Does cardio effect strength gains?

If your goal is to maximize strength gains, ideally you’d avoid cardio (regardless of intensity) altogether. However, if you need to add conditioning work into your program, it seems that high and low intensity conditioning work have similar negative effects on strength gains (you’ll still gain strength, but those gains will be smaller).

For hypertrophy, however, HIIT seems to be a better option than LISS, provided you can adequately recover from it. Overall, the results of this meta-analysis are in line with a prior meta-analysis examining concurrent training with lower intensity cardio.

If you add conditioning work into your training, try to separate lifting and conditioning sessions by at least 6 hours. If you can do your conditioning and lifting on different days, that’s even better.


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Sabag et al. The compatibility of concurrent high intensity interval training and resistance training for muscular strength and hypertrophy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1464636.


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