Joan Rivers used to say, “Can we talk?” So, can we talk? I want to “talk” to you in this blog about something very important to anyone interested in complete fitness (CrossFitters, this means YOU), and that is building strength and endurance simultaneously.
Simultaneously training for both strength and endurance can (and will to some degree) result in the inhibition of the body’s ability to adapt to either stimulus with the greater inhibition seemingly focused on the hypertrophy response to strength training. This is known as the concurrent training effect. Until fairly recently this effect was generally misunderstood in the fitness community. Most trainers, coaches, and trainees thought that simultaneously training for strength and endurance would pretty much negate the strength training results. In other words, they thought the concurrent training effect was absolute. It isn’t, and the balance of this blog is going to be a chronicle of my research into the concurrent training effect. As I learn so will you…
In my opinion, the advent of Greg Glassman’s CrossFit has done more than any formal research to change the fitness world’s concept of what can be done in terms of increasing all aspects of fitness simultaneously (even beyond strength and endurance to things like skill development). CrossFitters have shown that you can become bigger, faster, stronger, AND dramatically increase your strength endurance and endurance. I would say that one of the best examples from the CrossFit world of how much the concurrent training effect can be mitigated is a woman named Tia-Claire Toomey. She has placed second at the CrossFit Games (a massive test of all things fitness related) and made the Australian weightlifting team which competed at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio just two weeks after the CrossFit Games. She performed better at the CrossFit Games than the Olympics in terms of placing, but the fact she was able to compete at a very high level in both CrossFit and weightlifting is a testament to what can be done in terms of building strength and endurance simultaneously.
My research will begin with examining adaptation to both strength and endurance training at the molecular level. Don’t worry, this blog is not going to turn into a science blog, but the bottom line is that it is only a minor flub to say it all starts at the molecular level and if we can understand that, in only the most cursory sense, we can gain a much deeper understanding of how to optimize performance when simultaneously training for both strength and endurance.
Watch our page on Facebook and the blog on www.atlargenutrition.com for the 2nd installment of the ALN Concurrent Training Effect Blog.
Owner AtLarge Nutrition, LLC