Concurrent Training Vs. Hybrid Athlete: Whats the difference?

Garage Gym Athlete
Concurrent Training Vs. Hybrid Athlete: Whats the difference?

Hey, Athletes! Concurrent Training Vs. Hybrid Athlete: Whats the difference? Episode of The Garage Gym Athlete Podcast is up!

Concurrent Training Vs. Hybrid Athlete: Whats the difference?


  • Today, Jerred discusses the differences between concurrent training and hybrid athlete
  •  He discusses where he first heard the term hybrid athlete
  •  What a hybrid athlete
  •  How it's not concurrent training
  • And A LOT MORE!!

Diving Deeper…

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To becoming better!

- Jerred

Podcast Transcript

Jerred: Hey, real quick, before we start the podcast, if you have listened to more than one episode. Can you do me a favor and rate and review the show now? I'm not big on asking for favors But we really want to get this podcast listed in the top of all health and fitness podcasts Not just the fitness category this will take you less than a minute and if you could do that that would make us friends forever and since we refuse all Sponsors on the show this will be my only ask rather than telling you to go check out some supplement or product We don't actually believe in like every other podcast out there.

So please rate and review. Okay, that's it to the podcast What's up, ladies and gentlemen, Jared Moon here, and welcome to the Garage Gym Athlete Podcast. Just me today, and I'm going to be talking about concurrent training versus hybrid athlete training, and some of the considerations you want to have if you're going to get into this style of training, or if you're, you are already doing it.

So I definitely pay attention to trends in the industry, and it seems like hybrid athlete, the usage of the word hybrid athlete is making a comeback. Uh, the first time I ever saw it used or heard someone use it, it was actually by Rob Orlando, who was a strongman turned CrossFitter. He had a lot of success in the sport of CrossFit.

And this was back in 2010. 2011 timeframe, and he actually still owns the company hybrid athletics. So he, his usage is a little bit different than maybe how some people are using it today. Today, seeing people seem to be using it with being on the extremes or training strength. And endurance basically, or hypertrophy and endurance is what hybrid athlete is used for.

And this is all I've been doing for, I don't know, last 15 years or so. So I wanted to just talk about some things that you should think about. And I also want to go over briefly right now, like what is the difference between concurrent training and hybrid athlete training? Is there a difference? And technically, no, there is zero difference.

Hybrid athlete. It's really just a term that people are using to give themselves a name, because otherwise you don't have a name. You don't have a name because there's you, you're a runner. If you run, you're a runner. If you do strength training, you're you'd be a strong man. You could be an Olympic power lifter.

You could be a power lifter. You could be whatever it is. You could be a bodybuilder. It all depends on what type of strength training you're doing, but you have a name for yourself, right? If you do CrossFit, you're a CrossFitter. Like, all of these things have a name, but if you're like, Oh yeah, I run fast miles and lift heavy weights.

What are you? You're nothing. Because you didn't quite want to do the CrossFit. You don't quite want to be an endurance athlete. You don't quite want to be a strength athlete. What are you? And so the term hybrid athlete seems to be filling that void for people who don't really have a name for themselves.

But that's about all hybrid athlete training is. It's a name. It's something to call yourself. Concurrent training is the scientific research field. Of everything that I was just mentioning, combining strength and endurance. It started in the 1980s, I think the year 1980. So concurrent training is the science behind everything that we're talking about.

That's why we use the term concurrent training or even concurrent training athlete, just because it's more technically correct. And it's what I've always been looking at in, in the research, because if you go to look at publications, you really want to nerd out on this stuff. And you say, start typing in hybrid athlete.

Like you're not going to find. Really anything, unless some new studies start using that, but you won't find much. If you type in concurrent training in a lot of published research, you're going to find a ton of stuff. And so that's, that's something to note. If you're just wondering, hey, what's the difference?

There's not a huge difference, but concurrent training is the scientific research field. Again, it started... In 1980, the science side of it, and then it's slowly grown and we've learned so much. So the field of concurrent training started in 1980 with a famous Hickson study where he talks about the interference effect, people doing running or cycling versus with weightlifting, all this kind of stuff.

