What it is
Concurrent training is when you combine both strength and endurance training either to try and burn extra fat or in the hope that you will see both power and endurance gains. With all the extra effort being put in what can you expect ? Will training this way boost power and endurance or is it actually detrimental to your training goals ?
A recent study in the US found that gains in strength and hypertrophy (muscle growth) were significantly less when combining strength and endurance training than performing strength training alone. You’re less likely to make significant gains in power by including endurance training rather than only doing strength training.
It is not all bad news if you are using concurrent training though. The group that performed strength and endurance training saw the largest decreases in body fat. This decrease was linked to the intensity of the endurance training done.
It is important to note that the study showed that while power and strength gains were hindered by including endurance training, the type of activity undertaken also made a difference. It was found that cycling with strength training did not hinder power development as much as running.
The study concluded that long duration, low intensity cardio stifles potential gains in power, strength and hypertrophy.
For this session you need just two things a kettlebell (no more than 16kg is necessary) and a whole lot of effort. Kettlebell workouts are hardcore and you can gain pro levels of strength, power and conditioning using just this one piece of gym kit.
Kettlebells all about the range of motion they allow and the number of different moves that are available. Combine them into a circuit as shown below and you’ll burn hundreds of calories in about the time it takes to watch an episode of The Simpsons.
Start a stopwatch and keep doing the circuit until the 30 minutes is up. Limit the time between sets to as little as possible. Aim for 30-60 seconds only.
10 x Two handed kettlebell swings
Begin in a lowered squat position, standing with your feet 6–12 inches outside of shoulder width on either side. Keep your shoulders back. Brushing your arms on your inner thighs, forcefully extend the knees and hips to accelerate the kettlebell up. Keep your arms straight and swing the kettlebell up and away from the body. At the top position, the kettlebell should be nearly straight above your head and slightly facing slightly forward. Absorb the kettlebell weight as it swings back to the starting position. Make sure to keep your arms straight the entire time. Repeat. Grimace.
10 x Push ups
10 x Goblet squats
Hold the kettlebell in two hands. Squat down keeping your head up and back straight. Pause at the bottom and use your elbows to push your knees out. Return to the standing position.
10 x Diamond push up
Adopt a press up position but with a diamond shaped hand position so thumbs and index fingers touch. Complete the reps for diamond hard triceps.
10 x Kettlebell deadlifts
Position the kettlebell between your legs no further forward than your big toe. Lower to grab the handle of the kettlebell. When you lift use your legs and hips rather than your back. Make sure that all movement is performed slowly and in a controlled manner. As you stand thrust hips forward whilst facing forward. Once standing reverse the move. Tired yet ?
10 x Lunges
Do bodyweight lunges only.
10 x Kettlebell clean and jerk
Hold a kettlebell by the handle. Clean the kettlebell to your shoulder by extending through the legs and hips as you pull the kettlebell towards your shoulder. Rotate your wrist as you do this, so that the palm faces forward. Bend at the knees, keeping your torso upright. Then drive powerfully through the heels. As you do so, press the kettlebell overhead to lockout by extending the arms, using your body’s momentum. Receive the weight overhead by returning to a squat position underneath the weight. Keeping the weight overhead, return to a standing position. Lower the weight to the floor to perform the next repetition.
10 x Bicycle
Lie down with knees bent and hands behind the head. With the knees in toward the chest, bring the right elbow towards the left knee as the right leg straightens. Continue alternating sides like your pedalling. Lycra is optional.
The pay off
In only 30 minutes you have torched hundreds of calories hitting all major muscle groups. Relax. You’ve earned it.
BCAA supplements are huge sellers (branched chain amino acids), because they generally contain the 3 amino acids most important for manufacture, maintenance and repair of muscle tissue. As BCAA’s help promote recovery and growth their use is widespread.
