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Finish First Insider, Issue #45
February 16, 2009
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Please enjoy another issue packed with evidence-based information about sports performance training and news about current events at Finish First Sports Performance. If you find value in this e-newsletter, please forward this message to your teammates, coaches, or other parents of hard working athletes.

Aerobic Endurance Training Negatively Affects Power

By Coach J. Hoy, CSCS, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

Effects on Performance

Many performance training programs exist that use both aerobic endurance training and resistance (strength) training. This is known as concurrent aerobic and resistance training. It is becoming a less common practice due to the recent evidence showing that aerobic training done concurrently with strength training has a negative effect on power sport athletes (Olympic lifting, ice hockey, sprinters, throwing “field” events, etc.). The article this week provides some of that supporting evidence as to why power athletes should not be training aerobically while strength/power training for optimal results. First, however, it is important to understand the basics of muscle fibers.

Athletes involved in power based sports rely heavily on type IIa and IIx fast-twitch muscle fibers. Type IIa and IIx muscle fibers are capable of greater amounts and greater speeds of force production than type I oxidative (slow twitch) muscle fibers. Due to the anaerobic characteristics of Type IIa and IIx muscle fibers, they are less resistant to fatigue than type I fibers (1).

Past research has shown that muscle fibers are adaptive and type IIx and IIa fibers, may, under specific aerobic training demands, create similar characteristics to type I fibers (6)(3). Considering that power athletes need to maximize the recruitment and usage of the fast twitch muscle fibers, it could be suggested that any type of aerobic-specific training for power athletes would be counterproductive to the physiological demands of the sport (5).

Studies comparing the results of concurrent strength/aerobic training with aerobic training only and strength training only, have shown greater increases in force production and velocity using strength training only compared to the others (3)(6)(1)(2). Aerobic training has been shown to negatively affect strength and/or power by affecting the rate of force development (recruitment of the type IIa and IIx muscle fibers), by increasing the catabolic hormone cortisol (affects muscle hypertrophy and skeletal muscle strength), and by placing athletes in a state of overtraining (6)(3).

Still, some coaches have reported continued use of aerobic training for power sports. These coaches suggest that this type of training can improve recovery, improve glucose uptake, improve body composition, and better prepare tissues (connective, muscle) for sports participation (3)(2). Research has show that aerobic training does not facilitate a better recovery from power sport performance, is not better than intermittent exercise (high-intensity interval training) for improving body composition, improving glucose uptake, or tissue preparation (3). A study with female hockey players even showed that high-intensity interval training improved aerobic capacity (2). High intensity interval training provides a method of training with realized benefits (proposed benefits of aerobic training) that can be done concurrently with strength training without any potential interference (3).

Effects on Health

One study reported that concurrent resistance and endurance training may interfere with aerobic capacity improvements (4). Other studies suggest that greater health benefits (improved body composition, increased aerobic capacity, improved training recovery) can be seen using high-intensity interval training as opposed to aerobic training, especially if the aerobic training is long, slow distance training (ie. Stationary bike, elliptical, or treadmill for an 30-60minutes) (3)(2). Another study showed that concurrent resistance and endurance training may lead to decreased skeletal muscle hypertrophy, impaired strength gains, and an elevated catabolic state (in females) (3).


Power athletes should not use aerobic training in conjunction with strength/power training. Coaches that currently use aerobic training with strength/power training believe that there are proposed benefits to this method--the research proves otherwise. The research proves that high-intensity specific interval training provides these results, without the interference with strength/power training. High-intensity interval training done concurrently with strength/power training is a great way to get aerobic benefits and improvements in strength and power.


1. Bell GJ, Syrotuik D, Martin TP, Burnham R, Quinney HA. Effect of concurrent strength and endurance training on skeletal muscle properties and hormone concentrations in humans. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2000;81(5):418-427.


3. Elliott MCCW, Wagner PP, Chiu L. Power athletes and distance training. Sports Medicine. 2007;37(1):47-57.

4. Glowacki SP, Martin SE, Maurer A, Baek W, Green JS, Crouse SF. Effects of resistance, endurance, and concurrent exercise on training outcomes in men. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2004;36(12):2119-2127.

5. Judge LW. Developing speed strength: In-season training program for the collegiate thrower. Strength & Conditioning Journal. 2007;29(5):42-54.

6. Leveritt M, Abernethy PJ, Barry BK, Logan PA. Concurrent strength and endurance training: A review. Sports Medicine. 1999;28(6):413-427.

