There are some people who works out to look good, to stay fit, and to live healthy. But there are others who want to conquer the athletic world, hoping to be the strongest, fastest, or the most durable (or all of the above) among the pack. And there are also a few who aspire to become professional athletes one day, and improving all aspects of physical fitness is their ticket to glory.

Everyone is aware that, to be the ultimate athlete, you must possess basic physical fitness qualities such as strength, speed and stamina. Speaking of which, there are two methods of training that stand out for both casual and hardcore home gym rats. These are strength training and endurance training. There are other ways to improve speed and quickness, but that deserves an article of its own. And like I said, both strength and endurance training are two of the most popular workouts in the world.

Strength training, resistance training, or weight training, are all modes of exercises with the use of resistance through weights to contract muscle and build strength and size. Strength training is a type of anaerobic exercise, a method that does not rely heavy on the cardiovascular aspect. Strength training and other forms of resistance training develop fast twitch muscles. Practitioners of strength training usually perform heavier lifts with lesser repetitions, with the objective of trying to surpass the previous weight on how much they can lift, in order for them to gain size. Common exercises for strength training are bench press, military press, squat, deadlift, bicep curl, dumbbell raises, and bodyweight exercises. For those who are into strength training, their motto is “the bigger, the better”.

On the other hand, endurance training is a form of exercise to increase and improve both stamina and endurance. To differentiate the two, stamina is working at a same pace for an extended period of time, while endurance is simply working as long as you can, regardless of pace. With that being said, endurance training focuses on developing slow twitch muscles. As you train longer, your muscles elongate to prepare for extended periods. Not only do your muscles become leaner, but you burn more body fat and calories in the process due to the grueling process of cardiovascular exercises. Usual training exercises to develop endurance are cardio exercises, such as running long distances, biking, swimming for laps, and even combat sport training like boxing and mixed martial arts. Advocates of endurance training live by the words, “the longer you go, the better you are.”

Your muscles get jacked with strength training, while you lose fat with endurance training. The former makes you strong and powerful, while the latter keeps you active longer. If you’re a serious athlete, it’s no secret you want to attain both, but it’s hard to decide which one you would like to do first.

Enter concurrent training. Wait… what?

Concurrent training is training for both strength and endurance, in an effort to achieve the ultimate physical fitness and optimum athletic performance on both aspects of training. Unlike CrossFit training, where you work your way with power by using technique and explosiveness, and endurance by transitioning thru exercise stations without rest, concurrent training retains the basic aspect of both strength and endurance. In short, you incorporate endurance exercises with your weight training program, or the other way around, by adding strength exercises to your usual endurance training.

By using other training methods, it would be more difficult to track down your progress since you could record the time of each exercise, or count the number of reps that you can handle, but not being able to mark down and improve the amount of weight that you could carry. While you gain endurance, your strength usually plateaus when you concentrate on methods like this.

With concurrent training, you don’t sacrifice your time by trying too much on doing both at the same time. By doing your usual weight training workout, you’ll still be able to measure your progress and lifts. Do your usual sets and reps, and record all the weight that you’ve lifted in your workout journal or an online exercise tracker, if you opt for the modern approach. After finishing your routine, you may proceed to training for stamina by running outdoors, and take note of how long and far you’ve ran for the day.

The only risk on concurrent training is that you might have the tendency to overtrain yourself. It’s like doing two different workout sessions in one day. To avoid overtraining, focus on larger muscles in strength training, like the lower pecs, traps, and lats, since the smaller functioning muscles will be developed as you proceed with endurance workouts. Also, instead of doing the usual 3 sets of 10 reps, try doing lesser reps with the same number of reps (or perhaps one more). Lifting lesser reps means heavier weight, and it gives you more energy for your cardio exercises that succeeds weight training.

To illustrate to you on what concurrent training is, we will be showing you a sample concurrent training routine for beginners. We’ll be providing you with a whole body program for both strength and endurance that you can perform every other day.

Here’s a closer look at a basic concurrent training program for beginners:

Strength Phase
(2 minute rest between sets):

* Deadlifts (3 x 5 reps)
* Squat (3 x 5 reps)
* Bench Press (3 x 5 reps)
* Clean and Press (3 x 5 reps)
* Dumbbell Row (2 x 10 reps)
* Side Lateral Raise (2 x 10 reps)
* Dumbbell Tricep Extension (2 x 10 reps)
* Bicep Curl (2 x 10 reps)

Endurance Phase
(1 giant set, done continuously with no rest between exercises):

* Push-ups (10-15 reps)
* Pull-ups (10-15 reps)
* Dips (10-15 reps)
* Chin-ups (10-15 reps)
* Sit-ups (20-25 reps)
* Leg Raise (20-25 reps)
* Burpees (failure reps)
* Outdoor run (try to run beyond your previous time)

After one set on the endurance phase, you can opt to rest for 3-5 minutes, if you choose to go for another round. You can also incorporate other sports like basketball, boxing or swimming instead of outdoor running for your cardio workout after your strength phase, to improve every aspect of your favorite sport.

So there you have it! Train for strength and stamina, and make it easier for you to improve on both. It works for me, and I bet it will work for all of you. As they say, only the strong, with tremendous cardio, are important keys to both sports and survival.

Author's Bio: 

Ian Lauer is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. His background in personal training made him an expert in providing countless of valuable advice and a proud member of Team Powertec. Powertec is the pioneer and leader in the area of strength equipment. Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, Powertec produces a full line of strength equipment for home and light commercial purposes. Our brand is highly sought after by the educated buyer looking for weight capacity maximization without sacrificing safety, customization of their Workbench home gyms through extensive accessory modularization, and commercial gym quality at home gym prices. Visit our website at or our online magazine at for more fitness advice.