Strength prior to endurance intra-session exercise sequence optimizes neuromuscular and cardiovascular gains in elderly men

Exercise Research Laboratory, Physical Education School, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
Experimental gerontology (Impact Factor: 3.53). 12/2011; 47(2):164-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.exger.2011.11.013
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study investigated the effects of different intra-session exercise sequences in the cardiovascular and neuromuscular adaptations induced by concurrent training in elderly. Twenty-six healthy elderly men (64.7±4.1years), were randomly placed into two concurrent training groups: strength training prior to (SE, n=13) or after (ES, n=13) endurance training. Subjects trained strength and endurance training 3 times per week performing both exercise types in the same training session. The peak oxygen uptake (VO(2peak)), maximum aerobic workload (W(máx)), absolute (VT(1) and VT(2)) and relative (VT(1)% and VT(2)%) ventilatory thresholds, as well as workloads at VT(1) and VT(2) (W(VT1) and W(VT2)) were evaluated during a maximal incremental test on a cycle ergometer before and after the training. In addition, muscle quality (MQ) was evaluated by the quotient between maximal dynamic strength (one repetition maximum test) of the knee extensors and the quadriceps femoris muscle thickness determined by ultrasonography. There were no modifications after training in the VT(1), VT(2), VT(1)%, and VT(2)%. There was significant increase in the W(VT1) only in SE (P<0.05), as well as significant increase in the W(VT2) in both groups (P<0.001). There was significant increase in the VO(2peak), with both groups showing increases (P<0.001), with no difference between groups; as well significant increase in the W(máx) (P<0.001) with no difference between SE and ES. The force per unit of muscle mass of knee extensors increased in both groups (P<0.001), but the increase was significantly higher in SE than in ES (27.5±12.7 vs. 15.2±10.3%, P<0.02). Hence, the intra-session exercise sequence had no influence in the maximal endurance power adaptations to concurrent training, but had influence in the magnitude of the muscle quality enhancements.

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