Sports scientists in Australia have urged athletes to separate their weight training sessions from endurance activity after conducting tests on, what is known in the industry, as concurrent training.
According to researcher Kenji Doma from the James Cook University in Queensland the physiological stress caused by lifting weights can continue for several days as opposed to a full recovery within 24 hours following a typical endurance training bout.
“We want to increase the awareness of resistance training-induced fatigue in the hope of encouraging coaches to think about aspects such as the order of the training, the recovery period, training intensity, etc. We’re trying to limit the carry-over effects of fatigue from resistance to endurance training sessions,” said Doma.
Doma and colleagues examined the outcome of concurrent training which featured both resistance (weights) and endurance (running) on the same or separate days. It was found that the body was able to recover within a few days after a typical 40 to 60 minutes of resistance training (weights) session whereas complete recoveries can be made within just 24 hours of a routine endurance training workout (like a run).
“The consensus is that concurrent training is beneficial for endurance development. But we found that if appropriate recovery is not accounted for between each training mode, then it may impair endurance development.”
There was reduced performance on the ability to run and cycle in athletes who participated in a single resistance training session.
Doma said the group was not saying that concurrent training should be discontinued.
“There are great benefits to it, but there can be some hidden dangers too. What we want to see is fatigue from resistance sessions minimised so there can be even more benefits gained. If you don’t really account for fatigue or consider allowing your body to recover, your overall endurance development becomes sub-optimal,” he said.