Does Cardiovascular Conditioning Help or Hurt Resistance Training?
Title: Evaluation of Performance Improvements After Either Resistance Training or Sprint Interval-Based Concurrent Training
Author: Laird et al
Journal: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Objective: The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of concurrent sprint interval and resistance training vs. resistance training on measures of strength, power, and aerobic fitness in recreationally active women
Concurrent Training: Combining resistance training (or weight lifting) with cardiovascular conditioning.
Results have been mixed in previous studies as to whether concurrent cardiovascular conditioning synergizes with resistance training. Some found that cardiovascular conditioning interfered with strength training when combined. Conversely, other researchers have found improvements in strength and power.
Theories why it may hurt: overtraining, residual fatigue, inadequate recovery.
Basically the authors wanted to know if sprint interval training plus resistance training was better than, equal to or worse than resistance training alone.
There were 28 women, average age of 20 years old who completed an 11-week training program.
They were matched-pair assigned to concurrent sprint interval and resistance training or resistance training cohorts after preliminary testing, which consisted of 1-RM back squats, maximal isometric squats, anaerobic power evaluations, and maximal oxygen consumption.
All subjects trained 3 days per week with sprint-interval training occurring at least 4 hours after RT in the CST cohort.
Both CST and RT resulted in significant improvements from baseline (p < 0.05) in the
- 1-rep max back squat (37.5 ± 7.8, 40.0 ± 9.8 kg)
- Maximal isometric force (55.7 ± 51.3, 53.7 ± 36.7 kg)
- Average peak anaerobic power testing (7.4 ± 6.2, 7.6 ± 6.4)
- Treadmill velocity, resulting in maximal oxygen consumption (1.8 ± 0.6, 0.8 ± 0.6 km/h)
Only the treadmill velocity demonstrated greater improvement after concurrent sprint interval and resistance training compared to resistance training only (p , 0.01).
Rate of force development was not altered in either group.
These results provide no evidence that concurrent sprint interval and resistance training interferes with certain metrics when compared to resistance training only.
Unsurprisingly, adding sprints into your resistance training improves your peak treadmill velocity and VO2max.
How these result would translate to professional athletes, powerlifters or bodybuilders requires more investigation.
Laird, R. H., Elmer, D. J., & Pascoe, D. D. (2016). Evaluation of Performance Improvements After Either Resistance Training or Sprint Interval–Based Concurrent Training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 30(11), 3057-3065. doi:10.1519/jsc.0000000000001412