Acute metabolic, hormonal and anxiety responses to two training load intensities of kumite (integrated approach training) in international level karate athletes

Stefano Benedini, Matteo Crotti, Stefano Longo, Francesca Casiraghi, Andrea Bosio, Pietro Luigi Invernizzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The endocrine-metabolic system and anxiety responses were assessed in 10 international level karatekas performing a novel form of kumite training (integrated approach training, IAT).

METHODS: Six females and 4 males (16-25 yrs) performed two series of 4 matches each at two self-perceived effort levels (low and high). IAT provides continuous and dynamic actions and no score assignments. Metabolic and hormonal variables (blood glucose, insulin, cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine) and State-Trate Anxiety inventory Y-1 (STAI Y-1) were evaluated before and after the matches. The variables at different intensities were compared and correlations between STAI Y-1 and metabolic and hormonal variables were assessed.

RESULTS: The high intensity IAT caused higher stress than the low intensity one, as demonstrated by high blood glucose, insulin, cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine and STAI Y-1 values (P<0.001). Moreover, anxiety levels were higher before the IAT sessions (pre-IAT) than after the IAT sessions (post-IAT) (P<0.05). An increase in metabolic and hormonal variables was observed from the pre-IAT measurements to the post-IAT ones (P<0.05). At low intensity, increments were detected only in blood glucose, insulin and norepinephrine (P<0.05). At high intensity, correlations were found between: norepinephrine pre-IAT and STAI Y-1 post-IAT (r=0.68, P=0.032); STAI Y-1 post-IAT with blood glucose (r=0.73, P=0.018), epinephrine (r=0.82, P=0.004) and norepinephrine (r=0.92, P<0.001) post-IAT.

CONCLUSIONS: High intensity IAT elicits a stress-related response, demonstrated by correlations between anxiety levels and metabolic and hormonal parameters. At low intensity an initial activation of this stress-related response seems present. In relation to the athletes’ characteristics, training periodization and performance levels, these results can help in individualizing and designing specifics training programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-514
Number of pages11
JournalGazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Catecholamines
  • Athletes
  • Glucose metabolism disorders
  • Martial arts
  • Sympathetic nervous system


Dive into the research topics of 'Acute metabolic, hormonal and anxiety responses to two training load intensities of kumite (integrated approach training) in international level karate athletes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this