Average power data are presented in Table 3. For the high pull (p = 0.001, η2 = 0.37) and squat (p = 0.003, η2 = 0.33), significant differences were shown where average power was significantly lower for P1–P4 compared with control. For the bench press, a significant difference (p = 0.05, η2 = 0.20) was found where average power was significantly lower in P1 and P3 compared with control. No significant differences were observed for the deadlift (p = 0.32, η2 = 0.11) and push press (p = 0.20, η2 = 0.14) between protocols. No differences were observed between sets 1 through 3 within each protocol for the high pull (p = 0.35) and deadlift (p = 0.12; η2 = 0.19). However, significant differences were found for the squat (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.55) and bench press (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.68) where average power declined between sets 1 and 3. For the push press, a trend was observed (p = 0.07, η2 = 0.23) where average power was higher in set 3 than set 1 for control and P3.
Peak power data are presented in Table 4. For the high pull (p = 0.014, η2 = 0.26) and squat (p = 0.017, η2 = 0.26), significant differences were shown where peak power was significantly lower for P1–P4 compared with control (with the exception of P2 and P4 for the squat). For the bench press, a significant difference (p = 0.015, η2 = 0.26) was found where peak power was significantly lower in P1 and P3 compared with control. No significant differences were observed for the deadlift (p = 0.21, η2 = 0.13) and push press (p = 0.37, η2 = 0.10) between protocols. No differences were observed between sets 1 through 3 within each protocol for the high pull (p = 0.18, η2 = 0.16) and deadlift (p = 0.25; η2 = 0.13). However, significant differences were found for the squat (p = 0.04, η2 = 0.27) and bench press (p = 0.001, η2 = 0.51) where peak power declined between sets 1 and 3. For the push press, a significant difference was observed (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.62) where peak power increased from set 1 to 3.
Average velocity data are presented in Table 5. For the high pull (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.40), squat (p = 0.001, η2 = 0.36), and bench press (p = 0.004, η2 = 0.31), significant differences were shown where average velocity was significantly lower for P1–P4 compared with CT. No significant differences were observed for the deadlift (p = 0.25, η2 = 0.12) and push press (p = 0.25, η2 = 0.12) between protocols. No differences were observed between sets 1 through 3 within each protocol for the high pull (p = 0.25; η2 = 0.13) and push press (p = 0.14; η2 = 0.18). However, significant differences were found for the squat (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.56) and bench press (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.79) where average velocity declined between sets 1 and 3. For the deadlift, a trend was observed (p = 0.08; η2 = 0.23) where average velocity tended to be lower during set 3 in P1 and P3 compared with CT.
Peak velocity data are presented in Table 6. For the high pull (p = 0.003, η2 = 0.33), squat (p = 0.007, η2 = 0.29), and bench press (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.42), significant differences were shown where peak velocity was significantly lower for P1–P4 compared with CT (with the exception of P4 for the high pull and squat). No significant differences were observed for the deadlift (p = 0.14, η2 = 0.16) and push press (p = 0.22, η2 = 0.13) between protocols. Significant differences were found for the high pull (p = 0.014, η2 = 0.35), squat (p = 0.007, η2 = 0.39), and bench press (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.58) where peak velocity declined between sets 1 and 3. For the push press, a significant difference was observed (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.65) where peak velocity increased from set 1 to 3. No differences were observed between sets 1 through 3 within each protocol for the deadlift (p = 0.17; η2 = 0.16).
Ratings of Perceived Exertion (RPE)
A significant difference (p = 0.018, η2 = 0.28) was observed between AE protocols (A1 to A4) for mean session RPE where A3 (15.8 ± 2.3) was significantly higher than A1 (12.9 ± 3.3), A2 (13.7 ± 2.6) and A4 (14.3 ± 2.1). No significant differences were observed between A1, A2, and A4. Table 7 depicts mean RPE values for each exercise per RE protocol. For the high pull (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.42) and squat (p = 0.018, η2 = 0.25), significant differences were shown where RPE was significantly higher for P1–P4 compared with control. RPE was significantly higher in P3 than P1, P2, and P4 for the high pull. No significant differences in RPE were observed for the bench press (p = 0.34, η2 = 0.11), deadlift (p = 0.93, η2 = 0.02), and push press (p = 0.54, η2 = 0.07) between protocols.
