Preprint / Version 2

An updated systematic review and meta-analysis on the compatibility of concurrent aerobic and strength training for skeletal muscle size and function


  • Moritz Schumann
  • Joshua F Feuerbacher
  • Marvin Sünkeler
  • Nils Freitag
  • Bent R Rønnestad
  • Kenji Doma
  • Tommy Lundberg



body composition, endurance, interference effect, muscle physiology


  Objective   This systematic review assessed the compatibility of concurrent aerobic and strength training compared to sole strength training regarding adaptations in muscle function (maximal and explosive strength) and muscle mass. Subgroup analyses were conducted to examine the impact of training modality, exercise type, exercise order, training frequency, age, and training status.   Design   A systematic literature search was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). PROSPERO: CRD42020203777 Data sources PubMed/MEDLINE, ISI Web of Science, Embase, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus and Scopus were systematically searched (12th of August 2020, updated on the 15th of March 2021).   Eligibility criteria   Population: Healthy adults of any sex and age; Intervention: Supervised, concurrent aerobic and strength training of at least 4 weeks; Comparison: Sole strength training with matched strength training volume; Outcome: maximal strength, explosive strength and muscle hypertrophy.   Results   A total of 43 studies were included. The estimated average standardised mean differences (SMD) based on the random-effects model were -0.06 (95% CI: -0.20, 0.09, p=0.446), -0.28 (95% CI: -0.48, - 0.08, p=0.007) and -0.01 (95% CI: -0.16, 0.18, p=0.919) for maximal strength, explosive strength and muscle hypertrophy, respectively. The attenuation in explosive strength was more pronounced when concurrent training was performed within the same session (p=0.043) compared with separating the sessions by at least 3 h (p>0.05).   Summary/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 within the same session.


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2021-11-02 — Updated on 2021-05-18