Cross-training between cycling and running in untrained females

Ruby, B., Robergs, R.A., Leadbetter, G., Mermier, C., Chick, T., & Stark, D. (1996) Cross-training between cycling and running in untrained females. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 36(4), pp. 246-254.

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  • The purpose of the study was to evaluate the cross-training response between running and cycling in untrained females.

Experimental design

  • The following study involved a pretest, post-test, 3 x 3 factorial design.


  • Training (4 days-week-1, 10 weeks, 70-80% heart rate reserve) occurred at the Center for Exercise and Applied Human Physiology. Exercise testing occurred at the Veterans Hospital, Exercise Laboratory.

Patients and participants

  • Subjects included healthy, untrained females aged 18-25 years, (N = 18).


  • Subjects were assigned to one of three (n = 6) training groups (run = R, cycle = C, both run and cycle = RC) matched on pre-training CE V̇O2max results.


  • Graded treadmill run (TR) and cycle ergometer (CE) tests were performed on each subject to determine a mode specific V̇O2max and the lactate threshold (LT). Graded arm ergometer (AE) was performed to determine V̇O2max and heart rate and blood lactate at 20 and 40 Watts (W). Testing occurred prior to (0T), after 5 (5T) and after 10 weeks of training (10T). Body fat testing (hydrodensitometry at residual lung volume) was performed at 0T and 10T.


  • TR and CE V̇O2max as well as TR and CE V̇O2 at the LT improved throughout the 10 weeks, regardless of training group. Although there were no changes in V̇O2max or blood lactate levels during AE, submaximal heart rates were significantly reduced over the 10 weeks, regardless of training group.


  • These results indicate that the aerobic benefits of either run, cycle or combined run and cycle training are similar in untrained females. The LT and AE heart rate data demonstrate that improvements in V̇Omax due to ten weeks of training are a result of pronounced peripheral and moderate central adaptations.

Impact and interest:

7 citations in Scopus
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6 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 96953
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: lactic acid, adult; article; clinical trial; controlled clinical trial; controlled study; cycling; ergometry; female; heart rate; human; human experiment; lactate blood level; muscle training; normal human; oxygen consumption; physiology; running; sports medicine, Adipose Tissue; Adolescent; Adult; Aerobiosis; Anaerobic Threshold; Analysis of Variance; Bicycling; Body Composition; Cooperative Behavior; Evaluation Studies; Exercise Test; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Heart Rate; Humans; Lactates; Oxygen Consumption; Ph
ISSN: 0022-4707
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Deposited On: 19 Jul 2016 01:25
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2016 00:53

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