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What is hybrid training?
Well, that’s exactly what you will learn about in this podcast interview with Dr. Alyssa Olenick.
At its core, hybrid training (also known as concurrent training in the scientific literature) is a fusion of strength and cardiovascular training.
Many people feel these types of training are at odds, but in this episode, you’re going to learn how hybrid training is not only possible, but can be complimenting, helping you excel in both strength and endurance.
In case you’re not familiar with Alyssa, she’s an Exercise Physiologist, sports nutritionist, weight lifter, and ultra runner. And with her strong academic background, she’s dedicated herself to both the practical and theoretical sides of fitness, helping thousands of clients crush both their lifting goals and their race finish lines.
Her unique perspective combines the rigors of scientific research with practical, hands-on coaching experience.
In chat, Alyssa and I discuss . . .
- The concept of hybrid training, blending strength and endurance training, and why heavy lifting isn’t enough and doesn’t “count” as cardio
- Misconceptions surrounding the interference effect, debunking the “cardio kills gains” myth and exploring how evidence-based research supports the integration of cardio into strength training routines for enhanced results
- Differentiating the benefits of strength training and cardiovascular exercise, explaining why both are essential for a balanced, effective training regimen
- The correlation between cardiovascular health and quality of life, and how a developed aerobic system can amplify strength training and overall physical performance
- How to turn cardio “exercise” into a training system with progression
- Practical advice on combining cardiovascular and resistance training for optimal results, including tips on protein intake, carb periodization, and effective fatigue management
- Personal experiences and insights into maintaining muscle and losing fat through cardio, while balancing the intensity of strength training
- And more . . .
If you’re intrigued by the idea of becoming both stronger and fitter simultaneously, or if you’re simply looking for an innovative approach to mix up your current fitness program, then this podcast is for you.
Listen in to explore the world of hybrid training with Alyssa Olenick!
0:00 – Please leave a review of the show wherever you listen to podcasts and make sure to subscribe!
3:16 – What are your thoughts on hybrid training? Is endurance training not
effective for muscle growth compared to strength training?
16:55 – Do you get enough cardio from just strength training alone?
35:42 – Try Pulse today! Go to https://buylegion.com/pulse and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points!
37:53 – Can cardio help improve my strength training?
32:30 – How much cardio does it take to see a dip in performance with strength training?
44:01 – Is it okay to do cardio before or after your strength training workout?
52:38 – Is an hour maybe two hours enough per week to get all the benefits from
1:21:37 – Where can people find you and your work?
Mentioned on the Show:
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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hello, I’m Mike Matthews. This is Muscle for Life. Thank you for joining me today to learn about hybrid training, which is also known as concurrent training in the scientific literature, and is just a combination of strength training and cardiovascular training. And the reason I wanted to record this interview is hybrid training, or concurrent training is an ongoing topic of debate.
And is a debate that has shifted in the last 10 years or so. 10 years ago, for example, many people, at least many people I came across, believed that cardio in any amount, in any modality would detract from your strength training gains would detract from muscle hypertrophy or strength gain. And many people also believed that there weren’t strong health related reasons to include cardio in your fitness regimen.
If you are already doing, let’s say, a few hours of strength training per week, and for a number of years, the weight of the scientific evidence seemed to support both of those positions, particularly the first one, the quote unquote interference effect, which is the scientific term for various.
Adaptations that occurred during and after cardiovascular exercise that are fundamentally at odds with the adaptations that occurred during and after strength training and the adaptations that you are most interested in if you are trying to maximize muscle and strength. But then over the last couple of years, smart people in the evidence-based fitness space have started to question some of these long-standing assumptions about this interference effect and about the additive benefits of doing cardiovascular exercise in addition to strength training.
And because of that, the discussion has started to change. And there also is new research that has come out in the last couple of years that supports skepticism of these previous positions. And in today’s episode, you’re going to learn about both sides of this argument and you are going to hear what I think is a compelling.
Argument for why you should mostly disregard a lot about what you’ve heard regarding the interference effect. It is a thing, but it is probably not relevant to you or your circumstances or goals whatsoever, and you probably will improve your circumstances and even reach your fitness goals faster if you start doing cardio.
If you are not doing cardio, or maybe start doing more cardio than you are currently doing in addition to your strength training. And in today’s episode, you are going to be hearing from my guest, Dr. Alyssa Olen, who is an exercise physiologist, a sports nutritionist, a weightlifter, an ultra runner, somebody with a lot of firsthand experience with hybrid training or concurrent training, which is one of the reasons I wanted to invite her on the show because she not only has a strong academic background, but she also has a strong.
In the trenches, practical background, both in her own training as well as training many, many clients of many ages and abilities. Hey, Alyssa. Good afternoon. It’s nice to meet you.
Alyssa: Nice to meet you. Thanks for having me on.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Thank you for taking the time to come and talk about hybrid training, which let’s just quickly define as combining strength training and endurance training, and specifically I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, but as it applies to two different scenarios, let’s say the first scenario is somebody who does strength training.
They have a system that they follow. They have specific goals they’re working toward, and endurance exercise, meaning they don’t have a particular system that they follow in their endurance training or exercise. It’s just treated like exercise, like I’ll use myself as an example. This bike back here, you know, I’ll do these days.
I’ve actually been going outside more because I think it’s. Even a better use of quote unquote cardio time. But there was, uh, a time when I was not going outside and going on walks. Really, I, except for my dogs, maybe once or twice a day, and somebody else would take them for our walk once or twice. I’d say I’d hop on this bike for 30 minutes, six or seven days a week and would just maintain probably a, a five or six out of 10, uh, in terms of intensity and didn’t track anything.
That was the only, I was just kind of thinking about r P E and maybe I was getting a little bit fitter and I’d have to pedal a little bit faster and that was about it. Exercise rather than training. So that’s the first scenario. And then the scenario of strength training and endurance training. So somebody who has a system for both of these things and they have specific goals and they are trying to improve both in their strength training and in their endurance training.
So I think that that, uh, maybe is a helpful framework for. Our discussion, and maybe we just start with the first scenario because it’s probably the more common one. And the last thing I’ll say, I think is for a good starting place is what many people think, uh, or at least they, they say they think maybe some people just use it as an excuse to not do cardio.
But that is that endurance training is just fundamentally at odds with strength training. And people in the evidence space, space will say that too. And they’ll often point to one study or another that seems to support their argument that doing cardio is not a good use of time if you are trying to. At least mostly just trying to gain muscle and
So I’m gonna use kind of the term hybrid training interchangeably, or when, I mean that, I also mean concurrent training. Concurrent is such a mouthful of a word, but that’s really technically when you look at the scientific literature of the word that’s being used, it’s, you know, two modes of training that are being programmed in the same week, weekday or training cycle.
And really, when you look at the literature, it’s, you know, people trying to figure out how to optimize these things for athletes. Because when you think about, you know, I find the fitness industry really funny because. Fitness really when you think about it outside of our little bubble is strength and conditioning.
And most athletes are doing strength and conditioning and almost everyone else in the world is doing some sort of combined concurrent training in some degree or another. And so it’s, a lot of this is coming from like, well, how do we optimize this so you can get athletes who are, you know, improving at their sport.
We’re getting the most out of their training. On the side, but the rules for training and strength and conditioning for us, lay people isn’t really that much different. It’s just, you know, how specific we wanna get with it is what really matters there. And so that’s really the technical sciencey term for it.
But the, the new common jargon term is hybrid training, and that’s been going around, that’s becoming more popular now just because it sounds
Mike: cooler. That that’s
Alyssa: all it sounds cooler and people wanna buy into something and belong to something. And I do find it funny as someone with a big strength training background who got into endurance sports that like, I’ve been kind of doing this for years and no one really batted an eye, but now it’s like trendy and cool and everyone’s like really overthinking and over complicating something that I thought for years as an athlete or retired athlete was just like very normal common practice, right?
But you know, social media gets a hold of things and it starts spinning them all these different ways and everyone gets confused or they’re avoiding things out of some sort of fear or maybe misplaced representation of what science is saying. And so, yeah, there’s two def definitely two different considerations of the, you know, the, the general person who’s just trying to add in conditioning for general health performance.
I think there’s a big trend right now of the bodybuilding crowd realizing cardiovascular disease is in fact a thing and that we should maybe. Take care of that component of our health and fitness as well, which I think is fantastic and amazing. But they might be more concerned about their gains or their strength or their muscle development, while also not really trying to train for a marathon or half marathon or triathlons or even CrossFit, whatever it is.
The sport that people are doing that is kind of, you know, more of metabolic in nature. And so for these people, you know, when you think about this, you don’t have to feel like you have to buy into this like hybrid training lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be that serious. You’re just doing some cardio. Like you don’t have to feel like you have to be like, oh, doing these hybrid training rules of this and that to fit these things in for, for most of you, like I think sometimes that can be intimidating for people cuz they’re like, oh, there’s another thing that I have to consider or I don’t identify as this.
And it, it doesn’t have to be that serious. So in it’s truist nature, hybrid training is like when you are trying to maximize or improve two things at the same time, whether that’s in a given training cycle or over the course. And with hybrid training, I like to think of it over the course of like, Multiple training cycles are years because you can’t always maximize everything at the same time.
But for regular people who are just doing cardio to just, just to do cardio, you don’t need to feel like you need to buy into this whole new thing. It can be as simple as just like what Mike has been doing is just like adding cardio to your training in your teen. And so the reason that a lot of people avoid this is, you know, twofold.
One, people hate cardio and they want any excuse to not do cardio. Cause cardio’s uncomfortable and generally cardio’s uncomfortable because we don’t do it right. Like, it’s hard because it’s novel and you know, if you think about how lifting felt when you first started two, it probably really sucked as well.
