Strength Training Prior to Endurance Exercise: Impact on the Neuromuscular System, Endurance Performance and Cardiorespiratory Responses

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Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the acute effects of two strength-training protocols on the neuromuscular and cardiorespiratory responses during endurance exercise. Thirteen young males (23.2 ± 1.6 years old) participated in this study. The hypertrophic strength-training protocol was composed of 6 sets of 8 squats at 75% of maximal dynamic strength. The plyometric strength-training protocol was composed of 6 sets of 8 jumps performed with the body weight as the workload. Endurance exercise was performed on a cycle ergometer at a power corresponding to the second ventilatory threshold until exhaustion. Before and after each protocol, a maximal voluntary contraction was performed, and the rate of force development and electromyographic parameters were assessed. After the hypertrophic strengthtraining and plyometric strength-training protocol, significant decreases were observed in the maximal voluntary contraction and rate of force development, whereas no changes were observed in the electromyographic parameters. Oxygen uptake and a heart rate during endurance exercise were not significantly different among the protocols. However, the time-to-exhaustion was significantly higher during endurance exercise alone than when performed after hypertrophic strength-training or plyometric strength-training (p <0.05). These results suggest that endurance performance may be impaired when preceded by strength-training, with no oxygen uptake or heart rate changes during the exercise.

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