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J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Feb;17(1):129-39.

Effects of strength training on submaximal and maximal endurance performance capacity in middle-aged and older men.

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  • 1Centro de Investigación y Medicina del Deporte de Navarra, Gobierno de Navarra, Navarra, Spain 31002.


Effects of a 16-week progressive strength-training program on blood lactate accumulation (LA), maximal workload (W(max)) attained during progressive cycling exercise, maximum half-squat (1RM(HS)), muscle cross-sectional area of the quadriceps femoris muscle group (CSA(QF)), and serum hormone concentrations were examined in 11 middle-aged (46 year old [M46]) and 11 older (64 year old [M64]) men. During the 16 weeks of training, significant increases were observed in 1RM(HS) in M46 and M64 (41-45%; p < 0.001). The muscle CSA(QF) increased (13-11%; p > 0.01) for both groups. The first 8 weeks of training led to significant increases in W(max) (6-11%; p < 0.001) and decreases in submaximal (LA) in both groups, but no further training-induced changes were observed during the subsequent 8 weeks of training. Statistically significant relationships were observed in M64 and in the combined group M46 + M64 between the training-induced changes observed in W(max) and serum testosterone-cortisol and free-testosterone-cortisol ratios, whereas in M46 the respective correlations values did not reach statistically significant levels. These data indicate that strength training results in a significant improvement in maximal and submaximal endurance during the first 8 weeks of strength training in both age groups, related in part to the intensity and the volume of resistance training used and to the training status of the subjects. The relationships found in this study between various indices of cycling testing and serum hormone concentrations after strength training suggest that maximal incremental cycling might be used as an additional test to detect anabolic-catabolic responses to prolonged strength training in middle-aged and older men.

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