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Concurrent training is the technical term for including both cardio and strength training in your workout routine.
Generally, the goal is to get better at both types of training simultaneously. That is, you’re trying to gain muscle and strength by lifting weights and improve your endurance by going faster and/or further in your cardio workouts.
If you’ve spent any time in the fitness space, though, you know that many people claim this is a fool’s errand.
These people argue that you can’t effectively adapt to both cardio and strength training at the same time. Instead of improving at both—getting bigger, stronger, and fitter—you just end up being mediocre across the board. In other words, they claim concurrent training turns you into a jack of all trades and a master of none.
While there’s a kernel of truth to this idea, scientific research shows it’s more wrong than right. In fact, a growing body of evidence suggests that if you want to get bigger, stronger, leaner, and fitter, combining cardio and strength training is actually better than just lifting weights.
To get these benefits, though, you have to implement concurrent training correctly. Do it wrong, and you’ll banjax your ability to gain strength and muscle and increase your risk of injury. Do it right, though, and you can enjoy the benefits of cardio and strength training scot-free.
12:11 – What is the wrong way to concurrently train?
16:09 – What is the right way to concurrently train?
32:06 – How do you avoid recovery problems when concurrently training?
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Hey, Mike Matthews here and welcome to another episode of Muscle For Life. Thank you for joining me today to learn about concurrent training, to learn about the right way to combine cardio and strength training, which if you want to optimize both your. Health and your performance, including your performance in your strength training, in your resistance training, then you should be doing both.
You should be training your muscles, of course, with weights, with resistance, and you should be doing some cardio. Now, I’m not gonna go into why that is in this episode because I’ve already spoken about it. It in detail in a previous episode. So if you want to learn about that, head over to legion athletics.com and search for cardio lift weights, and you’ll find an article on it called Should You Do Cardio If You Lift weights, Science Says Yes and here’s why.
And there’s also a podcast under the same title. You’ll see in the search results, they’re separated between articles and podcast. So anyway, before we get started today, I thought I would share some exciting news and that is that I have rona. It is official. I have tested positive on the antigen test and I’ve been mildly congested for the last couple of days.
I got it because one of the guys who I work with got it from his girlfriend and he got tested and he tested negative and so we thought it was fine. Turned out that he was presymptomatic. And I was around him enough to get it as well, and the experience has been bittersweet. On the plus side, it has been very mild.
Again, I’ve been congested for a couple of days, like that’s it. Those are the only symptoms. I didn’t even lose my sense of smell or taste. And so now I can be more secure in my gloating because of course, for about six months now, I’ve been trying to explain to people why I don’t. About Covid 19. I talked about actuarial data that I looked into, for example, that indicated that if we’re talking about serious injury or death, right?
Something that puts me in the hospital, then driving a car 10 to 80 miles per day is about as dangerous as the coronavirus poses about as much risk to me as the coronavirus. Now, I don’t have a daily commute. I haven’t in a. Since Covid kicked off, but when I did have a commute, it was maybe eight miles, but many people have commutes in the range of 20, 30, 40, even 50 miles that they make every day without thinking twice about it.
They’re not driving to work every day, terrified of dying. So that’s how I viewed the. Coronavirus. Another little amusing piece of information I remember is if I lived in a city and I went out walking for, I believe it was 30 to 45 minutes on average per day, which I probably would if I lived in a city, then that activity was statistically speaking as dangerous, as risky as covid.
And it’s been interesting trying to explain that to at least some people over the last year or so who almost took it personally. Like they got offended that I would even say such things. And their responses were usually either the na alt fallacy, the not all X’s are like that fallacy. know this one person who is really healthy and who had to go to the hospital or long.
What if you get long C, and it’s usually together. There was this one healthy person who now has long covid and those things can happen yet, but they are outliers. And so when we view the likelihood of those things happening, if we view those events probabilistically, we see that the chances are so slim, are so vanishingly small that it would be irrational.
To assign any real importance to them, it would be irrational to worry about them just as it would be irrational to be unduly worried about the dangers of your daily commute or of your daily walk around the city that you live in. And so my point is we all have to accept that living life comes with risks.
Doing things that we want to do comes with risks. I was just on a ski trip recently before Covid, for example, and I’m not a very good skier, so I’m not confident enough to do anything dumb. But I do try to push the envelope a little bit. I do try to push myself to go a little bit beyond my current abilities so I can improve, and even though I’m.