And that deters people a lot also from doing that kind of training. And then the age old tale of cardio kills your gains. Cardio is going to blunt all of your strength in muscle development. You’re going to be, you’re never gonna make any progress. It’s a waste of your time. And I, I think that. Narrative is slowly shifting, but also we are realizing the importance not only for cardiovascular training for health, but it also might help us with some of those gym goals that we have that are specific to strength and hypertrophy.
It’s not as antagonistic as we think it is. So historically, you know, I, I won’t get too nitty gritty, but I know Legion is an evidence-based company and all this stuff, so we probably have some muscle nerves here on this show listening. But in general, when you think about the physiological pathways for resistance training and then endurance training, they are coming from two different stressors on our muscle.
And so when you have the resistance training stressor, that’s kind of more of a pro, you’re breaking down tissue, but you’re also kind of stimulating this pathway for growth and, you know, increasing muscle protein synthesis and increasing muscle hypertrophy and or, you know, neuromuscular adaptations that lead to strength.
But then, Opposite of this, you have aerobic training, which is essentially the simulation of an acute energy deficit in your cell. And it leads to a different like cell signaling pathway within your muscle. And this can be thought of as being more, you know, catabolic in nature, not as anabolic as we want, as muscle or resistant training is, of course with proper nutrition.
And this is where people start to say cardio cancer gains, cuz one, it’s kind of putting you into this acute energy deficit, but one of the things that signals during this is something called a m pk, which is an aerobic pathway or metabolic pathway signaling molecule that quote unquote, Blunts or interferes with mTOR, if we’ve heard of that, that’s leads to muscle growth and hypertrophy.
And so we don’t wanna do these together cuz if you do cardio, it will stop that and you, it will blunt all of your gains. So that’s like the age old, like really quick physiological breakdown of where that is coming from. And so a lot of that was done in mouse and rat models back in the day or muscle fibers and it’s, these pathways are real and they do exist.
But I think more and more when we start to see the issues with combining things concurrently, it’s not as straightforward as like, oh one signal’s doing exactly this one’s doing another it. It’s like super stew. You have all these different signals that are going into the body at all points in time and it’s not like one or the other isn’t so directly interfering.
The other thing, there’s so many things going into your system that results in adaptations. But what we’re seeing is that more of the issues are gonna come down to just how you program it, how you manage the volume when you’re doing something new and you’re overall, what you’re doing, slowly adapting to things and like your nutrition and, you know, recovery strategies.
These that are largely nutrition or sleep or stress management base that are allowing you to handle these things and not trying to just slap a ton of volume on each other over time. So a lot of the times people will be like, oh, this killed my gains. It did this. What I see personally in the fitness space is that they either try to do too much and then, then they, they just start slapping a bunch of things on top of their training and they couldn’t recover or keep up with it.
They weren’t eating enough for it, or they didn’t let your, their body adapt to the extra things that they’re adding. But when we’re talking about general regular people, you know, you’re, you’re interested in physique changes, your body building focus, strength training, focus. You know, we really wanna think about just starting with like the physical activity guidelines.
The physical activity guidelines is like the bare minimum amount of cardiovascular training you should be doing in a week for long-term health and. It is not enough by any means whatsoever to. The, the, the thing that’s blunting your gains and your progress or training in the gym. And if done correctly, this is like the minimum threshold and it’s probably not gonna have like very much interference whatsoever, especially cause it’d be such a small percentage of training program.
But I think for people who are, you know, cardio curious, this is a great place to start just to meeting that like kind of standard of where we want to be for at least help. We’re not thinking about performance, we’re not thinking about all of these other things. We’re thinking about the fact that like we want general physical preparedness for everything that we’re going to do.
Like that. G P P is important for everything that we’re doing in our training in life. Like we, we sometimes need to zoom out from the gym and realize that like life and functionality is more than just muscle. And this is coming from someone who has a lot of muscle, like I’m super pro muscle. There’s a lot more to that.
And when it comes to your health, you do wanna do some cardiovascular training. So starting with like 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week and or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week. And you can do a combination of those two. And that’s like the minimum. You can do more there.
You can do more. But that is like the minimum. And so when you think of moderate intensity, kind of what Mike was just saying with RPE is really easy to use for people instead of mets, which a lot of the stuff, if you Google, it’s gonna prescribe everything and things in mets, which means nothing. It means metabolic unit equivalence.
That means nothing to you all listening to this. Even someone who’s trained in this field doesn’t, I mean, I don’t know what’s a met if something is off the top of my head without a reference factor. So think about doing activities that are cardiovascular nature. And when I say this, I mean like mono structural, so lifting with a high heart rate.
It’s not cardio. Maybe metcons if you have like more of that true metabolic conditioning type stuff. But just like a set of 10, just because your heart rate is getting high, it’s not cardio. It’s sign that if you’re not recovering between that stuff, you need more traditional cardio. And we can get to that in a second, but I’m thinking like bike, swim, run row, skier cycle.
You know, it may be some of those cross training things that have like a component of that mixed in, but we’re thinking like model structural activity, incline, hiking, stair stepper, elliptical, hiking, walking for some people falls into this category than the more fit you are. The last walking starts to kind of fall into this category just cuz of the intensity of it.
But you wanna think about something that’s like a four to six outta 10 effort. Like you can carry a conversation and maybe you’re starting to breathe a little bit heavier, but it’s modern intensity, but sustainable in nature. It’s not that super high, super hard, super vigorous is that kind of modern intensity.
So the, you want that kind of strict cardio type thing. And I also like to encourage people like don’t start to confuse and mix well, what about my steps during the day? And then my cardio, like, just try to get in some strict cardio if you can. That’s a little bit more stressful in your system. Your walking is great across the day, but for most of you, Who are past that very base level of fitness, walking isn’t really getting your heart rate up.
It’s not stressful on your body and that’s a good thing. That’s not bad. It’s still good for you, but it’s, you know, you wanna think about, you know, true structured cardio and just accumulating that across the week up to vigorous intensity, which is more of that rapid breathing, harder to carry a conversation type intensities that are probably between a six to an eight or you can get up to those things that are more sprint hit, higher hard intensity training.
That’s that 8, 9, 10 effort and doing, I’m personally a fan of doing a mix of these things each week. I like, you know, a variety of intensities and if you’re doing less, doing it higher and harder intensity, that’s why it can be 150 minutes or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, cuz the higher and harder it is, the kind of less that you need.
But personally, as an exercise scientist, I like prescribing people a mix of like low to moderate intensity exercise with a day or two of that higher, harder intensity stuff because you get some specific and unique adaptations of that. And this doesn’t need to be like, Your whole life. This can be as simple as adding in like 20 minutes to 30 minutes of steady state zone two, which is really trendy and popular right now.
Like everyone’s the rage to three. You won’t die here in zone three if you’re just doing it for general health and fitness. Like it’s not that serious doing them after your lifts. So getting your, you know, your bread and butter, the bulk of your workout that you’re trying to do, the most important thing that your intensity and exertion is there for your lift that day and then doing some cardio afterwards.
That’s that lower, easy to sustain intensity a few days across your week. You can also sneak it in on its own, on its own days and or have like one or two more of these true high intensity sprint interval type, maybe metcon type workouts throughout the week. And this is, can be like anywhere from two to four days a week of training.
And it doesn’t have to be long. Like hour long workouts, cardiovascular workouts, like you might do if you’re training for a race or sport or things like that. You can also just think about like microdosing your cardio across the week in like little bits, like in 10 minute sessions, like before and after your training and just kind of getting it in.
Right. So that’s kind of like the general gist
Mike: of that. Let me add to that just because this is a, a question that I wanna give to you that that’s related just to that as many people, I mean I, you’ve probably seen this, I see many people say that vigorous strength training there is a, a cardiovascular component, especially if you are training in rep ranges of anywhere north of probably six.
Like you do a hard set of 10 or 12 reps on a squat or god forbid, a deadlift. It certainly feels like cardio, like by the end of that, that set you feel like you just ran a sprint. And so, and I’ve seen in the Evans space space, I’ve seen some people say, yeah, doing. Cardio workouts or doing some endurance exercise in addition to your strength training isn’t a bad idea.
It’s additive to some degree, but you’re actually getting a fair amount of cardiovascular training from your strength training, and you’re getting a fair amount of the benefits that cardiovascular exercise has to offer from your strength training. And so you don’t really have to do, there’s not a great evidence-based reason.
To do cardio workouts in addition to your strength training workouts, unless you just want to, what are your
Alyssa: thoughts? So I wholeheartedly disagree with that stance. I understand where it’s coming from, but that’s like if I had to have a yes or no, that would be like I, but there’s nuance to that, right?
There are cardiovascular benefits to resistance training. You do get improved. You’re straining your vascular system. You are to some degree straining your cardiovascular system and you are going to rely on aerobic energy systems to recover from that training. But when you think about the kind of the pathways that I talked about at the beginning of here, that’s stress and stimulus between those two things.
Even if it is straining and stressing in a positive way, those underlying systems, it’s going to be different. So when we think about like the metabolic benefits we get of aerobic training, you are not going to be getting that from strength training just because it’s a different stress and stimulus on the body.
So you’re not going to be getting some of those benefits of mitochondrial adaptation, fat oxidation, improve lip regulation, like some of those metabolic benefits that you get. Now, this isn’t me saying that strength training doesn’t also have metabolic benefits. I think people forget there’s gonna be a lot of overlap and exercise.
Moving your body is going to improve your health across the board. And if you’re only resistance training, your cardiovascular health outcomes are going to be improved. Way more than if you’re doing nothing. So I think it’s not like a total no, especially, you know, if you’re doing more of those things, but in general you wanna be using weights when your strength training that are gonna be challenging yourself muscularly.
And there isn’t gonna be a muscular endurance component to that. But I’ll also counter argue that one, your recovery between those hard sets will be a lot faster and more efficient if you have some so of aerobic underlying aerobic base to bring an oxygen. And you know, I mean you use ox, the pathway is what you use to resensitize creatine, which we’ll use in your next set, in those first few reps.