Blood lactate responses to the aerobic endurance and RE protocols are presented in Figure 2. Blood lactate was significantly different between protocols (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.81). All exercise protocols resulted in higher blood lactates compared with BL. In comparing the AE protocols, A3 (interval) resulted in the highest lactate response whereas A1 (45-minute) yielded the lowest lactate response. Both 20-minute protocols (A2, A4) produced similar blood lactate responses. All blood lactates were significantly higher following the RE protocols than the AE protocols. No significant differences were observed between CT, P1, P2, P3, and P4.
Heart rate responses to the AE and RE protocols are presented in Figure 3. All HR values were significantly higher than pre-exercise (Pre). During the AE protocols, mean HR did not significantly differ between protocols (p = 0.13, η2 = 0.17). The range of HR values (from the mean values of the first to the last minute of each protocol) was: A1 = 145.7 ± 19.9 to 174.4 ± 17.7 b·min−1; A2 = 152.3 ± 19.4 to 177.4 ± 15.5 b·min−1; A3 = 140.9 ± 14.8 to 193.6 ± 8.5 b·min−1; and A4 = 147.9 ± 183.5 ± 13.5 b·min−1. All mean HRs for the AE protocols were significantly higher than those seen during RE. During RE, P1, P2, P3, and P4, mean HRs were all significantly higher than CT (p = 0.03, η2 = 0.23) by 4.3–5.5%. No significant differences were observed between P1, P2, P3, and P4.
V[Combining Dot Above]O2max was significantly correlated with 1RM squat (r = −0.60; p = 0.05), 1RM deadlift (r = −0.56; p = 0.05), and total repetitions performed during CT (r = 0.61; p = 0.047). Maximal strength (the sum of all 1RMs) was significantly correlated with total repetitions performed during the CT (r = −0.68; p = 0.02), P1 (r = −0.73; p = 0.01), P2 (r = −0.81; p = 0.003), P3 (r = −0.70; p = 0.016), and P4 (r = −0.58; p = 0.05) protocols. No significant correlations were observed between post-AE or RE blood lactates and repetition performance.
The salient finding from the present study was that AE exercise performed 10 minutes before RE led to significant reductions in performance. All AE protocols resulted in 9.1–18.6% fewer repetitions performed compared to the CT protocol with the squat experiencing the greatest reduction. Average power and velocity per set were significantly reduced for the high pull, squat, and bench press following most AE protocols. The first 3 resistance exercises in sequence were most negatively affected in repetition, power, and velocity decrements. The interval (P3) protocol led to the greatest acute RE performance reductions followed by the 45-minute run (P1).
Repetition performance was significantly compromised in 3 of the 5 resistance exercises performed following AE exercise compared with the CT protocol. Squat (by 5–9 repetitions), bench press (by 2.5–4.5 repetitions), and push press (by 2.5–4.5 repetitions) performances were significantly reduced in P1–P4. Although not statistically significant, deadlift performance was reduced by 1–4 repetitions. These results indicated that prior AE exercise induced a significant level of fatigue that remained during subsequent RE protocols. These results support previous research showing attenuated lower-body RE performance following AE exercise. Leveritt and Abernethy (27) reported squat performance (3 sets to failure at 80% of 1RM) was significantly reduced by 26.7% 30 minutes following an interval cycling protocol. Sporer and Wenger (46) reported leg press (but not bench press) performance was reduced by 25% (after 4 hours) and 9% (after 8 hours) following either interval or long slow distance cycling protocols. Reed et al. (42) reported significant reductions in squat repetitions (6 sets to failure with 80% of 1RM), but not bench press repetitions, following 45 minutes of cycling. De Souza et al. (13) reported significant reductions in leg press repetitions (no effect on bench press) and a trend for decreased 1RM leg press following an interval run protocol but not a continuous 5-km run. Similar results were reported by Lemos et al. (26) in elderly women. Thus, our data support previous studies showing compromised lower-body RE performance following AE exercise but extend current knowledge by demonstrating that multiple exercises (including upper body) are negatively affected by prior performance of multiple types of AE exercise.