As safe and smart about it as I can. There are risks that are associated with that, and I haven’t looked at the actuarial data related to skiing, but I would be willing to bet a lot of money that maybe not one trip poses just as much risk as covid 19 to me, if we’re talking about serious injury or death.
But it probably doesn’t take that much skiing over, let’s say a winter and spring season. Spring skiing is probably more risky than winter because of the conditions. It probably doesn’t take that much skiing to equal the dangers. Posed by Covid 19 again to somebody like me who’s young and healthy. And my point with saying that is if I were to go on several ski trips every ski season, and I were to take the right precautions and not be stupid about it, very few people would say that I should be seriously concerned about that.
That is a stupid plan, a reckless plan that is asking for all kinds of. But then out the other side of their mouths, they would vehemently disagree with my position regarding covid, specifically as it relates to me and my health and wellbeing. And they would think that I’m taking a much larger risk than I actually am, and I’m being completely fool hearty by doing things like going to a gym every day or going on a ski trip.
Or, Oh, I don’t know, leaving my house for literally anything. But anyway, I think I’ve rambled enough about this for one podcast intro, but I thought I would share the news because I found it amusing and relevant. And so if you are of my. Persuasion. If you have looked into the data and you have concluded that the risk that the coronavirus poses to you is so low that you just don’t care.
I understand you, and maybe I’ve given you a little bit of statistical and rhetorical firepower to use at your next family gathering when you’re getting piled on for having the nerve having. Audacity to not join in the mass hysteria that this unprecedented global pandemic demands of all of us.
Now, jokes aside, I do want to comment before I move on that I don’t wanna make light of everyone’s experience with Covid 19. Of course, a lot of people have died and a lot of people have suffered not just from the virus, but from the effects of lockdowns and economic disruptions. It’s been a bad. For all of us to some degree or another, and if it’s been a really bad time for you, if you’ve been very negatively affected by Covid 19.
Please don’t take my commentary personally or as me being insensitive to you and your situation. If you were telling me your personal story of what happened, and maybe you were an outlier, maybe you did get very unlucky or somebody you love got very unlucky, I would have a very. Different response. I would be empathetic, I would be compassionate, and I would not use it as an opportunity to lecture you about statistics and probabilities, and certainly would not treat it like a laughing matter.
Anyway, let’s make a hard transition now to the actual topic of this podcast, which is concurrent training, and that is a technical term for doing cardio and strength training, basically for including both of those in your workout routine and generally. The goal is to get better at both of those types of training simultaneously.
So if you’re trying to gain muscle and strength in your strength training or in your resistance training, and improve your stamina and improve your endurance by going faster or further in your cardio workouts, that would be concurrent training. But we could also apply the term to. Including cardio in your weightlifting routine, even if you are not trying to improve in your cardio in the same way as you are in your lifting, right?
Even if you’re mostly just using the cardio to burn calories and to improve your cardiovascular system. And if you’ve been around the fitness game for a while, you know that many people say that if you want to get big and strong or if you wanna stay big and strong, you really shouldn’t be. Much cardio and you certainly should not be trying to improve in your cardio training in the same way as you are in your weightlifting.
And I can say that I used to be one of those people to some degree. I wasn’t dogmatic about it, but I used to argue that it is hard to adapt to both cardio and strength training at the same time. So if you get too zeal, In your concurrent training, instead of making strides in both of those aspects of your fitness, you’ll probably just end up mediocre.
You’ll never really get that strong or that big or be able to go that fast or that far. Now, while that is not entirely wrong, while there is a kernel of truth there, if we look at the scientific research available on concurrent training as it stands right now, which we’re gonna do in this podcast, I would say that position is now more wrong.
In fact, a growing body of evidence suggests that if you want to get bigger, stronger, leaner and fitter, more cardiovascularly fit specifically, then you can combine cardio and strength training productively, and that actually is better than just. Lifting weights, you will be in better shape. You will be a fitter person if you do your strength training and you do cardiovascular training, but you gotta do it correctly, you gotta combine these things correctly because if you do it wrong, then you can hinder your ability to gain strength and to gain muscle, and you can also increase your risk of injury.
And so that is what we’re gonna be talking about in this podcast. How to Do It Correct. Also, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my health and fitness books, including the number one best selling weightlifting books for men and women in the world. Bigger, leaner, stronger, and thinner.
