The Intereference Effect part two

Training order that minimises wasted time

In the last article we talked about the interference effect having an impact on how you plan your training over the short term (microcycle), medium term (mesocycle) and long term (macrocycle).

MICROCYCLE: this can refer to exercises within one session or a split routine over the course of a day. If you want to train strength, power, muscular endurance and aerobic endurance in one session or within different times of the day, then doing so in that order will provide greater stimulus for physiological adaptations to occur.

Conversely, if you were to go for a long run or do a high intensity circuit first and then try to lift heavy weights afterward or later in the same day, your neuro-muscular system will be compromised, your body will be fatigued, your lifting ability reduced and therefore any potential strength adaptations will be negated.

MESOCYCLE: this describes training periods of more than once a week up to about two months. Repeating the same split routine each week for no more than about two months allows you to create great stimulus for change, depending on your goals.  

If you are training multiple times over a couple of weeks it is recommended to do heavy lifting, power work and plyometrics at the start of this cycle, active recovery / mobility mid -cycle and endurance work later in the cycle, allowing a day or two to recover before repeating the process. A strength athlete will bias training towards strength, whereas an endurance athlete will train endurance with greater frequency.

MACROCYCLE: here we are talking about Strength and Conditioning periodisation plans centred around competitions / seasons / championships etc. This could be over the course of a couple of months or up to four years in the case of Olympic athletes.

The basic principle here is working in blocks of weeks or months that might look like this: Strength Phase - Power Phase  - General Preparatory Phase - Sports Specific Phase - In Season Training - Rest Phase.

As a general rule correct strength training will have little interference effect on endurance adaptations, however endurance training can impact strength adaptations greatly.