Block periodization

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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olebole
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:42 pm

by olebole

Some interesting results in this study from Norway

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... x/abstract

(I think the full article is free, really dont know since im on the university network)

Anyone with any personal experience in periodizing your routine in this manner?

indigo
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:17 pm
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by indigo

Yeh, the study is accessible.

Of greater interest to me is the effect on untrained cyclists ..

HillRPete
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Location: Pedal Square

by HillRPete

indigo: when you're untrained, it's easy to progress. You don't need to mess around with complicated programming, almost everything will help. As you get better, the harder is is to still make good progress.

Anyway, to me the basic takeaway message (from just reading the abstract) is quite a simple one: modulation.

indigo
Posts: 89
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Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by indigo

Yeh I "know" that.

But then I'm sure I once read that interval programs are not as effective for those of us that do not have the necessary "aerobic base", whatever that is supposed to mean.

HillRPete
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by HillRPete

I have found for myself that 3x(3+3)mins all out workouts work better for me when I'm in a fair shape already. But it's hard to compare across seasons.

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AGW
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Location: Tucson, AZ

by AGW

Interesting... max effort intervals for 5 days straight, followed by 1 interval day a week (interspersed with low intensity rides) for the rest of the month improves VO2 max faster than intervals 2x a week for the same period. I wonder how repeatable this cycle is?

TheKaiser
Posts: 482
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:29 pm

by TheKaiser

AGW,

I had wondered the same thing when I first came across this study. Apparently, the same researchers did another study where they repeated the same cycle 3 times (for a total of 12-weeks).

Here is an article Joe Friel wrote on the topic, and it also contains a link to another post with his take on the earlier (4-week, single cycle) study: http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2013/04/an ... study.html

Block periodization seems pretty clearly superior on the surface, and I experimented with a program of it last season, due to a limited amount of training time that lent itself to that structure. I can't claim to have any real quantifiable data, but I did see season long progress with monthly improvements in 5-7min (the only real metric I was tracking) output.

One commenter on the Friel article does raise a good point though, which is that this sort of block structure will create a natural "taper" of sorts, so it could simply be that the improved performance at the end of the trials was not from improved "fitness" but instead was due to better "form" due to being more well rested at the time of the final test. That seems plausible too. To rule that out, it would be interesting to see another 12-week study where they had a longer "washout" period of identical training between both groups leading up to the final test. This would hopefully preserve their respective levels of fitness but allow them to be equally well rested at the time of the final test.

olebole
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:42 pm

by olebole

Good point, though I personally believe that fitness=form in most cases, especially if your not a top top level performer.

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