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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

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




  1. Aagaard P, Simonsen EB, Andersen JL, Magnusson P, Dyhre-Poulsen P (2002) Increased rate of force development and neural drive of human skeletal muscle following resistance training. J Appl Physiol 93:1318–1326. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00283.2002

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Ahtiainen JP, Pakarinen A, Alen M, Kraemer WJ, Hakkinen K (2003) Muscle hypertrophy, hormonal adaptations and strength development during strength training in strength-trained and untrained men. Eur J Appl Physiol 89:555–563. doi:10.1007/s00421-003-0833-3

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bachele TR, Earle RW (2008) Essentials of strength training and conditioning. Human Kinetics, Champaign

    Google Scholar 

  4. Balabinis CP, Psarakis CH, Moukas M, Vassiliou MP, Behrakis PK (2003) Early phase changes by concurrent endurance and strength training. J Strength Cond Res 17:393–401

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bassett DR Jr, Howley ET, Thompson DL et al (2001) Validity of inspiratory and expiratory methods of measuring gas exchange with a computerized system. J Appl Physiol 1985(91):218–224

    Google Scholar 

  6. Burgomaster KA, Howarth KR, Phillips SM et al (2008) Similar metabolic adaptations during exercise after low volume sprint interval and traditional endurance training in humans. J Physiol 586:151–160. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2007.142109

    CAS  PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Cohen J (1988) Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc, Hillsdale

    Google Scholar 

  8. Davis WJ, Wood DT, Andrews RG, Elkind LM, Davis WB (2008) Concurrent training enhances athletes’ strength, muscle endurance, and other measures. J Strength Cond Res 22:1487–1502. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181739f08

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. de Souza EO, Tricoli V, Franchini E, Paulo AC, Regazzini M, Ugrinowitsch C (2007) Acute effect of two aerobic exercise modes on maximum strength and strength endurance. J Strength Cond Res 21:1286–1290. doi:10.1519/R-20686.1

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Gibala MJ, Little JP, van Essen M et al (2006) Short-term sprint interval versus traditional endurance training: similar initial adaptations in human skeletal muscle and exercise performance. J Physiol 575:901–911. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2006.112094

    CAS  PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Glowacki SP, Martin SE, Maurer A, Baek W, Green JS, Crouse SF (2004) Effects of resistance, endurance, and concurrent exercise on training outcomes in men. Med Sci Sports Exerc 36:2119–2127

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Hakkinen K, Alen M, Kraemer WJ et al (2003) Neuromuscular adaptations during concurrent strength and endurance training versus strength training. Eur J Appl Physiol 89:42–52. doi:10.1007/s00421-002-0751-9

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Hazell TJ, Macpherson RE, Gravelle BM, Lemon PW (2010) 10 Or 30-S sprint interval training bouts enhance both aerobic and anaerobic performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 110:153–160. doi:10.1007/s00421-010-1474-y

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Hennessy L, Watson A (1994) The interference effects of training for strength and endurance simultaneously. J Strength Cond Res 8:12–19

    Google Scholar 

  15. Hickson RC (1980) Interference of strength development by simultaneously training for strength and endurance. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 45:255–263

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Hickson RC, Bomze HA, Holloszy JO (1977) Linear increase in aerobic power induced by a strenuous program of endurance exercise. J Appl Physiol 42:372–376

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Holloszy JO (1967) Biochemical adaptations in muscle. Effects of exercise on mitochondrial oxygen uptake and respiratory enzyme activity in skeletal muscle. J Biol Chem 242:2278–2282

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Howley ET, Bassett DR Jr, Welch HG (1995) Criteria for maximal oxygen uptake: review and commentary. Med Sci Sports Exerc 27:1292–1301

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Ignjatovic A, Radovanovic D, Stankovic R, Markovic Z, Kocic J (2011) Influence of resistance training on cardiorespiratory endurance and muscle power and strength in young athletes. Acta Physiol Hung 98:305–312. doi:10.1556/APhysiol.98.2011.3.7

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Izquierdo M, Ibanez J, HAkkinen K, Kraemer WJ, Larrion JL, Gorostiaga EM (2004) Once weekly combined resistance and cardiovascular training in healthy older men. Med Sci Sports Exerc 36:435–443

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Izquierdo M, Hakkinen K, Ibanez J, Kraemer WJ, Gorostiaga EM (2005) Effects of combined resistance and cardiovascular training on strength, power, muscle cross-sectional area, and endurance markers in middle-aged men. Eur J Appl Physiol 94:70–75. doi:10.1007/s00421-004-1280-5

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Kraemer WJ, Patton JF, Gordon SE et al (1995) Compatibility of high-intensity strength and endurance training on hormonal and skeletal muscle adaptations. J Appl Physiol 78:976–989

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Kreider RB, Fry AC, O’Toole ML (1998) Overtraining in sport. Human Kinetics, Champaign

    Google Scholar 

  24. Leveritt M, Abernethy P (1999) Acute effects of high-intensity endurance exercise on subsequent resistance activity. J Strength Cond Res 13:47–51

    Google Scholar 

  25. MacDougall JD, Sale DG, Moroz JR, Elder GC, Sutton JR, Howald H (1979) Mitochondrial volume density in human skeletal muscle following heavy resistance training. Med Sci Sports 11:164–166

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. MacDougall JD, Hicks AL, MacDonald JR, McKelvie RS, Green HJ, Smith KM (1998) Muscle performance and enzymatic adaptations to sprint interval training. J Appl Physiol 84:2138–2142

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. McCarthy JP, Agre JC, Graf BK, Pozniak MA, Vailas AC (1995) Compatibility of adaptive responses with combining strength and endurance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc 27:429–436

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Mikkola J, Rusko H, Izquierdo M, Gorostiaga EM, Hakkinen K (2012) Neuromuscular and cardiovascular adaptations during concurrent strength and endurance training in untrained men. Int J Sports Med 33:702–710. doi:10.1055/s-0031-1295475

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Moritani T, DeVries H (1979) Neural factors versus hypertrophy in the time course for muscle strength gain. AJPM 58:115–130

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  30. Nader GA (2006) Concurrent strength and endurance training: from molecules to man. Med Sci Sports Exerc 38:1965–1970. doi:10.1249/01.mss.0000233795.39282.33

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Nelson AG, Arnall DA, Loy SF, Silvester LJ, Conlee RK (1990) Consequences of combining strength and endurance training regimens. Phys Ther 70:287–294

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Reed JP, Schilling BK, Murlasits Z (2013) Acute neuromuscular and metabolic responses to concurrent endurance and resistance exercise. J Strength Cond Res 27:793–801. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e31825c2d3e

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Rodas G, Ventura JL, Cadefau JA, Cusso R, Parra J (2000) A short training programme for the rapid improvement of both aerobic and anaerobic metabolism. Eur J Appl Physiol 82:480–486

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Sale DG, Jacobs I, MacDougall JD, Garner S (1990) Comparison of two regimens of concurrent strength and endurance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc 22:348–356

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Staron RS, Hikida RS, Hagerman FC, Dudley GA, Murray TF (1984) Human skeletal muscle fiber type adaptability to various workloads. J Histochem Cytochem 32:146–152

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Tesch PA (1988) Skeletal muscle adaptations consequent to long-term heavy resistance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 20:S132–S134

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


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

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gregory S. Cantrell.

Additional information

Communicated by Michael Lindinger.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

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).

Download citation


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