A novel finding was that bench press performance was compromised in the present study. Previous studies have shown no reductions in bench press performance following cycling (42,46) and running (13) protocols. Although specific mechanisms were not investigated, running has been shown to elicit passive and active arm swing actions (31,35), thereby demonstrating an upper-body contribution to locomotion. Swinging the arms is a proposed mechanism for increasing postural stability by counteracting torques about the longitudinal axis generated via motion of the legs (35) and increasing metabolic efficiency and neural performance (31). Passive components of arm swings are thought to be driven by motion of the pelvis and legs with force transferred to the shoulders and arms via spring-like elements in spine and shoulder ligaments and muscles (35). Active components of arm swings are thought to be driven by scapular and glenohumeral muscular contractions (35). For example, the deltoid muscles have been shown to act primarily to stabilize the shoulder primarily through eccentric muscle actions (35). The magnitude may depend on the individual's running technique and velocity. In addition, as the bench press was performed third in sequence, it is possible that greater fatigue from the previous 2 RE exercises could have reduced bench press performance. High pull velocity and power and squat repetition performance, power, and velocity were all significantly reduced and these exercises preceded the bench press in sequence. It is possible that additional fatigue from these exercises carried over to bench press performance. Thus, a combination of factors could have compromised bench press performance.
Prior AE exercise did not affect high pull repetition performance in the present study. The high pull was performed for 3 sets of up to 6 repetitions with 80% of 1RM with 3-minute rest intervals in between sets. This intensity prescription is below RM loading and may elicit more repetitions when performed in a nonfatigued state. However, the high pull is an Olympic lift variation that is performed with maximal velocity and power where repetition quality supersedes repetition number (37). It is commonly performed for 6 repetitions or less during strength and power training. Although subjects were able to maintain repetition performance following AE exercise in the present study, the quality of repetitions (as determined by peak and average power and velocity) was significantly compromised. Peak and average power and velocity per set were 2.8–5.4% lower following all AE protocols compared with CT. Average power was 20–40 W lower and peak power was 31–58 W lower compared with CT. These data indicate that power and velocity are compromised during performance of a high-velocity/power exercise such as the high pull following AE exercise despite the fact that repetition performance was maintained.
Unique to the present study was the measurement of power and velocity during each set of RE following AE exercise. Average and peak power and velocity were significantly reduced for the squat and bench press although the deadlift and push press were not significantly affected. These data, in addition to the high pull, showed that the first 3 exercises in sequence were most negatively affected. Average power for squat and bench press were significantly reduced by 7.9–18.1% and 5.7–11.3%, respectively, whereas the 1.2–9.0% reductions in average power of the deadlift and push press did not reach statistical significance. It was not surprising that the squat was most negatively affected by prior AE exercise considering the muscular involvement in running and squatting. Nevertheless, these results show that RE power and velocity is attenuated despite the AE protocol used. Further research is needed to examine if chronic RE performance with reduced repetition power and velocity leads to attenuation of maximum power development when AE precedes RE in sequence.
