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J Strength Cond Res. 2005 Nov;19(4):826-30.

Combining explosive and high-resistance training improves performance in competitive cyclists.

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The Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, The Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton, New Zealand.


In several recent studies, athletes experienced substantial gains in sprint and endurance performance when explosive training or high-intensity interval training was added in the noncompetitive phase of a season. Here we report the effect of combining these 2 types of training on performance in the competitive phase. We randomized 18 road cyclists to an experimental (n = 9) or control (n = 9) group for 4-5 weeks of training. The experimental group replaced part of their usual training with twelve 30-minute sessions consisting of 3 sets of explosive single-leg jumps (20 for each leg) alternating with 3 sets of high-resistance cycling sprints (5 x 30 seconds at 60-70 min(-1) with 30-second recoveries between repetitions). Performance measures, obtained over 2-3 days on a cycle ergometer before and after the intervention, were mean power in a 1- and 4-km time trial, peak power in an incremental test, and lactate-profile power and oxygen cost determined from 2 fixed submaximal workloads. The control group showed little mean change in performance. Power output sampled in the training sprints of the experimental group indicated a plateau in the training effect after 8-12 sessions. Relative to the control group, the mean changes (+/-90% confidence limits) in the experimental group were: 1-km power, 8.7% (+/-2.5%); 4-km power, 8.1% (+/-4.1%); peak power, 6.8% (+/-3.6); lactate-profile power, 3.7% (+/-4.8%); and oxygen cost, -3.0% (+/-2.6%). Individual responses to the training were apparent only for 4-km and lactate-profile power (standard deviations of 2.5% and 2.8%, respectively). The addition of explosive training and high-resistance interval training to the programs of already well-trained cyclists produces major gains in sprint and endurance performance, partly through improvements in exercise efficiency and anaerobic threshold.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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