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Concurrent Strength and Endurance Training

Concurrent Strength and Endurance Training

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Concurrent Strength andEndurance Training
A Review
 Michael Leveritt,
1,2
Peter J. Abernethy,
2
Benjamin K. Barry
2
 
and
Peter A. Logan
3
1Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Waikato Polytechnic, Hamilton, New Zealand2Department of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane,Queensland, Australia3Department of Exercise Physiology and Applied Nutrition, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra,Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Contents
Abstract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4131.Concurrent Training Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4141.1Dependent Variable Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4151.2Modality of Resistance Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4161.3Modality of Endurance Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4161.4Training History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4162.Proposed Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4172.1Overtraining . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4172.2The Chronic Hypothesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4182.2.1Muscle Fibre Type Transformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4182.2.2Muscle Fibre Hypertrophy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4192.2.3Endocrine Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4202.2.4Changes in Motor Unit Recruitment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4212.3The Acute Hypothesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4212.3.1Fatigue Mechanisms Involved in the Acute Hypothesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4233.Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425
Abstract
Concurrent strength and endurance training appears to inhibit strength devel-opment when compared with strength training alone. Our understanding of thenature of this inhibition and the mechanisms responsible for it is limited at present.This is due to the difficulties associated with comparing results of studies whichdiffer markedly in a number of design factors, including the mode, frequency,duration and intensity of training, training history of participants, scheduling of trainingsessionsanddependentvariableselection.Despitethesedifficulties,bothchronic and acute hypotheses have been proposed to explain the phenomenon of strength inhibition during concurrent training. The chronic hypothesis contendsthat skeletal muscle cannot adapt metabolically or morphologically to both strengthand endurance training simultaneously. This is because many adaptations at themuscle level observed in response to strength training are different from thoseobserved after endurance training. The observation that changes in muscle fibre
R
EVIEW
A
RTICLE
Sports Med 1999 Dec; 28 (6): 413-4270112-1642/99/0012-0413/$07.50/0 © Adis International Limited. All rights reserved.
 
type and size after concurrent training are different from those observed afterstrength training provide some support for the chronic hypothesis. The acutehypothesis contends that residual fatigue from the endurance component of con-current training compromises the ability to develop tension during the strengthelement of concurrent training. It is proposed that repeated acute reductions inthe quality of strength training sessions then lead to a reduction in strength develop-ment over time. Peripheral fatigue factors such as muscle damage and glycogendepletion have been implicated as possible fatigue mechanisms associated withthe acute hypothesis. Further systematic research is necessary to quantify theinhibitory effects of concurrent training on strength development and to identifydifferent training approaches that may overcome any negative effects of concurrenttraining.
Athletes involved in many sports often performstrength and endurance training concurrently in aneffort to achieve adaptations specific to both formsoftraining.Todate,researchinvestigatingtheneuro-muscular adaptations and performance improvementsassociated with concurrent strength and endurancetraining (subsequently referred to as concurrenttraining) has produced inconsistent results. Somestudies have shown that concurrent training inhibitsthe development of strength and power but doesnot affect the development of aerobic fitness whencompared with either mode of training alone.
[1-5]
Other studies have shown that concurrent traininghas no inhibitory effect on the development of strength or endurance.
[6-9]
However, it has also beenshown that the development of aerobic fitness iscompromised by concurrent training.
[10]
Discrep-anciesintheconcurrenttrainingliteraturemostlikelystem from the use of different training protocols ineach individual study. For example, some studieshaveusedisokineticstrengthtrainingprotocols,
[2,8,10]
whileothershaveemployedisoinertialstrengthtrain-ing.
[1,3-6,9]
The nature of endurance training alsodiffers among studies. Running,
[3-5]
cycling,
[2,6,9,10]
rowing,
[7,11]
arm cranking
[8]
and a combination of running and cycling
[1]
have all been performed inthe endurance training components of various con-current training studies. To complicate matters fur-ther, most concurrent training protocols differ inthe volume, intensity and speed of muscular con-traction.Finally,thetrainingageofstudyparticipantshas differed among studies. The purpose of thispaper is to review the concurrent training literaturein order to identify the limitations of the research,discuss various hypotheses proposed to explain re-search findings and conclude with suggestions forfuture research.
1. Concurrent Training Studies
Investigations into the effects of concurrenttraininghavetypicallycomparedchangesinstrengthand endurance variables after strength training, en-durance training and concurrent strength and en-durance training (see tables I, II and III). Arguably,themostconsistentfindingtoemergefromthecon-current training literature is that increases in strengthand power during concurrent training are reducedwhencomparedwithstrengthtrainingalone.
[1-5,12-15]
However, this is not always the case. Nelson et al.
[10]
reportedthatimprovementsinmaximaloxygenup-take (V
.
O
2max
) during the second half of a 20-week training programme were compromised during con-current training when compared with endurancetraining alone. Moreover, a number of studies havefoundnointerferencetostrengthorendurancedevel-opment as aconsequenceofconcurrent training.
[6-9,11]
Currentresearchindicatesthatconcurrenttrainingcan, on occasion, inhibit strength or endurance de-velopment. It is difficult to make clear statementsas to under what conditions such inhibition occurs,as there are significant differences in the design of concurrent training studies. Some of these designissues are discussed in the following subsections.
414
Leveritt et al.
Adis International Limited. All rights reserved.Sports Med 1999 Dec; 28 (6)
 
