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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:37 am 
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I know its not true reverse periodization but people get what we mean. Also it doesnt mean to start at L6 and go down from there.... Its simply starting with high intensity training while I (we?) cant ride outside and raise power that way. When we can ride outside, then the focus can be shifted toward more sustainable efforts at or arround FTP.

I wouldnt use that kind of model if I could ride outside during winter. It also doesnt mean I am doing no threshold or sweet spot work. L5 training is still training the aerobic system and stressing the upper bounds of FTP.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:10 pm 
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Depending on the rider, the said base could be simply carrier on from a long season, then having a very short break to recharge those mental and physical batteries before starting back.

As said, I am not suggesting people do L6 work in the winter. A mix of high intensity micros which keeps some race specific neuromuscular demand and power repeatability with some L4 work untill mid winter where 1 or 2 blocks of L5 are included. Then back to some extensive work with long rides, sweet spot and some occasional L5 sessions.

FWIW my events are 1h30 long, full gas from start to end with a lot of power spikes and short L5 power requirements on 1,5 to 3min climbs which you start climbing while already redlining.

My focus is still to have the biggest FTP possible, thats why raising the top makes sense, then you raise the floor where its more convenient to do so: outdoors.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:04 pm 
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Hey Mr Walker - you sound so smart and well-informed. What's your coaching/training/educational background? also what are your results? Wow since we don't have a grasp please inform us on the road to success you apparently have found.

Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:39 am 
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:popcorn:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:27 pm 
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This is a constructive and interesting thread. Can we please try to keep it civil to avoid it self destructing?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:40 pm 
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msl1985 wrote:
Just because i produce high numbers, it doesn't mean that i know a lot about training. I have attached my latest 30min. test. I use a Quarq powermeter. I have more files if you want. :-)
I have been riding a lot of UCI races the last 3-4 years.


You do produce some very serious numbers, so you must be doing something right. I shudder to think what might you might achieve if you did know a lot about training! :lol:

I can't see what protocol you used for that test. It doesn't look like everything I've ever done in a lab. It looks like a hard 30 minute climb. That's a pretty good test of progress if you do it regularly, but doesn't necessarily give an accurate indication of FTP!

Your 30 minute average power is about the same as my 20 minute power on my old test climb (5km at 12%). For reasons I don't properly understand it's easier to maintain higher power numbers on climbs, particularly very steep ones. Based on actual 40km TT performance though my FTP is closer to 320-330.

So, your hillclimb test suggests your FTP (i.e. 1 hour normalised power on a flat course), is probably somewhere in the 320-350 range. That's still somewhere around 5W/kg, which is far from shabby!

Do you have any lab data, or TT data?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:00 pm 
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drhule23 wrote:
@msl1985... if your FTP is around 370-380 at that weight, then you don't need to be asking clowns like us for advice! :wink:


this times 1 million.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:35 pm 
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devinci wrote:
I know its not true reverse periodization but people get what we mean. Also it doesnt mean to start at L6 and go down from there.... Its simply starting with high intensity training while I (we?) cant ride outside and raise power that way. When we can ride outside, then the focus can be shifted toward more sustainable efforts at or arround FTP.

I wouldnt use that kind of model if I could ride outside during winter. It also doesnt mean I am doing no threshold or sweet spot work. L5 training is still training the aerobic system and stressing the upper bounds of FTP.


No, its not. We've had this conversation before and I'm not sure why it didn't get through, but that is NOT reverse periodization. L5 work, IMO is a bad idea in the winter for so many reasons. Even if my time and hours were limited I still wouldn't do what people are proposing in this thread. L5 work does have SOME aerobic benefits, but can reduce mitochondrial density, saturate plasma and reduce hematocrit, and really trains the use of lactate as fuel. Furthermore, studies on running show NO EVIDENCE that training at this intensity does anything to actual vo2 max in the short or long term. There is no trickle down effect like that being proposed and really no benefit to it since you're not trying to bring about a peak. You simply can't just train something that has some tangential aerobic benefits and think that it is going to develop the aerobic system in the same manner. Do not cherry pick adaptations to fit a mindset.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:40 pm 
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Privateer wrote:
msl1985 wrote:
Just because i produce high numbers, it doesn't mean that i know a lot about training. I have attached my latest 30min. test. I use a Quarq powermeter. I have more files if you want. :-)
I have been riding a lot of UCI races the last 3-4 years.


You do produce some very serious numbers, so you must be doing something right. I shudder to think what might you might achieve if you did know a lot about training! :lol:

I can't see what protocol you used for that test. It doesn't look like everything I've ever done in a lab. It looks like a hard 30 minute climb. That's a pretty good test of progress if you do it regularly, but doesn't necessarily give an accurate indication of FTP!

