Belfry, G. R., Paterson, D. J., Overend, T., & Thomas, S. G. (2010). Effects of high intensity intermittent and continuous endurance training on aerobic power and 60s performance. Presentation 1029 at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; June 2-5.

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This study contrasted the effects of a continuous and a novel-interval (10 seconds heavy-intensity/5 seconds light-intensity) training regime on aerobic and anaerobic adaptations. Males (N = 14) were divided into continuous and novel-interval groups and performed 12 heavy intensity cycle ergometer exercise sessions on alternate days. The novel-interval work period was 10 seconds (at a heavy intensity of 257W) and the recovery period was five seconds (at a light intensity of 89W). The continuous training group performed initial work rates of heavy-intensity set at 120% of ventilatory threshold. Work rates were increased three watts per training session (only the 10-second work period in the novel-interval group) until the end of the training period in both groups. Pre- and post-training measures included VO2max and a 60-second Wingate Test. VO2 was measured during the Wingate Test.

Power output during the 12 training sessions increased in both groups, while average power output was lower in novel-interval than in the continuous-training group. Both groups significantly increased VO2max and peak power. Power output during the Wingate Test was increased post-training in the novel-interval group from 41-60 seconds, with no changes in the continuous-training group. VO2 for the novel-interval group during the Wingate Test increased between 15-30 seconds and from 50-60 seconds post-training compared to pre-training. The percent aerobic contribution of novel-interval training was elevated post-training from 21-40 seconds. Total VOC2 on the test was higher in the continuous-training group, whereas VOC2 from 20-60 seconds was increased only for the novel-interval group. [This suggests increased ATP-CP contribution with reduced metabolic and/or CO2 from buffering from 0-20s for the novel-interval protocol, likely due to the increased ATP-CP system adaptation].

Implication. The specific physiological and performance adaptations usually elicited from both aerobic and anaerobic forms of training may be realized from this single novel-interval training protocol. Novel-interval training elicits similar changes in peak aerobic power output as well as greater aerobic contribution during a 60-second performance test that improves this predominantly anaerobic performance.

The novel-interval training protocol could be considered a brief work period followed by a very short active-recovery period. Training effects would be induced by the overload factor that only existed in the high-intensity work period. That the main training effect was one of increased performance in the latter part of the 60-second Wingate Tests suggests that the novel-interval protocol might induce better finishing capacity in similar exercise tasks.

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