Public Library of Science
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences, Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
This study investigated the effects of endurance followed by strength training (ES, men n = 16; women n = 15), the reverse exercise order (SE, men n = 18, women n = 13) and concurrent endurance and strength training performed on alternating days (AD, men n = 21, women n = 18) on cardiorespiratory parameters. Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) and oxygen consumption at sub-maximal power outputs (VO2submax) of 50 to 175 Watts in men and 50 to 125 Watts in women were assessed during an incremental cycling test both before and after 24 weeks of training. Increases in VO2peak in both men and women were statistically larger in AD (18±9% and 25±11%) compared to ES (7±9% and 12±12%, p = 0.002 and 0.009, respectively) and SE (7±9% and 10±8%, p = 0.005 and 0.008, respectively). No statistical group interaction was observed for VO2submax in men, but in women V.O2submax was statistically lower at week 24 in ES compared to AD at 75 W (-2±6% vs. +3±6%, p = 0.027) and 125 W (-4±5% vs. +2±5%, p = 0.010). These findings indicate that endurance and strength training performed on alternating days may optimize the adaptations in VO2peak in both sexes, while performing ES training in women may optimize cardiorespiratory fitness at sub-maximal power outputs.
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