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05.08.2017


Weight training doesn't boost endurance of women runners or cyclists

If well-trained women runners or cyclists also do weight training for their legs twice a week they'll become stronger and more muscular. But the strength training will have no effect on their endurance capacity. Norwegian sports scientists at Lillehammer University College discovered this.

Study
The researchers got 11 endurance athletes to train their legs in a gym twice a week for 11 weeks. The workout consisted of Smith-machine squats, alternate leg presses [first one leg then the other], hip flexions in a cable station and Smith-machine calf raises. The women did 3 sets of each exercise.

During the first training session of the week the women started with a weight with which they could just manage 10 reps. The weight was gradually increased over the 11 weeks until the women were training with weights with which they could just manage 6 reps.

During the second training session of the week the women started with a weight with which they could just manage 6 reps. The weight was gradually increased over the 11 weeks until the women were training with weights with which they could just manage 4 reps.

The control group of 8 women just did their regular endurance training, which was the same as the endurance training that the experimental group did.

Results
The figure below shows the effect of the average maximal strength that the women were able to develop with leg presses and squats. E+S = both endurance and strength training; E = only endurance training, control group.


Weight training doesn't boost endurance of women runners or cyclists


The circumference of the muscle fibres increased as a result of the strength training.

Strength training had no effect on the maximal oxygen uptake however, nor did the maximum distance the women could run in 40 minutes increase.


Weight training doesn't boost endurance of women runners or cyclists


Weight training doesn't boost endurance of women runners or cyclists



Colostrum packed with IGF-1, WADA advises against use


Colostrum packed with IGF-1, WADA advises against use


Conclusion
"Adding heavy strength training to endurance training in well trained female endurance athletes did not affect running performance measured as running distance during a 40 min all-out test," the Norwegians noted. "The lack of effect on performance was probably because the strength training intervention did not improve running economy or changed the mechanical properties of the patellar tendon."

We, ignorant compilers of this free webzine, don’t conclude from this study that strength training is a waste of time for endurance athletes. We do think though that the way the researchers used strength training in this study was not the way to go about things.

The researchers might have had better results if they had got their subjects to do their strength and endurance training on different days. The article suggests that the women just fitted the strength training somewhere in their schedule. There are indications that the combination of endurance and strength training results in a stronger increase in the VO2max if people don't do their strength and endurance training on the same day.

Just an idea.

Source:
PLoS One. 2016 Mar 8;11(3):e0150799.

More:
Leg presses before cycling: 6 percent faster over 20k 13.11.2014
Runners benefit from deep squats too 15.03.2013
Small amount of strength training makes endurance athletes' muscles more efficient 11.07.2012

Archives:
Strength Training for Women
Endurance Training
Strength Training


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