THE ORDER OF STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE TRAINING IN A SINGLE SESSION DOES NOT MATTER WITH REGARD TO STRENGTH GAINS
Schumann, M., Kuusmaa, M., Syvaojal, H., Walker, S., Nyman, K., Hakkinen, A., Kraemer, W. J., & Hakkinen, K. (2013). Changes in strength and muscle CSA during combined endurance and strength training: order effect. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 2145.
This study investigated the influence of single-session combined endurance plus strength and strength plus endurance training on maximal strength and muscle cross-sectional area in untrained males (N = 32). Ss were matched on anthropometrics and baseline physical performance to an endurance plus strength (N = 14) or strength plus endurance (N = 18) group and trained for 24 weeks (2 x 12 weeks). Maximal strength (1RM and maximal isometric leg-press, maximum voluntary contraction) and muscle cross-sectional area (by ultrasound, at 50% length of vastus lateralis) were measured at weeks 0, 12, and 24. Ss performed two combined sessions (2 x endurance plus strength or strength plus endurance) during weeks 0-12 and 2.5 combined sessions (5 x endurance plus strength or strength plus endurance per two weeks) during weeks 13-24. Strength training focused primarily on leg muscles (but included some upper-body and trunk exercises) with loads of 70-95% of 1RM. Endurance training consisted of continuous and intermittent cycling and the intensity was progressively increased throughout the training with a duration of 30-60 minutes per session.
Both groups significantly increased 1RM at 12 weeks (E+S, +8%; S+E, +12%) and 24 weeks (E+S, +13%; S+E, +17%) compared to week 0. Maximum isometric voluntary contraction significantly increased in both groups at week 12 (E+S, +11%; S+E, +13%). Muscle cross-sectional area increased significantly in both groups at 12 weeks (E+S, +5%; S+E, 4%) and 24 weeks (E+S, 11%, S+E, 14%) compared to week 0. No significant differences were found in gains of 1RM, maximal isometric leg-press, and cross-sectional area between the groups.
Implication. Whether strength training precedes endurance training or vice versa in the same training session does not produce any differences in measures of strength or adaptation.
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