But also it’s kinda like the little engines that allow you to do more work as well during your strength training and exercise. And so strength training, it’s going to have a cardiovascular training component. Absolutely. And that will benefit your health. I’m not saying that lifting has a net zero on.
Cardiovascular training, but that adaptation is different. It’s unique when you think of mono structural, strict cardiovascular exercise. And a lot of people will be like, well, my heart rate is elevated, my heart rate is high, so it must be working. But there’s a, it’s called a decoupling of VO two max and heart rate when you do string training or maybe non-ST strict cardiovascular exercise.
So what this means is that when you’re doing strict cardio, your heart rate and your VO two axis, they were on an x Y axis, are gonna kind of fall in a nice straight linear line. You can kind of predict your intensity based off your heart rate, but when you’re doing things like strength training or maybe like kettlebell training or metabolic conditioning type stuff, that heart rate will decouple where it might be higher than what your actual percent of your VO two max demands are because of the other physiological strains on your body.
So there is going to be a benefit, and this is why we want both in our training program, but the physiological adaptations that are occurring in the muscle are different and we want them to be different. So for the same reasons that we relied on that interference story for so many years, is also the reason why we need to do.
Two different things to get these two different benefits, but we can do them in the same program. So yes, of course your high hard sets are going to be more aerobically fatiguing because they take about a minute, right? To do so, you’re going to be crossing over a little bit and to glycolytic energy metabolism and slightly aerobic, but you’re gonna need your aerobic energy system as well to recover from that.
And so while it’s not fully aerobic, that training that you do outside that lifting will compliment that and allow you to do more while also gaining some thin benefit back to your cardiovascular system by straining it with resistance training, which does put strain in stress on your vascular system, which is really important for health and wellbeing as well.
And if I’m hearing
Mike: you correctly, then, it sounds like that strength training just produces a much smaller amount of a specific type of stimulus that is, let’s say a specific type of cardiovascular stimulus compared to endurance exercise that produces a much larger amount of that specific type of stimulus that can benefit.
Our body and benefit our cardiovascular system differently than the primary stimulus produced by the strength training. If I said that, well,
Alyssa: yeah. More or less. Pretty much. Yeah. I mean, some of the physiological like pathways that it’s stimulating are different, but when we think about the organ systems that it’s training and stressing.
Yes. Like there’s going to be overlap. It’s like kind of saying that, you know, oh, I’m gonna crank up the resistance on my bike. So that I can train legs today, most of you wouldn’t do that, right? Most of you would say, okay, well this is more resistance, right? We logically know, okay, well it’s making this harder and I might get a little bit of muscular growth benefit from this, but it’s probably gonna plateau with time.
It’s probably not the same as if I just load up a heavy squat, right? From the lifter perspective. I think the inverse analogy sometimes help them to understand where that thinking’s coming from. So it’s, that would be like the equivalent of being like, yeah, you are getting a slight resistance stimulus, but you would get such a better one if you loaded up a heavy back squat, just like you might get some cardiovascular stimulus, but you’re gonna get such a better one if you just do some true.
Cardiovascular training. And that doesn’t mean that either one is bad for our muscles or aerobic system, but we get more bang for our buck doing the thing that intentionally does the thing that we want it to do. I, I have a
Mike: couple follow ups. Let’s start with this one. So you’ve mentioned a couple of times that doing cardiovascular exercise can possibly improve your performance in your strength training.
If people haven’t heard that before, they might be a little bit surprised and curious to know how that works and that also might motivate them. The cardio curious. I like that. If somebody’s cardio curious, that might be enough to get ’em off the fence and be like, okay, because you know, I, I actually do understand in that, again, my speaking.
Speaking personally, I like strength training. I like having a system. I like trying to get a little bit stronger, a little bit better and improve little muscle groups for me though. Endurance is training is just not that interesting to me. I don’t really care to have a system and to track things. And my primary interest is, is health.
And I guess maybe it’s, it’s one part health and then one part body composition because it makes it easier to stay lean, uh, just cause you burn more calories. And so if that’s enough of a motivation for me to do it, but, uh, it is nice when I first learned that, oh, what I’m doing in my cardio workouts actually can help me do better in the workouts that I actually want to do and that I much more enjoy to do.
That has just maybe helped motivate me to continue doing cardio.
Alyssa: Yeah, I think especially for gen pop people who maybe a lot of what this niche is or like, you know, getting to that more intermediate with some advanced people. I know you guys have a broader spectrum of people interested in this. If you’re just a gen pop lifestyle person, you are probably not fit enough to worry about any of this, but that cardiovascular training’s gonna improve your overall fitness enough that everything’s gonna be easier.
So for one, that in itself will improve your experience with adapting to lifting and training and fitness in the gym to begin with, simply because everything will be easier and
Mike: life too. I’ll say where’re, I’ll, I’ll hear from people. Who will tell me, Hey, you know, I started doing some strength training, started doing some endurance exercise as well, and now I’m less winded when I play with my kids or even like going up the stairs now.
I actually take the stairs instead of the elevator because it’s not as hard as it was or silly things. Taking all the groceries out of the car is easier. Like people notice it.
Alyssa: Yeah, absolutely. So like I’m a big proponent of how fitness translates into our life. Like that was one of the major pillars of like what I like to promote.
Like I tell people like we train hard to live big because like it’s giving us the physical capacity to go do things that we love and are important and mean to us. And sometimes people don’t see that decay or aging or lack of fitness until it’s like, Right in their face. But you know, that is one way just to start like not even getting into like the science of it, but like if you’re just overall more fit, everything’s going to feel easier, including your strength training in the gym.
Right. I absolutely encourage everyone to gain muscle tissue and strength like that is huge, but it’s going to feel easier because you’re gonna be more generally overall prepared for whatever task that is in front of you. That’s called general physical preparedness. A lot of power lifters use that terminology for their cross training cuz they realize that like only doing bench squat deadlift is probably.
Not preparing them for like a broad brush of capacity across the board, but when you get to people who are like maybe a little bit more trained and they’re all worried about, like, I feel like this is the intermediate stage where you get obsessed with everything being perfect and optimized and,
Mike: and you’re wanting to learn and there are many, many things to learn and without a a sense of perspective.
And we’ve all made this mistake. We’ve
Alyssa: all been there. You have to go through it.
Mike: Yeah. Wait, you get far away from the 20% that gives you 80% without realizing that you’re really out in the fringes and you don’t need to be there.
Alyssa: Yes, before you get back to the advance where I think there was this, I saw a meme the other day.
It was funny. It was like bicep curls and then it went down. It was like bicep curls are dumb. Only do like weird specific angle type stuff. Then it was like that stupidity curve and then it was like bicep curls on the next one for like the advanced people. Cuz like that’s like what you go through, right?
Like I remember being in the weeds, like I get it. Like I didn’t go through graduate school just out of like just al getting in the weeds. You do that when you’re early graduate school and then you read more and you’re like, oh, everything’s a lot more simple than you think it is. But you get this super hyper obsessive like, I’m gonna optimize everything when really like you could throw anything at you and it’s probably gonna work at that point in time anyway, cuz you still have so much potential and your training age is still pretty young.
But when you get to these people, you know they’re avoiding cardio altogether cuz it’s like, This is like, I’m thinking of like when I taught weight training at the college level during my PhD and I had these college bros bring their lifting plans to me and they were like the most haphazard random tea nation thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
And it was just like adorable. Like I’m thinking this crowd of people, but like. Women go through this too. But you start avoiding cardio because you know you’re trying to put all your energy into building muscle. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a period of time where maybe cardio isn’t like running your life and you’re really focused on going all into strength training and eating and like all.
I think that’s totally fine, but we don’t wanna remove it entirely. One think at the base of all this is health. We wanna meet the minimum standards for health no matter what we’re doing, no matter who we are, no matter what our goals are. Cause we’re all going to age and there’s important things for metabolism and health and metabolic disease and all these things, which hopefully like if we’re training other than looking good, we know in the back of our head that that’s important too.
Mike: just to comment, our cardiovascular system is a real pillar of our health. That that’s part of the 20% of all the potential factors of our health that produces the 80% of our quality of life. It’s not something out on the fringes that doesn’t really matter whether we take care of or not.
Alyssa: No, like your VO two max is more strongly correlated to your health outcomes than your strength outcomes.
Not to say strength isn’t, but like when we look at the data, like that’s actually more predictive of longevity and health. At no point in this podcast am I saying that muscle strength and training isn’t important. I am a meatball, like I am pro lifting. I got up and lifted at 6:00 AM this morning, but it, it’s hard to get lost in the weeds of that interference.
That’s where we really, that’s where people start to drink the Kool-Aid and you get the people who are, either they were runners or they were endurance people, or they enjoyed this form of exercise and now they’re. Terrified of it, or they’re just avoiding it out of sheer and misinformation and they don’t know any better.
But when it comes to these things, like one, we’ll talk about the people who love it and wanna incorporate that more here in a second, but for the people who are just like lost in the muscle gain weeds, you know, one, we talked about health, but two, this can help in a few ways when it comes to your strength, right?
We really think about when you’re doing your strength training and you’re trying to move the most weight possible, and you’re trying to, you know, increase your volume by doing more weight during your reps or sets, or doing more reps or sets or what, however, you’re manipulating your training. You’re really largely using something called your fosso, creatine system.
And I’m sure many of you use creatine. Like I take legions recharge. Like that’s, if you take recharge, you’re taking creatine, and we might understand how that works in your body. That’s your fossil creatine system. You’re increasing those stores, right? Both those stores are depleted really fast when you’re training in a few seconds, those first few reps, you probably feel that and then you kind of start to tinker out, right?
But the thing that recovers that energy system when you’re recovering is your aerobic training system. We don’t think of our aerobic system. Being utilized from. We’re strength training. We only think of your phospho creatine system or co glycolytic system using carbs. But the body’s using all the energy systems all the time to my, what you’re doing.
