Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) patients suffer from reduced blood flow to the lower extremities, which causes impaired walking ability. Plantar flexion (PF) endurance training and maximal strength training (MST) induce distinct types of improvements in walking ability in PAD. However, the combined effects of both exercises are still not explored in these patients. This study examined whether concurrent MST and PF training would induce similar training responses as each training mode alone. Ten patients with PAD underwent 8 weeks of concurrent leg press MST and PF training, three times a week. The reference group (n=10) received recommended exercise guidelines. The training group improved treadmill peak oxygen consumption and incremental protocol time to exhaustion with 12.7 ± 7.7% and 12.6 ± 13.2%. Leg press maximal strength and rate of force development improved with 38.3 ± 3.1% and 140.1 ± 40.3%, respectively, along with a 5.2 ± 6.2% within group work economy improvement. No changes appeared in the reference group. Compared with previous studies, concurrent MST and PF training appear to induce similar training responses in PAD patients as when each training mode is executed alone, and without any adverse effects.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.