Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Conjugate vs Concurrent

            A coach’s choice of training method is crucial for development of an athlete. The conjugate and concurrent are two excellent methods of choice, but both have their advantages for various types of athletes. The two methods are similar when it comes to the strength training side of it, but concurrent has an aerobic portion of endurance training. The conjugate method is for pure raw strength development. If I think of concurrent, I think basketball player. If I think of conjugate, I think of a shot put thrower.
            What is conjugate training? “Conjugate means to join together. To train using multiple methods within one workout, or over the course of one block of workouts (microcycle). Strength, power, hypertrophy, speed and agility can be progressively developed simultaneously in a conjugate multi-method program.”2 The conjugate method is a great method to increase strength and power of an athlete. This method has no cardio involved. Conjugate method focuses on core lifts with special exercises to increase the muscles of the core lift and therefore increase the core lift. “In all sports that involve athleticism (speed, strength, power, agility, mobility) athletes who can produce and reduce high force at high speed are at an advantage.”2 A shot put thrower would benefit from this method because of their task to move the shot put at a high force and speed.
            The concurrent method scares a lot of people, including myself with the endurance training portion. Why is endurance training incorporated into this method? “It has been observed on many occasions that performing both resistance-training and aerobic exercise concurrently in a training program appears to lead to inferior gains in most if not all of the main resistance-training adaptations in comparison with a program comprising solely resistance-training.”1 If the endurance training aerobic exercise is low-impact, such as cycling, gains will not be jeopardized. To my understanding, this method can be used by coaches with simple changes depending on the sport of the athlete. As a coach, you wouldn’t want a football player doing much endurance training. The average length of a football play is 6 to 7 seconds, so there is no need to run much over 30 seconds. The cardio portion of the concurrent method can be altered to fit an athlete’s needs, such as adding in an anaerobic interval run for football players instead of endurance.
            In conclusion, when used correctly for the right sport, these methods can maximize targeted athleticism. Athletes have been able to use these methods efficiently over the last few years. By testing these methods yourself, you can add the things you like with exercises you need for the particular sport. Don’t get complacent staying within the guidelines of the conjugate and concurrent method. Branch out and do what works for you.

1Mikkola. "Should We Avoid Concurrent Training to Maximize ..." N.p., 15 June 2012. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
2Werner, G. (n.d.). Conjugate Strength Training For Athletic Performance. Retrieved October 27, 2016, from

1 comment:

  1. I disagree with what you stated about the concurrent method. I know that people say that 'gains are inferior' when you add in aerobic endurance training to a resistance training program, but what exactly are these gains? For instance a gain could just be an increase in muscle and fat mass with just a resistance training program, whereas with an increase in aerobic training that fat mass might be less. Also, saying that a football player should not do endurance training borders on idiotic. Sure a play only lasts a few seconds but there are also four quarters in a game that last 15 minutes. That means at a minimum there is an hour of play.