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National Strength & Conditioning Association Volume 22, Number 4, pages 3536

Combining Strength and Endurance Training


Patrick S. Hagerman, MS, CSCS, *D, NSCA-CPT, *D Quest Personal Training, Inc. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Patrick S. Hagerman Guest Column Editor

THE STRENGTH AND CONDItioning eld is full of contradictory opinions concerning training methods. The idea of combining strength and endurance training into one program has been the focus of much research. Time for exercise is always at a premium for the nonathletes that we train. With such limited time, we need to provide training programs that ll all of the clients needs as efficiently and effectively as possible. Research into combining strength and endurance training has not presented a clear conclusion on how to achieve this goal. Some of the research shows that combining training styles results in either a reduction in strength gains or a reduction in endurance gains compared with training for each separately. Bell et al. (1) reported that strength gains during concurrent training leveled off during the nal 3 weeks of a 12-week program, whereas the strength trainingonly group continued to improve throughout the entire 12 weeks. In contrast, Nelson et al. (2) found that Vo2max was increased in both endurancetrained and concurrent endurance- and strength-trained

groups, but the increase in Vo2max of the concurrent group leveled off after 11 weeks of the 20-week study, whereas the endurance-only group continued to increase Vo2max. Still other research by Sale et al. (3) found that you could combine strength and endurance training styles and improve on both scales. The most common method of combining strength and endurance training into a single workout is circuit training. A typical circuit training workout involves moving between a resistance exercise and a cardiovascular exercise every minute. For instance, you would perform 1 minute of chest presses followed by 1 minute of jogging, then 1 minute of leg curls followed by 1 minute of jumping jacks, continu-

In order to increase endurance, the amount of oxygen taken in and . used ( Vo2max) had to increase,

ing in this fashion for a specied amount of time. The idea was to increase your heart rate into your target training zone, effectively burning calories by keeping your heart rate up and increasing strength by covering several sets of different exercises. Unfortunately, what was found after circuit training was popularized was that increasing heart rate was not the major factor that determined increased endurance. In order to increase endurance, the amount of oxygen taken in and used (Vo2max) had to increase, which was not happening. Also, performing a resistance exercise for 1 complete minute required a very submaximal intensity that did little to increase strength. People did improve their tness, but the amount of strength they gained was less than a typical resistance program, and the amount of endurance they gained was less than a typical cardiovascular program. A little manipulation of the typical circuit training method can solve these problems and give your clients the ability to reach all of their goals. This adjusted method involves combining circuit

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Table 1 Example 45-minute Workout 5 minutes stationary bike (increasing intensity each minute) 1 set each (in order): Chest press, leg press, lat pulldown, hamstring curl, bicep curl, tricep press, crunches, leg extension, shoulder press, calf raises, seated row 5 minutes Stairmaster 1 set each (in order): Crunches, lunges, bench press, bicep curl, calf raises, lat pulldown, tricep press, squat, seated row, leg extension 5 minutes rowing 1 set each (in order): Chest press, hamstring curl, tricep press, leg extension, bicep curl, calf raises, shoulder press, squat, lat pulldown, crunches 5 minutes treadmill 5 minutes cooldown (any cardio machine)

several sets of one exercise, move from exercise to exercise and keep your heart rate up. You can alternate upper- and lower-body exercises or alternately work opposing muscle groups so that one muscle group is always resting. Now you have the ability to increase the intensity of each resistance exercise to a level that will produce gains in strength. The cardiovascular system will also be trained because completing 57 minutes of an exercise allows you to move out of an anaerobic state and into an aerobic state and thus burn more calories. Your clients will achieve more in a small amount of time and will reach both their strength and endurance goals. An example 45-minute workout is shown (Table 1). v

s References
1. Bell, G.J., S.R. Petersen, J. Wessel, K. Bagnall, and H.A. Quinney. Physiological adaptations to concurrent endurance training and low-velocity resistance training. Int. J. Sports Med. 12:384390. 1991. 2. Nelson, A.G., D.A. Arnall, S.F. Loy, L.J. Silvester, and R.K. Conlee. Consequences of combining strength and endurance training regimens. Phys. Ther. 70:287 294. 1990. 3. Sale, D.G., J.D. MacDougall, I. Jacobs, and S. Garner. Interaction between concurrent strength and endurance training. J. Appl. Physiol. 68:260270. 1990.

training with interval training. You should have the client perform one set of 1012 different resistance exercises followed by 57 minutes of a cardiovascular exercise. Repeat this process over 4560 minutes of time and you will have completed 34 sets of each resistance exercise and 2025 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. The key here is to keep moving. Instead of resting between

Patrick S. Hagerman, MS, CSCS, *D, NSCA-CPT, *D, is with Quest Personal Training, Inc., in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

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Strength and Conditioning Journal

August 2000

Strength and Conditioning Journal Review Board


Jose Antonio, PhD, CSCS Kris Berg, EdD Tony Caterisano, PhD, CSCS Don Chu, PhD, ATC, CSCS, NSCA-CPT Michael Deschenes, PhD Todd Ellenbecker, PT, CSCS Avery Faigenbaum, EdD, CSCS Vance Ferrigno, CSCS Brian W. Findley, MEd, CSCS John Graham, CSCS Sue Graves, EdD Mike Greenwood, PhD, CSCS Kent Guion, MD Everett Harmon, PhD, CSCS Gary R. Hunter, PhD, CSCS Margaret Jones, PhD, CSCS Douglas Kleiner, PhD, ATC, CSCS William J. Kramer, PhD, CSCS Daniel J. McHugh, MD, CSCS Michael G. Miller, EdD, ATC, CSCS Mike Nitka, CSCS Rob Panariello, PT, CSCS Nick Ratamess, MS, CSCS Michael Reed, DC, CSCS Kristin J. Reimers, MS, RD Raoul Reiser, MA, CSCS Ben Reuter, ATC, CSCS Stuart Rugg, PhD Wade Russell, MS, CSCS George Salem, PhD, CSCS Wally Schoessow, CSCS Gary Shankman, CSCS Nestor Sherman, EdD Meg Stone, PhD, CSCS Michael H. Stone, PhD, CSCS Chistopher Street, MS, CSCS Timothy Uhl, PhD, PT, ATC Norman (Dan) Wathen, MS, ATC, CSCS, NSCA-CPT Ben Yaspelkis, III, PhD

National Strength & Conditioning Association


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President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Immediate Past-President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary-Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Board Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Richard Borden, PhD, PT, CSCS Norman D. (Dan) Wathen, MS, ATC, CSCS, *D; NSCA-CPT, *D John Kordich, CSCS, *D; NSCA-CPT, *D Jaynie Schram, MPH, MS, PT, ATC, CSCS, *D Steven S. Plisk, CSCS J. Henry Drought, MS, CSCS, *D, NSCA-CPT, *D David Pearson, PhD, CSCS, *D

NSCA National Office


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NSCA Certication Commission Executive Council


Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jaynie Schram, MPH, MS, PT, ATC, CSCS, *D Vice Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Al Biancani, EdD, CSCS Members: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marybell Avery, PhD (Public Member) William Holcomb, PhD, ATC, CSCS, *D Donald A. Chu, PhD, ATC, CSCS, *D; NSCA-CPT, *D

NSCA Certication Commission


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NSCA Certication Commission: 1640 L. Street, Suite G Lincoln, NE 68508 Toll Free 1 (888) 746-CERT Phone (402) 476-6669 Fax (402) 476-7141 Web Site: www.nsca-cc.org Fax-on-Demand Hotline (877) 441-CERT (toll free)

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