March 21, 2023 3 min read

When it comes to fitness training, everyone wants to maximize their results. However, it's important to understand that not all types of exercise have the same impact on the body. In fact, there is a phenomenon known as the "interference effect" that can affect the results you see from your workouts.

What is The Interference Effect?

The interference effect is a phenomenon in which different types of exercise training can interfere with each other, leading to a reduction in performance or progress in one or both forms of exercise. Specifically, resistance training (lifting weights) and endurance training (cardio) are known to interfere with each other, meaning that performing both types of exercise in the same training program can negatively affect your results.

One possible explanation for the interference effect is that resistance training and endurance training use different metabolic pathways in the body. Resistance training primarily uses the anaerobic energy system, which relies on stored energy in the muscles, while endurance training primarily uses the aerobic energy system, which relies on oxygen and glucose from the bloodstream.

Research has shown that when the two types of exercise are performed together, there can be a competition for energy resources within the body. This competition can lead to a decrease in the amount of energy available for each type of exercise, which can result in a reduction in performance or progress in one or both forms of exercise.

Additionally, there may be hormonal changes in the body that occur with different types of exercise that can affect muscle growth and recovery. For example, endurance training can lead to an increase in the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that can break down muscle tissue and interfere with muscle growth. Resistance training, on the other hand, can lead to an increase in the production of testosterone, a hormone that promotes muscle growth.

Overall, the interference effect is a complex phenomenon that involves multiple physiological pathways in the body. To avoid the interference effect, it's important to prioritize one type of exercise at a time and give your body enough time to recover between workouts.

 

Why Does the Interference Effect Happen?

There are a few reasons why the interference effect occurs. One is that resistance training and endurance training use different energy systems in the body. Resistance training primarily uses the anaerobic energy system, which relies on stored energy in the muscles, while endurance training primarily uses the aerobic energy system, which relies on oxygen and glucose from the bloodstream.

When you perform both types of exercise in the same training program, your body may not have enough time to recover between workouts, leading to a decrease in performance or progress in one or both forms of exercise. Additionally, there may be hormonal changes in the body that occur with different types of exercise that can affect muscle growth and recovery.

How to Avoid the Interference Effect

To avoid the interference effect, it's best to focus on one type of exercise at a time. For example, if your goal is to build muscle, prioritize resistance training and limit your endurance training. If your goal is to improve your cardiovascular fitness, prioritize endurance training and limit your resistance training.

Another way to avoid the interference effect is to separate your workouts. For example, you could perform your resistance training workouts in the morning and your endurance training workouts in the evening, or you could alternate between the two types of exercise on different days.

Conclusion

The interference effect is a real phenomenon that can affect your results in fitness training. To maximize your progress, it's important to prioritize one type of exercise at a time and give your body enough time to recover between workouts. By understanding the interference effect, you can create a training program that is tailored to your goals and helps you see the results you want.

Brad Becca
Brad Becca


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