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Changes in Maximal and Explosive Strength, Electromyography, and Muscle Thickness of Lower and Upper Extremities Induced by Combined Strength and Endurance Training in Soldiers

Matti Santtila, Heikki Kyrolainen and Keijo Hakkinen

Purpose: Examine to what extent an 8-week endurance-based military training period interferes with muscle strength development compared with that caused by sport-related military training with added strength training or endurance training. More specifically, examined 3 training modes on maximal isometric force, maximal rate of force development (RFD) electromyography (EMG) and muscle thickness of the lower and upper extremities.

Conclusions: Basic training with a large amount of endurance-based military training interfered with strength development, and especially explosive power development of the lower extremities in the strength training group. The optimal improvements in neuromuscular characteristics may not be possible without some decrease in the amount of endurance-based military training and/or some increase in the amount of maximal/explosive strength training during basic training.

IN PLAIN ENGLISH: Specificity is evident here. Too much emphasis on endurance training (and a lack of emphasis on strength and explosive training) diminishes the ability to be maximally strong and explosive. To therefore improve strength and concurrent explosive ability, the emphasis must shift from pure endurance work to include short-term, higher-intensity bouts of exercise.

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