They’re not an on off switch cutoff. It’s kind of always happening. But your aerobic system is what’s recovering that creatine so that it kind of links back together and can be broken down again for energy production, which is just the weights and reps and sets that you’re doing. And having a more developed aerobic system will allow you to do that faster or with less fatigue between your sets.
So you might not be like super winded, have a super high heart rate, you know, if you’re doing something like a set of 10 of course, but that fatigue that’s setting in, you know, assuming you you have creatine, all that stuff, you know it’s going to be less detrimental. You might not need that classic power lifter laying on the platform for six minutes.
Between sets type recovery, you’ll recover a little bit faster and it takes about three to five minutes. That’s why we rest that long during that. But that recovery process will be more rapid and easier on your body cuz it will be more equipped to do that because it’s using oxygen and the processes that use oxygen.
And our muscles are really driven by your mitochondria, and that is increased and stimulated through aerobic and cardiovascular training. So that’s one way that will increase your training. And so, you know, the next one is, I haven’t dove into like the nitty gritty data of this quite yet, but there’s a lot of exciting data coming out now that’s showing that aerobic training is not even just beneficial for health and just, you know, maybe improved recovery during your sets and things like that.
But it’s actually increasing muscle fiber. Growth and hypertrophy in these studies that are starting to come out now. So it’s not even that it’s interfering with your gains. It might be actually enhancing people’s gains that are, they’re getting in the gym. So it’s not that it’s this, oh, big boogeyman that’s gonna come take your gains.
It might actually increase that. And whether that’s happening through improvements in like that muscle protein synthesis that’s occurring, the muscle tissue or just your ability to do more quality work, I think is still kind of getting teased out cuz this is still kind of early within this, but it’s really exciting and it’s fun and promising to think that the thing that we were avoiding all along was actually helping us.
And my bias is that we should do both in training because. Metabolically it makes sense to do both from a health perspective, but you know, it’s exciting to see that this might actually be enhancing and improving it. And again, I think that just comes back to that general physical preparedness of being able to do more work and that our bodies aren’t meant to only like, move in isolation in one way, and that there’s going to cross benefits of these two systems.
But I think that that’s really exciting and I, I, I think that that hopefully as more of this comes out will be the thing that finally convinces the, the total meatheads to like release the clenches on it cuz it’s going to be something that’s going to be a performance enhancer rather than oh, the big boogieman that pulled them away.
So you’ll, you know, you’ll see people who are cutting or on a diet or for a show do like 30 to 60 minutes of incline walking or stair stepper and it’s not bad an eye. But if I do 30 to 60 minutes of stair stepper for trading for a race, people are like, aren’t you worried it’s gonna kill your gains? And I’m like, it’s not that different.
Right? It’s really not that different. It’s just your outcome and goal of utilizing that tool is different. So I, I encourage you to recognize where maybe you’ve. Thought of things differently and used cardio before but didn’t think it was killing your gains cuz you’re using it as a cutting tool. But that adaptation and stimulus that you had during that was the same.
And the things that you did right during that period of time was simply keep your protein intake high, periodize your carbs around your training sessions, like make sure you’re getting good sleep, supplementing appropriately to preserve your muscle. Like so the same rules apply there, but when you’re adding in training, cardiovascular training to your resistance training and you’re not again, trying to train for anything performance-wise, you wanna think of like a few different things.
So the biggest things that are going to be more of an impact on your gain, so to speak, is that depending on how much cardiovascular training you’re adding, it is more carbohydrate demanding. So you might need to increase your carbs, which we all know carbs are important for muscle performance and strength as well.
But making sure that, like if you’re adding that in on top of what you’re currently doing, if you feel a little bit more hungry, you know, you feel a little bit more depleted that. Is normal cuz your cardio sessions will deplete your carbohydrate scores more rapidly than your, like say your strength training session.
That does deplete carbs to some degree, but not as much. Cardiovascular training is very carbohydrate depleting and demanding, so depending on how much you’re adding, you might eat to eat a little bit more of that. I would assume most people here know proteins really important for you and adding in a protein shake if you’re not getting enough in or meeting those daily needs of like 0.8 to one gram per pound of body weight per day, maybe more, but.
I usually stick to that from most gen pop people cause they have a hard time getting that in. You know, I personally use Legion, so I supplement with that when I’m doing my training sessions to meet my daily needs. And that’s important from that recovery standpoint. And then the next thing is that, you know, the biggest issue is going to be managing fatigue within your training.
So for a lot of people, they start adding these things on top. Of each other and they don’t realize that one, you know when you just start adding things, something might acutely reduce performance over time. So don’t just abandon all cardio. If your string training goes down a little bit for a few weeks as your body adapts, but keep adding it and keep going, it will come back.
Your stress and stimulus of your TR resistance training session is not completely wasted. So when it comes to combining these things together, there’s a few different ways that we can approach this. So besides like the food nutrition thing, which I think a lot of people here know, and I’m sure Mike has ton of stuff on as well, is that the bigger issue rather than like the physiological interference is probably more to do with your central nervous system and it’s fatigue and you can only kind of do so much all of the time.
And really managing that is what it comes down to for maybe some of that more fine tooth stuff. But for most of you, my favorite saying is like, you’re not fit enough to worry about that, but also like you’re not doing enough to worry about. That is a big thing that I like to tell people too. Like I think the people who are usually really lost in the weeds are either overdoing it somewhere or need to pull back anyway, or they’re not doing enough stuff anyway.
To like even worry about, like there’s those two types of people. So take which nugget of advice that you need.
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And, and you can speak to this firsthand. It sounds like you, you do some pretty intense cardio training. How much does it take to really notice any sort of decrease in performance in strength
Alyssa: training? In my personal training experience, I’ve ran like 10 different ultramarathon trail race type things over the last five years or so when I grew up playing sports and stuff.
And for me, I personally start to notice the impact when I’m doing like 35 miles a week of training. That includes like a high vertical gain in descent, weekend long run in the mountain, that 30 to 40 mile a week threshold. But we’re talking like right now, like I think I did like seven and a half hours of cardio last week.
So I’m probably at the point now where I’m going to maybe notice a little bit more in my training and having to really focus in right on. Okay, this is a little bit more fatiguing for me. Like I felt really tired of my workout this morning and I did a ton of training this weekend, but I just used R P E and went in and did it anyway.
And so sometimes you feel fatigued and it doesn’t actually mean that your muscular output is impaired. You’re just tired, right? Cuz you’re doing a lot of training. But I don’t know if there’s a specific cutoff or threshold for people, but like I think that the average person could probably train upwards of a half marathon, 30 miles a week and still it’s like be able to sustain a decent amount of strength training.
The issue lies more in one, how much you can do in a week, how much you can eat and sleep. To recover from that. And for the most part, for a lot of people, it doesn’t have as much to do with the combination of the two as it has to do with your lack of fitness in one or the other. And so like raising this, your kind of your floor, not your ceiling is what I like to call it.
Like I have this like analogy of like, you know, say you have like a bucket of water and you only have so much water to give every single week, right? But the more fit you are, the more water you have to go give to both lifting and running. So I, this thing called like seasons approach, but you know, so the more fit you are, the more you can do of both of these things.
So that’s important to notice. So like me noticing that once I get to seven, eight hours a week of cardio week, then I’m like, oh, okay. Like my fatigue Monday morning is a lot higher than it was. A month ago might not be that for you. If you’re a beginner adding both in, you’re gonna, you’re gonna have to do less of both and able to do both because you’re not gonna have the overall physical fitness to do that.
But the more fit you are over time, the more you could do of these things. This is why you see these people out here who are ripped, jacked, x bodybuilder type people who are now doing like triathlons and ultramarathons because they laid that fitness foundation. And so one, we know that you can maintain with like 30% less during any point of training, vice versa, right?
Depending on like cardio or resistant training, whichever one you need, you can pull back like 30% and still make a ton of fitness and you can fill that 30% with a thing that you kind of suck less at or you need work on or was more important to you in that, in that season. And if, and
Mike: if you’re just looking to maintain your physique, I mean, you can do a lot less than.
Than just 30%. If we just look at it straight, you look at straight volume, just hard sets per muscle group per week. You might, some research that I’ve seen suggests you might even be able to go down to a third of the volume that it takes to gain muscle to keep improving your physique And look, yeah, you’re probably gonna lose a little bit of strength.
Maybe not as much as you might think, but you’ll look more or less the same. Like you wouldn’t know the difference doing that for six, 12 months, you’re gonna look in the mirror and be like, yep, I still look pretty
Alyssa: good. And really like what we’re seeing in the literature is that it’s not really AST much of an impact as hypertrophy as it is the strength and power output.
And that has more to do with your central nervous system fatigue than it has to do with like interference. It’s just your, you know, your potential nervous system is responsible for, you know, your power output and your muscular contractions when you’re lifting and running, really fatigues that, or cardio really fatigues that really specifically running.
So that can, we can loop this back into my original point of like mixing it in when you just, you know, are trying to do it for health. So the whole point of that rant is that. How much it’s gonna take for you to feel that threshold depends on how fit you are, but it’s probably like 3, 4, 5, 6 hours of cardio, which most of you are not doing.
150 minutes per week is like, An hour and a half to two hours of cardio a week. We’re not talking a lot.
Mike: Yeah. The only wa could think I wear that, that amount of cardio could get in the way if it were all high intensity intervals, like sprinting on concrete when I was 23, 24. Physiologically as physiologically invincible as I ever was gonna be in my life doing let’s say five or six hours of strength training per week.
And then I wanted to start doing high intensity sprints just to see what it was like. And so at the time I was living on the beach and I was running on, it wasn’t concrete. No, actually it was concrete. It was like, some of it was kind of a wooden, I dunno the term would be, uh, kind of walkway along the beach, but then it, then it was onto concrete and just doing.
