RESEARCH: studies reviewed this week - 8 June 2020 to 14 June 2020

TRAINING: Order of Same-Day Concurrent Training

"The importance of concurrent exercise order for improving endurance and resistance adaptations remains unclear, particularly when sessions are performed a few hours apart." I have seen research and practice in the past that suggests performing resistance training in the afternoon after a hard training session helps to boost testosterone and therefore can aid the adaptations from the morning run training. This study looked specifically at the order finding that:

Concurrent training, regardless of the exercise order, presents a viable strategy to improve lower-body maximal strength and total lean mass comparably to resistance-only training, whilst also improving indices of aerobic fitness.
However, improvements in CMJ displacement, force, and power were attenuated when RT was performed before HIIT, and as such, exercise order may be an important consideration when designing training programs in which the goal is to improve lower-body power.

PRACTICAL TAKE AWAY - the order of strength training is important if you're looking for specific adaptations

  • All strength training will help build lower-body strength.
  • Doing strength training before HIIT training will be beneficial to increase lower-body power.

TRAINING: Effect of Post-Exercise Sauna Bathing on the Endurance Performance of Competitive Male Runners

This study looked a whether or not the "physiological adaptations to sauna bathing could enhance endurance performance". The study followed a protocol of:

  • 3 wk of post-training sauna bathing,
  • a 3 wk washout,
  • subjects sat in a humid sauna at 89.9+/-2.0 degrees C (mean+/-standard deviation) immediately post-exercise,
  • for 31+/-5 min on 12.7+/-2.1 occasions.

The results of the study showed multiple signs of benefit to the protocol:

Change in performance had high correlations with change in plasma volume (0.96, 0.76-0.99) and total blood volume (0.94, 0.66-0.99), but the correlation with change in red cell volume was unclear (0.48, -0.40 to 0.90).
We conclude that 3 wk of post-exercise sauna bathing produced a worthwhile enhancement of endurance running performance, probably by increasing blood volume.

PRACTICAL TAKE AWAY - a sauna protocol can enhance endurance performance.

TRAINING: Effects of Strength, Explosive and Plyometric Training on Energy Cost of Running in Ultra-Endurance Athletes

The benefit of plyometrics is something that is discussed for running and it is well know for sprinters and track athletes. However, I haven't see a study before that looked into the benefits for ultra-marathoners so it is very interesting to see this study evaluating "the effects of a 12-week home-based strength, explosive and plyometric (SEP) training on the cost of running (Cr) in well-trained ultra-marathoners and to assess the main mechanical parameters affecting changes in Cr."

The results were positive and provide a good indication that plyometric training may benefit ultra-marathoners:

Thus, 12-week SEP training programme lower the Cr in well-trained ultra-marathoners at submaximal speeds. Thus, adding at least three sessions per week of SEP exercises in the normal endurance-training programme may decrease the Cr.

PRACTICAL TAKE AWAY - plyometrics are useful to improve cost of running for ultra-marathoners

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