And in the first meta analysis, just a quick refresher, when a field gets enough studies so you can study the studies to see, hey, what are the big takeaways we can get? That's when they start doing a meta analysis and systematic review. The first one of those was not able to be published in concurrent training until 2012.

Okay, so I'd already been doing. Concurrent training for a couple of years at that point before the first meta analysis was even published. So when I was doing this stuff, there wasn't even like science on it when I was trying to combine these two things. So that was in 2012. And then the most recent meta analysis, which was an awesome one was done in 2021 and.

Back in the day, going from 1980, the Hickson study to 2021, the most recent meta analysis, there's just been huge takeaways. Like back then, the research in 1980 was way more, hey, there's this huge interference effect. The interference effect being the fact that if you're doing both of these things, you're not going to see gains in strength or muscle mass, or maybe it'll affect your endurance gains.

That's where the research stud started in 1980. And that's why You have all these bros out there who are still like terrified of losing their gains when they run a mile, right? If they're doing strength training and stuff, they're worried they're going to lose their gains if they are running a mile or three miles or whatever.

They're not going to be as strong, something like that. And it has to do with some research backing that up. And then even into 2012, the interference effects still seem to be like a pretty big thing. But now there's been so many studies, the most recent one in 2021, they're basically saying, hey, The interference effect is not that big of a deal, like at all.

The only, the only time it seems to still be a problem is if you are trying to be an explosive athlete. And I would just say, athlete. Because if you think about it, most athletes are explosive. Like whether you, if you look at Olympic swimmers, or you look at an NFL player, or a MLS player, or an MLB player, or NHL, like any of these like real sports, in which there's an athlete involved.

They are going to be explosive, right? They're going to be very explosive. So in those cases, if you are trying to be an explosive athlete or just an athlete that plays a sport, then yeah, you probably don't want to add 30 miles a week of running to your sport. It's probably not going to be helpful aside from maybe soccer, right?

Like it's not going to be helpful. It's going to make you less explosive and up to the 2021 research. That's the only kind of strength that it seems to affect. Most of us, if you're listening to this, you're not worried about that, right? You're not, you're not waking up today and headed to practice before you have a game this Sunday.

So that's not our lives. So we don't need to care as much about the concurrent training effect. Another thing that was pulled from that 2021 study was the fact that You still do want to try and separate them as much as possible. That's either day to day. So if I'm doing my strength training on Monday, endurance training Tuesday and flipping back and forth, or breaking them up into two different sessions in a day by at least four hours.

So those are still some of the takeaways, but ultimately, if you aren't trying to be an elite endurance athlete or an elite strength training athlete, Then you still don't even need to worry about it that much. You can combine them in the same session and it won't be that big of a deal because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter who you are.

If you're pursuing concurrent training. You already know that you're not going to be the best at anything. You just have to know that you can't point me to a single athlete who's doing hybrid athlete training or concurrent training, who's the best in both worlds, not going to, it will not happen. I'm so confident in that.

I'm not even worried about like someone trying to be like, Oh, what about such and such? I'm talking about. I want you to go be first place at the Boston Marathon, and then I also want you to go win a powerlifting meet. Not going to happen. Or a bodybuilding show and the Boston Marathon. Not going to happen.

It's just not going to happen because once you get to the extremes, you have to dedicate your entire life to that extreme. But if you're a concurrent training, the best you can be is probably in the middle somewhere. And it's still awesome. And I love that. I don't care. I'm not trying to win the Boston Marathon and be the strongest person.

I want to just be a little bit good at everything. And so those are the things that you just have to know. That's where there's concurrent training and hybrid athlete training. But what I am seeing with hybrid athlete training is there's It does seem to be like a new form of specialization. It's technically still concurrent training, but it's, I do feel like it's a less athletic style training.