1.1 Dependent Variable Selection
Whyisattenuationofstrengthorenduranceper-formance evident only in some concurrent trainingstudies? Typically, the variation between studies isattributed to differences in the concurrent traininginterventions and/or the participants. However,consideration should also be given to the possibilitythat some dependent variables may be more sensi-tive than others to the effects of concurrent training.Werecentlycompletedaninvestigationaddressingthis question (unpublished data). Specifically, wecompared the sensitivity of isoinertial, isometricand isokinetic strength indices to the effects of 6weeksofstrength,endurance,andconcurrentstrengthand endurance training. Strength and endurancetraining involved 3 sets of upper and lower bodyexercises[4to10repetitionsmaximum(RM)],and5 5-minute bouts of cycling (40 to 100% V
.
O
2max
),respectively. Strength parameters measured priorto and following training were the 1RM half squat,maximal isometric leg extension strength 0.78 radfromfullextension,andmaximalisokineticextension
Table I.
Interference in strength developmentAuthor Design/training routine Findings CommentsHickson
[1]
10 weeks training 5 days per weekS group: multiple sets of 5 repetitions,loads > 80% 1RM, range of lower limbexercisesE group: high intensity cycling andrunningS group
by a greater margin thanC group;
V
.
O
2max
E
C groupDudley & Djamil
[2]
7 weeks training 3 days per weekS group: 2 sets of 30-second isokineticknee extensions 4.19 rad
 –1
E group: interval cycle ergometry of 5 x5-minute bouts, 40 to 100% V
.
O
2max
C group: S and E alternate daysS group participants
peak torqueat speeds up to and including thetraining speed; C group
peaktorque at slower velocities (0 to 1.68rad • s
 –1
) only;
V
.
O
2max
E
C groupHunter et al.
[12]
12 weeks training 4 S and/or 4 Esessions per weekC group trained S followed by E on sameday twice a week, only 1 trainingmodality on the remaining 4 daysS group: 3 sets of 7 to 10 repetitions,upper and lower body exercisesE group: running 75% HRR for 20 to 40minutesC group isoinertial S and endurancerunning training did not inhibit 1RMsquat or bench press, but vertical jump height
was not as great in Cgroup as S group;
V
.
O
2max
E
Cgroup; additional group of E trainedparticipants produced similarstrength and power
to S groupFurther analysis of 1RMsquat data using effect sizestatistics
[13]
suggestedimprovements for S groupwere approximately doublethe ES observed for C group;training status may influenceadaptations to C trainingHennessy & Watson
[4]
8 weeks training 5 days per week - CS group: 3 days per week, periodised, at70 to 105% 1RME group: 4 days per week running, (3sessions continuous, 1 fartlek)C group: irregular, S and E same daytwice a week (order not reported), 1 dayS only and 2 days E onlyLower but not upper body Sdevelopment compromised; S groupimproved 20m sprint time andvertical jump height, whereas Cgroup did not improve on thesemeasures;
V
.
O
2max
E
C group56 male rugby players withresistance trainingexperience; reinforcesinhibitory effects confined toconcurrently trained limbsKraemer et al.
[5]
12 weeks training with 4 group designs:C, S and E; C, E and upper body only S;S only; E onlyC group: 4 days per week, S and Esame dayE group: running, 80 to 100% V
.
O
2max
S group: heavy/light 4-day split routine, 3x 10RM and 5 x 5RM1RM S was inhibited in C group;only S group
Wingateperformance;
V
.
O
2max
E
C group35 males from a single USArmy base
C
= concurrent;
E
= endurance;
ES
= effect size;
HRR
= heart rate reserve;
RM
= repetitions maximum;
S
= strength; V
.
O
2max
= maximaloxygen uptake;
= increase.
Concurrent Strength and Endurance Training415
Adis International Limited. All rights reserved.Sports Med 1999 Dec; 28 (6)

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