Effects of intra-session concurrent endurance and strength training sequence on aerobic performance and capacity

M Chtara, K Chamari, M Chaouachi, A Chaouachi, D Koubaa, Y Feki, G P Millet, M Amri
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2005, 39 (8): 555-60

AIM: To examine the effects of the sequencing order of individualised intermittent endurance training combined with muscular strengthening on aerobic performance and capacity.

METHODS: Forty eight male sport students (mean (SD) age 21.4 (1.3) years) were divided into five homogeneous groups according to their maximal aerobic speeds (vV*o2max). Four groups participated in various training programmes for 12 weeks (two sessions a week) as follows: E (n = 10), running endurance training; S (n = 9), strength circuit training; E+S (n = 10) and S+E (n = 10) combined the two programmes in a different order during the same training session. Group C (n = 9) served as a control. All the subjects were evaluated before (T0) and after (T1) the training period using four tests: (1) a 4 km time trial running test; (2) an incremental track test to estimate vV*o2max; (3) a time to exhaustion test (t(lim)) at 100% vV*o2max; (4) a maximal cycling laboratory test to assess V*o2max.

RESULTS: Training produced significant improvements in performance and aerobic capacity in the 4 km time trial with interaction effect (p < 0.001). The improvements were significantly higher for the E+S group than for the E, S+E, and S groups: 8.6%, 5.7%, 4.7%, and 2.5% for the 4 km test (p < 0.05); 10.4%, 8.3%, 8.2%, and 1.6% for vV*o2max (p < 0.01); 13.7%, 10.1%, 11.0%, and 6.4% for V*o2max (ml/kg(0.75)/min) (p < 0.05) respectively. Similar significant results were observed for t(lim) and the second ventilatory threshold (%V*o2max).

CONCLUSIONS: Circuit training immediately after individualised endurance training in the same session (E+S) produced greater improvement in the 4 km time trial and aerobic capacity than the opposite order or each of the training programmes performed separately.

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