Those sessions were no more than 20, 25 minutes with the rest intervals. It was too much. I, I was, I was trying to do it two, just two or three times per week and the amount of just wear and tear on my, i, my knees and my hips, and I just couldn’t recover from it. It was impacting my squatting and deadlifting, so that, that high intensity, high impact stuff is quite different than hopping on the bike back here and just doing five or six out of 10 of difficulty for 30 minutes
Alyssa: when it comes to this.
And nobody thinks about this, but it’s just managing this overall fatigue because that’s like when you get to the gym and where we see some of this interference occurring is that high hard percentage is like over 80% of your one rep max type work, high power output type stuff. So like I do some Olympic weightlifting and so like you will feel your bar speed slow down whether or power lifting even those like, you know, heavy hard one through five sets.
Like one way that you’ll notice this is that you’ll see your bar speed slow down. Like I know for a fact, like when I was training for my last ultra in 2020, I trained in person with my, um, he’s one of the coaches that works for my team and I used to train with him in person and he and me, we would know when I was getting to a point of really high fatigue and peaking with my race training cuz we’d be like, all right, we just have to back off the weight cuz you’re, you’re just moving slow because that fatigue isn’t pairing that power output from that overall accumulation of training.
But again, I was training for a hundred K ultra marathon. Most of you weren’t on doing that, but that’s where we’re gonna see maybe some of those impacts. But how we can reduce that is one, doing it after your strength training session. It’s a really easy way to get it in. You’re already in the gym. Which
Mike: many people have heard.
Okay, fine. If you’re gonna do cardio and strength training, if you insist, do not do it that way. Do not do your cardio before or after your strength training ever.
Alyssa: And there is benefit to spacing it out. But again, we have to keep the context. If you’re doing some zone two steady state cardio for 15, 20, 30 minutes after the gym.
It’s probably not enough to really be that big of a deal if you’re worried cuz your strength tra, it’s like if you’re somebody who’s strength training sessions an hour long to begin with and you’re adding 30 minutes of cardio or 70 to 90 minutes and you’re adding the cardio, bring some carbs, whether that’s intra in your bottle or a snack or whatever it is.
So you have carbohydrates of all available. Those are protein sparing. You’ll have some nutrients available. It won’t make the exercise as fatiguing, but this is where like you can add in, like I, I feel like zone twos gain popularity in the body building spear because it’s suddenly been discovered as the ways to do cardio without killing your gains.
So endurance training can be broken down until there’s this very traditionally, this five zone model. There’s a few different ways that you can slice it, but it’s like zone one’s just like kind of chilling existing your life like. Below 50% of your heart rate max going for a walk, living your life. I don’t know.
I live my life in zone two all the time. I’m pretty sure if my heart, my whoops, heart rate going to and from work zone two is like that, 60 to 70% of your heart rate max. Where if you think about like the age old fat burning zone that used to be put on like little graphics on treadmills back in like the two thousands or little graphics, that’s zone too.
Now there is fat adaptation benefits to this, blah, blah, blah, but that’s like the easiest thing for people to to think of. But really that’s like the point of where it’s sustainable but not super fatiguing. Like it’s this sustainable, you could kind of do it for a long period of time. It’s not super fatiguing on your body.
You’re not having a lot of like lactate, accumulation, high power output, muscle fatigue, anything like that. It’s like really easy. You can talk, you can think straight, like you can be on a phone call or work while you’re doing it. It’s like. It’s stressful, not that you’re breathing more rapidly. It has work, but it’s not so hard that you feel like you have to focus or it’s really straining.
And then you have zone three, which is kind of the point of which things start to get hard. That’s like the maximal pace or intensity you could sustain before, like you would start to gain too much fatigue and have to stop like for a limited time. So it’s kind of like that maximal place where your body can produce power output and has enough oxygen to recover from it simultaneously.
And then when you get above that, you have zones four and five, which are more of that really high, hard all out intensity exercise. You know, really. Like you can do it for short term efforts and by short term, like you can still maybe sustain some of the stuff up for like a 5k 10 K type durations, but it’s not like you couldn’t go on for infinite in these types intensities.
And then zone five plus we’re thinking sprinting hit super hard, high, high intensity, maybe sustaining for like 10 minutes or so, give or take someone’s training intolerance for these things and stuff like this. It’s all kind of rough, like this is uncomfortable. You have to force yourself to be in here kind of intensity.
And so zone two is kind of that really nice sweet spot. That I talk a lot about on my social media, my pages, and I utilize a lot with my training programs myself and with people because you can do a lot of it and it’s not super fatiguing. And so if you’re doing this type of activity, one that fatigue on your training session, like if you’re doing it on Monday and you’re lifting legs on Tuesday, you’re probably not gonna notice maybe outside like the first couple weeks of adding something in, which is why earlier I said like, You might feel some drop back in your, your training, your strength, your volume, or whatever it is, those first few weeks, but just keep sticking with your RPE and adjusting, and then eventually you’ll kind of have a hyper swing back.
It’s kind of being masked by that fatigue early on, but you’re just doing something new. Like of course your body’s going to have to compensate for that somewhere. But other than that, like you know that zone two is really nice because it’s not really fatiguing. You can do a good bit of it and it’s not going to like make your legs as heavy or hard or anything like that.
So I really like zone two as a bread and butter staple. If you’re doing multiple sessions a week of cardio, like once you get to like 3, 4, 5, like doing most of your sessions of zone two is probably what I’m gonna recommend for you. Versus like, if you’re only doing like one or two, then I’m gonna be like, well, let’s.
You know, maybe increase that a little bit more. And then you have like the higher hard sprint interval training, high intensity interval training. But that’s the stuff that is going to have more of that fatigue effect on your training. And so you want to either, like, I personally don’t mind putting like the recommendation of doing like a high hard hit session after like a leg day.
So then maybe the neck day is a rest or an upper body day. So you’re kind of pseudo giving yourself that recovery in between or like putting the hard with the hard and then letting yourself recover. But also you can do them on separate days, depending it, it really depends on how many days people are training, right?
If you’re training four days a week versus six days a week, you know, it’s just gonna be different prescriptions based off that. But keeping that to be maybe like 10 to 20% of your total training volume if you’re doing a lot of days a week, or you know, if you’re only doing one or two days a week, they can both kind of be harder and intensity cuz you’re not doing as much.
But when you think about those things, another way to reduce the fatigue of that is to pick something that’s a bike, a rower. Maybe a skier, an elliptical, things that aren’t, so running itself is a lot more central nervous system demanding and fatiguing, which is why it’s harder to like concurrently combine running with the lifting because there’s a lot more fatigue happening.
But if, and that does, not to say that you can’t run, I, I personally run, but if you’re just trying to get in cardio for health and you really are like very serious about gains and you’re worried about it and that fatigue gets you in your, you want quality training sessions or maybe you’re in like a very high volume lifting phase and you want a little bit less of that interference of that, you know, central nervous system fatigue like, uh, for your rower or your stationary bike or that kind of stuff, and just.
Coast on it and do a few high hard effort, you know, bouts maybe once or twice a week and, and that’s probably fine enough and it’s going to reduce a lot of that. Where, when Mike was sprinting on concrete three days a week, 25 minutes at a time, he was accumulating a ton of fatigue. That makes sense why that affected his training volume and stuff like that.
Like that a hundred percent Makes sense. And you don’t know any better at the time, right? You know, you’re invincible, you’re 24. So to sum that all up, you know, opt for at least maybe three days a week of 20 to 30 minutes. And making one of them higher hard intensity. I like things like 32nd to one minute intervals and doing either one to one and a half times that rest for effort and building that up.
So like 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 10 rounds, and maybe building that up to 15 or 20 or like one minute on, one minute off for 10 rounds. It’s like you do that all out, it’s a hell of a workout, but you can build up from like five to eight to 10 to 12. You know what I mean? Like I think people forget that cardio can be progressively overload and dosed and programmed and periodized, just like resistance training.
Like a lot of your resistance training principles apply to your cardiovascular training too. The adaptations, how to improve using R P E, like, you know, if you’re doing the bike, if your heart rate starts to drop and it gets too easy, increasing your pace, that means you adapted. That means you’re progressively overloading.
Like that means you’re, you’re pushing that, like that’s the same kind of thing, right? Your body responds, it feels easier, you increase and. Response to that response, et cetera, et cetera. You know, doing that, keeping that slow, steady state intensity for most of it, maybe one or two bouts of that high or harder stuff a week, depending on how much you can tolerate and what you’re doing.
But like one quality session of high hard stuff a week is fine for a lot of people. Like that’s more than fine. Anywhere from 30 seconds, one minute up to like four minute efforts. You know, there’s a little bit more programming this, but you know, like just building yourself up over time, keeping your sessions less than 20 minutes if they’re high intensity in nature, including your recovery, et cetera, et cetera.
And doing it on like a bike, rower, skier, electrical, whatever it is, unless you enjoy to run, then run, that’s totally fine, but just keep it easy and sustainable. And so that would be my back re best recommendation. But like get it in like it’s good for you. It’s probably gonna benefit your training. You’re probably, no, I can confidently say you’re not doing enough for it to interfere your gains or your training.
And if you’re a beginner where everything feels like it’s too much all the time, you just might have to do less of both until you can do more. Of both together, but that’s going to be improving your health and your fitness simultaneously
Mike: and doing it after strength training is easy because you’re already in the gym.
Maybe it’s a home gym, and if it is a home gym, you could just get a bike like this and put it in your home gym. But most people listening probably go to a gym. So you’re already there, and if you tack on 15, 20 minutes to the end of that strength training workout, it’s done. You do that a few times per week, and that’s a great foundation.
Of endurance exercise. And as you’ve said, of course, people can do more. And I don’t think you’ve mentioned this yet, if you have, forgive me, but what would you say is this 80 20, uh, analogy, I’m, I’m overusing it, but it very much applies to things like this. If, if a, if a bare minimum, let’s say an hour and a hour and a half or so per week, maybe up to two hours per week, would you say that’s enough to get most of the cardiovascular, most of the unique benefits that we can get from cardiovascular training?
