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Effects of Combined Strength and Sprint Training on Lean Mass, Strength, Power, and Sprint Performance in Masters Road Cyclists

Del Vecchio, Luke1; Stanton, Robert1; Reaburn, Peter1; Macgregor, Campbell1; Meerkin, Jarrod2; Villegas, Jerome3; Korhonen, Marko T.4

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 1 - p 66–79
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001960
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Del Vecchio, L, Stanton, R, Reaburn, P, Macgregor, C, Meerkin, J, Villegas, J, and Korhonen, MT. Effects of combined strength and sprint training on lean mass, strength, power, and sprint performance in masters road cyclists. J Strength Cond Res 33(1): 66–79, 2019—Strength and sprint-training exercises are integral part of training in many younger endurance cyclists to improve cycling efficiency and sprinting ability. This study was undertaken to examine whether muscle and performance characteristics could be improved in endurance-trained masters cyclist by adding strength and sprint-training stimuli into their training regimen. Twenty-five masters road cyclists were assigned to a combined strength and sprint-training group (CT; n = 9, 53.5 ± 9.3 years), a sprint-training group (ST, n = 7, 49.4 ± 4.8 years) or a control group (CG, n = 9, 56.9 ± 8.6 years). Before and after the 12 weeks intervention, whole body lean mass, total lower limb lean mass (LLLM), countermovement jump height, peak isometric torque of quadriceps and hamstring muscles were examined. For evaluation of sport-specific performance, 10-second sprint cycling peak power (PP10), total 30 seconds work (TW), PP output and flying 200-m time trial (TT) performance were assessed. No pretraining differences were observed between CT, ST, and CG groups for any of the dependant variables. After training, a significant (p < 0.05) between group difference was observed in TW between CT and CG groups. A significant effect of time (p < 0.05) was observed for LLLM in CT and ST groups, and for TT in the CT group. These results suggest including strength and sprint exercises in training can increase LLLM and sprint performance in endurance-trained masters road cyclists. Further research is warranted to find out an ideal pattern of training to maintain aerobic capabilities along with sprint performance in aging road cyclists.

1School of Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia;

2Measureup, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia;

3Sports Performance and Athletic Development Consultant, Canberra, Australia; and

4Department of Health Sciences, Gerontology Research Center, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

Address correspondence to Luke Del Vecchio, l.delvecchio@cqu.edu.au.

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.