, Volume 81, Issue 5, pp 418-427

Effect of concurrent strength and endurance training on skeletal muscle properties and hormone concentrations in humans

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of concurrent strength and endurance training on strength, endurance, endocrine status and muscle fibre properties. A total of 45 male and female subjects were randomly assigned to one of four groups; strength training only (S), endurance training only (E), concurrent strength and endurance training (SE), or a control group (C). Groups S and E trained 3 days a week and the SE group trained 6 days a week for 12 weeks. Tests were made before and after 6 and 12 weeks of training. There was a similar increase in maximal oxygen consumption (O2 max) in both groups E and SE (P < 0.05). Leg press and knee extension one repetition maximum (1 RM) was increased in groups S and SE (P < 0.05) but the gains in knee extension 1 RM were greater for group S compared to all other groups (P < 0.05). Types I and II muscle fibre area increased after 6 and 12 weeks of strength training and after 12 weeks of combined training in type II fibres only (P < 0.05). Groups SE and E had an increase in succinate dehydrogenase activity and group E had a decrease in adenosine triphosphatase after 12 weeks of training (P < 0.05). A significant increase in capillary per fibre ratio was noted after 12 weeks of training in group SE. No changes were observed in testosterone, human growth hormone or sex hormone binding globulin concentrations for any group but there was a greater urinary cortisol concentration in the women of group SE and decrease in the men of group E after 12 weeks of training (P < 0.05). These findings would support the contention that combined strength and endurance training can suppress some of the adaptations to strength training and augment some aspects of capillarization in skeletal muscle.

Accepted: 10 November 1998