Concurrent training combines aerobic conditioning and strength work. Conventional wisdom would have you start off with weights to promote the use of body fat to fuel cardio after muscle glycogen reserves have been depleted, but then there’s the issue of metabolite buildup. A study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise examines how resistance training impacts the conditioning part of your workout.
Seven healthy male subjects took on intense arm exercise before cycling to capacity on a stationary bike. Compared to a prior workout when they rode the bike without doing any upper body workout, cycling work capacity was reduced although critical power remained constant through both workouts.
True Strength Moment: Metabolite buildup from the weight training phase reduced the duration of the cycling workout by 15%. That’s a very reasonable trade off considering the time-saving advantages you get with concurrent training. Give it a try next time your stale routine gets a little too easy to complete.