Concurrent Training for Sports Performance

Discussion in 'Men's Health Forum' started by Michael Scally MD, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Berryman N, Mujika I, Bosquet L. Concurrent Training for Sports Performance: The Two Sides of the Medal. International journal of sports physiology and performance 2018:1-22. https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/abs/10.1123/ijspp.2018-0103

    The classical work by Robert C. Hickson showed in 1980 that the addition of a resistance training protocol to a predominantly aerobic program could lead to impaired leg strength adaptations in comparison to a resistance-only training regimen. This interference phenomenon was later highlighted in many reports, including a meta-analysis.

    However, it seems that the interference effect has not been consistently reported, probably because of the complex interactions between training variables and methodological issues. On the other side of the medal, Dr Hickson and colleagues subsequently (1986) reported that a strength training mesocycle could be beneficial for endurance performance in running and cycling.

    In recent meta-analyses and review articles, it was demonstrated that such a training strategy could improve middle- and long-distance performance in many disciplines (running, cycling, cross-country skiing and swimming). Interestingly, it appears that improvements in the energy cost of locomotion could be associated with these performance enhancements. Despite these benefits, it was also reported that strength training could represent a detrimental stimulus for endurance performance if an inappropriate training plan has been prepared.

    Taken together, these observations suggest that coaches and athletes should be careful when concurrent training seems imperative in order to meet the complex physiological requirements of their sport. Therefore, this brief review will present a practical appraisal of concurrent training for sports performance. In addition, recommendations will be provided so that practitioners could adapt their interventions based on the training objectives.


    Performing aerobic training in combination with resistance training can interfere with improvements in strength and hypertrophy. Some take homes

    · There shouldn't be much if any negative interference at low durations, intensities and frequencies of aerobic training; as you increase the magnitude of these variables there's a progressively increased risk of compromising gains.

    · Over the short term (< 6 weeks) the detrimental effects of aerobic training on muscular adaptations are generally minimized; complications become progressively more apparent if concurrent training is continued over the longer term.

    · Separating aerobic and resistance training by at least 8 hours tends to reduce interference.

    · If both components are trained in the same session, it's better to perform resistance training first.

    · The more well trained you are, the greater the potential for an interference effect.

    · As with virtually all applied topics, the effects will vary based on individual factors; both genetics and lifestyle factors (nutrition, stress, sleep, etc) will impact results. Thus, customize recommendations based on your individual response.


    [Graphic] YLMSportScience
    Optimizing the benefits of concurrent training on neuromuscular performance

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