Your 30 minute average power is about the same as my 20 minute power on my old test climb (5km at 12%). For reasons I don't properly understand it's easier to maintain higher power numbers on climbs, particularly very steep ones. Based on actual 40km TT performance though my FTP is closer to 320-330.

So, your hillclimb test suggests your FTP (i.e. 1 hour normalised power on a flat course), is probably somewhere in the 320-350 range. That's still somewhere around 5W/kg, which is far from shabby!

Do you have any lab data, or TT data?


Unless you do lots of hillclimbs or race grand tours hillclimb test data can often be misleading. For whatever reason some people are more efficient using the the lower cadence/low velocity/high force pedaling that climbing requires. It stresses different fibers and groups slightly different and some people can simply put out more power that way. My power on a test climb is consistently higher than my test on a flat road, but if I were to try and use that to set my power levels I'd end up with things that I could not sustain in training. I've noticed this with a few other riders as well, but almost never noticed the reverse being true.

Pros often test on climbs because it is a very easy way for coaches to control parameters for ramped tests, tests by pace, w/kg analysis, VAM, and lactate accumulation. Its also usually much more carefully regulated, paced, and controlled than a max effort climb and often is done in a way that reflects the nature of their training/racing. IIRC the Garmin protocol, which was somewhat stolen from Ferrari/Conconi et. al requires riders to ride for an hour and then do repeats up a climb at slightly higher wattages with lactate samples taken after every climb until they hit 4 mmol. They then ride easy for 30min and do 1min intervals at slightly higher power with lactate samples taken after every repeat to determine the maximal lactate deflection point. A lot different then just jamming it up a climb.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:12 pm 
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KWalker wrote:
devinci wrote:
I know its not true reverse periodization but people get what we mean. Also it doesnt mean to start at L6 and go down from there.... Its simply starting with high intensity training while I (we?) cant ride outside and raise power that way. When we can ride outside, then the focus can be shifted toward more sustainable efforts at or arround FTP.

I wouldnt use that kind of model if I could ride outside during winter. It also doesnt mean I am doing no threshold or sweet spot work. L5 training is still training the aerobic system and stressing the upper bounds of FTP.


No, its not. We've had this conversation before and I'm not sure why it didn't get through, but that is NOT reverse periodization. L5 work, IMO is a bad idea in the winter for so many reasons. Even if my time and hours were limited I still wouldn't do what people are proposing in this thread. L5 work does have SOME aerobic benefits, but can reduce mitochondrial density, saturate plasma and reduce hematocrit, and really trains the use of lactate as fuel. Furthermore, studies on running show NO EVIDENCE that training at this intensity does anything to actual vo2 max in the short or long term. There is no trickle down effect like that being proposed and really no benefit to it since you're not trying to bring about a peak. You simply can't just train something that has some tangential aerobic benefits and think that it is going to develop the aerobic system in the same manner. Do not cherry pick adaptations to fit a mindset.


Oh im not cherry picking!

Some evidence suggest this sort of training induces major aerobic adaptations like increased mitochondrial density and efficacy and increased buffering capacity. Some experts also brough up a point regarding increased recruitment of motor units, which would increase the number of fibers who would get potential adaptations.

Though keep in mind I did not do L5 all winter and did my fair part of sweet spot and threshold work. I did include some dedicated L5 blocks and since december 29 I probably did something like 13 L5 workouts, rest being either tempo, sweet spot, micro intervals (low volume) or days off.

I would not recommend such an approach for everyone or every discipline, though for my level, experience, constraints and events, it seems very appropriate

So far it seems to work just fine for me, especially with a particular workout I did yesterday, sort of training is testing!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:05 pm 
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outlaw105fan wrote:
Hey Mr Walker - you sound so smart and well-informed. What's your coaching/training/educational background? also what are your results? Wow since we don't have a grasp please inform us on the road to success you apparently have found.

Thanks in advance.


Physiology background- worked with some NCAA strength and conditioning coaches and have read a lot. Background in strength sports. Currently coach/assist 5 clients that are category 1 or 2 cyclists in the US that compete on the regional and national level (2 are masters, but cat 2's). Since I've worked with them each has increased their functional threshold power by anywhere from 17 to 61 watts and had the most results they have ever had. 3 came from high dollar, high profile coaches so I consider that a success. I do this as a side project purely for fun. If you want further references feel free to contact some of the Wattage list coaches, of whom I've had many in depth conversations with and would gladly offer personal endorsements.

I consider this a resounding success. I have never charged a dollar for helping anyone and have helped them achieve more results than they did paying upwards of $400 a month for coaching. In addition, each athlete has increased their power and had much more depth of fitness across their entire season. I fully believe that this entire game doesn't need to be as complicated as people make and that half the issues come from too much risk with too little reward.

