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Old 01-26-08, 12:27 PM   #1
VosBike
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Short/Repeated vs. Long Efforts to Increase VO2max

And so arrives that terrible part of the season when the 'ceiling must be pushed up' and the oh-so-painful VO2max intervals arrive. hooray!

I can't seem to find a consensus in the research or expert opinions as to what does a better job of increasing VO2max on the bike: repeated short efforts (a la tabata) or single longer efforts (2-4 mins).

I haver heard adages such as "anything under 2 minutes is only doing anerobic system work" but I've also seen the results of the origninal Tabata study. Huge gains in VO2max.

So I ask, what do you do? Does it work? If say, sets of 6 30s on/30s off hurt a LOT less to me than a 2 minute all-out interval, should I just stick with Tabata-style stuff?
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Old 01-26-08, 12:37 PM   #2
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It depends if your legs can make you reach max VO2, weak legs will hold back any improvement.
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Old 01-26-08, 01:05 PM   #3
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It depends if your legs can make you reach max VO2, weak legs will hold back any improvement.
VO2max can be reached by anyone strong enough to lift their body weight stepping up on a standard staircase step (actually even less force in needed with proper gearing, but you get the idea).
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Old 01-26-08, 01:07 PM   #4
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I can't seem to find a consensus in the research or expert opinions as to what does a better job of increasing VO2max on the bike: repeated short efforts (a la tabata) or single longer efforts (2-4 mins).
http://www.peakscoachinggroup.com/fr...or_vo2max.html I'd say there is an established consensus.
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Old 01-26-08, 01:26 PM   #5
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http://www.peakscoachinggroup.com/fr...or_vo2max.html I'd say there is an established consensus.
i don't think one article constitutes a consensus, but based off of that article 5 x 5min/5min seems pretty spot on
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Old 01-26-08, 01:30 PM   #6
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And so arrives that terrible part of the season when the 'ceiling must be pushed up' and the oh-so-painful VO2max intervals arrive. hooray!

I can't seem to find a consensus in the research or expert opinions as to what does a better job of increasing VO2max on the bike: repeated short efforts (a la tabata) or single longer efforts (2-4 mins).

I haver heard adages such as "anything under 2 minutes is only doing anerobic system work" but I've also seen the results of the origninal Tabata study. Huge gains in VO2max.

So I ask, what do you do? Does it work? If say, sets of 6 30s on/30s off hurt a LOT less to me than a 2 minute all-out interval, should I just stick with Tabata-style stuff?
I do 4 min, but they're right at the top of the Coggan "zone" that one would call VO2max, only because that's my strong point. Monday I return to doing them. I'll start with 4 of them with 10 minute recoveries just to help me reconfirm a good wattage to work them at. The following week I'll drop it back to 1:1 work/recovery ratio. As far as does it work... I started last year at 380ish watts being a good day after a month of doing them. By the end of October I was doing 4-6x4 min @ 420, 1:1 recovery.

I'm hoping to start next week at 400-410.
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Old 01-26-08, 01:51 PM   #7
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I wouldn't consider tabata to be "shorter" per se -- at least not clearly. There is no full recovery between them, so your average power will still end up in the same range. It's just a less steady effort.

I think there is some value in doing both types since the irregularity of Tabata can simulate race conditions a bit. 5x5m seems more efficient to me, but I think your mood and motivation would have more to do with actual results than which of these you choose.

You need to work on your mindset. I would do 5m intervals every day if it wasn't counterproductive. My kind of suffering -- even though I'm stronger with shorter efforts -- I just enjoy these.

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I'm hoping to start next week at 400-410.
Rockin! My 6x4m workouts are averaging 390W right now. 365W for 5x5m. I got you by more than a few lbs though!
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Old 01-26-08, 03:07 PM   #8
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i don't think one article constitutes a consensus, but based off of that article 5 x 5min/5min seems pretty spot on
Perhaps one article isn't, but have you already read all the references and done a citation search, and read the articles that cite them, and then the articles that cite the ones citing the original references? If you had, I think a consensus would be clear.
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Old 01-26-08, 04:06 PM   #9
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If you had, I think a consensus would be clear.
I disagree.

Reading only sources cited that stem from a single reference list is, btw, probably the absolute worst way to go about trying to assess if there is a consensus in an area of research. Diversity of opinion does not come from starting with but a single source.

Thanks for the comments, folks.
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Old 01-26-08, 04:16 PM   #10
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Reading only sources cited that stem from a single reference list is, btw, probably the absolute worst way to go about trying to assess if there is a consensus in an area of research. Diversity of opinion does not come from starting with but a single source.
Did you even bother to read past my first line? Any article disputing the findings from those in the reference list would have to cite them as prior art and show how the conflict is resolved. Hence the citation search on the articles. A publication is just as likely to be cited in disagreement as in agreement.
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Old 01-26-08, 04:29 PM   #11
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A publication is just as likely to be cited in disagreement as in agreement.
Firmly disagree.

But regardless,

It appears that a consistent effort will provide the best raw amount of VO2max adaptation but that intermittent efforts of slightly longer duration might better replicate a race situation, leaving you an athlete with slightly lower numbers but, perhaps, better ultimate results.
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Old 01-26-08, 09:55 PM   #12
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It appears that a consistent effort will provide the best raw amount of VO2max adaptation but that intermittent efforts of slightly longer duration might better replicate a race situation, leaving you an athlete with slightly lower numbers but, perhaps, better ultimate results.
I would with you on this. Sport specific carries more weight in my book. Although you are focusing the training on a single component in a system their are extraneous effects that, when possible, should be considered. These effects, in this case, tip the balance in favour of the later. IMHO.
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