Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Effects of Concurrent Strength and Endurance Training Sequence Order on Physical Fitness Performance in Adolescent Students

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Effects of Concurrent Strength and Endurance Training Sequence Order on Physical Fitness Performance in Adolescent Students

Article excerpt


In the young population, benefits of physical activity and fitness capacity are well recognised in the literature (e.g. Faigenbaum & Mediate, 2006; Edouard, Gautheron, D'Anjou, Pupier, & Devillard, 2007; Fleck & Kraemer, 2004; Matton, Thomis, Wijndaele et al., 2006; Twisk, Kemper & Van Mechelen, 2000). The school's physical and social environment and particularly the physical education (PE) classes provide a key context for regular and structured physical activity participation. Although there is very little research about the characteristics of regular exercise training under the school curricula (Edouard et al., 2007; Hoehner et al., 2008; World Health Organization, 2006; Faigenbaum & Mediate, 2006), PE programs often aim to improve student's muscular strength and total fitness capacity (Faigenbaum & Myer, 2010).

The strength training induces physical and performance improvements in the health of children and youth, promoting improvements in terms of body composition, motor coordination, injury and diseases control and prevention (Blimkie, 1993; Kraemer & Ratamess, 2000; Faigenbaum & Myer, 2010). In turn, endurance training causes an increase in maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and positive enzymatic and metabolic adaptations, which increases resistance to fatigue (Volpe, Walberg-Rankin, Rodman & Sebolt, 1993) and sets an upper limit for endurance performance in a wide variety of physical activities (Baquet, van Praagh & Berthoin, 2003).

Concurrent training has become one of the main research training areas (Gravelle & Blessing, 2000), nevertheless, a considerable number of studies have been only conducted specifically in adults and focused on the effects of concurrent training vs. resistance-training only for muscular hypertrophy, strength and power of the upper and lower body. A recent meta-analysis by Wilson (2012) reported that gains in muscular hypertrophy and strength seem to be similar in both training programs, being muscular power more sensitive to the interference effect. However, very few studies have focused on whether strength training should precede or follow endurance training when both are conducted in the same workout.

The increase in strength performance achieved only by strength training alone may be compromised (Kraemer et al., 1995), because it depends on the level of physical activity and the type of exercise (Izquierdo, Exposito, Garcia-Pallare, Medina & Villareal, 2010). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to compare the effects of different order of concurrent training on the development of physical performance during PE classes.



Twenty-three male Portuguese adolescents were recruited at a public high school to performed exercise training during 10 consecutive weeks. Subjects were randomly divided into two groups of intervention: the subjects in group 1 (GSE, n=12, 16.79±0.932 years, 61.65±12.56 kg, 166.79±9.94 cm and BMI 22.38±0.06 kg/m2) performed strength training followed by endurance exercise; the subjects in group 2 (GES, n=11, 16.64±0.953 years, 61.28±10.36 kg, 169.64±7.99 cm and BMI 21.45±0.9 kg/m2) performed endurance training followed by strength exercise. All subjects were regularly participating in PE classes conducted by the same professor and were asked to continue lifestyle and physical activity habits throughout the study duration. The exclusion criteria were used: students with educational or motor handicap/disease or participating in extra school sport activities. Prior to all testing procedures, ethical procedures as the Helsinki declaration and an informed consent was obtained from the student parents.

Training Design

The intervention program was executed at school additionally to PE classes. The intensity and the volume of training were set according to the latest guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM, 2013). The application mode of exercise was based on the recommendations of several authors who have developed similar studies (Table 1) (Faigenbaum et al. …

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