Q+A: Do Concurrent Training And Weightlifting Produce Similar Strength Gains In Women?

Q+A: Studies on Women and Resistance Training

by TONY NUÑEZ, PHD

Q: DO CONCURRENT TRAINING AND WEIGHTLIFTING PRODUCE SIMILAR STRENGTH GAINS IN WOMEN?

A: Clients often prefer the variety of concurrent training—which combines aerobic and resistance exercises—over strength training on its own. The most popular concurrent training places high-intensity intervals before resistance exercises. The question is whether concurrent-style exercisers see the same strength gains as those who do resistance training alone.

In a 2017 study, researchers worked with 16 women (aged 26–40) split into two groups: concurrent training and resistance training alone. Both groups performed the same resistance training sessions (a full-body superset of two exercises performed back to back using opposing muscle groups). The concurrent group did high-intensity interval training before their resistance sessions.

Results of the 8-week study suggest that the concurrent and resistance-only groups enjoyed similar strength gains, based on 10-RM testing for biceps curls and leg extensions. More research with different populations and muscle mechanistic analyses is needed to affirm the study’s results.

REFERENCE: Gentil, P., et al. 2017. High intensity interval training does not impair strength gains in response to resistance training in premenopausal women. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 117 (6), 1257–65.

Meet our experts

AFM_Author_Nunez TONY P. NUÑEZ, PHD, is an assistant professor in exercise science at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is an active researcher and presenter in the exercise physiology and fitness field.

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