That's my only probably pushback on how people are doing hybrid athletic, hybrid athlete training right now. It's not that it's not concurrent training. I'm just talking about from my view of programming and like being well rounded. It does seem to be another extreme form of specialization. Like I'm going to build as much muscle as possible while being able to do as much endurance training as possible.

You're really only getting good at two things there. And that means you're going to lose something somewhere. You're like, you're, yeah, you're not going to be as explosive or you're not going to be able to do mixed modality training as well, or. Something's going to be different when you are going for these extremes.

Again, that might not be matter to you, but I'll talk about why that matters to me and has in the past. But first, the second thing I want to talk about before I get into that is just what my journey has been. So I'll briefly go over kind of my training history with. Being a hybrid athlete. I've never really called myself that, but being a concurrent training athlete.

So I started bodybuilding in high school. I was like 145 pounds in the ninth grade. And by the time I left, when I was a senior in high school, I think I had gotten up to 175. And so I gained a good amount of muscle mass, you know, just through training and nutrition. And then in college. I was able to get up to around 205, 210 pounds.

I would say college is where I truly became really got into concurrent training because I started ROTC in college because I knew I wanted to be in the military as an officer specifically. I want to be a pilot. And so I was. It's gonna have to run. I was basically in the military starting in college, and so I was gonna have to run.

And I loved strength training, bodybuilding, and all that stuff, but I was gonna have to add this additional running. I was training with the Air Force five days per week, and we were always running and doing calisthenics, and then I would do my own training separately to try and get bigger and stronger and all that stuff.

So that's really where I become, became maybe like forcefully, it got into concurrent training. But then I started to enjoy it more and I really wanted to see how fast I could get in this shorter duration. I've never really had an interest in longer endurance sports, like a marathon or any of that stuff.

I know I've done some of those things, but that's never really been my interest. I just want to see how fast I could get at the mile and how heavy I could lift. That's why that. Originally, what hurt me was going for the 500 pound back squat and five minute mile in the same day. You know, I got hurt going through that process, but that's, to me, that's like the pinnacle.

I would just love to be able to do that kind of thing. But back then, like I said before, like meta analysis were even being published on this stuff. I had achieved a triple body weight deadlift in a sub six minute mile in the same day. So I was 180 pounds at that time. I pulled 540 and then ran like a 532 or something like that.

So I was already trying to mix these things to the best of my ability with limited, like no one else is doing this. CrossFit was getting really big at the time, but I wasn't like. That's not what I really wanted to do. So for me, it was always like, how fast can I run these shorter durations? The primarily primary reason being is because the air force PT test was 1.

5 mile run, and I could finish the 1. 5 mile run in about nine minutes. And that would max that. And then I would lift. So those are the things that I was doing and how I became like a concurrent training athlete. And then I ended my career in the air force in. Air Force Special Operations Command, and I was doing a lot of the fitness stuff there, and that's where I got interested in being very well rounded.

So going back to, I think, hybrid training athletes right now, it's a new form of specialization. But when you're training special operators, they might need some endurance. And they might need some strength, but they also need to be incredibly well rounded. And that's where I came up with our hard to kill methodology is thinking of that kind of athlete.

Once I really saw what was necessary for them to be able to do and how well rounded they needed to be, that's when I started to develop a lot of the training methodologies and principles that we follow in. training because I felt like the special operator, while a lot of them are super, most every single one of their super elite, they were still something I feel like we could all strive for.

They aren't professional level athletes, but they can swim, they can jump, they can throw, they can run fast. They can lift. Just as much as they need to, they can carry heavy loads for long distances. They can just do everything. And I was like, this is what a human should be in my view, like just good at everything and not specializing too far in any one field.

And I do feel like that's where the hybrid athlete thing is going. It's, I want to be an extreme endurance athlete and an extreme runner or whatever. So I, that's my only. My view on how, how it could be different. So anyway, when, after I got out of the military, that's when I started to, actually I did my marathon.

