Training for Strength or Endurance -- Choose One

By: Tim Rigby (courtesy of Inside Fitness)

Strength training likely comes at the expense of endurance, and it all begins in your brain, according to new research from the University of Basel (Switzerland).  The neurotransmitter brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) acts in the muscle so that during strength training, the endurance muscle fibre number is decreased.  Researchers at the University’s Biozentrum department have more closely investigated this factor from the group of myokines and demonstrated that it is produced by the muscle, while acting on both muscles and synapses.  This research study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS) concluded that athletes essentially have a choice to train either for strength or endurance; due to the function of the brain’s effect on muscle stimulation, those who resistance train likely must sacrifice one for the sake of the other.

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