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No additional benefits of block- over evenly-distributed high-intensity interval training within a polarized microcycle

McGawley, Kerry; Juudas, Elisabeth; Kazior, Zuzanna; Ström, Kristoffer LU ; Blomstrand, Eva; Hansson, Ola LU and Holmberg, Hans Christer (2017) In Frontiers in Physiology 8(JUN).
Abstract

Introduction: The current study aimed to investigate the responses to block- versus evenly-distributed high-intensity interval training (HIT) within a polarized microcycle. Methods: Twenty well-trained junior cross-country skiers (10 males, age 17.6 ± 1.5 and 10 females, age 17.3 ± 1.5) completed two, 3-week periods of training (EVEN and BLOCK) in a randomized, crossover-design study. In EVEN, 3 HIT sessions (5 × 4-min of diagonal-stride roller-skiing) were completed at a maximal sustainable intensity each week while low-intensity training (LIT) was distributed evenly around the HIT. In BLOCK, the same 9 HIT sessions were completed in the second week while only LIT was completed in the first and third weeks. Heart rate (HR), session... (More)

Introduction: The current study aimed to investigate the responses to block- versus evenly-distributed high-intensity interval training (HIT) within a polarized microcycle. Methods: Twenty well-trained junior cross-country skiers (10 males, age 17.6 ± 1.5 and 10 females, age 17.3 ± 1.5) completed two, 3-week periods of training (EVEN and BLOCK) in a randomized, crossover-design study. In EVEN, 3 HIT sessions (5 × 4-min of diagonal-stride roller-skiing) were completed at a maximal sustainable intensity each week while low-intensity training (LIT) was distributed evenly around the HIT. In BLOCK, the same 9 HIT sessions were completed in the second week while only LIT was completed in the first and third weeks. Heart rate (HR), session ratings of perceived exertion (sRPE), and perceived recovery (pREC) were recorded for all HIT and LIT sessions, while distance covered was recorded for each HIT interval. The recovery-stress questionnaire for athletes (RESTQ-Sport) was completed weekly. Before and after EVEN and BLOCK, resting saliva and muscle samples were collected and an incremental test and 600-m time-trial (TT) were completed. Results: Pre- to post-testing revealed no significant differences between EVEN and BLOCK for changes in resting salivary cortisol, testosterone, or IgA, or for changes in muscle capillary density, fiber area, fiber composition, enzyme activity (CS, HAD, and PFK) or the protein content of VEGF or PGC-1α. Neither were any differences observed in the changes in skiing economy, V.O2max or 600-m time-trial performance between interventions. These findings were coupled with no significant differences between EVEN and BLOCK for distance covered during HIT, summated HR zone scores, total sRPE training load, overall pREC or overall recovery-stress state. However, 600-m TT performance improved from pre- to post-training, irrespective of intervention (P = 0.003), and a number of hormonal and muscle biopsy markers were also significantly altered post-training (P < 0.05). Discussion: The current study shows that well-trained junior cross-country skiers are able to complete 9 HIT sessions within 1 week without compromising total work done and without experiencing greater stress or reduced recovery over a 3-week polarized microcycle. However, the findings do not support block-distributed HIT as a superior method to a more even distribution of HIT in terms of enhancing physiological or performance adaptions.

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organization
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Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Cross-country skiing, Endurance, Junior athletes, Muscle, Periodization, Recovery, Stress, Training load
in
Frontiers in Physiology
volume
8
issue
JUN
publisher
Frontiers
external identifiers
  • scopus:85020780112
  • wos:000403515100001
ISSN
1664-042X
DOI
10.3389/fphys.2017.00413
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f923b2d0-d1e3-4344-9d7b-32e729df5ead
date added to LUP
2017-08-11 15:36:34
date last changed
2017-09-18 11:41:33
@article{f923b2d0-d1e3-4344-9d7b-32e729df5ead,
  abstract     = {<p>Introduction: The current study aimed to investigate the responses to block- versus evenly-distributed high-intensity interval training (HIT) within a polarized microcycle. Methods: Twenty well-trained junior cross-country skiers (10 males, age 17.6 ± 1.5 and 10 females, age 17.3 ± 1.5) completed two, 3-week periods of training (EVEN and BLOCK) in a randomized, crossover-design study. In EVEN, 3 HIT sessions (5 × 4-min of diagonal-stride roller-skiing) were completed at a maximal sustainable intensity each week while low-intensity training (LIT) was distributed evenly around the HIT. In BLOCK, the same 9 HIT sessions were completed in the second week while only LIT was completed in the first and third weeks. Heart rate (HR), session ratings of perceived exertion (sRPE), and perceived recovery (pREC) were recorded for all HIT and LIT sessions, while distance covered was recorded for each HIT interval. The recovery-stress questionnaire for athletes (RESTQ-Sport) was completed weekly. Before and after EVEN and BLOCK, resting saliva and muscle samples were collected and an incremental test and 600-m time-trial (TT) were completed. Results: Pre- to post-testing revealed no significant differences between EVEN and BLOCK for changes in resting salivary cortisol, testosterone, or IgA, or for changes in muscle capillary density, fiber area, fiber composition, enzyme activity (CS, HAD, and PFK) or the protein content of VEGF or PGC-1α. Neither were any differences observed in the changes in skiing economy, V.O2max or 600-m time-trial performance between interventions. These findings were coupled with no significant differences between EVEN and BLOCK for distance covered during HIT, summated HR zone scores, total sRPE training load, overall pREC or overall recovery-stress state. However, 600-m TT performance improved from pre- to post-training, irrespective of intervention (P = 0.003), and a number of hormonal and muscle biopsy markers were also significantly altered post-training (P &lt; 0.05). Discussion: The current study shows that well-trained junior cross-country skiers are able to complete 9 HIT sessions within 1 week without compromising total work done and without experiencing greater stress or reduced recovery over a 3-week polarized microcycle. However, the findings do not support block-distributed HIT as a superior method to a more even distribution of HIT in terms of enhancing physiological or performance adaptions.</p>},
  articleno    = {413},
  author       = {McGawley, Kerry and Juudas, Elisabeth and Kazior, Zuzanna and Ström, Kristoffer and Blomstrand, Eva and Hansson, Ola and Holmberg, Hans Christer},
  issn         = {1664-042X},
  keyword      = {Cross-country skiing,Endurance,Junior athletes,Muscle,Periodization,Recovery,Stress,Training load},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {06},
  number       = {JUN},
  publisher    = {Frontiers},
  series       = {Frontiers in Physiology},
  title        = {No additional benefits of block- over evenly-distributed high-intensity interval training within a polarized microcycle},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00413},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2017},
}