The results of the present study showed that the type of AE protocol affected subsequent RE performance. Although all (P1–P4) AE protocols led to various levels of performance reductions, the interval program (P3) led to largest reductions (followed by the 45-minute long duration protocol). Previous studies have shown running protocols produced greater attenuation of lower-body muscle strength and hypertrophy compared with cycling (48). Wilson and colleagues (48) suggested that the high eccentric component observed in running (compared with cycling) could have produced greater muscle damage and subsequent fatigue. In comparison, only a few studies examining the acute fatigue hypothesis have directly compared different AE protocols. Similar reductions in isokinetic peak torque (1) and leg press performance (46) have been reported following long slow distance (36–150 minutes) and interval cycle ergometry. In elderly women, larger reductions in repetition number were seen following a high-intensity (80% of HRmax) versus a moderate-intensity (60% of HRmax) treadmill protocol (26). During 9 weeks of concurrent training, similar lower-body strength attenuation has been reported between walking uphill and cycling (20–40 minutes) before RE (16). Few studies have compared different running protocols before RE. De Souza et al. (13) compared a continuous 5-km run to interval running (1:1 ratio, 1-minute bouts at V[Combining Dot Above]O2max speed) and reported no negative effects on 1RM strength or endurance following the continuous run but significant reductions in leg press repetitions and a trend for a reduced 1RM following the interval protocol. Our results confirm the findings of De Souza et al. (13) regarding the prefatiguing effects of the interval running protocol. However, in contrast to De Souza et al. (13), we reported all AE protocols resulted in significant RE performance decrements. Interestingly, smaller-scale reductions in performance were seen following the two 20-minute AE protocols (continuous flat and incline) although the largest reductions were seen following the interval protocol. These results and the findings of other researchers (13,26) indicate that high-intensity AE interval exercise performed before RE may lead to the most significant reductions in acute RE performance.
A critical component to the acute fatigue hypothesis is the timing of initiation of RE following AE exercise. A 10-minute period was used in the present study because it is a practical representation of a time period used in various training settings and has been studied previously (13). Other studies have used rest intervals as little as 2 minutes with subsequent RE performance reductions (26). Interestingly, lower-body RE performance reductions have been noted 30 minutes (27), 4 (1,46) and 8 (46) hours after AE exercise, whereas other authors have reported RE performance restored within 8 (29) and 24 hours (46) after AE exercise. These data indicate that a long recovery period may be needed if AE exercise precedes RE during the same day and the goal is to maximize RE performance (i.e., quality of repetitions, completed repetitions with a specific load, and loading per set). Performing AE exercise before RE has been shown to limit various measures of strength gains compared with performing RE before AE exercise in some (4,6,33,34) but not all (8,17,47) studies. Likewise, placing RE before AE exercise can attenuate the development of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max. Chtara et al. (7) reported greater improvements in aerobic fitness when AE exercise preceded RE in sequence versus the opposite sequence. Thus, it appears the goals of the training phase may assist in determining an appropriate sequence during same-day concurrent training.
Ratings of perceived exertion differed among AE protocols where mean session RPE in A3 was significantly higher than A1, A2, and A4. In addition, blood lactate values were significantly higher in A3 compared with A1, A2, and A4. These data indicate that the high-intensity interval AE protocol elicited the largest metabolic demand and perceived exertion among the subjects. During RE, RPE values for the high pull and squat were significantly higher in P1–P4 compared with CT. RPE values observed in P3 were significantly higher than P1, P2, and P4 for the high pull. This was expected because the high pull was performed first in sequence following the high-intensity interval AE protocol. These data support Lemos et al. (26) who reported higher RPE values during RE following the higher intensity (80 versus 60% of HRmax) of 2 AE protocols. No significant differences in RPE were observed for the bench press, deadlift, and push press. These data indicate that subjects' greater perceived difficulty during RE as a result of prior AE exercise persisted in duration only for the first 2 exercises in sequence.
Mean HR for each AE protocol did not significantly differ despite differences in intensity, duration, and type (i.e., long slow distance, continuous incline and flat, and intervals) and all mean AE protocol HRs were significantly higher than those observed during RE. The mean HR for all AE protocols combined was 171.2 ± 12.0 b·min−1, which equated to ∼86% of subjects' HRmax. These data, in addition to RPE and blood lactates, confirm the intense and challenging nature of all of the AE protocols employed in the present study.
