5 years ago

Interpreting Adaptation to Concurrent Compared with Single-Mode Exercise Training: Some Methodological Considerations

Jeremy P. Loenneke, Jackson J. Fyfe


Incorporating both endurance and resistance training into an exercise regime is termed concurrent training. While there is evidence that concurrent training can attenuate resistance training-induced improvements in maximal strength and muscle hypertrophy, research findings are often equivocal, with some suggesting short-term concurrent training may instead further enhance muscle hypertrophy versus resistance training alone. These observations have questioned the validity of the purported ‘interference effect’ on muscle hypertrophy with concurrent versus single-mode resistance training. This article aims to highlight some methodological considerations when interpreting the concurrent training literature, and, in particular, the degree of changes in strength and muscle hypertrophy observed with concurrent versus single-mode resistance training. Individual training status clearly influences the relative magnitude and specificity of both training adaptation and post-exercise molecular responses in skeletal muscle. The training status of participants is therefore likely a key modulator of the degree of adaptation and interference seen with concurrent training interventions. The divergent magnitudes of strength gain versus muscle hypertrophy induced by resistance training also suggests most concurrent training studies are likely to observe more substantial changes in (and in turn, any potential interference to) strength compared with muscle hypertrophy. Both the specificity and sensitivity of measures used to assess training-induced changes in strength and muscle hypertrophy also likely influence the interpretation of concurrent training outcomes. Finally, the relative importance of any modulation of hypertrophic versus strength adaptation with concurrent training should be considered in context with the relevance of training-induced changes in these variables for enhancing athletic performance and/or functional capacity. Taken together, these observations suggest that aside from various training-related factors, additional non-training-related variables, including participant training status and the measures used to assess changes in strength and muscle hypertrophy, are important considerations when interpreting the outcomes of concurrent training interventions.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40279-017-0812-1

DOI: 10.1007/s40279-017-0812-1

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