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: 3.49). 12/2011; 47(2):164-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.exger.2011.11.013
Source: PubMed


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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    • "MT was measured for the VL, RF, VM, and vastus intermedius (VI), with the probe positioned according to descriptions provided in previous studies (Chilibeck et al. 2004; Korhonen et al. 2009; Kumagai et al. 2000; Miyatani et al. 2000). Moreover, the overall quadriceps femoris MT (MT QUA SUM ) was calculated from the sum of the four muscles (VL+RF+VM+VI) (Cadore et al. 2012; Radaelli et al. 2013). The sites of MT measurements were mapped using transparent paper to ensure identical measurement positions post-testing. "
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    ABSTRACT: The strength training has been shown to be effective for attenuating the age-related physiological decline. However, the adequate volume of strength training volume adequate to promote improvements, mainly during the initial period of training, still remains controversial. Thus, the purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a short-term strength training program with single or multiple sets in elderly women. Maximal dynamic (1-RM) and isometric strength, muscle activation, muscle thickness (MT), and muscle quality (MQ = 1-RM and MT quadriceps quotient) of the knee extensors were assessed. Subjects were randomly assigned into one of two groups: single set (SS; n = 14) that performed one set per exercise or multiple sets (MS; n = 13) that performed three-sets per exercise, twice weekly for 6 weeks. Following training, there were significant increases (p ≤ 0.05) in knee extension 1-RM (16.1 ± 12 % for SS group and 21.7 ± 7.7 % for MS group), in all MT (p ≤ 0.05; vastus lateralis, rectus femoris, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius), and in MQ (p ≤ 0.05); 15.0 ± 12.2 % for SS group and 12.6 ± 7.2 % for MS group), with no differences between groups. These results suggest that during the initial stages of strength training, single- and multiple-set training demonstrate similar capacity for increasing dynamic strength, MT, and MQ of the knee extensors in elderly women.
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    • "Attention has previously been directed towards molecular adaptations as an explanation for possible difficulties in optimizing performance when training concurrently for strength and endurance [4, 15], whereas neural adaptations and differences between different modes of concurrent training have not been comprehensively investigated. Results from elderly populations point to an order effect in favor of strength preceding endurance with regard to training-induced neuromuscular adaptations [11, 12], although age-related declines in the same parameters [30] may complicate the interpretation. Furthermore, numerous different research designs make the comparison difficult, thus obscuring how adaptations following different day and samesession combined strength and endurance protocols relate to each other. "
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    ABSTRACT: 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.
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    • "Then the distance between them was accepted as MT. The quadriceps femoris MT (MT QUA SUM ) was calculated from the sum of the muscles (RF + VI + VL + VM) (Cadore et al. 2012) while the elbow flexor muscle MT (MT EF SUM ) was calculated from the sum of the muscles BB and brachialis (Radaelli et al. 2013). The same investigator conducted all ultrasound measurements at all test times. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the effects of low- and high-volume strength trainings on neuromuscular adaptations of lower- and upper-body muscles in older women after 6 weeks (6WE), 13 weeks (13WE), and 20 weeks (20WE) of training. Healthy older women were assigned to low-volume (LV) or high-volume (HV) training groups. The LV group performed one set of each exercise, while the HV group performed three sets, 2 days/week. Knee extension and elbow flexion one-repetition maximum (1-RM), maximal isometric strength, maximal muscle activation, and muscle thickness (MT) of the lower- and upper-body muscles, as well as lower-body muscle quality (MQ) obtained by ultrasonography, were evaluated. Knee extension and elbow flexion 1-RM improved at all time points for both groups; however, knee extension 1-RM gains were greater for the HV group after 20WE. Maximal isometric strength of the lower body for both groups increased only at 20WE, while upper-body maximal isometric strength increased after 13WE and 20WE. Maximal activation of the lower and upper body for both groups increased only after 20WE. Both groups showed significant increases in MT of their lower and upper body, with greater gains in lower-body MT for the HV group at 20WE. MQ improved in both groups after 13WE and 20WE, whereas the HV group improved more than the LV group at 20WE. These results showed that low- and high-volume trainings have a similar adaptation time course in the muscular function of upper-body muscles. However, high-volume training appears to be more efficient for lower-body muscles after 20 weeks of training.
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