What Should Come First, Strength Training or Aerobic Training Revisited?

img_0676As a trainer I focus on putting clients into the best position to benefit from their training. I do not have one cookie cutter, one size fits all program for everyone. Many factors are taken into account such as how many days per week they train, what times they can train, do they have injuries, what goals do they have…I could go on forever.

I also factor in other physical activities (running/biking) and have to also balance their goals and schedule, along with the importance of keeping up their strength training. One of my first posts I wrote for my blog discussed the importance of breaking up your strength training and aerobic training. http://www.on-your-marc.com/what-should-come-first-strength-training-or-aerobic-training/

Just yesterday I came across yet another study that aimed to see what is best to perform, strength training or aerobic training. This study was published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Fulltext/2016/10000/Acute_Resistance_Exercise_Performance_Is.1.aspx# I find this latest research very important not just for clients but for myself. With a busy schedule I find that on Mondays I have to do a strength training session and then later in the day an aerobic session of intervals or something similar or I just cannot fit enough quality miles into my week. The same goes for clients. Some of them are forced to run and strength train on the same days due to the how busy their schedules can be especially as the week goes on and any possible weekend plans.

So what is the best way to maximize the benefits of both strength and endurance training? According to the study it suggests that you might benefit more by performing your strength training followed by aerobic training later as the earlier aerobic negatively impacts your strength training gains. The study also mentions that it may be that lower body exercises could be more adversely affected than upper body exercises, but you could still benefit from the break in training of the two different exercise methodologies.

This latest exercise science research confirms to me that I should and will continue to train the way I have been. I will also continue training my endurance clients similarly.  With strength training taking place prior to any endurance training, and as with the first study I linked to my blog post from March, preferably with as much as six hours between strength training sessions and endurance training if possible to allow for the most recovery. However the order of your training should be dictated by what your goal is. So if strength and power is your goal then as concluded in the study it should be done first. If endurance training is your goal then train in that mode first.

Happy running!