This study aimed to determine if adding in maximal effort cycling to a regular training program would increase strength and power. There is a lot of research which suggests that concurrent training does improve strength and power, but in this case, it was to be added to a nonlinear periodization program and include maximal effort cycling.
Concurrent training simply refers to training which includes varying tasks; in this case, resistance training as well as endurance training in a single program.
Non-linear vs linear periodization refers to training intensity and volume which varies from week to week or from day to day. For example,
Day 1: 20RM x 2
Day 2: 5RM x 5
Day 3: 10RM x 4
In this study, 17 men and women averaging 23 years and all with some previous training experience were randomly split into 2 groups. The first was the control group, which participated in the basic training, not including the cycling component. The second group was the experimental group, which participated in the same basic training as well as the cycling component. The two groups allowed researchers to compare the end results.
A pretest and post-test took measures of the participants' strength and power, including a chest press and broad jump performance. The study took place over 12 consecutive weeks, with training sessions taking place twice per week and lasting 45 minutes each.
At post-test, it was found that both groups significantly increased both strength and power measures. However, there was no difference between the two groups, suggesting that maximal-effort cycling had no effect on increasing power.
This study shows that high intensity aerobic activity does improve power or strength. However, it does suggest that non-linear periodization is an effective method of training for both strength and power.
McNamara, JM and Stearne, DJ. 2013. Effect of concurrent training, flexible nonlinear periodization, and maximal-effort cycling on strength and power. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 27(6): 1463-1470, 2013