Dr. Joe came to First Endurance during the summer months of 2011 to help better understand the mechanism behind the OptygenHP formula.   As a well versed research scientist, Dr. Joe explained that he had interest in testing OptygenHP on himself and asked for some guidance how this could be done so he could have a better appreciation for its benefits.  Basically, he wanted to know if the results were measurable.  We told him yes, but agreed that on a single subject these measurements may be difficult to extrapolate.   It is clearly understood that a study with a single subject lends itself to too many variables and too little data to clearly make conclusions.  We understand this.     However, Dr. Joe was interested in his own personal gain, so we helped design a study that looks at Optygen and OptygenHP’s primary mechanism:  modulating cortisol which also works inversely with testosterone.   What is nice about this test is that we removed as much subjective interpretation as possible.  Dr. Joe simply followed an exact protocol and used a 3rd party lab to test his testosterone and cortisol.     His conclusions clearly support our recommendation that Optygen and OptygenHP work best when under a lot of stress.   It also supports the correlation between cortisol light versus heavy training.   Where light to moderate training can offer the benefit of increased testosterone and lower cortisol, heavy training reflects a reduction in testosterone and increase in cortisol.    Below is the review and test Dr. Joe performed.


Study by Dr. Joseph A. Sheppard, DC

Optygen HP and the correlation of Salivary Cortisol and Testosterone
levels over a 4 month cycle period in a healthy 44 year old male undergoing
Weight Resistance Exercises and Interval Cycling Training:
A Case Report


Testosterone is a key element in strength and recovery for competitive athletes, whether in the amateur and or professional fields. Testosterone is a steroid hormone secreted in the testes of males.  Many athletes choose to use testosterone to enhance muscle development, strength and endurance. Athletes have gone to great lengths to use performance enhancing drugs in many forms of Competition. I am not advocating the use of synthetic testosterone, but simply educating why having adequate levels is so important in training. The studies that show how using resistance and strength weight training increases initial and long term testosterone is well known and documented in the fitness world. The hormone Testosterone promotes protein synthesis thus rebuilding of skeletal tissues and muscle development, which is essential for cycling performance. This will translate to additional force to the pedals and increased speed on the pavement.

The impact of aerobic exercise on testosterone levels was evaluated in an article in 2011 by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning.  The researchers determined that moderate to intense protocols and interval training increased the Testosterone Levels. Testosterone levels during and after exercise also increased in the blood during high level intensity aerobic exercise says Henrik Galbo in his book” Hormonal and Metabolic Adaptations to Exercise”. William Kraemer documented in a study on resistance training and determined that Testosterone levels significantly increased with the combination of increased workload and decreased rest phases. This documented how high level intensity cycling training will improve performance and increase overall Testosterone level.

The Analysis also showed that long term weight training and resistance lifting will increase Testosterone while long term endurance sports will lower Testosterone levels. In a study from The Journal of Strength and Condition, the basal Testosterone levels were significantly lower in cyclists than age-matched weightlifters or untrained controls. In the research paper from the Journal of Sports Sciences, showed that elite weightlifters had significantly higher levels of Testosterone as compared to elite cyclists.  It was the conclusion from researchers, that this adaption to cyclists and endurance athletes an advantage by ensuing that higher levels of Testosterone and muscle mass would slow them down.

While cycling at high intensities and increased volumes improve testosterone, too much can reduce hormone levels. Thru the release of Cortisol, the body breaks down proteins during the ride. Testosterone helps with recovery post workout. In a study on elite swimmers in which training volumes were doubled in 10 days, there were significant rises in Cortisol and consistent decreases in Testosterone levels. This correlates to show that excessive intensity in workouts will reduce performance and hormone levels.

It has always been a concern that the recent evidence and media news for Vegetarians showed that a soy based diet would decrease Testosterone levels. I have been an Ovo lacto Vegetarian for 27 years and I am excited to see the correlation of exercise, diet and supplementation will play on my normal salivary Testosterone and Cortisol levels.


