Are Adaptations to Combined Endurance and Strength Training Affected by the Sequence of Training?


Political Science and International Affairs

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The purpose of this study was to determine whether the sequence of strength training before endurance training (ST/ET) is more or less effective than endurance training followed by strength training (ET/ST). Twenty‐three females and 11 males were assigned to one of three groups: ST/ET (n= 15), ET/ST (n= 15) or control (n = 4). The 7‐week training programme consisted of strength training using 10 exercises for two sets of 3–12 repetitions and running for 20–25 min at 60–90% of heart rate reserve. Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) was measured during a graded treadmill test, and muscular strength was assessed using one‐repetition maximum tests for the bench press (BP), shoulder press (SP), arm curl (AC) and leg press (LP). The VO2 max significantly (P < 0.05) increased 6.7 and 6.2% for the ST/ET and ET/ST groups, respectively. There was no significant (P > 0.05) difference between the two experimental groups. Muscular strength significantly (P <0.05) improved by 15.2% (BP), 16.6% (SP), 17.2% (AC) and 11.9% (LP) for the ST/ET group and 19.9% (BP), 24.1% (SP), 20.9% (AC) and 14.0% (LP) for the ET/ST group. There were no significant (P > 0.05) differences between the two experimental groups for the BP, AC and LP; however, the ET/ST group increased (P < 0.05) SP strength more than the ST/ET group. In conclusion, adaptations to a combination of short‐term endurance and strength training as assessed by VO2 max and BP, AC and LP strength appear to be independent of whether endurance training occurs prior to or following strength training.