Aug 17, 2017
The Right Balance

Balance is key. And when it comes to your training program, it’s important to find a balance between strength and endurance. As explained in an article in Muscle & Fitness, every athlete needs both components in order to perform their best, but oftentimes training schedules fail to keep strength and endurance in harmony.

The biggest challenge to building both strength and endurance is making sure that athletes have a regimen that allows for enough rest and recovery. A well-rounded program will incorporate various resistance and endurance exercises in order to give athletes the tools they need to succeed. But just doing these exercises isn’t enough. If athletes are not getting enough rest in between sessions, they will be exerting energy without being able to make the desired gains.

According to a study by James Cook University sports scientists, many athletes aren’t allowing themselves enough recovery time to effectively combine strength and endurance training. The study examined concurrent training, which involves combining resistance training such as weightlifting with endurance training such as running, either on the same day or separate days. Researchers found that this kind of training can be effective, but only if athletes are incorporating enough time for rest and recovery.

According to the researchers, it can take up to three days for your body to recover from a 40- to 60-minute resistance training session, while a typical endurance workout requires only about one day of recovery. The researchers concluded that endurance was negatively affected even after just a single resistance workout. If coaches are aware of this when designing their strength and conditioning programs, they can help athletes be more efficient in the way they train.

“The consensus is that concurrent training is beneficial for endurance development,” said Dr. Kenji Doma, who was part of the research team. “But we found that if appropriate recovery is not accounted for between each training mode, then it may impair endurance development.”

To start, coaches should consider allowing athletes longer periods of rest in between strength training sessions. Another solution may to do shorter resistance training sessions so that athletes will not need as much time to recover. In addition, endurance workouts can be easily incorporated into many training sessions because athletes need only about 24 hours to recover from endurance work.

In order to balance strength and endurance, it’s essential that coaches consider the order that they do their exercises and the amount of recovery time available to the athletes. If athletes are fatigued, they will not be able to get the most out of their training, and may even end up overtraining, which can lead to weakened muscles and injury. Evaluate the way your program is structured and consider how you can make it more efficient and effective for your athletes.

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