A 44 year old Ovo lactoVegetarian male was tested over a 4 month period using various methods of interval training and resistance Kettlebell workouts. Salivary Cortisol and Testosterone tests were also performed in the early am upon waking up thru ZRT Laboratories.  Normal Observed Reference ranges were based upon a healthy 44 years old male for Testosterone was 58-120 mg. and Morning Cortisol 3.7 to 9.5. These tests were taken monthly with no other nutritional supplementation in the athletes diet, except 2 Tablespoons Organic Flax seed oil, MHP Probolic SR Protein powder 1 scoop daily, 2 scoops of FLUID recovery drink and I scoop of BSN Creatine 2 times a week. My diet also included 6-7 eggs per week, 2 cheese servings per week with 3 Soy (soy/rice milk, Tofu or soy based protein) based servings a day. The First month consisted of Moderate Kettlebell 2 times a week and Moderate Level (4 total) Cycling Intervals 2 times a week. The Second month involved Heavy Kettlebell 3 times a week and Moderate Level (4 intervals) Cycling Intervals 3 times a week. The Third month was Light Kettlebell 2 times a week and High Level (7 total) Cycling Intervals 3 times a week. The Fourth month training routine consisted of Heavy Kettlebell 2 times a week and High Level (4 total) Cycling Intervals performed 4 times a week. 1st Endurance Product Optygen HP was taken daily for the Two months at the recommendation supplementation intake of 4 capsules 1 time a day. All power and wattage calculations were performed and recorded with the Cycleops Powertap SL+ powermeter with iPhone Digifit Power Connect.  The Weider Adjustable Powerbell was used for all resistance weight training Kettlebell exercises with mild (20lbs.), moderate (30 lbs.) and heavy (40 lbs.).





My review of the recent testing revealed that initially a baseline moderate level resistance Kettlebell training (30lbs.) and interval cycling has a minimal impact on increasing Testosterone levels and has reduction of salivary Cortizol. The Second phase of training validated the use of heavy resistance Kettlebell training (40lbs.) and the overall increase in Testosterone and Cortizol levels. This type of training also decreased the power and wattage output on the bike by 9.7 percent. The Third phase introduces Optygen HP combined with Light Kettlebell (20lbs.) and 7 high intensity intervals at 3 times a week showed a decrease in Testosterone by 7 percent and a minimal change in Cortisol levels, but a 8 percent increase in power and watts on the bike. The final and Fourth training phase which consisted of 2 times a week Heavy Kettlebell (40lbs.) and 4 high level cycling intervals performed 4 times a week. The Testosterone hormone level increased by 8 percent with a slight increase of Cortizol, but a continual increase of  8 percent in power and wattage levels.

The best results showed that when taking Optygen HP and the use of Heavy resistance weight training combined with 4 interval cycling training had the highest level of testosterone increase while maintaining within normal limits of salivary Cortisol. Power and wattage significantly increased along with a decrease in overall bodyweight while on Optygen HP from 1st Endurance. This study also validated that high level resistance weight training will increase initial Testosterone levels by 7 percent. I also feel that the seven cycling intervals that decreased the Testosterone levels by 8 percent, which was consistent with increased training volumes interval overload beyond the 4 research study by J.P. Kirwan. In consideration with a long term Vegetarian diet and the use of daily soy based products have no documented impact on Testosterone hormone levels in a healthy 44 year old male.



European Journal of Applied Physio, 2004, 91(5-6):698-707

Journal Applied Physiol, 1988, 65:2406-2412

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Res, Feb 2003, 17(1):129-39

Journal of Sports Sciences, 2004, 22(5):465-478


Kirwan, J.P., D.L. Costill, M.G. Flynn, J.B. Mitchell, W.J. Fink, P.D. Neufer, and J.A. Houmard. Physiological responses to successive days of intense training in competitive swimmers. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 20(3): 255-259, 1988

Journal of Strength and Condition Research, Plasma and Salivary Steroid Hormone Responses of men to High Intensity Cycling and Resistance Exercise; John Hough et al.; January 2011

Volek, Jeff S., William J. Kraemer, Jill A. Bush, Thomas Incledon, and Mark Boetes. Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise. Jour. Appl. Physiol. 82(1): 49–54, 1997


Bucci LR; Selected herbals and human exercise performance. Amer Jour Clin Nutr. 2000 Aug 72(2).