So let me back up when I was in the military, shortly before I got out, I had done the fast miles and heavy deadlifts, but I wanted to test myself in a longer endurance event. So I did, I did a marathon, untrained marathon on a quarter mile track. And I finished in three 48, three hours, 48 minutes, nothing.

That was not a good time. I'm not even trying to pretend like that's a good time for a marathon. But the fact of the matter is I had trained. Zero for that marathon. I didn't like to run more than three miles. I don't think I had ran more than probably two or three miles for a year leading up to doing that marathon.

And I still went sub four, which I thought was pretty interesting. I felt pretty good at about it at the time, not from a good marathon time, but the fact that I could even do it with just the training that I had been doing, trying to be really well rounded, but what I loved most about doing that marathon training was how much it pushed me mentally.

And that's what I became obsessed with. So when I got out of the military, I started to do more endurance events, not from the stance of, I want to get good at them or I want to be good at them. I was like, I want this to push me mentally. And yeah, I did the a hundred mile bike races. I did the Spartan races, the longer duration, like 13 to 17 mile Spartan races, which are, you know, essentially trail runs, obstacles, all those kinds of things.

And I was doing all of these events just for the mental aspect without even having to train about it. And I talked about that in my last zone two episode. Then I finally was like, Hey, how can I get smarter about this? How can I add in some zone two training, actually get better at the endurance side. Uh, and that's when I started learning about base training and all of those kinds of things.

And that's when I got into those. But cycling became my form of endurance training for several years, probably from 20. 2017 to 2022 ish. I've taken almost a year off the bike now when the bike injury and now I'm getting into running. So now that's where like I pick up to today, I just quickly go over like my training history.

There's bodybuilding, forcibly concurrent training, then started doing some endurance events, but ultimately always trying to be well rounded like. That special operator, the special operators is my goal and what I strive to be like at all times. So now I'm getting into running, but again, I'm not trying to be an endurance athlete.

I'm trying to build my aerobic base because I feel like it sucks right now. So I'm doing a lot of running, but I don't want to say I never say never, but like I have no interest in doing a marathon right now or a half marathon. Even I just, I'm not interested in those things, even though I'm logging a lot of miles.

I'm really just trying to get my run better, specifically to decrease my mild time so I can be better at workouts like Murph. I just feel like that, that's, those are the things that I want to be good at. I don't want to be good at running a marathon or doing any sort of powerlifting meet or whatever. I just want to be extremely well rounded as many areas as possible.

And that's what I want everyone to think about if they are getting into this style of training. And kind of the last thing I want to talk about was. Definitely know what you want because we have always done concurrent training at Garage Gym Athlete. And then we have our different slants for each track.

So we have the, we have the endurance track where we're doing a lot of endurance training. And then we are also doing strength training. So that's one of our concurrent training tracks. And then we have the strength track, which is all strength training, and then it has some endurance elements to it, but there's a slant like the endurance track, the enduro track that we have is more of an endurance focus.

The strength track is more of a strength focus, but still has those concurrent training elements. So it's concurrent training, hybrid athlete training in different. different percentages, 70% endurance, 30% strength, and then flip that on the strength track. Now our hard to kill track, is just our incredibly well balanced track.

That's what that track is trying to do. It's trying to make someone, it's trying to build an extremely well rounded athlete, more like an actual athlete. Someone who can be good at multiple different things. Because if you go down this path of concurrent training, there's so many. Hybrid athlete training, concurrent training.

There's so many things that you can do. And again, the fact that being good at, it doesn't matter if you're good at anything, cause you're ultimately not going to be the best at anything that you do. If you, as the second you decide, Hey, I want to be a hybrid athlete or I want to be do concurrent training.

What you have just decided is that, okay, I have officially decided I'm not going to be. amazing at anything. And that's okay. Like I said, it's perfectly fine. I made that decision a long time ago and I've been totally fine with it because what you gain from that is you're kind of good at everything and you're incredibly healthy, right?

You're strong, you're stronger than runners, which is great. And then you're faster than a bodybuilders and a powerlifters and all this stuff. So I've always joked around that, like, I prefer to be in the middle. And it's just healthier, healthier heart, healthier cardio respiratory system, Stronger muscle mass.

