anaerobic exercises training

Anaerobic exercises: Two-week training cycle plus 10-day taper leads to huge gains in anaerobic capacity.

Over the past 20 years or so, exercise scientists have been able to identify individual workouts which do a good job of improving athletes' performance capabilities. However, the identification of these workouts is a bit like giving athletes the ingredients to bake a cake - without including the instructions for putting the ingedients together. Athletes need to know how long their intense training periods should last - and for how many days they should recover after multi-day strenuous efforts - in order to produce the largest possible gains in exercise capacity.

Fortunately, scientists at the University of Calgary have been able to identify a programme that can quickly produce large advances in 'anaerobic capacity', ie, high-intensity performance. At Calgary, four male and three female speed skaters undertook a two-week, highly intensive training cycle. During this cycle, 14 per cent of total training took place at low intensity (less than 60% V02max, which is below 74 per cent of maximal heart rate), 50 per cent of total training occurred at ' low-medium ' intensity (between 61-70% V02max, which is about the same as 74-80 per cent of maximal heart rate), another 24 per cent took place at 'highmedium' intensity (71-80% V02max or 81-87 per cent MHR), and 12 per cent consisted of highly anaerobic training at an intensity above V02max and close to maximal heart rates.

After this two-week cycle, the seven athletes tapered for 10 days, with total training volume reduced by 20 per cent and intensity percentages set at 40 per cent low, 42 per cent lowmedium, 11 per cent high-medium and 7 per cent high.

This two-week hard plus 10-day taper programme produced a hefty 23 per cent gain in anaerobic working capacity and a useful 10 per cent uptick in blood-lactate concentration during extreme exercise (in spite of the bad stuff you've probably read about lactate, this lactate upswing was actually a good thing because it meant that the athletes were able to produce a lot more energy anaerobically). Significantly, the athletes also boosted their blood-testosterone concentrations by a sizeable 11 per cent. Since testosterone helps to repair and build muscle tissues, this effect seems quite beneficial as well.

The Calgary research demonstrates that welltrained athletes who want to boost their anaerobic power quickly can do so very nicely by turning on the intensity tap for two weeks, with around 12 per cent of training consisting of very intense intervals. When this two-week period is followed by 10 days of reasonable tapering, huge gains in anaerobic performance are possible, and the athletes' hormonal profiles tend to shift towards the anabolic (tissuebuilding) state.

('Effect of an Intense Training Cycle and Taper on Critical Power, Anaerobic Work Capacity, and Testosterone in Trained Athletes', Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 19, Supplement, p.45P, 1994)

anaerobic exercises training

Get on the road to gold-medal form and smash your competition.
Try Peak Performance today for just $1.97.

Tagged in Testing & Training
Privacy Policy [opens in new window]
Please Login or Register to post a reply here.