INTERVAL TRAINING STIMULATES GREATER PHYSIOLOGICAL ADAPTATION THAN CONTINUOUS TRAINING
Wee, R. K., McGregor, S. J., & Light, W. (2007). Intermittent 30s intervals performed at 100 and 70 % VO2peak Power (pVO2peak) allow trained cyclists to maintain VO2peak longer than continuous intervals at 100% pVO2peak. ACSM Annual Meeting New Orleans, Presentation Number 2417.
"Runners can maintain VO2max (tlim VO2max) longer by performing intermittent bouts alternating 30 s at 100% and 50 % of the velocity associated with VO2max compared to continuous runs at 100 % of VO2max to exhaustion." This study determined if an analogous intermittent cycling protocol would 1) elicit VO2peak in trained cyclists, and 2) if the VO2peak were attained, if the intermittent protocol elicited a greater tlim VO2peak compared to a continuous bout at VO2peak. Trained male cyclists (N = 4) performed three tests to exhaustion. From an incremental cycling test, VO2peak and power at VO2peak (pVO2peak), as well as power for the continuous and intermittent trials were determined. [VO2peak was used as an analogous criterion to VO2max in running and was considered elicited if within 2.5 ml/kg/min of that achieved during the incremental test.] During the intermittent cycling trial the VO2 elicited did not reach VO2peak. The power of the 30-second recovery interval was then raised to 70% pVO2peak which elicited VO2peak. The continuous trial consisted of a constant load at 100% pVO2peak to exhaustion. Time to exhaustion and tlim VO2peak were compared.
Time to exhaustion was significantly greater in the intermittent trial compared to the continuous trial. Tlim VO2peak was significantly greater in the intermittent trial compared to the continuous trial.
Implication. Unlike running, in cycling, an intermittent protocol at 100 (work) and 70% (recovery) pVO2peak in the trained cyclists is necessary to elicit VO2peak. Time to exhaustion and tlim VO2peak were significantly greater during the intermittent trial compared to the continuous protocol performed at 100% pVO2peak. Therefore, the intermittent protocol may provide a greater overload, and hence adaptation, to VO2peak than continuous intervals.
Return to Table of Contents for this issue.