Effects of explosive type strength training on physical performance characteristics in cross-country skiers

  • Leena Paavolainen
  • Keijo Häkkinen
  • Heikki Rusko


To investigate the effects of a combination of simultaneous strength and endurance training on selected neuromuscular and aerobic performance characteristics seven male cross-country skiers underwent training for a period of 6 weeks. The experimental group trained 6–9 times per week with a programme consisting of 34% explosive type strength training and 66% endurance training during the first 3 weeks of the experiment and 42% and 58% respectively during the last 3 weeks of the experiment. The total volume of training of the control group (eight skiers) was of the same magnitude but consisted of 85% pure endurance training and 15% endurance type strength training. The experimental training regime resulted in specific changes in neuromuscular performance. This was demonstrated by improvements (P<0.01) in the maximal heights of rise of the centre of gravity in the squat and countermovement jumps. A significant decrease (P<0.05) took place also in the time of rapid isometric force production during experimental training, while no changes occurred in the maximal force of the trained muscles. Aerobic performance characteristics of the experimental group did not change during the experimental training period. No significant changes occurred in neuromuscular or aerobic performance characteristics in the control group. These findings indicated that training-induced improvements in explosive force production may not be fully inhibited by this kind of aerobic training. They also suggested that endurance athletes could undertake explosive type strength training programmes without a concomitant reduction in aerobic capacity, if the overall loading of training were within predefined limits.

Key words

Explosive type strength training Neuromuscular performance Aerobic capacity Endurance athletes 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leena Paavolainen
    • 1
  • Keijo Häkkinen
    • 1
  • Heikki Rusko
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology of Physical ActivityUniversity of JyvaskylaJyväskyläFinland

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