Neuromuscular adaptations to different modes of combined strength and endurance training

Document Type

Journal Article


Thieme Publishing


Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Exercise and Health Sciences




This article was originally published as: Eklund D., Pulverenti T., Bankers S., Avela J., Newton R., Schumann M., Hakkinen K. (2015). Neuromuscular adaptations to different modes of combined strength and endurance training. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 36(2), 120-129. Original article available here


The present study investigated neuromuscular adaptations between same-session combined strength and endurance training with 2 loading orders and different day combined training over 24 weeks. 56 subjects were divided into different day (DD) combined strength and endurance training (4-6 d·wk-1) and same-session combined training: endurance preceding strength (E+S) or vice versa (S+E) (2-3 d·wk-1). Dynamic and isometric strength, EMG, voluntary activation, muscle cross-sectional area and endurance performance were measured. All groups increased dynamic one-repetition maximum (p<0.001; DD 13±7%, E+S 12±9% and S+E 17±12%) and isometric force (p<0.05-0.01), muscle cross-sectional area (p<0.001) and maximal power output during cycling (p<0.001). DD and S+E increased voluntary activation during training (p<0.05-0.01). In E+S no increase in voluntary activation was detected after 12 or 24 weeks. E+S also showed unchanged and S+E increased maximum EMG after 24 weeks during maximal isometric muscle actions. A high correlation (p<0.001, r=0.83) between the individual changes in voluntary activation and maximal knee extension force was found for E+S during weeks 13-24. Neural adaptations showed indications of being compromised and highly individual relating to changes in isometric strength when E+S-training was performed, while gains in one-repetition maximum, endurance performance and hypertrophy did not differ between the training modes.