Leaner, stronger. As well as the leading flexible dieting cookbook, the Shredded Chef. Now, these books have sold well over 1 million copies and have helped thousands of people build their best body ever, and you can find them on all major online retailers like Audible, Amazon, iTunes, Cobo, and Google Play, as well as.
In Select Barnes and Noble stores. And I should also mention that you can get any of the audiobooks 100% free when you sign up for an Audible account. And this is a great way to make those pockets of downtime like commuting, meal prepping, and cleaning more interesting, entertaining, and productive. And so if you want to take audible up on this offer, and if you want to get one of my audio books for free, just go to www.by leg.
That’s B Y legion.com/audible and sign up for your account. So again, if you appreciate my work and if you wanna see more of it, and if you wanna learn time proven and evidence-based strategies for losing fat, building muscle, and getting healthy, and strategies that work for anyone and everyone, regardless of age or circumstances, please do consider picking up one of my best selling books, Bigger, Leaner, Stronger for Men, Thinner, Leaner.
For women and the shredded chef for my favorite fitness friendly recipes. All right, so let’s start out this discussion with the wrong way. Here’s the wrong way to concurrently train to combine cardio and strength training and try to progress on both fronts. And this has to do with something known as the interference effect.
And one of the first and best examples of this in the scientific literature comes from a study that was conducted in 1980 at the University of Washington by Robert c Hickson, and Hickson was a researcher and recreational runner and power lifter. And he noticed that his two hobbies seemed to be in conflict with one another, and.
Being a scientist, he created a study to see what was going on to measure this interference effect. And in this study, Hickson had 23 healthy active men and women in their mid twenties do one of three workout routines for 10 weeks. One was strength training alone, which consisted of five pretty intense lower body workouts per week.
And then, Two was cardio alone, which consisted of six fairly high intensity running and cycling workouts per week. They were cycling intervals and then just continuous runs. And then there was a third routine, which was strength training and cardio, which combined the two programs that I just mentioned.
So 11 workouts per week, a lot of training. And oftentimes both the cardio and the strength training workouts were done in the same days. And what Hickson found in this experiment is that people who combin. Strength training and cardio gained just as much muscle as people who only did strength training but gained significantly less strength.
What’s more, They also improved their endurance just as much as people who only did endurance training. So in other words, adding cardio to the strength training routine slightly decreased the participant’s ability to gain strength and had little to no impact on their ability to gain muscle and the strength.
Did not interfere with the benefits or the performance in the cardio workouts at all. And since that seminal study, many other scientists have found evidence of this interference effect. And in most of the studies that are on this phenomenon, cardio reduces strength gains significantly. And. It sometimes reduces muscle gain as well, whereas strength training does not seem to blunt the benefits of cardio whatsoever.
There is a major problem with these studies, though most of them are designed to elicit, to produce the interference effect. The goal is not necessarily to discover how to optimally. Combined Cardio and strength training. Instead, it is to create a training program that is all but guaranteed to cause this effect so researchers can observe it and analyze it and learn about it.
And Hickson’s original study is a perfect example of this. The participants were doing heavy lower body strength workouts five times per week. That’s a lot of lower body volume that’s difficult to do by itself. Then on top of. They were also doing almost four hours of intense running and cycling each week, and that’s cruel and unusual scientific punishment.
How did that pass an ethics board? Now, despite that, though, that was a pretty grueling workout routine. The people still gained almost exactly the same amount of muscle. The people who were doing the concurrent training as the people who were only lifting weights, they also lost about 2% of their body fat, whereas people who just lifted weights didn’t lose any.
So we have a calorie deficit in there as well, and that may help explain why they gained less strength. So the bottom line with all of that is that Hickson’s study and many other studies like it on the interference effect, did go a long way in helping identify and quantify. The interference effect, but they also used very unrealistic and suboptimal training methods.
So then what is the right way of going about this? The correct way to engage in concurrent training? Despite what concurrent training naysayers would have you believe it can be done. There actually are studies that show that there are quite a few studies actually that have found no evidence of any interference effect, and some have even shown that cardio can enhance muscle growth.
You can gain muscle faster by including cardio in your strength training or resistance training routine by turning it into a con. Training routine. For example, multiple studies have shown that combining cycling in particular and strength training actually results in more muscle growth, and in some cases more strength gain than strength training alone.
In one example, in one study, people who did both cycling leg presses and leg extensions increased their quad thickness twice as. As people who only lifted weights. And in another study, in untrained people cycling caused muscle growth by itself, just cycling helped grow their legs, and one of the largest and most thorough reviews conducted on concurrent training concluded that there are as many papers reporting a greater increase in muscle hypertrophy with concurrent training, as there are papers showing an interference.
