Concurrent Strength and Sprint Interval Training

The following article is published ahead of print in the European Journal of Applied Physiology investigating whether concurrent sprint interval and strength training results in compromised strength development when compared to strength training alone.

Baseline Tests

  • 30s Wingate test
  • 1RM Bench Press
  • 1RM Back Squat
  • Maximal aerobic capacity

Methods

16 healthy recreationally active University males were randomly assigned to 12 weeks of:

  • Strength training – 2 x per week with 72 hours recovery between sessions
  • Concurrent training (strength & sprint training) – 4 x per week (2 x strength; 2 x sprint), with 24 hours between sessions

Training Protocols

Strength Trained (ST) – 3 sets of 4-6 repetitions (approx. 85% 1RM)

  • Back Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Leg Extension
  • Leg Curl
  • Lat Pulldown
  • Shoulder Press

Concurrent Trained (CT)

  • Same resistance protocol as strength training group
  • 4 x 20s modified 20s Wingate protocol on separate days to resistance training
  • With one additional set added every 4 weeks, so by week 12, 6 x 20s bursts were performed

Findings

  • Sprint interval training concurrently with heavy strength training does not result in compromised strength development, and improves aerobic performance measures of VO2max in recreationally active individuals.
  • Concurrent sprint interval and heavy strength training does not compromise upper- or lower-body strength development.
  • Sprint interval training does not interfere with maximal strength development, but appears to provide an added stimulus for strength development due to greater relative change in strength in lower body compared to upper body.
  • The strength improvements appear to be the result of neural adaptations, thereby explaining the improvements in strength in the absence of increases in lean body mass.
  • There appears to be an advantage to implementing strength and endurance training on alternate days and at least twice a week for each modality.
  • Aerobic performance measures (VO2max) appear to respond positively to low volume, high-intensity sprint interval training.

Gregory S. Cantrell · Brian K. Schilling · Max R. Paquette · Zsolt Murlasits. Maximal strength, power, and aerobic endurance adaptations to concurrent strength and sprint interval training. Eur J Appl Physiol DOI 10.1007/s00421-013-2811-8

Maximal strength, power, and

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