And if not, at, at what point would you say, okay, you’re now getting most of the benefits. You could do more and chase after those remaining 20%. Uh, but. You don’t have to per se,
Alyssa: when it comes to like metabolic health and metabolic benefits and adaptation, there is a strong relationship between aerobic fitness status and things like metabolic flexibility, metabolic health, you know, all of these things that are really important for how we respond to our environment and food and for disease outcomes and things like that.
And so, you know, the more you do the better
Mike: and just wellbeing, a lot of people will say, who add, I’ve heard this many times from people who were doing a lot of strength training, no cardio, uh, because various reasons you’ve already talked about, start doing cardio workouts initially don’t really like them, uh, much prefer strength training, but start to like how they feel, especially after the workouts.
And then just in general, they notice that. They just feel better. They’re, that’s usually how they, they’re like, I don’t, I don’t know. There’s just something different about how my body responds to this cardiovascular training. I just feel good more often than
Alyssa: before. Yes, and I know that, I mean, I’ve gone through my, I just did a really heavy hard strength hypertrophy phase thing as I finished up my grad school before pivoting back into endurance stuff.
And I feel legitimately better as a human when I do cardio. Like I know exactly that feeling. And I think it, a lot of that has to do with both how endurance exercise does. You know, your brain responds to it, your physiologically responding to it. It’s slightly different. Again, strength training has a lot of good benefits for you, and there is good mental and cognitive benefits of strength training on these things too.
But I, I, I, I think there’s just something that’s slightly different about that aerobic training that really does make you feel. Better. You know, there is evidence for some of this stuff, but in general, anecdotally for me, like I’m just trying to say like I know exactly what that feels like. I’m like, oh my gosh, I feel like myself again.
I feel so good. It’s really reinforcing once you can get to that point of realizing how good it makes you feel, but you know, it’s gonna help with like, your body’s going to, you know, improve the way it metabolizes things and what you’re eating. So you’re probably gonna feel better in response to foods that you eat, in meals that you eat.
You’re probably going to sleep a little bit better. Like all of these things that we sometimes feel sluggish and lethargic with, like those things also improve within this. And so a lot of my, um, my dissertation work was on the metabolic response to these types of things. And so really the dose is kind of coming down to.
It depends, right? In general, when you think of cardiovascular fitness, you think of improving your VO two max and there’s some other components and characteristics of cardiovascular fitness, but from a health perspective and an oxygen using perspective, that’s your VO two max. And so that can be improved with, you know, there’s studies that show like low volume, high intensity sprint training can improve that, but also so can high volumes of easy stuff.
It’s probably just the, a matter of how much you’re able and willing to do, mixed with just time, right? And making sure that you don’t fall into that comfortable, steady state of like, okay, if I am, say you’re doing it, I don’t know, like an intensity on the stair step of four, and that’s your R P E four or five for now.
But then as you get more fit, you don’t increase to five or six, you stay at four. Like making sure that you’re continuing to increase the resistance on your bike or the wattage that you’re outputting as you go. And it’s either gonna be time. Intensity or volume, right? It’s just so, it’s just like weight training, right?
Like you’re gonna gain more. If you can handle, you know, 1000 pounds of volume in a training session at your max to recover, but you’re only doing 500, you’ll still make progress. It’s just gonna take a little bit longer than if you could do that 1000. So it’s kind of like the same thing, but it’s gonna be time or volume.
So you’re gonna see a lot of robust benefits. If you can do a lot of it a week, I’ll get closer to that 300 minutes per week, things like that, or add in more of that high intensity stuff. But otherwise, just with time and making sure that you’re progressing it, you will improve in things like your VO two max, which.
You don’t need to go to a lab and test that you, you’ll know that your fitness is improving because your RPE will stay the same intensity will go up or your intensity will drop the same rp. And like that’s how you know that you’re getting more fit and you can adjust for that. And
Mike: a weightlifting analogy is like reps in reserve or how heavy a working weight feels.
So you start with squatting a certain amount of weight for however many reps and you end your sets pretty close to failure. And then as you get stronger, you’re noticing now that 10 reps used to put you one to two reps from failure. Now you can do three or four reps or maybe even more so you progressed.
Alyssa: Yes, exactly. And you can think of your VIA two max as the one rep max of your cardiovascular system. And that’s like the same thing. You’re just trying to increase that. And again, it takes time. Intensity or volume or some mix of the three. And the thing that I think is really hard for people too is like with lifting, you get that immediate benefit of like the neuromuscular adaptations.
But with cardiovascular training it is, think about how long it takes to gain muscle. Like how slow and painful and difficult it is cuz your body is making new cells, new muscle fibers. Aerobic training is just as hard and as painful and slow because your body’s producing like new organs and new capillaries and new like vessels and things that are like it.
It’s changing the, the structure systems in your bodies and your muscles. So it’s going to be really slow and long. And I think people get really defeated with resistance training because, you know, they forget that it’s just like muscle building where it’s gonna be like 6, 9, 12 months, where all of a sudden you’re like, oh.
This is really working, right? Like you might have those, I feel like it’s like every six day weeks I’ll have a breakthrough in my training where I’m like, oh, there’s a fitness increase. Right? And I’ve had that with strength and I’ve had that with cardio. But cardio just man, sometimes for people it just, it, your body is improving.
But it’s just like, I feel like it will be like, I call it the gulp. It’s kinda like when people say it’s like the drop when you’re losing weight, I call it the gulp. And that, what I mean by that is like I can tell all of a sudden out of nowhere, oh my muscles can use more oxygen. Like I can just feel it.
Cuz all of a sudden it’s like everything’s easier. I can sustain these intensities. My heart rate’s lower. I call it the gulp. That’s so silly. But like that’s what I describe it as cuz it’s like my muscles are just gulping up the oxygen all of a sudden and they’re able to do that and I can feel how much easier and different that feels.
But it like, Takes forever, I feel like, to feel that next kick in. So don’t let it deter you, like keep going. And even if your fitness doesn’t seem like it’s improving right off the bat, you know, look for other things like improve blood pressure, lower resting heart rate when you wake up the morning higher h R v feeling better, right?
Like that’s then improve sleep quality. Um, you can also look at like, you know, improved blood markers, like, you know, cholesterol triglycerides, or improved blood glucose. Like these are things to show that your cardiovascular system is improving and adapting and you’re getting a positive physiological response even if maybe you don’t feel like you’re suddenly.
Better at it. Like look at these other factors as well, cuz they are telltale signs that things are moving forward and your body’s giving you little signals that it’s easier for it to literally function day to day because of these adaptations that are occurring. Even if maybe you don’t feel like an Olympian when you’re going on the bike in the gym or whatever it is.
Mike: I’ve noticed, uh, similar effects in my strength training. Just, um, so this for me started, let’s see, it was back during Covid. So in the beginning of 2020. At that time I was doing a couple cardio sessions per week. I no longer was driving to the gym cause it was closed. And so I was like, oh, I’ll just take that time to, I’ll do cardio every day.
So 30, 45 minutes on a bike. That was the most cardio I had done in some time. If I rewind to my early twenties, I was probably doing about the same at that time. So I’m training at home, I’m limited, I have dumbbells, I have bands, and just did enough to maintain and lost a fair amount of, uh, fat because of the additional cardio.
I was like, oh, I’ll just keep my diet the same and I’ll just move more. Oh, and it works. Uh, it was probably 10 to 12 months of that before I was back in the gym and. That point of just general physical preparedness. I noticed the difference when I was able to get back into my normal training that I was recovering faster in between sets.
Three minutes of rest, almost felt like maybe four minutes previously. And, and also I noticed as I got further into more difficult workouts, so like a, you know, it’s gonna be heavy squat day or heavy deadlift day or heavy lower body or posterior chain training that I wasn’t as fatigued as I was getting, you know, let’s say into the final stretch of those workouts.
Like I, I felt like I had more energy and I could keep going. Not that I necessarily had to. So I’ll say firsthand for people. Uh, if your primary motivation and all this is strength training, I do understand doing enough cardio, if you’re not already doing quote unquote enough, it will make a difference in your strength.
Training probably will take some time. Again, for me, uh, I wasn’t. Doing my normal workouts again for, I think it was at least 12 months, so I probably would’ve noticed it sooner than that. And my training at home was, was quite a bit different than my normal training because I was limited to, I had modular dumbbells up to like 80 pounds and I had some bands and like, I was doing pull-ups on an I-beam in a mechanical room in my basement because I couldn’t use a pull-up bar because it would screw up the molding on the door.
There was no doorway in my house. I could put a Pullup bar. So I was doing what I could, but I really noticed it when I got back into my normal training. Yeah, it,
Alyssa: it really, it does make a huge difference and it’s, but it is very frustrating for people, especially like the zone two craze. Like if you guys are unfamiliar with that, like that’s just, it’s kind of coming out everywhere and people are very frustrated cuz it’s so hard to stay in that low easy intensity without their heart rate spiking.
And the thing that I just have to keep reassuring people for is like, as you get fitter, that will get easier as you get fitter, it will just drop on its own. Like, you kind of just need to like, spend some time doing it so your body can adapt before freaking out about like the nuances of just like resistance training, right?
Like you don’t need to worry about, you know, your perfect. Back offset if you are, if you’re just getting into the gym and starting out, you don’t need to be that concerned. Like just keep doing the work and let your body adapt and then you can kind of get more specific from there. But yeah, it makes huge differences and it does, like you can do like a lot like you were doing and you probably maintained at least a decent amount of strength and muscle for what you were doing.
I mean, we all had our at home.
Mike: I lost no muscle. I, I looked better in the end. Cause you also have that optical illusion almost, right? If you lose some body fat, you, you kind of end up looking bigger and you end up looking more impressive. But no, if I objectively look at, you know, I have pictures of my physique before and after, I definitely lost no muscle.