During RE, all mean protocol (P1–P4) HR values were significantly higher than CT by 4.3–5.5% with no significant differences observed between protocols. These data indicate that mean HR values observed during RE are significantly higher when preceded by AE exercise. It is possible that the higher initial HR values seen at the beginning of RE contributed to the higher observed HR values during RE. In addition, it is likely the greater difficulty observed during RE (as evidenced by reduced repetitions, power, and velocity, and higher RPE values) potentiated the acute HR response. The HR response to RE is dependent on the exercise performed and the volume, intensity, and rest interval length (40). The responses observed (i.e., highest value seen during the set while decreasing with each minute of rest) were similar to previous reports (data not shown) (40). The HR data for P1–P4 seen in the present study were slightly higher than previous values we reported when 2–3 minutes rest intervals were used (40,41) but not when 1–2 minutes intervals were used (40). Regardless of the mechanism(s) involved, prior AE exercise appears to potentiate the cardiovascular response to subsequent RE.
Significant negative correlations were observed between V[Combining Dot Above]O2max and 1RM squat, 1RM deadlift, and total repetitions performed during the CT protocol. These data confirm previous results from our laboratory showing strong negative relationships between V[Combining Dot Above]O2max and lower-body maximal strength (40). In addition, maximal strength was significantly negatively correlated with total repetitions performed in all protocols. We previously reported similar results when comparing bench press repetition performance during RE protocols of different rest interval lengths (39). These data indicate a relationship between maximal strength and fatigability during RE primarily when rest intervals are short. Taken together, these results suggest that stronger individuals may be more susceptible to fatigue-induced reductions in RE performance when it is performed by itself using short rest intervals or following AE exercise.
In summary, all AE protocols (long slow distance, intervals, and continuous flat and incline) resulted in performance decrements although in some instances greater reductions were observed following the high-intensity interval AE protocol. Total repetitions, peak and average power, and velocity of each exercise were attenuated to some extent compared with a control RE protocol that was not preceded by AE exercise. Mean HR and RPE values (for the first 2 exercises) were significantly higher during RE when it was preceded by AE exercise. These data indicate acute RE performance is significantly compromised when performed 10 minutes following AE exercise. It is important to note that all AE protocols were physiologically demanding and the acute fatigue incurred during AE persisted through the RE protocol. The total-body RE protocol consisted of multiple-joint exercises performed for moderately high intensities. Thus, our data indicate a program of this magnitude may be better performed on its own rather than following a challenging AE protocol. These results suggest that priority may need to be given to the modality most associated with training goals when sequencing AE and RE during the same session. Alternative strategies including rotating the sequence or using a periodized approach to target specific goals may be used. The type of RE program used is critical because moderate-to-high intensity multiple-joint exercises stressing large muscle groups that require high force and power output may be more susceptible to the prefatiguing nature of AE. Future research studies are warranted to address potential varying levels of performance decrements with RE programs of different design.
The potential “interference” effects of concurrent high-intensity/volume AE and resistance training have been extensively studied (5,14,20,22,25,32). Although several mechanisms are likely contributing to this phenomenon, the acute fatigue hypothesis is one potential explanation where fatigue from AE exercise may limit maximal RE performance. Although some studies (4,6,33,34) but not all (17,47) have shown attenuated lower-body strength gains when AE exercise is performed before RE in sequence, every acute study to date has shown reduced lower-body dynamic, isometric, and isokinetic strength and endurance when AE exercise precedes RE (1,26,27,42,46). The negative effects have been noted as few as 2 minutes after AE exercise (26) and up to 8 hours after AE exercise (46). The results of the present study support previous studies showing RE performance decrements following AE exercise.
Unique to the present study was that performance reductions were quantified within the context of a total-body RE protocol consisting of 5 multiple joint exercises (as opposed to a single-exercise strength or endurance assessment). Total repetitions, peak and average power, and velocity of each RE were attenuated to some extent compared with a control RE protocol that was not preceded by AE exercise. In addition, all AE protocols (long slow distance, intervals, and continuous flat and incline) resulted in performance decrements; although in some instances, greater reductions were seen following the high-intensity interval AE protocol. These results indicate that performing intense AE exercise before RE is not desirable if increases in muscle strength and power are training goals. Specific training phases may be incorporated to train each fitness component if both cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength and power are needed in athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
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Keywords:Copyright © 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.
incompatibility; concurrent training; strength training; power; velocity