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The order effect of combined endurance and strength loadings on force and hormone responses: effects of prolonged training

Abstract

Purpose

To examine acute responses and recovery of force and serum hormones to combined endurance and strength loadings utilizing different orders of exercises before and after training.

Methods

Physically active men were matched to an order sequence of endurance followed by strength (E + S, n = 12) or strength followed by endurance (S + E, n = 17). The subjects performed one experimental loading consisting of steady-state cycling and a leg press protocol before and after 24 weeks of order-specific combined training.

Results

No between-group difference in acute reductions of force was observed at week 0 (E + S −23 %, p < 0.001; S + E −22 %, p < 0.01) and 24 (E + S −25 %, p < 0.001; S + E −27 %, p < 0.001) and recovery in force was completed after 24 h in both groups at week 0 and 24. Concentrations of growth hormone (22-kDa) increased post-acute loading at week 0 (E + S, +57 fold, p < 0.05; S + E, +300 fold, p < 0.001; between-groups p < 0.001) and 24 (E + S, +80 fold, p < 0.01; S + E, +340 fold, p < 0.05; between-groups p < 0.05). No significant acute responses in concentrations of testosterone were observed at week 0 or 24. However, at week 0 testosterone was reduced during recovery following the E + S loading only (24 h −23 %, p < 0.01; 48 h −21 %, p < 0.001; between-groups at 24 and 48 h, p < 0.05), but was no longer observed after training. 1RM strength improved similarly in E + S (13 %, p < 0.001) and S + E (17 %, p < 0.001).

Conclusions

This study showed an order effect (E + S vs. S + E) in concentrations of testosterone during 2 days of recovery at week 0, which was diminished after 24 weeks of training. The initial difference in testosterone concentrations during recovery did not seem to be associated with strength development.

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Abbreviations

C:

Cortisol

CK:

Creatine kinase

E:

Endurance

ECG:

Electrocardiogram

ES:

Effect size

E + S:

Endurance followed by strength

GH:

Growth hormone (22-kDa)

MVCmax :

Maximal isometric bilateral leg press force

S:

Strength

SD:

Standard deviation

S + E:

Strength followed by endurance

T:

Testosterone

TSH:

Thyroid stimulating hormone

\({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{{ 2 {\text{max}}}}\) :

Maximal oxygen consumption

1RM:

One repetition maximum

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Acknowledgments

The funding for this study has been partially provided by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. The authors would like to express their gratitude to the technical staff involved in the data collection. Furthermore, the subjects who allowed this study to be conducted are highly acknowledged.

Conflict of interest

The authors of this manuscript do not have conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Moritz Schumann.

Additional information

Communicated by Toshio Moritani.

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Schumann, M., Walker, S., Izquierdo, M. et al. The order effect of combined endurance and strength loadings on force and hormone responses: effects of prolonged training. Eur J Appl Physiol 114, 867–880 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-013-2813-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-013-2813-6

Keywords

  • Fatigue
  • Testosterone
  • Recovery
  • Endurance cycling
  • Concurrent training
  • Combined training
  • Training adaptations