July 23

Strength And Endurance Training – Can You Do Both?


When it comes to fitness, a lot of us actually have quite varied goals.


We would like to get good at a lot of things.


We want more endurance for running, cycling or rowing etc..


We also want to be really strong and beat our ‘1-rep max’ for our back squat or overhead press.


If you do CrossFit then you know that you need to do lots of reps, for time and under fatigue.


Then the same thing with gymnastics!


You need high end strength to enable you to move your body in certain ways – like for example the hand stand push up.


While you need loads of endurance to enable you to do these moves over and over again.


Even if you are not doing CrossFit it is very common to want to get good at a range of activities.


We like to be fit in a well rounded manner.


To be able to run a bit, lift a bit and look good naked.


You maybe fancy running a marathon but you want to retain your muscle mass.


The problem is that these are in many ways, opposite goals.


I talk about this with Dr Jackson Fyfe in my podcast, Flat White Episode 39




He specialises in concurrent training.


It’s worth remembering there will always  be some interference effect but if this is something you want to do then the best way is to do it properly.


Start with aerobic training in the morning and strength training in the afternoon.


Giving yourself enough time to recover properly and to take on enough carbohydrate and protein in between to fuel your strength training.


Your aerobic training could be either ‘fed’ or ‘fasted’.


This will help you build metabolic flexibility to burn both carbs and fat as fuel – very  important for endurance.


Then, you need to periodise your intensity.


While you are focusing hard on building your strength, dial down your aerobic training.


By this I mean, avoid pushing yourself to the max and operating in the anaerobic zone.


Work on your ‘long engine’, your aerobic capacity and build that.


As you start to peak towards a competition you will need to dial up the intensity on the aerobic side, pushing yourself to your limits.


This is when you dial back the strength training, maybe drop to just a couple of sessions a week and make sure you are eating plenty of protein to both fuel you and to maintain your muscle.


I talked about this in another Flat White episode (47) of the podcast with Charlotte Fisher




Charlotte specialises in nutrition for endurance athletes.


In your off season, you want to be building your aerobic base, lots of long, slow, steady, cardiovascular activity.


Aerobic intervals, keeping your heart rate between 120 – 150 so that it stays aerobic and sustainable – not just killing yourself every session.


Do this while you work on your strength and muscle building exercises, 3 – 5 times a week, full body sessions or split training sessions.


As you peak towards a competition or a race, you bring your strength training down and concentrate on your anaerobic, high intensity work – for an 8 – 12 week period.






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