Optimising resistance training performance in the presence of concurrent training: The role of training periodisation and organisation.

  • Dean Ritchie

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Currently, there exists limited research pertaining to concurrent training in professional team sport athletes. Indeed, the majority of concurrent training literature is conducted with recreational or untrained participants in a laboratory setting. Concurrent training is a necessity in professional team sport athletes due to the demanding weekly training cycle. Moreover, in addition to the sport-specific skills session and resistance training sessions there are other commitments such as, game education, mobility, recovery, Pilates, mental well-being and professional development blocks. As such, this makes the organisation of training key to maximising training adaptations. The present thesis aimed to further the understanding of same day concurrent training paradigmin an ecological valid environment. Specifically, how can practical training variables be modulated and organised to optimise resistance training performance in professional team sport athletes within the presence of concurrent training both acutely and over the course of a training period. Following the understanding of the effect of ET on RT outcomes, the secondary aim was to explore ways to optimise the within RT stimulus in the presence of same day concurrent training. Chapter 4(Experimental Study 1)The aim of Study 1 was to examine the effect of prior skills/endurance training and different recovery time periods on subsequent same day resistance training (RT) performance in professional Australian football (AF) players. Sport specific endurance running loads (duration (min), total distance (m), mean speed (m.min-1), high speed running (HSR) >15 km.h-1, and relative HSR running (>75%, >85% maximal velocity) were obtained for 44 professional AF players for each training session across an entire competitive season. RT was prescribed in 3-weekly mesocycles with tonnage (kg) lifted recorded as RT performance. Endurance and RT sessions were interspersed by different recovery durations; ~20 min, 1 h, 2 h and 3 h. Fixed and mixed effect linear models assessed the influence of skills/endurance running loads on RT performance. Models also accounted for season period (pre-season versus in-season), and recovery duration between concurrent training bouts. An increase in HSR, and distance covered >75% and >85% maximal velocity had the greatest reductions on RT performance. In-season total distance covered displayed greater negative effects on subsequent RT performance compared to pre-season, whilst ~20 min recovery between skills/endurance and RT was associated with greater reductions in resistance training performance, compared to 1 h, 2 h and 3 h recovery. Sport-specific endurance running loads negatively affects subsequent same day RT performance, with this effect greater in-season and with shorter recovery durations between bouts. Chapter 5(Experimental Study 2)The aim of the Study2 was to examine both the independent and combined effects of the role of endurance training volume and intensity and RT volume on modulating changes in fat free soft tissue mass (FFSTM)and fat mass (FM)in elite team sport athletes. Forty-six professional AF athletes (mean ± SD: age, 22.8 ± 3.4 yr; height, 189 ± 7.2 cm; body mass, 86.9 ± 8.6 kg; elite training age, 5.9 ± 3.5 yr) participated in this, 10.1± 1.3 wk pre-season study. The concurrent training (CT) program consisted of 3 skill-specific endurance-based training sessions a week performed in the morning followed by a resistance training session in the afternoon. Cumulative training volumes of both endurance and resistance training were computed and body composition was assessed via dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) at the beginning and end of their respective training periods. Quadratic regressions with interactions on concurrent training loads were used to assess changes in both FFSTM and FM, as well as being adjusted for years of training experience and initial body composition (i.e., starting FFSTM and FM). Higher RT volumes was associated with greater increases in total and lower body FFSTM. However, higher RT tonnage concomitant with higher TD and HSR was associated with lower changes in total and lower body FFSTM. Distance covered above >75% and >85% had no effect on changes in FFSTM even when RT tonnage was high. Years of training experience had a significant effect on changes in FFSTM, whereby athletes with <4 years experience had greater changes in FFSTM compared to athletes with >4 