Effects of added endurance or strength training on cardiovascular and neuromuscular performance of conscripts during the 8-week basic training period
Published inStudies in sport, physical education and health
The present series of studies investigated changes in Finnish conscripts’ body composition, aerobic fitness and muscle endurance profiles during the last three decades. A second aim was to examine the effects of added endurance (ET) or strength training (ST) on cardiovascular and neuromuscular performance as well as hormonal responses of conscripts during an 8-week basic training (BT) period when compared to the current standardized (NT) programme. The third aim was to study the effects of these three different training programmes on a novel 3K combat running performance test. The present results showed that aerobic fitness and muscle endurance of 20 year old men in Finland has decreased and that body mass has increased over the last 15 years. Furthermore, the present study demonstrated that the current BT programme of the Finnish Defense Forces, including a high amount of endurance-based military training, led to significant improvements in maximal oxygen uptake, 3K loaded combat running time, and maximal strength of both upper and lower body extremities of conscripts. However, strength development and muscle hypertrophy in the ST group was not significantly higher than in the other groups. Significant increases observed in serum basal testosterone concentrations in all groups indicated that training frequency, volume and intensity were sufficient enough to create positive training responses but ST combined with BT led to increased serum basal cortisol concentrations. The BT programme positively influenced body composition by decreasing body fat and waist circumference in all groups. The magnitude of training-specific gains from added endurance training and from added strength training were blunted by the demands of BT alone, as only minor differences existed between the three groups. The present study suggests that strength training is an essential part of the basic training programme, but it seems that in order to obtain more strength specific training responses, some decreases in the amount of the endurance-based military training are needed. Moreover, some individualization of specific ET and ST training programmes combined with military training may be required. ...
PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä
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