Effects of endurance training only versus same-session combined endurance and strength training on physical performance and serum hormone concentrations in recreational endurance runners

Moritz Schumann, Olli-Pekka Mykkänen, Kenji Doma, Raffaele Mazzolari, Kai Nyman, Keijo Häkkinen
Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, Physiologie Appliquée, Nutrition et Métabolisme 2015, 40 (1): 28-36
This study investigated the effects of endurance training only (E, n = 14) and same-session combined training, when strength training is repeatedly preceded by endurance loading (endurance and strength training (E+S), n = 13) on endurance (1000-m running time during incremental field test) and strength performance (1-repetition maximum (1RM) in dynamic leg press), basal serum hormone concentrations, and endurance loading-induced force and hormone responses in recreationally endurance-trained men. E was identical in the 2 groups and consisted of steady-state and interval running, 4-6 times per week for 24 weeks. E+S performed additional mixed-maximal and explosive-strength training (2 times per week) immediately following an incremental running session (35-45 min, 65%-85% maximal heart rate). E and E+S decreased running time at week 12 (-8% ± 5%, p = 0.001 and -7% ± 3%, p < 0.001) and 24 (-13% ± 5%, p < 0.001 and -9% ± 5%, p = 0.001). Strength performance decreased in E at week 24 (-5% ± 5%, p = 0.014) but was maintained in E+S (between-groups at week 12 and 24, p = 0.014 and 0.011, respectively). Basal serum testosterone and cortisol concentrations remained unaltered in E and E+S but testosterone/sex hormone binding globulin ratio decreased in E+S at week 12 (-19% ± 26%, p = 0.006). At week 0 and 24, endurance loading-induced acute force (-5% to -9%, p = 0.032 to 0.001) and testosterone and cortisol responses (18%-47%, p = 0.013 to p < 0.001) were similar between E and E+S. This study showed no endurance performance benefits when strength training was performed repeatedly after endurance training compared with endurance training only. This was supported by similar acute responses in force and hormonal measures immediately post-endurance loading after the training with sustained 1RM strength in E+S.

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