And I remember when I got back in the gym, um, I hadn’t deadlifted in a year because. I mean, I, I was doing like R DLS with my dumbbells, I guess if you want to consider at least it’s a hip hinge, but it’s not the same as deadlifting hundreds and hundreds of pounds. My deadlift strength was down by no more than 20%.
I was actually surprised at not doing it for a year, but squatting back, squatting in particular, I was amazed at how much strength I lost on the barbell back squat, especially considering that I was training my lower body. I was doing everything that you would do with dumbbells. I was doing dumbbell front squats, which are actually quite difficult if anybody’s ever tried like 80, 85 pounds on dumbbell front squats for sets of like 10 to 12 was hard.
It was like real training, split squats, lunges, you name it. So I was doing all of that stuff. Definitely lost no, no lower body muscle, but my barbell back squat, if I remember, I was not. Tremendously strong. The strongest I’ve ever been, one RM is probably low 400 s, and that was some time ago. So before covid, my one rm, let’s just say it was mid 300 s.
You know, if I were to warm up and really go for it, and sets of four to six were probably anywhere from like, you know, low 300 s, something like that would be like training. And I come back and I remember that sets of eight with 2 25 were grueling. I was like, what happened? How? But anyway, so bench press was okay.
It was a bit down. All in all though, it, it makes me think of what we were talking about earlier, that it’s quite easy to maintain your physique and maintain a lot of your strength. Uh, and muscle endurance really is.
Alyssa: Yeah, and I think that’s a great pivot into just adding a little bit more here for the people who do have training goals that are really specific.
Because I think that that is trendy and new, but people are so worried to let go of that classic like 4, 5, 6 day a week lifting, split lifting that frequently lifting at that high volume cuz they’re worried that like they’re gonna lose all their strength or muscle if they go and do things like start running or train for a race or whatever that you’re doing.
But the one benefit of that is that knowledge nugget of like, well, I can back off and maintain a lot and or sometimes you like I, I mean I’ve gained strength or muscle during race training seasons and I have clients to do it too. But if you’re worried about it, like you don’t need to do as much in order to maintain or.
You don’t necessarily have to lose muscle as long as you can stress yourself and do that appropriately. You just have to keep, like, the biggest thing is like, you know, even like we saw that all with Covid. Like I joked with people, I was like, there’s always something you can work on, right? And I had like an 88 pound kettlebell from my CrossFit gym and like did handstand pushups for like, I lived in Georgia, so my, and I had a box gym, so I got lucky in that opened up a lot faster since it was like three people at a time, an open air room.
So I did get back to the gym a lot sooner than most people. So I was fortunate, but I had the same experience. But I trained that whole year for all these races and I hit like some prs and I was gaining strength across that summer and. It was really fun to see that kind of like development over the years of like, okay, I increased lifting, I increased running, lifting, I increased running, okay, they’re coming together at this beautiful crox of doing these things year to year and then tapering into my race and just maintaining that.
But that was the first year where I didn’t lose a ton of weight from endurance training because I did it a little bit more correctly and I maintained body weight, maintained muscle all across that, except for maybe like the very end, like I just wasn’t as fast. I couldn’t do. There’s much weight on the bar because I had so much fatigue as I was training so high, which we talked about earlier.
But when it comes to combining these things, when you do have these endurance goals, I really like using something where I call it like my seasons approach. I have an ebook hybrid where I talk about this more in depth than I call it that, because it’s like you’re not focusing on improving everything at the same time all the time, and you’re kind of using, you know, your goal is to get better at one over time and build that ceiling or that floor up that we were talking about earlier so that you’re able to do more, right?
You can kind of, you have more water in your bucket that you’re pouring out into your fitness or whatever your, your maximal recovery of all of you. If people are familiar with that term, it’s just higher. You can do more and you can build that up with time and you kind of just have to work through phases of like, okay, I’m gonna kind of maintain, or.
Gain slower in this one area while I push this other area. And then you kind of titrate those together. And for a lot of beginners, you can kind of improve both at the same time. But once you start to get more intermediate to advance in that, you kind of have to be a little bit more intentional with how you’re, you’re managing those two things.
But the knowledge that you can maintain muscle on a lot less is freeing because one, I care about muscular health and fitness, but I really like race training and goals. But I get DEXA scans and my, I think my lean muscle mass has fluctuated in like a three to five pound range over the last few years, which that might seem big, but it’s not really when you think about just like, yeah,
Mike: in totally insignificant, especially when you consider just intramuscular fluid shifting.
Even that alone.
Alyssa: Yeah, so it’s fluctuated in this range for years and you know, and I do know that some degree when I’m doing these high hard races, there’s gonna be a point where I’m gonna lose a little bit of muscle, but I don’t worry about it cuz it’s not so much that I can’t gain that back with like two months of strength training after I’m done with the race.
Like it’s not that much. And more of that comes from me not being able to keep up with the eating of it and the protein needs during high long endurance days outside. And we’re talking like, I’m doing like six to eight hour days in the woods. We’re not talking like you’re on your bike for an hour on a Saturday type thing.
So like that’s again, where it comes down to more like what you can manage and what you can eat back from. Now
Mike: you’re trying to figure out like, wait a minute, wait a minute. I actually have to eat 10,000 calories just for maintenance today. Like, how do I do that without just throwing up?
Alyssa: Yeah, I joke that I don’t cut, I just race train, which is just because I, I keep a higher body fat percentage when I’m in strength and muscle building phases, just so I can have that calories available.
And then I know that once I start increasing that race training volume, I mean like I’m a five one female. I’m pretty tiny and I’m eating over 3000 calories on some of these days just function, right? You’re just, you’re just eating everything cuz you’re so hungry and then you’re leaning out on top of it and you know that that’s, cuz your body’s an energy deficit.
So you’re trying to maintain that in a healthy way, right? But it is hard. You’re trying to eat, you’re eating all day long, constantly. Like how many calories can you’re trying to eat like 200 to 300 calories an hour while you’re working out, which is in itself hard to do. But of course there’s gonna be some muscle breakdown when you’re doing that much cardiovascular training.
Like an eight hour day is not gonna have internet positive. But again, most people aren’t doing those things. But when it comes to like managing that strength and component with. Yeah. D’S training component for personally, I mean there’s a couple different approaches to doing this. I think that if you’re following more of the traditional body building split, you can still kind of stick to those four to five days a week of lifting.
Cuz they’re probably gonna be shorter sessions, you know, maybe they’re like 45 minutes, 30, whatever it is. So you’re doing, but when you’re getting more into that power lifting or Olympic weightlifting, like what I do, I personally find it a lot easier to reduce your number of days and keep your lifting workouts longer, but higher quality.
And then have the same kind of for your endurance training days and like front loading my harder days during earlier in the week on in the gym than like, Teasing that off into stuff that’s not as fatiguing going into the weekend doing my high hard volume. So for me, that looks like, like I find that doing like squats earlier in the week, that squat type pattern stuff.
I do a lot of mixed, full body type things, but like that is more fatiguing and harder to recover from before going into like long runs. But deadlifts don’t really bother me going into the long run, that hinging pattern, that’s more of like a pool, like a power lift type thing. And you know, you kind of can play around with your training and where you wanna set things up or spacing out arms.
Like I did arms today because I just did a hollered weekend of training, so it gives my legs extra rest day. So think about like setting up your weeks in a way where you utilize both your rest day, but keeping your upper body day independent of. A lot of your training simply be if you’re doing six days a week of training, so that way you’re kind of getting two lower body days, a break a week, because it’s that lower body volume, especially if you’re doing running and maybe if you’re doing maybe more of that cycling stuff, depending on how intense it is, where you’re gonna start to really notice that fatigue.
And then I really like shifting into like. More strength ranges when that running volume is high and keeping, like, cuz that helps keep your volume lower, right? At the end of the day, a lot of people who do do endurance training or they’re afraid to lift because just as much as lifters are afraid to do cardio, cardio people, runners endurance.
People are afraid to do lifting cuz they think it’s gonna make them slow, it’s gonna make their legs heavy, it’s gonna make their workouts worse. Where there’s a lot of benefits of doing that resistance training. But a great way to think about this is managing your, your volume. And so people will think like, well, I’m gonna do four by 10 or 1520 reps of something because I’m endurance training and so I want to mimic the endurance training.
And you kind of wanna do the opposite. I like doing a lot more of strength range stuff because when you think about the total volume of what you’re doing is actually lower, it’s not the weight of what you’re doing, it’s that volume of those things. But it’s a great opportunity to still keep your body being exposed to higher weights.
And pushing the efforts and keeping your RPE up while doing that extra training. And so like I’m a big fan of like, I called them the two hard sets, like my accessory work being the two hard sets. Like you’re, you’re loading it heavy, you’re going hard. I mean, I do three sets on some things, but I, I, I like this little nugget of like, you’re still doing like really loaded stuff and maybe you’re doing less cuz of your time demands, but you’re still loading it up.
You’re not rpe fixing your entire weight training program because you’re doing like you’re training for a race concurrently. Maybe you do one less set, but you keep it hard and heavy. Yep.
Mike: That’s, uh, counterintuitive to some people because some people, maybe even many people, they. Think that heavy weights are more fatiguing than larger amounts of volume, and it’s the other way around.
Those sets of 10 taken close to muscular failure are much more fatiguing, just much more hard on your body than those sets of three, four, or five, maybe six is probably where you could cut that off, although those heavier sets maybe are, are harder on your joints. But as far as systemic fatigue, right, those pure strength sets are less fatiguing.
Alyssa: Yeah, and I even like doing a lot of accessory work during this time with clients or myself that is like in that six to eight range, like especially in the lower leg stuff, like actually loading that stuff up, not doing a ton of like you’re getting a ton of single leg high rep stuff already in your training, especially if you’re doing running cardiovascular training.
And then for the people who are physique. Concerned cuz I get it like, I mean I like being muscular too. It’s like I don’t think of it as having like bulking and cutting or strength, like just think of it as doing like do a little bit of hypertrophy all of the time. That’s the way I like to talk about it with people.
