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Maximal strength, power, and aerobic endurance adaptations to concurrent strength and sprint interval training



This study was designed to examine whether concurrent sprint interval and strength training (CT) would result in compromised strength development when compared to strength training (ST) alone. In addition, maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and time to exhaustion (TTE) were measured to determine if sprint interval training (SIT) would augment aerobic performance.


Fourteen recreationally active men completed the study. ST (n = 7) was performed 2 days/week and CT (n = 7) was performed 4 days/week for 12 weeks. CT was separated by 24 h to reduce the influence of acute fatigue. Body composition was analyzed pre- and post-intervention. Anaerobic power, one-repetition maximum (1RM) lower- and upper-body strength, VO2max and TTE were analyzed pre-, mid-, and post-training. Training intensity for ST was set at 85 % 1RM and SIT trained using a modified Wingate protocol, adjusted to 20 s.


Upper- and lower-body strength improved significantly after training (p < 0.001) with no difference between the groups (p > 0.05). VO2max increased 40.9 ± 8.4 to 42.3 ± 7.1 ml/kg/min (p < 0.05) for CT, whereas ST remained unchanged. A significant difference in VO2max (p < 0.05) was observed between groups post-intervention (CT: 42.3 ± 7.1 vs. ST: 36.0 ± 3.0 ml/kg/min). A main effect for time and group was observed in TTE (p < 0.05). A significant main effect for time was observed in average power (p < 0.05).


Preliminary findings suggest that performing concurrent sprint interval and strength training does not attenuate the strength response when compared to ST alone, while also improves aerobic performance measures, such as VO2max at the same time.

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Fig. 1



One-repetition maximum


Analysis of variance


Bench press


Beats per minute


Back squat


Concurrent training


Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry


Effect size


Graded exercise test


Milliliters per kilogram per minute


Revolutions per minute


Sprint interval training


Strength training


Time to exhaustion


Maximal oxygen consumption




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This study was funded by a Graduate Student Research grant to Gregory Cantrell from the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Gregory S. Cantrell.

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Communicated by Michael Lindinger.

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Cantrell, G.S., Schilling, B.K., Paquette, M.R. et al. Maximal strength, power, and aerobic endurance adaptations to concurrent strength and sprint interval training. Eur J Appl Physiol 114, 763–771 (2014).

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  • Wingate training
  • High-intensity endurance training
  • Back squat
  • Bench press
  • Interference effect