Staab, J. S., Sharp, M. A., Nindl, B. C., Rarick, K. R., Spiering, B. A., Hatfield, D. L., Yamamoto, L. M., Frykman, P. N., Harman, E. A., Gutekenst, D. J., Volek, J. S., Maresh, C. M., & Kraemer, W. J. (2006). Comparison of three training programs for improving aerobic performance in women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 2587.

This study evaluated the effectiveness of three training programs and determined the relative contributions of aerobic and resistance training to aerobic fitness and performance of two aerobically demanding tasks. Untrained females (N = 56) were assigned randomly to one of four groups matched for weight, height, strength, and VO2max: control group (N = 10; CT); resistance training (N = 18; RES); aerobic training (N = 13; AER); and combined resistance and aerobic training (N = 15; CB). Training was performed on three non-consecutive days per week for nine weeks. The resistance training group used a periodized model, performing three sets of seven upper- and lower-body exercises per session. Aerobic training consisted of 20-30 minutes of continuous running at 70-85% maximum heart rate, and progressive interval running. The combined group performed both the resistance and aerobic exercise programs on the same day (i.e., double the training load). VO2max was determined using a treadmill running protocol at weeks 0 and 9. Timed two mile run (2MRUN) and two mile load carriage (2MLC) with a 72 lb rucksack were determined at weeks 0, 4, and 9. A repeated measures ANOVA was used for statistical analysis.

The two mile load carriage improved over time for all groups combined with no significant differences between groups. Over nine weeks, combined resistance and aerobic training improved VO2max by 8.2% while aerobic training alone improved VO2max by 5.5%. There was no additional training effect on two mile run performance in a combined resistance and aerobic training group compared to aerobic training alone. Combined training did not improve the performance of a load carriage task to any greater degree than the other training programs or a non-training control group.

Implication. Training that combines resistance and aerobic training produces no training advantage over aerobic training alone on endurance-dominated activities.

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