Potential for strength and endurance training to amplify endurance performance

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1988 Nov;65(5):2285-90. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1988.65.5.2285.


The impact of adding heavy-resistance training to increase leg-muscle strength was studied in eight cycling- and running-trained subjects who were already at a steady-state level of performance. Strength training was performed 3 days/wk for 10 wk, whereas endurance training remained constant during this phase. After 10 wk, leg strength was increased by an average of 30%, but thigh girth and biopsied vastus lateralis muscle fiber areas (fast and slow twitch) and citrate synthase activities were unchanged. Maximal O2 uptake (VO2max) was also unchanged by heavy-resistance training during cycling (55 ml.kg-1.min-1) and treadmill running (60 ml.kg-1.min-1); however, short-term endurance (4-8 min) was increased by 11 and 13% (P less than 0.05) during cycling and running, respectively. Long-term cycling to exhaustion at 80% VO2max increased from 71 to 85 min (P less than 0.05) after the addition of strength training, whereas long-term running (10 km times) results were inconclusive. These data do not demonstrate any negative performance effects of adding heavy-resistance training to ongoing endurance-training regimens. They indicate that certain types of endurance performance, particularly those requiring fast-twitch fiber recruitment, can be improved by strength-training supplementation.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Citrate (si)-Synthase / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscles / anatomy & histology
  • Muscles / enzymology
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Physical Endurance*
  • Physical Exertion
  • Running
  • Weight Lifting


  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Citrate (si)-Synthase