All Day Energy During Back to Back Competitions

By Heather R Mangieri, MS, RD, LDN, Finish First Sports Performance Nutrition Advisor

One of the most important times to be at the very top of your game, both physically and mentally is during the final period of a game or during the final game of an all-day tournament. Not having the right nutritional game plan in place leads to both mental and physical fatigue and can ultimately lead to decreased performance or injury.

When you are faced with multiple competitions in the same day, it is important to meal plan so that optimal energy needs are met. To do this, it is imperative that you start the day with a full tank of gas and use your breaks between games to refuel and rehydrate. Use the following tips to help you to be prepared on your competition day:

●Practice how you will fuel on game day prior to your tournament day. Training is not only a time to work on strength and conditioning your muscles but also a time to train your muscles how to use fuels. You do not want to try a new food on the day of your competition only to find out that it does not agree with you. If a food gives you an upset stomach, it is much better to find that out ahead of time.

●If you do not already have one, invest in a small insulated cooler and a few ice packs so that all of your foods and beverages can be packed and taken with you. This way you can be sure that you will have adequate foods and drinks to keep yourself well-fed and well hydrated if no other source of energy is available.

●Pay attention to your pre-competition meal! Make sure to eat a real breakfast no later than 1 ˝ hours before your first game. This meal should be low fiber, low fat, and high carbohydrate with a little protein. Some examples include:

◘ English muffin with 1 TBSP peanut butter, jelly or jam and 1 banana.

◘ 2 slices raisin toast with jelly, 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg, ˝ cup orange juice

◘ 1 ˝ cup cereal (lower fiber is typically better tolerated, corn flakes, rice krispies, cheerios) with 1 cup skim or 1% milk, 1 nectarine

◘ Bagel with 1 Tbsp peanut butter, 1 cup skim or 1% milk

Remember, everyone’s GI tract is different. Practice is an important part of food selection for game day.

●Before your first game and during the game, stick to liquids to stay hydrated and keep from feeling too full. Drink water initially, and then switch to a sports drink like Gatorade about 20 minutes before the game. Continue drinking sports drinks when possible during the game. If you know when your breaks will be, it is a great idea to schedule drink breaks. This helps you to remember to rehydrate. Staying hydrated not only keeps you energized but also keeps you mentally focused.

●Between games it is vital that you refuel and rehydrate. The quicker you can take in some carbohydrates after your first game, the more energized and recovered you will be for the upcoming events. If you only have ˝ hour prior to your next event or competition, be sure to utilize sports drinks to obtain adequate carbohydrates. The last thing you want to do is start your next game with a stomach full of undigested food. If your next game is 2 hours away, than start eating solids. A carbohydrate rich meal will be your best success at obtaining more energy. You will want to switch back to liquids (Gatorade) as you get closer to the start of the game. Some examples of easily digested between meal foods are:

◘ 2 slices of bread with 2 slices turkey, banana

◘ Dried fruit

◘ Cereal with milk

◘ Yogurt with fruit

◘ Fig Newton with low-fat chocolate milk

●After the tournament, refuel your muscles and rehydrate your body! Eat a high carbohydrate snack that includes a little protein within 30 minutes of finishing your tournament. Even if you plan on going out to eat after your game, it is important to get carbohydrates and a little protein into your body within 30 minutes so that you can start the recovery process immediately. Some examples of easy snacks or beverages to meet this immediate need are:

◘ 1 cup chocolate milk

◘ Yogurt

◘ Sports drink with a 4:1 ratio carbohydrate to protein

●Within the next 1 ˝ -2 hours, eat a full meal that including carbohydrates, protein and a little fat. If you have practice, games or a continuation of the competition on the following day, you may need to include an additional evening meal to assure adequate glycogen (stored carbohydrate) for the next day’s events.

Motivational Sports Quotes

Practice as if you are the worst, perform as if you are the best.
-- Author Unknown

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.
-- Wayne Gretzky

A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
-- Emo Philips

Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very un-orderly world. If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can't get you off.
-- Bill Veeck

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Thanks again for subscribing to this free e-newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I look forward to your feedback as I continue to research to bring you the most current scientific training information available.

Should you have any specific article requests or questions, email me at Please visit for detailed sports performance training information and programs offered exclusively by Finish First Sports Performance.

Yours In Training,

Coach Jeremy S. Hoy, CSCS, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

Finish First Sports Performance

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