As for myself I'm a pretty average rider of 163lbs (right now) with an FTP of 345. I race as a category 3 and am in my third year of racing. In March 2009 I was a 255lb powerlifter that bought a bike and I've spent the last 4 years losing weight and getting into racing after grad school. I had a pretty dismal early season last year paying high dollars for a well-known coach and have found much more success practicing what I preach. I am looking forward to have a consistent and productive road season and if you want to be even further cheeky I'm sure you can contact/lurk my teammates and ask them for all sorts of info about me.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:16 pm 
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devinci wrote:
KWalker wrote:
devinci wrote:
I know its not true reverse periodization but people get what we mean. Also it doesnt mean to start at L6 and go down from there.... Its simply starting with high intensity training while I (we?) cant ride outside and raise power that way. When we can ride outside, then the focus can be shifted toward more sustainable efforts at or arround FTP.

I wouldnt use that kind of model if I could ride outside during winter. It also doesnt mean I am doing no threshold or sweet spot work. L5 training is still training the aerobic system and stressing the upper bounds of FTP.


No, its not. We've had this conversation before and I'm not sure why it didn't get through, but that is NOT reverse periodization. L5 work, IMO is a bad idea in the winter for so many reasons. Even if my time and hours were limited I still wouldn't do what people are proposing in this thread. L5 work does have SOME aerobic benefits, but can reduce mitochondrial density, saturate plasma and reduce hematocrit, and really trains the use of lactate as fuel. Furthermore, studies on running show NO EVIDENCE that training at this intensity does anything to actual vo2 max in the short or long term. There is no trickle down effect like that being proposed and really no benefit to it since you're not trying to bring about a peak. You simply can't just train something that has some tangential aerobic benefits and think that it is going to develop the aerobic system in the same manner. Do not cherry pick adaptations to fit a mindset.


Oh im not cherry picking!

Some evidence suggest this sort of training induces major aerobic adaptations like increased mitochondrial density and efficacy and increased buffering capacity. Some experts also brough up a point regarding increased recruitment of motor units, which would increase the number of fibers who would get potential adaptations.

Though keep in mind I did not do L5 all winter and did my fair part of sweet spot and threshold work. I did include some dedicated L5 blocks and since december 29 I probably did something like 13 L5 workouts, rest being either tempo, sweet spot, micro intervals (low volume) or days off.

I would not recommend such an approach for everyone or every discipline, though for my level, experience, constraints and events, it seems very appropriate

So far it seems to work just fine for me, especially with a particular workout I did yesterday, sort of training is testing!


Those studies are only 6 weeks long at most. Studies done over longer durations show that this activity is detrimental used beyond the 6 week mark and/or often. I know from our personal convos (yes people, believe it or not I'm not an unapproachable asshole) that you also did quite a bit of steady state aerobic work. In retrospect I think the L5 and above was risky, but hey, you aren't in some giant fatigue hole so you're probably OK in the long run. You're also very experienced and self aware with regards to training with power and many are not.

Back to the thread topic, reverse periodization is not starting at L5 or L6 and moving onwards. It is a method of training that is STILL aerobic and focuses on increasing target pace first and then extending that pace over time. It makes sense that Tim Kerrison is a proponent of it because in swimming the only real way to measure intensity is by pace and residual HR measurement. Furthermore, swimmers basically work in sets of intervals the entire year, even for long duration aerobic work. In running its always been the same and typically used as speed work for short to mid-distance runners and even some marathon runners.

In cycling if you look at the very limited information about its usage it typically starts with shorter intervals around lactate threshold and works on extending this power to a longer and longer duration. This is why I brought up the most prominent example of Wiggins who started with few, shorter steady climbs and TT's and gradually moved to more and more volume and longer efforts. If you read his reports in context he started with very few, very hard repeats at threshold in his first camp. By the time he was in Tenerife for the Tour he had already won multiple stage races and TTs, each of which got longer and longer. By that point he was focusing on volume of climbing and training at threshold to mimic the tour.

Moreover, triathletes use it in the same fashion to work on cycling economy/speed and build towards longer intervals at and above their target pace. They use power, but its a lot different than you'd immediately think.

With regards to this thread its simply one tool in a big toolbox. Its en vogue and attractive because of a few quotes from Kerrison and the fact that people simply don't like training in the winter, but it rarely applies to amateur cycling. Its also dangerous because, if done wrong and if you want to believe Lydiard, Wilson, Liquori, or any of the other endurance running dudes you can blow an entire season right away before moving on to this work before establishing the qualities of base aerobic fitness.

