The purpose of the study was to determine if concurrent training (endurance and resistance in a single session) elicits leg muscular adaptations beyond the ones obtained by endurance training alone in sedentary individuals with metabolic syndrome (MetS). Sixty-six MetS individuals (37% women, age 56 ± 7 years, BMI 32 ± 5 kg m-2 and 3.8 ± 0.8 MetS factors) were randomized to undergo one of the following 16-week isocaloric exercise programs: (i) 4 + 1 bouts of 4 min at 90% of HRMAX of intense aerobic cycling (IAC + IAC group; n = 33), (ii) 4 IAC bouts followed by 3 sets of 12 repetitions of 3 lower-limb free-weight exercises (IAC + RT group; n = 33). We measured the effects of training on maximal cycling power, leg press maximum strength (1RM), countermovement jump height (CMJ), and mean propulsive velocity (MPV) at workloads ranging from 10% to 100% of baseline 1RM leg press. After intervention, MetS components (Z-score) improved similarly in both groups (p = 0.002). Likewise, maximal cycling power during a ramp test improved similarly in both groups (time effect p < 0.001). However, leg press 1RM improved more in IAC + RT than in IAC + IAC (47 ± 5 vs 13 ± 5 kg, respectively, interaction p < 0.001). CMJ only improved with IAC + RT (0.8 ± 0.2 cm, p = 0.001). Leg press MPV at heavy loads (ie, 80%-100% 1RM) improved more with concurrent training (0.12 ± 0.01 vs 0.06 ± 0.02 m s-1 , interaction p = 0.013). In conclusion, in unconditioned MetS individuals, intense aerobic cycling alone improves leg muscle performance. However, substituting 20% of intense aerobic cycling by resistance training further improves 1RM leg press, MPV at high loads, and jumping ability while providing similar improvement in MetS components.
Keywords: concurrent training; intense aerobic cycling; metabolic syndrome; muscular adaptations; resistance training..
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