And additionally, if you look at studies where the interference effect has been found, where it did occur, it never completely stopped muscle growth or strength gain. It only slowed it down. It only made the results a bit. Worse. So where does all that leave us though? Why the conflicting results? Why does cardio seem to reduce strength gain and sometimes muscle gain in some cases, and then accelerate it in others?
The answer has to do with how you go about it, how you combine your strength training and. Cardio the devil is in the details to be cliched. Now, the main factors that influence how much cardio interferes with or does not interfere with your strength training are the type of cardio that you do when you do your cardio and your strength training workouts, how much cardio you do, the intensity of your cardio training in part.
And how much you eat. So let’s talk a bit about these things, and let’s start with running, which you need to know causes a lot more fatigue and causes a lot more muscle damage per unit of time than other low or no impact forms of cardio, like cycling, rowing, elliptical, swimming. Even skiing. And therefore it is not surprising that studies have shown that running in particular produces a much greater interference effect than other types of cardio like cycling or rowing or cross country skiing and other low impact forms of endurance training.
So one of the first simple and practical takeaways here is if you are going to train concurrently, don’t. Unless you really enjoy running, in which case it is probably worth doing what you really enjoy and just trying to mitigate the negative effects. And you’re gonna learn some tips for that here in rest of this podcast and understanding that even if you do those things, you may still gain muscle and strength a bit slower than you would if you were doing something else like cycling or swimming or rowing, or another low impact form of.
Now there is a silver lining with running in particular, and that is that research shows that the interference effect appears to be muscle specific. So that means that a lot of running probably won’t get in the way of your bench press or get in the way of making your biceps bigger, but it may slow down your lower body progress.
It may make it harder to make your legs bigger and. That said, in addition to the muscle specific effect, we have to think with the global effect of cardio and particularly cardio volume because lower body cardio can interfere with your upper body weightlifting. If you do too much, if you do enough to cause a substantial amount of whole body fatigue, for example, you are going to progress slower in all.
Weightlifting. But of course that’s pretty easy to avoid by just being smart with your programming by not doing too much. So for example, if you’re doing cardio and strength training for the same body part, let’s say you are running and you are doing squats. Research shows that if you simply do those workouts on separate days, that can greatly reduce the interference effect to nothing.
And if you do them on the same day because you can’t split them up, then you can largely. Mitigate the interference effect by eating plenty of carbs throughout the day and by separating those workouts by at least six hours. So maybe you lift in the morning and then you’re gonna run before dinner or after dinner, and eating lots of carbs throughout the day to replenish the glycogen that you lost in the mornings.
Workout. So you have full glycogen tanks for the evenings workout, and that would work the same way if you ran in the morning and lifted later. Personally, I would probably lift first and then do the cardio later, but that’s mostly just a matter of preference. And if you absolutely must do both cardio and strength training in the same workout, then do your strength training.
That also will help minimize the interference effect. Now, as we’re talking volume, we also need to talk about total cardio per week because that affects how much it’s going to interfere with your gains, with your muscle gains, and it’s impossible. To pinpoint exactly how much cardio is too much to get it down to the minute, or even the closest 10 or 15 minute increment, because depends really on what type of cardio you’re doing and when you do it.
And there are definitely gonna be individual factors that come into play, genetic factors. But studies show that most people. Can do three to six hours or so of cardio per week before it starts to detract from their strength training. Now, that said, that number assumes low to moderate intensity cardio.
If it is more intense, if it’s involving high intensity intervals, for example, then you’re gonna have to do less. You can’t do three to six hours of hit workouts per week and not have that get in the way to some. Especially six hours of your weight lifting. So the more intense the cardio, the less volume you can do before it begins to sap your ability to gain strength and muscle and to put a number to that.
I generally don’t recommend more than 45 to maybe 60 minutes of high intensity interval training per week if you are also trying to gain muscle and strength. So you may want to do a combination. Of high intensity and lower intensity if you really wanna maximize calorie burning and maximize your fitness and maximize your improvement in your fitness.
Ideally you would do that. You would do probably a few 30 minute just low slash moderate intensity workouts, maybe four or five out of 10 where you could have a conversation, but you’re gonna have to stop to catch your breath fairly regular. , and then you would throw in a couple of 20 minute two or three 20 minute high intensity interval sessions per week.
