Compatibility of concurrent aerobic and strength training for skeletal muscle size and function: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis

Schumann, Moritz, Feuerbacher, Joshua F., Sünkeler, Marvin, Freitag, Nils, Rønnestad, Bent R., Doma, Kenji, and Lundaberg, Tommy R. (2022) Compatibility of concurrent aerobic and strength training for skeletal muscle size and function: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 52. pp. 601-612.

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Abstract

Background: Both athletes and recreational exercisers often perform relatively high volumes of aerobic and strength training simultaneously. However, the compatibility of these two distinct training modes remains unclear.

Objective: This systematic review assessed the compatibility of concurrent aerobic and strength training compared with strength training alone, in terms of adaptations in muscle function (maximal and explosive strength) and muscle mass. Subgroup analyses were conducted to examine the influence of training modality, training type, exercise order, training frequency, age, and training status.

Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted according to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. PubMed/MEDLINE, ISI Web of Science, Embase, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, and Scopus were systematically searched (12 August 2020, updated on 15 March 2021). Eligibility criteria were as follows. Population: healthy adults of any sex and age; Intervention: supervised concurrent aerobic and strength training for at least 4 weeks; Comparison: identical strength training prescription, with no aerobic training; Outcome: maximal strength, explosive strength, and muscle hypertrophy.

Results: A total of 43 studies were included. The estimated standardised mean differences (SMD) based on the random-effects model were − 0.06 (95% confidence interval [CI] − 0.20 to 0.09; p = 0.446), − 0.28 (95% CI − 0.48 to − 0.08; p = 0.007), and − 0.01 (95% CI − 0.16 to 0.18; p = 0.919) for maximal strength, explosive strength, and muscle hypertrophy, respectively. Attenuation of explosive strength was more pronounced when concurrent training was performed within the same session (p = 0.043) than when sessions were separated by at least 3 h (p > 0.05). No significant effects were found for the other moderators, i.e. type of aerobic training (cycling vs. running), frequency of concurrent training (> 5 vs. < 5 weekly sessions), training status (untrained vs. active), and mean age ([removed] 40 years).

Conclusion: Concurrent aerobic and strength training does not compromise muscle hypertrophy and maximal strength development. However, explosive strength gains may be attenuated, especially when aerobic and strength training are performed in the same session. These results appeared to be independent of the type of aerobic training, frequency of concurrent training, training status, and age.

Item ID: 71546
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1179-2035
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2022 02:01
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420702 Exercise physiology @ 30%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420799 Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified @ 70%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2099 Other health > 209999 Other health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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