) were recruited from competitive gymnastics clubs around Southern Ontario, Canada. In order to qualify for the experimental group, gymnasts had to be competing at a minimum of a provincial level and training at least 15 hours per week. A total of 24 age-matched boys (13.5 0.3 years) were recruited from recreational martial arts classes to participate as the control groups (CON). These boys were training not more than two hours per weeks.'"/>