Changes in cardiovascular performance during an 8-week military basic training period combined with added endurance or strength training

Matti Santtila, Keijo Häkkinen, Laura Karavirta, Heikki Kyröläinen
Military Medicine 2008, 173 (12): 1173-9
The purpose of the present study was to examine the changes in cardiovascular performance (VO2 max) and maximal strength development during an 8-week basic training (BT) combined with emphasized endurance training (ET) or strength training (ST) among 72 conscripts. The emphasized ST and ET programs combined with BT improved VO2 max by 12.0% (p < 0.01) and 8.5% (p < 0.05), while the increase in the control group (normal training) was 13.4% (p < 0.001). Body fat and waist circumference decreased in all groups. Normal training did not increase maximal strength of leg extensors but both ST (9.1%; p < 0.05) and ET (12.9%; p < 0.01) did. In conclusion, the current BT program including a high amount of endurance training improved cardiovascular performance. However, no further improvements in VO2 max were obtained by added endurance training for three times a week. BT positively influenced body composition but BT alone was not a sufficient stimulus to increase the maximal strength of leg extensors.

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