In many major sporting codes played in Australia; Australian Football, Rugby Union and Rugby League, both the aerobic system and the strength/power systems are required simultaneously. Concurrent training is the specific training of both these two capacities in immediate succession or within 24 hours of recovering from one capacity. Here lies the possible interference effect where the development of one capacity is hindered due to the training of the other capacity.
Research suggests the interference effect is minimal in untrained athletes, whereas in trained athletes the effect is more evident. So why do we experience this interference effect and how do we minimise it?
There are many mechanisms behind the interference effect, namely a negative energy balance (more energy expended than available), high training workloads (training both aerobic system and strength system) and residual fatigue (fatigue accumulating in muscle groups).
Overcoming the interference effect involves prioritising training goals and careful planning. Train the capacity that is in the most need of attention and then plan the less important training sessions around it. If you absolutely need to perform both capacities in the same training session, aim to start with the strength and power training then finish with the conditioning. This reduces the potential of neural and metabolic fatigue.
Director of Performance