It’s like do a little bit of hypertrophy all of the time, which that might mean doing your sets to a higher R P E, not dropping that weight. Even if you’re doing less overall volume, like you’re still going to be maintaining or doing a little bit of that by keeping those weights up, that will keep your volume up a little bit more just from what you can maintain and do.
But don’t remove it. When you’re training for something, keep a little bit of that in all of the time, whether that will help you maintain or gain a thing. Like I remember it’s that curve again. I used to be like, why would I do bicep curls? I’m training for a race and now I’m like, I’m gonna do bicep curls while training for a race.
Like, I’m like, I’m just doing a little bit of bro work all of the time. I call it bro work and my training, it’s like the body building stuff that compliments that as well as like, people forget that, like loading up that lower body stuff appropriately also helps. Like I, I’ll get a lot of women who are like, I don’t like to run a race train cuz I lose my butt.
And I’m like, you’re cuz you’re not loading your glutes at all during your training. You’re just running. Of course they’re going to like atrophy and shrink, but like, you know, think about like, Why you avoid certain things and like ask yourself, am I sandbagging all of my lifts because I’m, you know, and just say, where can I pull back volume?
Not intensity. Keeping that intensity up while you’re training for these things. Yeah. It’s
Mike: hard, at least for me, I, I don’t know if you could assign a ratio, a specific ratio, maybe a range, but there certainly is a ratio if we’re talking about just training stimulus between a high intensity set taken close to muscular failure and a mid intensity set ended well short of muscular failure.
And it certainly takes, I don’t know if the, if the exact number is 2, 3, 4, 5, probably in that range, maybe closer to three or four of those sub maximal sets to produce the same training stimulus that you could get from that one. Hard set where you have, you know, one, maybe two good reps left. The bar has slowed down.
You’re, you’re grinding it out a little bit. Many people at least I see in the gym and these are people who we’re not even necessarily speaking to in this podcast. These are just people trying to get into better shape. Very common mistake that many people make is they just don’t train hard enough. They just, they don’t push close enough to muscular failure in enough of their sets.
Alyssa: I’m pretty sure there was a new study that just got published that covered exactly that. Like people are training like 50 to 60% of their winner at max most of the time. Because I do like amap testing with my clients because it’s funny cuz I love, they’ll be like, I’ll be like, pick the weight that you ended like last week squats at and do it until you can’t go anymore.
And they’ll be like, uh, I did for eight last week and I did it for 17 this week. And I was like, but it’s a great way to show people. And if you don’t know what that feels like, like just take a set to failure. Like, I mean, don’t do it with everything all the time, all at once, but if you’re really unsure.
Just like take a set to failure, and especially if you’re new to training and you’re not used, you don’t know what failure feels like. Like you’re not wrong for not bloating things heavy enough, but you know, just go feel what that feels like. Right? Just like if you know what it feels like to run at a hundred percent intensity, it’s gonna be a lot easier to know what easier and slower feels like.
Same thing, like, just go figure out what that feels like. If you have no reference point, of course it’s gonna be hard for you. Like, we’re not saying that, you know, it’s, you’re broken. Everyone’s sandbagging their lifts. We probably do it more often than we think we are as well, even as like fitness.
Mike: I still assume when I’m training and the set’s getting hard and I’m asking myself now, okay, you know, how many good reps left do I have? I’m, I’m starting to pay attention to proximity to failure and whatever. I instinctively think, I always add one to it, always at least. So if I think like, okay, I think I have two more.
No, I have three more and, and I’m usually right because that true zero reps in reserve, that true final rep is always just a super grinder. And usually going into it, at least my experience is I don’t think I’m gonna get it. Or instinctively I’m like, nah, I don’t think I can do this, but I can do it if I’m willing to fight for eight seconds to do it, like, yeah, I actually could do it.
Alyssa: Yeah, no, I did a whole hypertrophy phase that. Build me up over time to r i r or zero and it was terrible and there’s a reason I don’t body build. There’s a reason I don’t body build. I was like, Nope, nothing.
Mike: Yeah, it’s, it’s awful. No, it is. I don’t, I
Alyssa: don’t do it much. I don’t do it much. I
Mike: one to two. Good left is, and sometimes, depending on the exercise, if it’s my first set of four, I’m even okay with a three to four for that first set and then get into the, the harder sets.
But I think it’s a, it’s a tangent, but I think it’s an interesting tangent, something that I’ve written, spoken about, because I’ve, like, we’re both saying, I, I came to this, this realization in my own training, especially when I started incorporating AM raps into my training, which I did for two years. I was running what is basically in my book beyond a Bigger Leader, stronger, which includes some amap testing every couple of months.
That’s actually when I realized that, I mean, I’ve been training, previously I was training, maybe you could say at inappropriate, it wasn’t an inappropriate intensity, but I had forgotten what it was like to really push right up to the point of failure, especially on exercises that I, I actually didn’t want to go right up to failure on a heavy deadlift or even a heavy squat, but to push to wear that final rep.
Is very difficult. The bar has slowed down a lot. Like I almost didn’t get it. That’s pretty close to failure. And like you mentioned, I mean there were a couple times where in my training, a certain weight for nine reps I go to am Rapid and I get 14
Alyssa: and it’s everyone. We all just like, we’re Tarana estimating how much food we intake.
We think it’s less than it is and we’re terrible about thinking we’re loading ourselves appropriately. We can always do more than we do.
Mike: Yep. But, um, but anyways, again, a tangent, but I think an interesting tangent that actually is, is helpful for people who need to hear that and who are not paying enough attention to proximity failure
Alyssa: in general.
You don’t have to do more. You probably just need to do. Less better. So I think the, the advice a lot of people, especially when they’re trying to combine resistance training with some sort of endurance training is that is the advice that I find myself giving a lot of people, like I have, I joke that my like ideal client is a do it aller and they don’t, like, they wanna do multiple things, but they can’t do it all at a hundred percent all the time.
But you have to do less but do it better. And that’s usually the sweet spot of getting those results and the things that you want, especially when you’re trying to do multiple things at once in your training or in general with all things fitness. Like that’s advice for a lot of people. You get the people who are doing 10 exercises, three to four sets of 10 each in the gym, then they’re like not making progress when you’re like, well let’s make it four to six exercises and make them higher quality and boom, you’re making progress.
Mike: Yep. Yeah, it’s good advice. And I, I also like the metaphor that came to mind when you were talking about combining at a higher level strength training and endurance training in a way where you’re, okay, you’re gonna put one kind of on maintenance while you work on the other, which you got. You also eventually have to do that with your strength training as well.
I mean, if you’re an advanced trainee, you’re not gonna be able to progress in every major muscle group if you’re physique and focused or in every major exercise. If you’re performance and focused all at the same time, you’re gonna have to pick one or two and just work at them. But it’s kinda like a Jenga approach.
Or if you do it right, you get to build this big Jenga tower. If you do it wrong, it all, it all collapses. But, um, we’ve been going, I’ve kept you a bit longer than I said I would. I, I
Alyssa: appreciate. That’s all right. We, I got a lot to say. Yeah. Yeah.
Mike: No, and this was a great discussion. I apologize for my video.
This hasn’t happened before this time for people listening. The video cut out earlier and then we stopped and then reloaded, and this time I’m like, okay, I guess it’s just gonna happen today. This is one of those days. So I’m leaving it blacked out while we finish here. But again, thank you for doing this and we’ve covered everything that and, and more that I wanted to cover.
Is there anything left kind of bouncing around your head that you wanna share before we wrap up?
Alyssa: No. In general, I think just for most people is like, do cardio. Don’t overthink it. Pay attention to the feedback that you’re getting from that and adjust variables like, you know, food and, and intensity and volume as you figure it out.
But really just be patient and don’t overload your sets.
Mike: I like it. Let’s then wrap up with where people can find you and find your work, and if there’s anything in particular that you want them to know about, let’s let ’em know.
Alyssa: Yeah. So if you don’t follow me, know who I am. Um, I am Dockless Fitness across the board.
You can find me on Instagram Dockless Fitness, YouTube. My podcast is The Messy Middle Podcast. And that’s
Mike: L y s s, right? D o c L Y S. Just so people know. Yes,
Alyssa: yes. So D O C L Y S S. But yeah, I have a ton of information over on Instagram where I mostly hang out on cardio resistance training, hybrid type training.
That’s kind of the training programs that I offer. I also have a couple eBooks. One of them is on just Zones and training around that. I made like a zones mini guide for my cardio Lovely Loving friends. And something later this year that I will be releasing within my training systems is like a cardio only subscription for people who don’t wanna run.
And they already have their own lifting done, but they just want some cardio to add to their thing. Cause I think that’s really trendy now. But you can find me, I, if you’ve just head over to Instagram to Doc List Fitness, you’ll find links to the YouTube, my website, my blogs. I have more content than is probably necessary out there.
So just dive right in and you’ll learn a ton. And I have a ton about adding the cardio to your training in there as well.
Mike: As someone who has, I’ve probably, I’m probably over 2 million words now, published over at Legion’s Blog. I understand the feeling of so much content that it would take an individual many months to try to consume it all, but it’s nice to have things though for.
Basically anything, somebody, so I get a lot of emails and fortunately this was kind of purposefully done in the beginning where in the beginning I didn’t have as much content and I was having, I was typing a lot of answers and explaining a lot of things. And so as I got more and more articles and podcasts, then I was able to at least say, Hey, that’s a great question.
I hear, I have this article I wrote on this topic. Here it is. Let me know if you have any questions. And so now I can send people to an article or a podcast on just about anything, which is useful.
Alyssa: That’s exactly my plan and approach here as well. So, well, thank you so much for having me on. I really appreciate it.
And I, you know, I hope you all hear, learn something and if anything you, you start doing more cardio.
Mike: Yeah. Awesome. Thanks again. Thank you. Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful, and if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.
And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have, uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, mike muscle for life.com, muscle f o r life.com, and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.
I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.