It's a great thing to do. But when, once you start specializing a little bit too much, if you're like, Hey, I just lift and I just run, I have seen that play out negatively as well. And that's why I want to like throw this out there as someone who's been doing this stuff longer than most anyone. One, the new style of hybrid athlete training does seem to be like extreme specialization in two modalities.

Like I try and gain muscle, I run. I try and gain muscle, I ride my bike. I just do these two things and there's nothing wrong with it. But the things that you need to look out for. Is making sure one, your mobility is on point because you are not hitting any, you're not getting different types of muscle contractions, and you're not getting different planes of movement.

You're operating like in one plane all the time, and so that's going to end up, you're going to end up injured at some point if you don't start working on it. Mobility, getting in different, uh, planes of movement, getting in different types of muscle contraction and making sure that, you know, you're focused on all of those things.

So that would be the first thing is to make sure that you're focused on those kind of things. And then from there decide if you really want to specialize further or if you want to be good at everything So our good at everything for us at garage gym athlete is our hard to kill track. It's my favorite track I'm not doing it right now.

This is a cycle i've taken off probably the only cycle i'll take off I've basically been on hard to kill So since it started 2000, I was probably honestly playing around with this programming in 2014. And so that's how long it's been around. And it's just this well rounded nature of how to approach concurrent training or hybrid athlete training.

And I've gone over it several times on the podcast of what that means. So I'm going to go over it very fast. But ultimately we are, when we, when I program a 12 week cycle, we have typically our major sessions that we're working on like strength or hypertrophy or whatever. And then. We break all of these things out, like we break endurance out to muscle endurance, strength, endurance, power, endurance, and aerobic endurance.

So just think about that. If you were just a runner who's also trying to be strong, you have some aerobic endurance. You might have some strength endurance. No, you don't. You probably have some muscle endurance just from the running, but you don't have any power endurance and you don't have any strength endurance.

So like when we're breaking these things out, this is what I'm looking at. And I'm not saying you have to have these things. I just want to like let people know where they might have holes in their game if you pursue this training. And then likewise, okay, so that's one area of training, endurance. And we break that out to muscle endurance, strength endurance, power endurance, aerobic endurance.

We want to be good enough at all four of those things on a hard to kill track. And then we hit energy systems, right? So specifically training energy systems. In the correct work to rest ratios, if you are just running and just doing strength training, you're pretty good at the oxidative and, but you might not, you probably suck at the glycolytic energy system and you might not even be that good at creatine phosphate depending on how you're training, what you're doing.

And so again, You're missing some holes in your game. And then other things that we do mixed modal training, which is, you could think of it like a CrossFit, but CrossFit is typically mixed modal, just at high intensity. We're doing mixed modal typically with work to rest ratios thrown in there, also paying attention to what the movements are and all that kind of stuff.

But I, while I oftentimes hate on CrossFit, I don't really hate the mixed modality nature of it. Like, I think it's really awesome to be able to do like a 30 or 40 minute. Metcon, like I think a lower intensity, just be able to move. Let me carry a kettlebell. Let me do some jump rope. Let me hop on the bike.

Let me run, like mixing all those things together. I think those type of workouts build a very well rounded human being that can do some work. So I think that stuff's really cool. And then on top of that, we work on different forms of strength again. Like if you're, if you are just doing bodybuilding and running, you are missing out on speed, speed, strength, speed.

You, and you're getting some strength. We're, so we're even hitting strength in four different areas. And those are the four different areas that I just listed. But if you're, if you start to specialize too much, you're going to miss out on these things. My only point being, if you're getting into concurrent training or you want to be a hybrid athlete, make sure you know exactly what your goals are and make sure that you are headed down the right path, because sometimes people think, okay, I'm going to do endurance and I'm going to do strength.

There are plenty of people who do that, and it doesn't make them very well rounded. It makes them good at two things. If you want to be really well rounded, there's a lot more thought that goes into that style of programming. And as someone who's basically been trying to perfect this for a decade, this is the best I've come up with and what we still focus on.