And when you’re going all out on a hit workout, you cannot talk. You can’t speak in more than maybe single words. That’s how hard you have to be pushing yourself. So another major factor that impacts how well your body responds to concurrent training is your diet. And specifically we’re talking about energy balance here because a calorie deficit, as you probably.
Hampers your ability to recover. It hampers your ability to build muscle, and that can magnify the interference effect. And cardio can be insidious because it burns quite a few calories. And when weightlifters start doing it, they often don’t realize how much additional energy they’re burning. And they often have their meal plans dialed in and they’re.
To eating the same things every meal every day. Maybe they rotate between a few different options, but generally speaking, their calories and macros hover in a certain range and they start doing cardio, and they don’t necessarily feel an increase in their appetite. That happens to me. For example, my appetite is not correlated with my activity level, at least in a day to day.
At all really. I can be very active and not get hungry at all, and I can be very inactive and be hungrier probably because of boredom, but it’s not as simple as move more and then just eat accordingly. And so what happens then is many people, many weightlifters, they start doing cardio and after a few weeks they’re noticing that their weightlifting workouts are getting harder, their working weights are getting heavier, not lighter, and they maybe even have had to drop some weight off the bar, or they’ve lost a rep or two with their normal working weights, and they think that it’s cardio.
That is causing the problem directly when they don’t realize that it’s not because of the cardio per se, it’s because of the extra energy that they’re burning during their cardio workouts that they are not accounting for in their diet, in their meal plan, and they’re in a calorie deficit. And maybe it’s a slight deficit, not enough to notice much of a difference in the scale or in the mirror.
Let’s say enough of a deficit to lose maybe a third of a pound, maybe a half of a pound of fat per week, which again, you’re not gonna catch unless you are diligently. Weighing yourself or taking pictures, which many experienced weightlifters don’t bother with. I don’t really bother with that. I pay more attention to my performance in the gym and to what I see in the mirror, just in the day to day basically.
And so I would be one of those people who wouldn’t notice that difference. I wouldn’t notice that, oh, I’m in a slight deficit and that’s why my weightlifting workouts are suffering. So the key takeaways. To choose cycling if you can. That’s my preferred cardio. I do about 30 minutes of cycling, five to seven days per week.
I have an upright cycle bicycle in my basement and I multitask. So I either read while I’m cycling or I will cycle during calls. So if I have work calls, I jump on the bike and I let people know if they don’t already know. If you hear me breathing a little bit, I’m on a bike, so bear with me. But again, I’m not doing it so intensely that I can’t have a conversation or pay attention or that I’m heavily breathing into the phone.
I usually, I just mute my phone and then unmute it when it’s my turn to talk. But that works well. Or if I have other calls, personal calls, I’ll schedule those when I’m on the bike. But if biking is not for. Then I would recommend finding a low impact form of cardio, something other than running, and certainly other than sprinting, if you want to do high intensity stuff.
Sprinting on asphalt, for example, is fun, but causes a lot of muscle damage. Another tip is to keep most of your cardio workouts fairly short. No more than 30 minutes or so. General rule of thumb, and if they’re high intensity, 20 minutes, 25 minutes is gonna be better. And then the third tip is to do most of your cardio workouts on separate days from your lower body strength training workouts.
And if you just follow those three guidelines, you can more or less completely eliminate the interference. Now I wanna share a couple more tips. One is, when you are programming your concurrent training, emphasize either your strength and muscle gain or your endurance. Don’t try to do it all at the same time.
You are not going to be able to maximize your progress in both of those directions simultaneously. So if your main goal right now, Is to gain muscle and strength or maybe to get her stay lean. So to improve your body composition, basically the winning formula is to prioritize your strength training and then fit your cardio in around that in a way that minimizes the interference effects.
So here’s where you’d be using cardio mostly to boost your calorie burning. Of course, there are health benefits and other benefits as well. Psychological benefits even. I enjoy my cardio workouts, but just know that cardio. Tool at this point to help you improve your body composition, and you want to use it just enough.
You want to use it within those parameters. You don’t want to overuse it, in which case it will actually detract from your goal. Now, if you are an endurance athlete, or maybe you are working toward competing in some kind of event, maybe a marathon or a. Cycling event like a Grand Fondo or a backpacking trip or something like that.
