Workout Tips

Balance Strength and Endurance Training Properly for Max Results

Sports scientists found that many athletes aren't doing it properly.

Man running on treadmill
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Plenty of athletes combine strength training and endurance training to stay well-rounded and make progress fast, but many of them aren't allowing themselves enough recovery time, according to James Cook University sports scientists. They examined concurrent training—the term for combining resistance training such as weightlifting with endurance training such as running, either on the same day or separate days—and found that it helps improve endurance when it's done correctly, but can sabotage your progress if you don't give yourself enough rest during your training program.

The paper, published in the Journal of Sports Medicine, analyzed studies done on the performance of endurance athletes after a single resistance training workout, and found that the endurance training was negatively affected, even for days after just one workout.

To do it right, you might want to consider the order in which you train, Dr. Kenji Doma, part of the research team, said. It can take a few days for your body to recover from a 40- to 60-minute resistance training session, but a typical endurance workout only requires about 24 hours of recovery. Doma's team wants to make athletes and coaches more aware of this so that they can create efficient training plans.

"The consensus is that concurrent training is beneficial for endurance development," Doma said. "But we found that if appropriate recovery is not accounted for between each training mode, then it may impair endurance development." There isn't an exact formula that fits everyone, but athletes and coaches should keep the order of training, recovery time, and intensity of training in mind to limit the amount of fatigue that carries over from resistance training.

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