Since someone tried to call me out above and failed, my approach is heavily conditioned by the fact that I have a few people that are personal friends that trust me to get them consistent training results so that they can compete consistently on a high level. There is no room for error like this so I am much more geared towards underdoing than really putting all the eggs into one basket with elaborate peaking/tapering strategies that rely on a lot of top end work. In addition, over time I've used less and less L5 and even work at 100% of FTP and the results for every person have improved. One client this season has not done a single interval over 95% and his 20min test is already better than it was during his peak last season when inherited him from another prominent coach that was having him do a fairly absurd amount of top end work all year round.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:17 pm 
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http://www.scienceofrunning.com/2012/06 ... hy-it.html

"So it’s entirely possible to get an improved LT curve while actually decreasing in aerobic capabilities (if the anaerobic capacity is decreased…). So once again interaction is key, but what about training at LT to improve LT, and thus performance.

Well if we look at the research, training at LT CAN improve LT. That’s good to know. But so does training at various other paces. Once again there is no magic training zone. In fact if we look at the one study on well trained runners, if they increased their training volume at near LT by 103%, it didn’t do anything to the actual threshold (Lehmann et al. 1991).

In other studies, with recreational runners, you saw big increases in LT after 2-3 months of training at threshold and then no further improvement in LT afterwards with continued training. What this tells me is if they wanted to keep improving the threshold, the stimulus had to change. They had to do some work above LT, some mixed intervals, aerobic intervals, or alternations. Whatever they chose, the stimulus had to change"

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:10 pm 
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22124353" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Study of cyclists and high interval training during a year with increased performance.


The famous study of the norwegian heartdoctors Helgerud and Hoff of 4x4 training and the increase in strokevolume of the heart.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17414804" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


http://gih.diva-portal.org/smash/record ... va2:374923" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Swedish study of elite amateur cyclists that did 7x30 sec intervalls and 3x20min and got similar results for both sessions.
Please read.

I live in a cold climate and train with intensity and this winter mostly SST, L4 and L5 and 5 interval sessions per week. My FTP increases and I can guarantee you that it will not drop during the summer :wink:
You have to think about the personal life aswell, most of us can not train 20 + hours during the winter in -10 degree celsius.
What if you can be pretty good with a little less hours and have time for work, family and friends aswell.

Sure, if I lived in centraleurope and could be riding full time in the sun year round I would maybe train differently :thumbup:

But right now I am going to work my FTP up with work in zone 3, SST ,4 and 5 during the winter and then come spring I will be increasing the hours and and time at the various intensities.

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Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:10 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Those studies prove nothing for any point in this thread. This thread is about reverse periodization which, as a concept, I have tried explaining, but none of you seem to understand. This will be my last post in this thread since no one is choosing to listen to being able to distinguish between true reverse periodization and the idea of doing intervals on the trainer in the winter.

The second was 8 weeks long and, as most studies on vo2 max, shows that training around that intensity can possibly show increases of sustained power at or around vo2 max. Nothing about peformance over time or changes in energy system usage. This line is my favorite "All four training protocols resulted in similar total oxygen consumption and were performed 3 d.wk for 8 wk." Hmm, so all protocols had the same total aerobic debt, except that they all differed in terms of total intensity. Wonder which would be easiest to do day after day over a long period of time? Also, if you actually read the entire study, the volume of work was equal across all stimuli so its pretty easy to see how doing very little minimal aerobic work wasn't as effective doing the same total amount of higher intensity work.

The conclusion leaves a lot to be desired for interpreting for training purposes: "High-aerobic intensity endurance interval training is significantly more effective than performing the same total work at either lactate threshold or at 70% HRmax, in improving VO2max. The changes in VO2max correspond with changes in SV, indicating a close link between the two."

More effective how? In an 8 week study when nothing else is done? Why is vo2 max the desired level of improvement? Vo2 max does not equal greater aerobic economy or increased power at lactate threshold.

With regards to your first study the conclusion tells it all: "In conclusion, preseason reduced total training volume but increased amount of HAIT improved VO2max and TT performance without any changes in C(c). These improvements on cycling appeared despite that the HAIT blocks were performed as running. Reduced training time, and training transfer from running into improved cycling form, may be beneficial for cyclists living in cold climate areas."

Would you advise someone to do their interval training while running and reduce volume to improve their cycling performance? Also, why would it matter if someone has a higher vo2 max earlier in the base when power at vo2 max isn't the goal during this period? Furthermore, how would you advise someone apply this to their training if they wanted to race normal events of 90+min in length? Specificity of event would make a lot more sense would it not? Also, the study does not report how they controlled for and normalized training load before what appears to be a significant taper in duration.

Also, please tell me how this has to do with the thread topic considering the study's purpose: "The present study compared the effects of aerobic endurance training at different intensities and with different methods matched for total work and frequency."

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