years experience. Cumulative skills/endurance running loads negatively effect changes in FFSTM across a pre-season period which is further compounded by high volumes of RT. Together, these data indicate that both high endurance and resistance training volumes concurrently may not lead to desired training adaptations. Chapter 6(Experimental Study 3)The aim of Study 3 was to examine the use of two short duration (1-min and4-min) recovery periods while utilising the contrast resistance training (RT) method on drop jump performance in same day concurrently trained athletes. Ten professional Australian Rules footballers (age, 20.6 ± 1.9 yr; height, 184.8 ± 6.9 cm; body mass, 85.8 ± 8.4 kg) completed two RT sessions with different PAPE recovery durations; 1-min and 4-min, 1 h following a field-based endurance session. Baseline (pre) drop jumps were compared to post-test maximal drop jumps, performed after each set of 3 squats (where each participant was encouraged to lift as heavy as they could), to determine changes between 1-min and 4-min recovery periods. Data were analysed by fitting a mixed model(significance was set at P ≤ 0.05). Corrected Hedges’ g standardised effect sizes ± 95% confidence limits were calculated using group means ± SDs. There were no significant differences between baseline and experimental sets 1, 2 and3 for reactive strength index (RSI), flight time, and total and relative impulse for either recovery duration. However, for contact time, 1-min baseline was significantly different from set 2 (mean difference; 95% CI, 0.029; 0.000 to 0.057 s, P = 0.047, ES; 95% CI, -0.27; -1.20 to 0.66). For RSI and flight time, 1-min was significantly higher than 4-min (RSI: 0.367; 0.091 to 0.642, P = 0.010, ES; 95% CI, 0.52; -0.37 to 1.42; flight time: 0.033; 0.003 to 0.063 s, P = 0.027, ES; 95% CI, 0.86; -0.06 to 1.78).Short recovery periods of 1-min may be a time-efficient form of prescribing strength-power exercise in contrast loading schemes. Longer recovery periods do not appear to benefit immediate, subsequent performance. Chapter 7(Experimental Study 4)The aim of Study 4 was to assess the effect of altering conditioning contraction (Strength, Isometric and Ballistic) within contrast training on subsequent drop jump (DJ) performance in the presence of same day concurrent training. Using a randomised crossover design, 14professional (AF) athletes completed same day skills/endurance training followed by resistance training that utilised different types of PAPE conditioning contractions (Strength, Ballistic and Isometric) over three different occasions. Conditioning contractions were performed for three sets of 3 repetitions, Strength (box squat, participants told to lift as heavy as they could), Ballistic (band resisted, lower-force/ higher-velocity box squat) and Isometric (3 second maximal isometric quarter squat) with 3 DJ repetitions performed one minute after each of the conditioning contractions. Data were analysed by fitting a mixed model(significance was set at P ≤ 0.05) to compare changes in DJ performance to respective baseline and between sets for protocols. Corrected Hedges’ g standardized effect sizes ± 95% confidence limits were calculated using group means ± SDs. Compared to baseline, Ballistic resulted in the greatest increase in reactive strength index (RSI), set 1 and2 (P = 0.02) & (P = 0.007), Stiffness, set 1 and 2 (P = 0.04) & (P = 0.01) and Mean Power, set 1 and 2 (P = 0.002) & (P = 0.04)and Peak Power in set 1 (P = 0.02). Isometric increased RSI and Stiffness for set 1 only (P = 0.02) & (P = 0.01). Strength showed no improvement in DJ performance. Strength and conditioning coaches working with concurrently trained athletes should consider the potential of Ballistic preconditioning stimuli when prescribing contrast training. Chapter 8(Summary)The proposed series of studies aimed to provide pragmatic outcomes for physical performance staff within team sports environments and other practitioners who utilise same day concurrent training with a greater evidence base to ensure the individualisation and organisation of concurrent training prescription. The current data show that both acute RT performance and RT adaptations of body composition as the result of a training block are negatively impacted by preceding skills/endurance load. Furthermore, the within RT session can be organised to optimise the RT stimulus even within the presence of same day concurrent training.
Date of Award13 Oct 2021
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJustin Keogh (Supervisor), Peter Reaburn (Supervisor) & Jonathan Bartlett (Supervisor)

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