But in, in my methodology of the hard to kill track, this is building more of the special operator. It'll be somebody who can run, lift, throw, carry, like all those kind of things that I was mentioning. And be extremely well rounded, but not the best at any of them. Now if you go to, if you shift over to like our enduro track, that's not as much the case, right?

Like our enduro track on hard to, uh, at Garage Gym Athlete is not like hard to kill. It's more of what I've been talking about. Like maybe you just want to run and get good at strength training in some capacity, something like that. Or if you want to be strong, what's the, the base level of endurance that we can have, but still get a lot stronger.

So you really just have to decide what your goal is and what you want to do in this style of training. Cause ultimately. I've always said it, concurrent training is the best. I knew it was going to start catching on more and more. It's not catching it on as much with the terminology, but I love to see that people were using hybrid athlete and that's becoming a thing because I think that 2021 study, I know people don't pay attention to science as much, but it typically gets trickled out through influencers and.

podcasters and stuff and scientists on podcasts. But the information finally gets out there that like, Hey, the interference effect is basically dead and you don't have to worry about that. It's. Lifting weights and then running, it's, it's not going to kill your gains. You're not going to lose your muscle mass.

You're not going to get weaker. You don't have to worry about those things. So I think people are learning like, Hey, this is the best form of training. If I want to live as long as possible, I have to have an incredibly high VO two max, really strong aerobic endurance, but I also have to have muscle mass and strength because all of those things are going to help me live longer.

So it's only a matter of time before this is the only style of training that people are doing. Unless you want to specialize for a reason of like interest or competition. But other than that, this is the best style of training, hybrid athlete training, concurrent training, whatever you want to call it.

And if you want to try it, how we do it, you can go to garagegymathlete. com sign up for a free trial, gain, join any number one of our tracks to see what the training is like. And then I recommend hard to kill for most people. It's a hard track, nothing easy about it, but you will see the most well rounded style of training that you could possibly do.

And it's going to be really good for you. And I think that you'll really enjoy it. Hopefully you enjoyed this episode, kind of talking about the differences between concurrent training and hybrid athlete training, how ultimately they're the same thing, but there is even further specialization in hybrid athlete training.

And concurrent training is really just the scientific research that backs all the things that we're doing. At the end of the day, you got to pick something that you love to do and you can do each and every single day right now. I'm running a ton. I'm doing a lot of calisthenics. I want to get good at the Murph workout again without having to just do the Murph workout every single.

weekend of my life, like I've done for several years in the past. So you pick your goal. What are you trying to get good at? What do you want to improve? Because ultimately picking some sort of performance parameter is always going to be better than an aesthetic one. We've been saying that for a decade at Garage Gym Athlete.

If you pick something you want to get better at, I want to improve my mile time, I want to run a faster 5k, or I want to lift this much weight. And you set that as your goal, that's going to be so much better for you mentally. That's going to be so much better for your training and so much better for your progress and the fact that you can even adhere to the program when you're after performance goals.

When you say, I want to lose five pounds, I want to look a certain way. I want my arms to be this big. All that crap and never works. It never lasts. It's not going to be how you maintain a good fitness program. So if you want to join, you know where we're doing it, the programming we're doing, we're chasing performance goals and we are trying to get better at all things.

Head over to garagegymathlete. com, sign up for a free trial, we'd love to have you. For all of our athletes who I am preaching to the choir to right now, ultimately, I really appreciate you guys sticking around, listening to the podcast, and ultimately doing the training and believing in what we've been publishing and the programming we've been putting out for so long.

So really appreciate each and every single one of you. That's it for this one. Remember, if you don't kill comfort, we'll kill you. To the garage gym athlete podcast. If you want to learn more, go to garagegymathlete. com. You can learn about our training. Let us send you a copy of our book, the garage gym athlete, or you can even get featured on the garage gym athlete podcast.

Thanks for listening.

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