Speed and Strength Training Exercise Order: Does in Matter for More Muscle?

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speed training, infinite_labs

Speed and Strength Training Exercise Order: Does in Matter for More Muscle?

by: Robbie Durand

It is well known that many athletes will perform twice a day workouts during the off-season.  Most bodybuilders will always train the large multi-joint exercises before single joint exercises, such as performing the bench press before training a smaller muscle group as the triceps.  Some researchers have suggested that it may be important to perform larger muscle group exercises first on the basis of acute hormonal responses. Some researchers have suggested that larger muscle groups first seem to enhance GH and testosterone levels; however this has not always been found to occur. For example, when researchers examined participants following full-body training, the order of upper and lower body resistance training exercise does not affect the overall delivery of total and free testosterone, growth hormone and IGF-1 to the upper body. So researchers wanted to re-examine the exercise order impact of acute anabolic hormones by having athletes perform speed and strength training. Specifically, the study set out to compare morning performance to afternoon performance where it was preceded by a second session and to assess whether session order affected recovery at 24 hours post.

speed training, infinite_labs

One day comprised a resistance training workout in the morning, followed 2 hours break in the afternoon by a speed training session,

The second group involved a speed training session in the morning, followed by a two-hour break later by a resistance training workout in the afternoon.

speed training, infinite_labsThe sprint training session included a running-specific warm up followed by six sets of 50m maximal sprints with 5 minutes of recovery between each sprint. This speed training session reflected a standard training sessions for team sports athletes and is in line with the volume of maximal speed running per session suggested by elite track coaches
The resistance training workout comprised five sets of 4 repetitions of the back squat and the Romanian deadlift with 85% of 1RM, and with 4 minutes of recovery between sets and exercises.

Much to the researchers surprise, there was no difference in the anabolic hormone responses between the morning and afternoon group. While the two sessions individually resulted in significantly different metabolic responses, training order did not result in different endocrine responses, patterns of muscle soreness, muscle damage, or neuromuscular performance over a 24-hour period. The researchers noted that the 10m split times for the 50m sprints was faster when the workout was performed in the afternoon compared to when it was completed in the morning.

Key Points: The researchers found that when training twice a day, it did not matter when speed or strength training was performed when a sufficient amount of time was allowed for rest.

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The effect of session order on the physiological, neuromuscular, and endocrine responses to maximal speed and weight training sessions over a 24h period, Johnston, Johnston, Cook, Costley, Kilgallon & Kilduff,

The effect of session order on the physiological, neuromuscular, and endocrine responses to maximal speed and weight training sessions over a 24h period, Johnston, Johnston, Cook, Costley, Kilgallon & Kilduff,

Bishop PA, Jones E, Woods AK. Recovery from training: a brief review: brief review.J Strength Cond Res. 2008; 22(3):1015-1024.

Coffey VG, Jemiolo B, Edge J, et al. Effect of consecutive repeated sprint and resistance exercise bouts on acute adaptive responses in human skeletal muscle. Am. J Physiol-Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009; 297(5):R1441-R1451.