Original Article

European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 4, pp 1335-1347

First online:

Effects of strength, endurance and combined training on muscle strength, walking speed and dynamic balance in aging men

  • J. HolvialaAffiliated withDepartment of Biology of Physical Activity, Neuromuscular Research Center, University of Jyväskylä Email author 
  • , W. J. KraemerAffiliated withHuman Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut
  • , E. SillanpääAffiliated withDepartment of Biology of Physical Activity, Neuromuscular Research Center, University of Jyväskylä
  • , H. KarppinenAffiliated withDepartment of Biology of Physical Activity, Neuromuscular Research Center, University of Jyväskylä
  • , J. AvelaAffiliated withDepartment of Biology of Physical Activity, Neuromuscular Research Center, University of Jyväskylä
  • , A. KauhanenAffiliated withDepartment of Biology of Physical Activity, Neuromuscular Research Center, University of Jyväskylä
  • , A. HäkkinenAffiliated withCentral Finland Central HospitalDepartment of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä
  • , K. HäkkinenAffiliated withDepartment of Biology of Physical Activity, Neuromuscular Research Center, University of Jyväskylä

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine effects of 21-week twice weekly strength (ST), endurance (ET) and combined (ST + ET 2 + 2 times a week) (SET) training on neuromuscular, endurance and walking performances as well as balance. 108 healthy men (56.3 ± 9.9 years) were divided into three training (ST; n = 30, ET; n = 26, SET; n = 31) groups and controls (C n = 21). Dynamic 1RM and explosive leg presses (1RMleg, 50%1RMleg), peak oxygen uptake using a bicycle ergometer (VO2peak), 10 m loaded walking time (10WALK) and dynamic balance distance (DYND) were measured. Significant increases were observed in maximal 1RMleg of 21% in ST (p < 0.001) and 22% in SET (p < 0.001) and in explosive 50%1RMleg of 7.5% in ST (p = 0.005) and 10.2% in SET (p < 0.001). VO2peak increased by 12.5% in ET (p = 0.001) and 9.8% in SET (p < 0.001). Significant decreases occurred in 10WALK in ST (p < 0.001) and SET (p = 0.003) and also in DYND of −10.3% in ST (p = 0.002) and −8% in SET (p = 0.028). The changes in C remained minor in all variables. In conclusion, ST and SET training produced significant improvements in maximal and explosive strength, walking speed and balance without any interference effect in SET. Significant but moderate relationships were observed between strength and dynamic balance and walking speed, while no corresponding correlations were found in the ET group.

Keywords

Combined strength and endurance training Balance Functional capacity Aging men