Then you need to do the opposite. You need to temporarily de-emphasize your strength training and put more energy into your cardio. For example, I’ve worked with people over the years who wanted to do a marathon and toward the end of their marathon training when their cardio volume was getting pretty high, we had to pull back to one or two strength workouts per week.
Some people, I seem to remember, could get away with three, but usually. One full body session or one upper and one lower body session per week, and we had to keep the volume relatively low and we had to work around the cardio workouts. And that of course, is not good for improving body composition, but it’s great for preserving muscle and preserving strength, at least to some degree, while maximizing endurance capacity.
Another tip I have for concurrent training is to gradually increase the volume of your cardio workouts, and this is one thing that cardio and weightlifting have in common. If you wanna get better, you have to make your workouts harder over time, and one of the most effective ways to do that in both.
Strength training and endurance training is volume. Do more volume. Do more harder sets of your workouts per major mouse group per week, for example, and do more cardio workouts. Put more time into it. But you have to walk a tight rope in both of those cases though, because if you push yourself. Too hard.
Then you can run into symptoms related to over-training and you can develop repetitive stress injuries. And while in the case of cardio, many people are wary of running injuries. In particular, low impact forms of cardio can also cause problems. You can develop those rsi doing things like cycling, rowing, and even too much.
You can run into hip problems, knee problems, ankle problems, and especially if you’re busting your ass in the gym in your strength training, because that causes a lot of muscle damage and it necessitates a lot of recovery. Your body has to really work to recover from. Effective strength training workouts, especially if you’re an intermediate or advanced weightlifter, because you gotta work hard.
The new begins, the honeymoon phase is forever gone, unfortunately. And now you have to scrap. You have to struggle for every additional. Ounces of muscle and strength, and if you’re adding too much additional stress and fatigue from your cardio, then your body will fall behind in recovery eventually, you will not be fully recovering from your training and from there, you’re only going to.
If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my health and fitness books, including the number one best selling weightlifting books for men and women in the world. Bigger, leaner, stronger, and thin. Leaner, stronger, as well as the leading flexible dieting cookbook, the shredded.
So how do you avoid that problem? I recommend that you only do low intensity workouts, so don’t do any hit. Don’t do any sprints. Don’t do any circuits of no more than 60 minutes. Again, 30 to 45 minutes is probably a little bit better for your first month of your concurrent training. Start simple and make it easy, and then after that warmup period, increase your total weekly cardio volume by no more than 10.
Per week. So for example, if you do two hours of cardio, one week, do no more than about two hours and 10, maybe 15 minutes the next week, and so on. Another tip here is to avoid exhaustion in your cardio workouts. And this is similar to the tip of avoiding muscle failure in your strength training. You can take some sets to failure, of course, to absolute muscle failure, but it’s not necessary.
Research shows, it doesn’t result in more muscle and strength gain than if you take most of your sets to one to. Reps shy of that point. So we have one or two good reps left and that’s it. And that is just as effective as taking those sets to failure. But it results in a lot less fatigue and less risk of injury in the case of certain exercises at least.
And so the same. Basic principles true of cardio workouts. You don’t need to push yourself to the end of your rope to improve your cardiovascular fitness. You don’t have to go to the point of absolute exhaustion. Instead, you want to finish most of your cardio workouts with some gas left in the tank.
Really the only time you wanna. Push yourself to your limits or when you’re trying to set a personal record. So in the case of strength training, if you are going for, let’s say, a new one rep, max record, or you’re trying to get a new AM wrap in the case of like beyond bigger, lean, stronger, right as many reps as possible, where you’ve loaded the bar with heavy weights and you’re trying to see now, what did you accomplish over the last macro cycle of training?
Then it makes sense to go up to the point, at least close to muscle failure, Not where you actually can’t complete a rep, but to the point where your form is getting a bit sloppy cuz it’s getting real hard right now. In the case of cardio, then it would make sense to push yourself to that point of exhaustion when you’re going for a pr.
You’re trying to set a best. Time record or maybe a distance record or whatever. But you shouldn’t be doing that more than maybe once every couple of months, two, three months. Could even be four months or longer depending on what you’re doing and how much you care. And again, that’s similar to your weightlifting.
You shouldn’t be going for those. One rep maxes probably more than once every four to six months. You shouldn’t be going for those am wrap as many reps as possible. Maxes more than once every, probably three to four months. And of course, Those things depend on many other factors, but I do think those are just good rules of thumb.
