The Effects of Resistance Training on Sprint and Endurance Performance in Masters Athletes: A Narrative Review

Issue: Vol. 5 No 1

Published by Journal of Fitness Research, April 2016.

Tags: Veteran , Older Athletes , Sprint Running , Cycling , Aging , Strength Training , Endurance Performance.

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  1. Luke Delvecchio (Corresponding Author)
    School of Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia
  2. Marko T. Korhonen
    Gerontology Research Centre, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland
  3. Peter Peter Reaburn
    School of Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia


Participation of masters athletes (>30 years) in sprint running (100-400 m) and sprint track cycling (200 m, teamsprint, 1-km) has increased significantly over recent decades. With aging, sprint and endurance performancegradually declines. The present review focuses upon the effects of resistance training on sprint and enduranceperformance and its physiological determinants in masters athletes. The available research demonstrates thatresistance training interventions in masters athletes lead to beneficial adaptations in both sprint and enduranceathletes. With inclusion of heavy strength training exercises in sprinters’ training regimen, increases musclemass, size of fast fibres and rapid neural activation capacity along with improvements in maximal, explosive andsprint force production have been observed. In endurance athletes, strength training has been shown to lead toincreased maximal and explosive muscle strength levels. The actual event-specific performance changes aretypically smaller, but significant (p<0.05), with a 2-4% reduction in sprint running times and 3-6% improvementin endurance cycling and running economy. Taken together, these limited data suggest that resistance trainingprograms produce positive effects on physiological determinants of sprint and endurance performance that resultin enhanced sport performance capacity in masters athletes. Further research on these issues is needed todesign and deliver optimal training programs to aging athletes.

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Article Title

The Effects of Resistance Training on Sprint and Endurance Performance in Masters Athletes: A Narrative Review

Journal Title

Journal of Fitness Research

Online Publication Date

April 2016

Author Names

Luke Delvecchio (Corresponding Author)
Marko T. Korhonen
Peter Peter Reaburn

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