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What is it? Maximising strength and endurance at the same time.

Very few sports use only endurance or strength. Practically all sports require some combination of endurance and strength and this is definitely the case for motorsport. Endurance and strength can be developed simultaneously to some degree, but the development of a high level of endurance can prohibit the development or maintenance of muscle mass and strength.

So, what are the strategies to be aware of in order to develop both strength and endurance simultaneously?

  1. High intensity endurance sessions should be performed early in the day. Then a period of recovery of at least 3 hours should be given before resistance training. This is to minimise the molecular interference effect or concurrent training effect which can occur. This can be down to several factors e.g. carbohydrate depletion or muscular fatigue leading to decreased force production, so less effective strength training sessions and less anabolic response.

  2. Resistance exercise should be followed by protein intake as soon as possible after training to maximise muscle-protein synthesis. As resistance training is being completed later in the day it becomes more important to also consume protein prior to sleep to maximise this muscle-protein synthesis overnight.

  3. Fully refuel between the morning high intensity endurance training session and the afternoon strength training session. The endurance session will have depleted some carbohydrate stores, so it is important to eat a balance of carbohydrate, fats and proteins in your recovery meal.

  4. If you have to combine your session – consider doing low intensity endurance training followed by resistance training – this has shown to have the most benefit on endurance.

It is important to note that the above is an ideal for a long-term structured training programme. Obviously, there will be busy periods in your schedule where it may not be possible to perform 2 separate training sessions in one day and you will have to combine your endurance and strength training into 1 session. When this happens then the best way forwards is to perform whichever is your main goal first as then you can put the most of your energy into it. If your strength session is lower body, then it may make more sense to do the resistance training first – as the endurance training will always inhibit the lower body more than the upper body (running/cycling).

If you don’t have a priority then I recommend to do which type of training you least like first, then you don’t have the option of getting half way through the session and leaving the bit you don’t like out!


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