Those are guidelines that are going to be productive for most people, are going to help them continue making progress and avoiding toes and avoiding injuries. My final tip for making concurrent training work is make sure that you’re deloading and deload more frequently, not less frequently. I like to see a deload every three to six weeks.
For example, in the case of intermediate or advanced weightlifters who are working hard in their strength training. and doing a fair amount of cardio. Again, three to six hours per week, let’s say. And the reason for this, of course, is that concurrent training is harder on your body than just doing strength training or cardio.
If you are just doing strength training, for example, you may not need to deload every three weeks, maybe 4, 5, 6 weeks, maybe even eight to 10 weeks. Again, depending on where you’re at in your journey and what you’re doing and how well you’re sleeping, and how much stress you have in your life in general, blah, blah.
But again, if you are doing both of these things, if you’re doing the strength training and the cardio, and you are pushing hard, probably in your strength training as hard as you can reasonably, and then also pushing yourself a little bit in your cardio, then three to six weeks with maybe four, five weeks as the middle kind of average for Deloading.
And if that makes you cringe because you don’t like deloading, I understand. I. Deloading. I still don’t like deloading. It’s boring, but I have learned my lesson. I have gone way too many times too long and pushed off the deload and tried to auto-regulate and figured, yeah, I had a deload scheduled, but I’m feeling pretty good.
I’m feeling pretty strong. Let’s just keep going. That’s how it used to deload. And inevitably what would happen is I. Keep going until there was a problem. Usually it was a joint related thing, so my knee, my right knee became like a reliable indicator of when it was time to settle down. Like it was actually time to take a little bit of a break because my right knee was starting to get pissed off during squats and lunges.
Also, I had gotten sick, Not that it’s because I didn’t deload. Just worked out that way that quite a few times I would just keep going and then I would get a little cold or something and then that would become the deload. And I’ve written and spoken about Deloading quite a bit already, so I won’t go off on a tangent here.
But if you wanna learn more about Deloading and why you should be doing it on a set schedule. And if you wanna know how to do it correctly, head over to legion athletics.com and search for deload and you’ll find both an article, at least one article and one podcast that I have recorded. So you can check that out.
And anyway, coming back to the point here is when you are concurrent training scheduler deloads and do them as scheduled and deload both your strength training and your cardio. And again, you’ll learn how to deload if you just go over legion athletics.com and search for deload. I believe I was speaking only to strength.
In the article and in the podcast. So I’ll just add a little extra information here for the cardio workouts deload by cutting the volume in half, but just keeping the intensity the same. So if you’re doing one high intensity workout per week and a couple moderate intensity workouts per week for a total of four hours, do two hours.
So just cut it all in half, but do the same type of training unless you’re feeling particularly afraid. If you are just needing a little bit of extra. Rest. Then you can just do all of your cardio at low intensity and half of the normal volume. Alrighty. That’s it for my current thoughts on concurrent training.
Thanks again for joining me today. I hope you found this episode helpful. I hope it helps you reach your strength and your endurance goals. Faster and tune in later this week to hear me interview Tim Anderson from Original Strength on the power of incorporating what he calls movement resets into your routine.
Very interesting stuff. And then I have a q and a coming as well later this week. Or I’m gonna be talking about lean bulking when fat should you do it or should you get leaner first beating tendonitis and tendonosis and increasing urgency and necessity in your life increasing. Feeling of urgency and necessity, which can be tricky, right?
It’s easy when it gets imposed on you by life, but when we feel like we don’t have a good objective reason, immediate in our face, reason to behave that way, it’s very easy to find reasons to not do it right, to do other things that are more enjoy. But of course, the rub is that leads to complacency, which prevents us from moving ahead in our lives and achieving our goals.
All right. That’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful. And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or. Wherever you’re listening to me from in whichever app you’re listening to me in, because that not only convinces people that they should check out the show, it also increases search visibility and thus it helps more people find their way to me and learn how to get fitter, leaner, stronger.
Healthier and happier as well. And of course, if you want to be notified when the next episode goes live, then simply subscribe to the podcast and you won’t miss out on any new stuff. And if you didn’t like something about the show, please do shoot me an email. At [email protected], just muscle f o r life.com and share your thoughts on how I can do this better.
I read everything myself, and I’m always looking for constructive feedback. Even if it is criticism, I’m open to it. And of course you can email me if you have positive feedback as well, or if you have questions really relating to anything that you think I could help you with, definitely send me an email.
That is the best way to get ahold of me, [email protected] And that’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.
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