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Balancing Conditioning with Strength Training


Howdy folks!

Many people try to balance their conditioning with weight lifting. Surprisingly, I haven't seen much discussion about the concurrent training effect. For those not familiar, it is the result when you train lifting at the same time as running, cycling, swimming, rowing etc. Various studies show that concurrent training can have a negative effect on size and strength gains, or on conditioning gains, or on both.

I've found a few articles..

Some suggest that the concurrent training effect is the result of either A) the body only being able to adapt to one stress at a time, B) the body being too tired to effectively stress the muscles into adaptation for both systems

Experience? Thoughts? GIFs?



I'm 5'6, 150lbs. Up until around age 33, most of my exercise was running (3 miles or less) but I was good about doing my pushups and squats. I wasn't a "runner" as much as I was better at moving my body than moving weight.

I'm 35 now, and have been barbell training for a little over 2 years. I do the main powerlifts, mostly. I stick to 5x5 with 65-75% or 3x3 with 75% or more, and probably train with weights about 3-5 times a week.

I still don't run more than 3 miles. It's winter, so I've backed of running and opted to do a lot of hiking with weighted packs. Last year, I started wearing weight vests on my runs.

I do a lot of outdoor sports, so I found that if I do too much in training that's less I have for sports.

So, for me, it's more like "basic" conditioning matched with "basic" weight training. I feel like if I lean too far in one direction, the other will suffer. So, it's 50/50 split...but probably more towards muscular endurance than maximal strength.


What are you trying to accomplish with your conditioning? With your strength training?

This guy does a good job of being conditioned, while being strong. http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_log/alphas_work_3


Check the net for Alex Viada. He's a strong man power lifter who do ultra marathon too, so I guess he's a good lead.

I my self am not as strong nor conditioned as he, but still doing good. I'm 5'6 feet tall and 167.5 pounds, and I'm a couple of pounds short to 1000 in the 3 big lift total. I run obstacle courses too, from 5 k to more than half marathon in ski slopes and all. I always have both conditionning and strenght in mind as objectives, but a specialize more or less on one or the other depending of the season.

In january and february for exemple that's when I do the less conditionning, cause I'm doing more volume on weight training, doing strenght with hypertrophy second. Conditionning consist of playing ultimate frisbee 2 X a week, walking an 1 h with weight 5 X a week and snowboarding. In march I'll start doing strenght circuit to ramp up the conditionning a bit and hoping for some fat loss effect. half april the same.

then after that it's strenght maintain by doing only 2 lifts a day at morning, adding a tabatha swing or somethin'. mid day is running, most days, differently - full long slow, intervals, short and fast, hill or stair sprints, etc. As summer goes and the races are going to an end, I like working on skills outside (human flag, muscle ups...) then it's autumn, witch is strenght training like 5-3-1 templates 4 X a week and conditionning still 3 X a week on mid day.





I was saying, I do outdoor sports (trail runing, hiking/peak-bagging, climbing, etc.). It's winter, and I'm climbing ice. Been an ice/rock climber for 5 years now and I continue to push into harder territory with harder climbing. Long approaches (up to one hour) on steep, rocky, icey terrain carrying a loaded pack (30-40lbs) in freezing temps. Feels like you've done 1000 lunges, squats, and bear crawls by the time you finish. Then, a few hours of climbing (swinging, kicking, pulling body weight) followed by the hike out all over agin. Definitely need endurance and definitely need strength - 50/50 balance.


Its not that difficult to do assuming you stay up on your recovery. I rock climb (indoors or out) 4-5 days every week, lift 3-4, hike, snowboard, occasionally do trail running, peak bagging, etc.


My motivation to train and my training specificity (for right now) is for a hard day of ice climbing that includes a streneous hike there, and back. I've been pushing loaded movement endurance...stair climbs wearing a pack, lunges while wearing a pack, squats while wearing a pack, bear crawls while wearing a pack. High reps and a steady pace to mimic those suck-ass approaches.

Upper body endurance - because climbing with tools in your hands is a lot different than climbing rocks. Pistol Grip Pull-Ups, lots of dead hangs and leg raises. Anything that resembles the primary movements and just build the endurance to keep doing them over and over. I agree, anyone "fit" could do this, but I'm trying to do it better or better than I have before. I really enjoy it, for the short window it's available. So, anything I can do to prepare myself or stay up on my conditioning to make a hard day as easy as possible.


Where do you climb? What grade? Trad, sport? Love talking to other climbers. I'm in the Northeast, 5.5 trad lead (bad lead head) follow up to 5.10, almost no sport routes out here, WI3 lead (better ice lead, don't ask) follow WI4/5.


I live in Boulder but have climbed all over the country, in 23 states. Mostly sport, followed by bouldering, then trad. Hardest sport is 5.12d, boulder V8, Trad 5.11a. I need to work on trad more.....haha. Never done ice, although one of these days I am going to get out to Ouray. My fav place ever is the Red River Gorge, I have probably 150+ days climbing there in the last few yrs.


I'm in the Northeast. Not a lot of bolts. Never climbed out west. Would love to visit CO. I mostly climb in upstate NY. Gunks, rock. Catskills/Daks, ice. Jersey and PA have a lot of single-pitch crags, so it's hard to get in quality climbing without taking a 3 hour plus drive. I'm sure you can probably throw a rock and hit something worth climbing in CO.