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The Neuromuscular, Biochemical, and Endocrine Responses to a Single-Session Vs. Double-Session Training Day in Elite Athletes

Johnston, Michael J.; Cook, Christian J.; Drake, David; Costley, Lisa; Johnston, Julie P.; Kilduff, Liam P.

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: November 2016 - Volume 30 - Issue 11 - p 3098–3106
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001423
Original Research

Johnston, MJ, Cook, CJ, Drake, D, Costley, L, Johnston, JP, and Kilduff, LP. The neuromuscular, biochemical, and endocrine responses to a single-session vs. double-session training day in elite athletes. J Strength Cond Res 30(11): 3098–3106, 2016—The aim of this study was to compare the acute neuromuscular, biochemical, and endocrine responses of a training day consisting of a speed session only with performing a speed-and-weights training session on the same day. Fifteen men who were academy-level rugby players completed 2 protocols in a randomized order. The speed-only protocol involved performing 6 maximal effort repetitions of 50-m running sprints with 5 minutes of recovery between each sprint, whereas the speed-and-weights protocol involved the same sprinting session but was followed 2 hours later by a lower-body weights session consisting of 4 sets of 5 backsquats and Romanian deadlift at 85% one repetition maximum. Testosterone, cortisol, creatine kinase, lactate, and perceived muscle soreness were determined immediately before, immediately after, 2 hours after, and 24 hours after both the protocols. Peak power, relative peak power, jump height, and average rate of force development were determined from a countermovement jump (CMJ) at the same time points. After 24-hours, muscle soreness was significantly higher after the speed-and-weights protocol compared with the speed-only protocol (effect size η2 = 0.253, F = 4.750, p ≤ 0.05). There was no significant difference between any of the CMJ variables at any of the posttraining time points. Likewise, creatine kinase, testosterone, and cortisol were unaffected by the addition of a weight-training session. These data indicate that the addition of a weight-training session 2 hours after a speed session, whereas increasing the perception of fatigue the next day does not result in a difference in endocrine response or in neuromuscular capability.

1Strength and Conditioning Department, English Institute of Sport, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom;

2Applied Sports, Technology, Exercise and Medicine (A-STEM) Research Centre, Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom;

3School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science, Bangor University, Bangor, United Kingdom;

4Strength and Conditioning Department, Ulster Rugby, Newforge Lane, Belfast, United Kingdom;

5Strength and Conditioning Department, Ulster Sports Academy, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, United Kingdom; and

6Department of Sport Science, School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Liam P. Kilduff,

Copyright © 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.