This is certainly a topic that I feel many are confused about and that I have a lot of personal experience with! Over the last decade, I’ve bounced between endurance and strength athlete multiple times. Always incorporating both with whatever I was training for, but in a significantly different way depending on my specific goal.
Concurrent training is a term used to describe performing both cardio and weights in your training regimen to maximize performance. For example, doing 3 strength training sessions and 3 cardio sessions within a week.
It is well established that adding strength training into an aerobic regime can improve performance by making you more efficient. However, many in the fitness space consider concurrent training to be massively detrimental if your goals are related to strength and size.
They argue that because the adaptations that come from strength and aerobic training are opposites, they somewhat cancel each other out. Instead saying that you should focus on one and then the other. The thing is, while there is some research indicating they can impact one another negatively, this is not always the case. In fact, in some settings doing both may even lead to greater improvements than simply training one alone.
*A 2021 meta-analysis broke the research down even further, separating studies by both the training status of the participants & the duration of the resistance training & endurance training sessions (PMID: 33751469, PMID: 34757594).
Main takeaways from the study:
For most individuals, provided you separate your resistance training & endurance training by a few hours or more, you are refueling between sessions, your total protein & energy intake is adequate for your individual needs, & you are taking reasonably good care of yourself, i.e., sufficient sleep, recovery etc, it’s unlikely you will experience a significant negative impact to either training outcome.
If we are ready to go ahead and incorporate both into our training regimen, here are my top tips for programming both and a sample schedule for each primary focus.
As a strength & conditioning and nutrition coach with 16 years in the fitness industry, Kacie has worked with a wide variety of clientele from collegiate level athletes to new mothers looking to regain confidence and strength after having their babies, to complete fitness newbies. She’s passionate about helping women and especially mothers like herself, find balance toward achieving their health and fitness goals and believes in finding a realistic yet personalized approach for each client that is sustainable for life.