Strength training improves supramaximal cycling but not anaerobic capacity
This study examined supramaximal cycling performed to exhaustion at 120% of peak O2 uptake (120% VO2peak) before and after 8 weeks of strength training.
Eight previously untrained men completed 8 weeks of leg-strength training 3 days week−1 on a hack-squat machine; four sets, five repetitions at 85% of one repetition maximum each session. Anaerobic capacity was quantified by determining the maximal accumulated O2 deficit during supramaximal cycling.
After 8 weeks of strength training, one repetition maximum for the hack squat significantly increased by 90 ± 33% when compared to before training. However, 8 weeks of strength training did not increase the maximal accumulated O2 deficit. Nevertheless, after 8 weeks of strength training, there was a significant increase in time to exhaustion for cycling at 120% VO2peak. The increase in time to exhaustion after 8 weeks of strength training was accompanied by a significant increase in accumulated O2 uptake.
In conclusion, 8 weeks of strength training improves supramaximal cycling performance in previously untrained subjects. However, increases in time to exhaustion for supramaximal cycling following strength training are associated with an increase in the contribution of the aerobic energy system rather than an improvement in anaerobic capacity.