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J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Jul;28(7):1937-45. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000355.

The effects of a combined resistance training and endurance exercise program in inactive college female subjects: does order matter?

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  • 1Departments of 1Nutritional Sciences and 2Exercise Science and Sport Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Abstract

Although both endurance (E) and resistance (R) exercise improve various health and fitness variables, there is still debate regarding the optimal ordering of these modes of exercise within a concurrent bout. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of performing E before R (E-R) or R before E (R-E) on strength, VO2max, and body composition over the course of an 8-week exercise program. Inactive college female subjects (N = 23; 19.8 ± 0.22 years; 61.0 ± 2.5 kg) were randomly assigned to either an E-R (n = 13) or an R-E (n = 10) group. Subjects trained 4 d·wk over the 8-week study. The E portion consisted of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at 70-80% heart rate reserve (HRR). The R portion used a 3-way split routine with subjects performing 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions for 5-6 different exercises using a load equal to 90-100% 10 repetition maximum. There were 2 days of testing before and after 8 weeks of training to determine performance and body composition. There were significant improvements in chest press (p < 0.001), leg press (p < 0.001), VO2max (p < 0.001), and lean body mass (LBM) (p = 0.005) across both groups. Weight significantly increased (p = 0.038), but percent body fat did not change (p = 0.46). There were no differences as a function of group (p > 0.267). There were significant improvements in performance and LBM over an 8-week concurrent training program in inactive college female subjects, regardless of the order in which R and E were performed. It seems that fitness markers improve similarly regardless of the order of R or E in a 4 d·wk-1 program in inactive female subjects. Therefore, the order of these modalities for beginning exercisers should be based on personal preference and to facilitate adherence.

PMID:
24378658
DOI:
10.1519/JSC.0000000000000355
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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