Ever taken a pre workout and had an itchy or tingly sensation ? Blame beta alanine. Aside from your weird itchy face though, why is it often added to pre workouts ? Its because there is much research on its benefits for endurance, particularly exercise over 60 seconds long. Alongside creatine it is now one of the most documented ingredients. Oh and in case you’re wondering the itchy / tingly / flushed face is called paresthesia, and is harmless. It is more likely if you take something with beta alanine on an empty stomach, so if you’re not a fan of this feeling, try eating first.
Simply put it’s the most cost effective supplement for muscle mass and strength gains. There is loads of positive research on creatine monohydrate, so if you’re looking to gain muscle then its worth a go.
There has been a lot of talk around Vitamin D recently. It maintains strong bones, helps with muscle health, and has a host of other beneficial reasons to take it. Its known as the sunshine vitamin, and its produced when out in the sun. For those of us who go many, many months without a glimpse of the yellow sphere, supplementing could be a good option.
Pre workouts, carbohydrates and amino acids are regularly used to help endurance during sports or workouts
The market for magic, fat burning capsules is enormous and growing all the time. So what’s the best fat burner available ? Easy. It’s diet and exercise. No question. Sorry. The magic pill just doesn’t exist. Fat burning products can help shed the last few pounds, but should in no way be used to replace good nutrition, and exercise. Caffeine is the most widely researched ingredient which has been shown to increase fat loss.
Research has shown Glutamine to have anti-catabolic properties, which is to say that it can help to reduce the breakdown of muscle. Widely used by bodybuilders for this reason.
Not a great deal of research, but some positive suggestions that it helps decrease muscle breakdown, and could be particularly useful when cutting calories but wanting to maintain muscle
A high carb drink to help you power you through workouts. Everyone has lacked energy in the gym at some point, and intra drinks can help you maintain energy levels.
Nothing to do with Bob Marley, Glucosamine and Chondroitin are the two main ingredients in most joint support supplements. They can help repair cartilage is the claim. Evidence at the moment is not huge.
Associated with cardiovascular health as it’s associated with inhibiting arterial calcification and stiffening.
A fat burner, and performance enhancer in one, its been used for years, and can help with endurance.
An important part of ZMA, and can aid with better sleep.
NO may prove useful when using weights as it can increase blood flow in the body. If you’ve heard people talking about pumps (increased blood flow to your muscles), then NO is a supplement used for this.
An excellent all rounder, as many people don’t get enough from their diet. Omega 3 can help with fat loss, improved brain function, and inflammation amongst other things.
Whey ? Casein ? Isolate ? There are million types of protein available now. What is known for sure, is that protein is needed for muscle growth and recovery. Whey protein is easily digested and the most widely used, and can be helpful to people involved in most sports. Casein is a slower digested process, and is often taken at night to feed your muscles as you sleep. Isolate is the form of protein with the highest percentage of pure protein, so is considering the premium whey protein supplement.
Pay attention to your supplements. Read the ingredients. Look out for dubious products you have not heard of, and you can find no information on.
Ready to drink supplements are becoming more popular and have appeared in many supermarkets now offering a quick fix of protein in an easy to drink bottle.
Reading this article could leave you a bit confused, so if you want any advice on specific supplements then get in touch with React Nutrition, and we’ll be happy to help.
Herbal ingredients aimed at boosting testosterone. ZMA was shown to increase testosterone in a study (see ZMA). Scientific research is not wide, so if looking for your first supplements then stick with the basics.
Not a supplement, but a nice word to shove in this guide. Could be used to describe sports nutrition products as you can now see them everywhere. They aren’t just for athletes, or the guy with the stripey trousers and oversized arms in your gym.
A good multi vitamin is as popular as ever, helping to give a range of vitamins and minerals you may not get from food alone.
Usually a high carb, high protein mix, with serious calories to help you put on a few pounds. Best used in conjunction with a gym!
A musical instrument. Not a supplement. Don’t ingest.
A very popular ingredient in fat burners in the US, but not widely available in the UK as there are stipulations surrounding selling it.
Its zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. Used at night to aid sleep quality, which in turn helps muscle recovery after tough workouts.