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Izquierdo, M1; Ibáñez, J1; Häkkinen, K1; Kraemer, W J. FACSM1; Gorostiaga, E M.1

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2003 - Volume 35 - Issue 5 - p S291
F-12T Free Communication/Poster Strength Training

1Centro de Investigación y Medicina del Deporte, Navarra, Spain

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To examine differences between strength, muscle power output, endurance, muscle CSA and the anabolic/catabolic hormonal status in two groups of subjects who had been engaged either in strength (weightlifters) or endurance training (road cyclists) over a prolonged period of several years and in a group of control subject.

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1RM half-squat (1RMHS), power-load curves with loads ranging from 30% to 100% of 1RMHS, muscle CSA of the quadriceps femoris (CSAQF), maximal work load (Wmax), workloads expressed in W which elicited a blood lactate concentration of 2 mmol/l (W2) and 4 mmol/l (W4) during incremental cycling and serum hormone concentrations were examined in 41 men divided into three groups: Weightlifters (WL,n = 11), amateur road cyclists (RC,n = 18) and age-matched controls (C,n = 12).

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WL showed 45–55% higher power values than RC and C, whereas the difference in 1RMHS and CSAQF were 15% and 20%. These differences were maintained when maximal strength or power were expressed relative to CSAQF or to kilogram of body mass. Wmax was 44% higher and submaximal blood lactate accumulation was 50–55% lower with increasing workload in RC than in the C and WL groups. In RC, W2 and W4 were 50–60% higher and occurred at a higher percentage of Wmax than in WL or C. Serum total and free testosterone concentrations were lower in elite amateur cyclists than in age-matched weight lifters or untrained subjects. Significant correlations existed between individual basal values of serum FT and FT:C ratio and with the individual values of maximal strength, but negative with the individual values of Wmax.

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These data indicate that the specific training status with respect to the practiced resistance or endurance training is an important factor for the magnitude of the neuromuscular, physiological and performance differences observed between the WL and RC groups. Prolonged endurance training may lead to a decrease in serum levels of anabolic hormones associated with lowered muscle strength and power but with high aerobic performance characteristics.

©2003The American College of Sports Medicine