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J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Jun;24(6):1584-95. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181dba178.

Effects of combined strength and endurance training on treadmill load carrying walking performance in aging men.

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  • 1Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, and Central Finland Central Hospital, Jyväskylä, Finland.


The present study examined the effects of twice weekly total body strength training (ST), endurance cycling (ET), and combined ST and ET (2+2 times a week) (SET) training on the load carrying walking test performance on the treadmill (TM) and changes in neuromuscular and endurance performance during a 21-week training period in aging men. Forty healthy men (54.8+/-8.0 years) were divided into 3 training groups (ET n=9, ST n=11, SET n=11) and a control group (C, n=9). Peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), heart rate, and blood lactate concentration were measured before and after a 21-week training program using a graded TM and maximal incremental bicycle ergometer (BE) tests. Isometric forces, vertical jump, and electromyographic activity of leg extensor and/or forearm flexor (F) muscles were measured before and after training and the TM tests. Increases of 20-21% in strength and of 7-12% in cycling BE VO2peak occurred in the training groups, whereas the changes of C remained minor. VO2peak was associated, both before and after training, with TM exercise time in all groups (from r=0.65, p=0.030 to r=0.93, p<0.001). Only SET showed a significant training-induced increase (p=0.011) in exercise time of the TM walking with no significant increase in TM VO2peak. The present data suggest that in older men ET and SET induced specific increases in BE VO2peak and ST and SET in strength. However, only SET increased walking exercise time indicating improved load carrying walking performance because of large individual differences in the magnitude of the development of either strength or endurance capacities.

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