Everybody has a particular goal when they start exercising; some aim to lose fat, others aim to build muscle and strength, but some others have a wider range of goals that they want to achieve. That is where concurrent training comes into play. So today, I will talk about what exactly concurrent training is, it’s pros and cons, and how you can best implement it to your program in order to achieve your various fitness goals.
What is Concurrent Training?
Concurrent training is the combination of resistance and endurance training in a periodized program in aims of maximizing all aspects of physical performance¹.
This kind of training is mostly implemented by/for athletes who are involved in sports that require various features of fitness—cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. Those sports may include: wrestling, boxing, tennis, basketball, soccer, etc.
However, this kind of training is not exclusive for athletes trying to get better for their particular sport, it may also be implemented for someone who is simply wanting to excel in their general fitness.
The Pros & Cons of Concurrent Training
So the reason why you might consider this type of training is mainly due to its large benefit of increasing many aspects of your strength and endurance performance² of which can be highly optimal for those trying to reach multiple goals simultaneously or even to level up their overall performance in a sport.
While this type of training may take longer to make progress compared to training focusing on a single goal simply because you’re training for multiple goals, concurrent training has its place within your training program in order to reap its benefits.
So taking the information given from various studies on this style of training, combining resistance training with endurance training can be a very efficient way to progress in various resistance/aerobic type training, and may even in fact, create a greater anabolic effect within your body as compared to aerobic or resistance training alone³. In other words, you can improve your endurance while also increasing muscle mass, if concurrent training is implemented correctly.
However, please keep in mind that studies have shown “longer term training may lead to an elevated catabolic state, decreased skeletal muscle hypertrophy and impaired strength gains in some movement patterns⁴.” In other words, performing this kind of training for a long period of time may begin to affect your resistance training, although your endurance training won’t; it is suggested that you maintain this training around the 7-10 week period in order to best prevent these effects⁵.
In addition, If you plan to implement endurance training and resistance training on the same day, studies have indicated that 6 hours or more is needed to reduce the muscular fatigue from previous endurance/resistance in order to best retain muscular performance during the subsequent session of the day⁶.
How Can I Implement This Training To My Program?
There are many variables which need to be taken into consideration when implementing concurrent training to your program, including: your current training state, your overall goal, the time in-between sessions, the total number of training interventions programmed, among others to name a few.
You should focus on programming moderate volume, moderate-high intensity resistance training⁷ around your prioritized endurance training, sport-specific, sessions in order to mitigate the interference of both types of training and reap their benefits.
You should focus on programming low-moderate volume endurance training⁸ around your prioritized endurance training, sport-specific, sessions in order to mitigate the interference of both types of training and reap their benefits.
Mixed strength/endurance athletes
You should focus on strategically programming both resistance training and endurance training based on the energetic and muscular demands of the sport, your strength & weaknesses, and your position on the team⁹.
So for example, with my program, i’m focusing on increasing my strength as well as endurance for wrestling; so I prioritize two weeks for strength and one week for endurance in order to best train for both—I have a longer focus for strength because it is my main goal to increase my strength and power.
During my strength weeks, I prioritize my resistance training over my endurance training by implementing high volume resistance training combined with low-impact aerobic sessions six hours prior.
During my endurance weeks, I prioritize my endurance training over my resistance training by implementing low volume resistance training combined with moderate-high impact aerobic sessions six or more hours after.
Feel free to take a look at how I implement this training to my program!
Concurrent training is the combination of resistance and endurance training in a periodized program in the aim to maximize all aspects of physical performance.
Concurrent training can be a very efficient way of increasing many aspects of your strength and endurance performance and may even in fact create a greater anabolic effect within your body as compared to aerobic or resistance training alone.
However, it is important to note that prolonged concurrent training may lead to an elevated catabolic state, decreased skeletal muscle hypertrophy, and impaired strength gains in some movement patterns, and thus is suggested to maintain your training within 7-10 weeks, as well as spacing out training sessions atleast 6 hours apart in order to best reduce muscle fatigue produced from the previous session.
You can program this training to your routine by prioritizing each fitness goal during a a specific time, day, week, or even month of training while also keeping in mind what studies suggest in order to best perform each session.
Thanks for reading my blog and have a good rest of your day!
Stay motivated. Stay dedicated. Stay working hard.
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Here are some links to, more detailed, articles in regards to concurrent training!
- Concurrent Training: Science and Practical Application by Geoffrey Chio
- The Benefits of Concurrent Training by Luke Olsen
Here are some videos that explain concurrent training!
The reader assumes full responsibility for consulting a qualified health professional regarding health conditions or concerns, and nutritional advice before applying the content on this site to themselves. Samuel Navarro will not assume any liability for direct or indirect losses or damages that may result from the use of information contained in this post. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health.