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  #1  
Unread 02-08-2012, 11:14 AM
Jibaholic Jibaholic is offline
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Default Interval Training Works for the Long Term?

I've been trying to sort through the research literature on intervals vs. steady state cardio but unfortunately, most of the studies on interval training are short term, which does not address the criticism that the anaerobic systems can be developed and "maxed out" fairly quickly.

The only long term study I've found on active people is a study of soccer referees:
Quote:
The Impact of Specific High-Intensity Training Sessions on Football Referees’ Fitness Levels
Matthew Weston, BSc(Hons), MSc*, Werner Helsen, PhD*,†, Clare MacMahon, BSc, MSc‡ and Don Kirkendall, MD, PhD§
+ Author Affiliations
From the *Department of Kinesiology, Katholieke Universitat Leuven, Belgium, the ‡Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and the §Department of Orthodaedics, University of North Carolina
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Werner Helsen, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, Leuven 3001, Belgium.
Abstract

Background: In comparison to the amount of literature that has examined the match demands of football refereeing, there has been little attempt to assess the impact of high-intensity training.
Purpose: The main goals were to get a better understanding of the long-term effect of specific intermittent training.
Study Design: The authors examined the cardiovascular strain of specific high-intensity training sessions and also their impact on referees’ fitness levels.
Methods: To examine the physical workload during intensive intermittent training sessions, heart rates were recorded and analyzed relative to the referees’ maximum heart rate (HRmax). To assess the referees’ fitness levels, the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test was used.
Results: Both the pitch- and track-training sessions were successful in imposing an appropriate high intensity load on the referees, at 86.4 ± 2.9% and 88.2 ± 2.4% HRmax, respectively. Following 16 months of intermittent high-intensity training, referees improved their performance on the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test by 46.5%, to a level that is comparable with professional players.
Conclusions: As match officials are subjected to a high physical load during matches, they should follow structured weekly training plans that have an emphasis on intensive, intermittent training sessions.
http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/32/1_suppl/54S.short

This seems to be a strong argument for featuring intervals over steady state cardio.
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  #2  
Unread 02-08-2012, 11:28 AM
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lylemcd lylemcd is offline
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In terms of improving the yo-yo test perhaps. Which is an interval based activity.

But since that's ALL they looked at, you can't draw any conclusions for any other type of performance metric such as endurance performance.

It would also be useful to read the entire paper to see exactly what the y did.
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  #3  
Unread 02-08-2012, 11:44 AM
Jibaholic Jibaholic is offline
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Yeah, I guess I'm implicitly thinking in terms of mixed energy systems sports like soccer and MMA.

I would definitely be interested in reading the whole thing because I'd like to know if interval training is paired with aerobic base work, but alas, it is gated.
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  #4  
Unread 02-08-2012, 11:52 AM
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lylemcd lylemcd is offline
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I came up with a review paper on the topic 2006, cited it along with another study

This should work.


They showed that 12 weeks of intermittent training improved the Yo-yo test by 31%. 16 months improved it by 46% in that second study. Not that they are immediately comparable mind you.

But it points out that you get most of your gains quickly and then there is a monstrous point of diminishing returns. 13 months is a lot of interval training to get 15% more benefit when the first 31% came in 3 months.
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  #5  
Unread 02-08-2012, 01:26 PM
Not Sure Not Sure is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lylemcd View Post
...But it points out that you get most of your gains quickly and then there is a monstrous point of diminishing returns. ...
Isn't that generally true of all training of all types, across all dimensions of fitness?

The less trained you are, the less you need for a big (and rapid) gain, the more trained you are, the more you work for less?
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  #6  
Unread 02-08-2012, 02:14 PM
southpaw27 southpaw27 is offline
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I have always been interested in knowing how effective are the subsequent cycles of HIIT. Has anyone seen any literature on this?
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  #7  
Unread 02-08-2012, 05:25 PM
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lylemcd lylemcd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southpaw27 View Post
I have always been interested in knowing how effective are the subsequent cycles of HIIT. Has anyone seen any literature on this?
To my knowledge nobody has looked at it.
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  #8  
Unread 02-08-2012, 05:26 PM
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lylemcd lylemcd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Sure View Post
Isn't that generally true of all training of all types, across all dimensions of fitness?

The less trained you are, the less you need for a big (and rapid) gain, the more trained you are, the more you work for less?
Sure but it's a cost:benefit issue. Intervals are grindingly hard and you end up working your tail off for lesser and lesser improvements. When often what works better is working on something that may generate at least similar results (although perhaps over longer time periods) with far less effort.
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  #9  
Unread 02-09-2012, 02:41 AM
cxw cxw is offline
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Plus there's the revolutionary idea of doing a mixture of training types across a one or two week cycle.

EDIT: I'm not claiming Lyle's anti all interval training

Last edited by cxw : 02-09-2012 at 02:43 AM.
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  #10  
Unread 02-09-2012, 03:22 AM
cxw cxw is offline
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n=1

I also suspect that the detraining effect is faster for people who have been doing intervals than steady state. Therefore, if an interval only trainer has to take a week off (sick, injured etc.), then the loss in fitness will be greater than a steady state trainer in the same situation
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