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High Intensity Training - BBC Horizon 28-2-2012

hv24hv24 Posts: 6
edited September 2012 in Health, fitness & training
Who watched the Horizon programme last night (Tuesday 28th Feb), as the thought of improving your performance with just a few minutes of high intensity training (HIT) looks just the job for anyone trying balance work, home and cycling commitments?

The biggest question I have with what was shown was the warm up / warm down part of the routine. 3 reps of 20 seconds at max effort was easy to understand, but there was no mention of a warm up.

Judging by the comment a rider made during a MTB race at the weekend, when we all stopped after 1.5km sprint just before a single track section “..this is crazy, ask any personal trainer about stopping dead after max effort, you will end up with a heart attack...”, I would certainly want some warm down advice.

So, who has any more advice about HIT and its benefits.

That is, ignoring the genetic variable, this highlighted that if you were a “non-responder” your performance would stay the same.

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  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Judging by the comment a rider made during a MTB race at the weekend, when we all stopped after 1.5km sprint just before a single track section “..this is crazy, ask any personal trainer about stopping dead after max effort, you will end up with a heart attack...”, I would certainly want some warm down advice.

    Get better at racing - then you don't stop sprinting :-)

    I read an article in the paper about it yesterday, it said 3 mins steady spinning (I think it was), 20 seconds flat out, repeat 3 times a week, for 4 weeks.

    I imagine the truly sedentary may see improvements, but I can't see anyone with any 'real' fitness would benefit from such a regime on it's own.
  • jonomc4jonomc4 Posts: 891
    I think the aim of it from the program was
    2 mins warm up
    20 seconds HIT
    2mins warm up/down
    20 seconds HIT
    2 mins warm up / down
    20 seconds HIT
    Then it seems to suggest you stop?

    Do this three times a week.

    I think there is some advantage in this - they made it clear in the program it is not for everyone and some people will get no aerobic benefit from it at all (about 20% of people). But I think there could be an angle to this - lets be honest some weeks you just don't get enough time to train. Also I think a lot of people (myself included) do not vary their fitness training enough.

    The programme made some very interesting points in that there probably will be a time in the future when people get their own personalised fitness programme dependant on their genetic make up. I certainly remember this from when I was young and a high level sprinter (too old for any of that now). I do feel that there is still a benefit to be gained from HIT training even if you are a top athlete - it seemed a little similar to the training regime that Chris Hoy was talking about about last week in London. Obviously it is not going to work on its own for fitter people but I think it could add a touch extra - who knows, the only way is to try it and see.
  • ollie51ollie51 Posts: 517
    hv24 wrote:
    That is, ignoring the genetic variable, his highlighted that if you were a “non-responder” your performance would stay the same.

    This is a bit misleading, the show sort of made it sound as if HIIT training, if you are of a certain genetic type, had no effect whatsoever, however, this is not the case. Your performance will generally increase, like his did, note when he received his results, his curve had shifted to the right, i.e. he was producing more watts, for the same amount of o2 intake as before, so in that sense his performance had improved, he'd be able to ride a bike faster. What had not happened, was an increase in his Vo2 max, so his aerobic capacity had not increased. An increase in Vo2 max doesn't necessarily constitute an increase in performance in the cycling world, the two things aren't strictly parallel.

    I too am a 'non-responder' it would appear (well, my test results suggest this is a case) but that doesn't mean I'm not getting quicker.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    To be honest, most of my normal rides have sections of spinning away, then big efforts and so on. I would just ride the damn thing normally!
  • Just a few words on this:

    HIT training has been a known method of training for donkey years, and a lot of the "ye olde" training is starting to come back into fashion today it seems, its very much a FAD for a lot of the time ie bootcamp fitness then currently zumba ect.

    On HIT training the military has been doing this for years and years and its a proven way to increase VO2 MAX over time and with this programme they highlight other advantages of it.

    Point is this, if you doing squat all then HIT is a usefull aid in helping you stay healthy, problem is people DO NOT like pushing themselfs out their comfort zone, simple as that, so even though this seems a very simple way to stay fit people will still complain it "too hard" or "too much effort" :)

    HIT though is very effective but you should NEVER stop suddenly after doing any sort of intervals, instead you should allways keep moving otherwise you going to like posted above have a heart attack lol, just make sure you warmup and cooldown properly before doing intervals as you pushing your body a lot harder than typical workouts.

    Another good training tool is hill reps, as it very simular to HIT training but without the need for a bike or a treadmill, just a big steep hill which takes 20-30 secs to sprint up , repeat 10 times if possible, then happy days:)

    p.s on the non-responder its hard to judge this without a proper bloodt test, even if you think you pushing yourself hard on a training programme with no results, doesnt mean you not getting fitter, you need a outside person to judge tbh for a good result.
    London2Brighton Challange 100k!
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  • FODCADEMONFODCADEMON Posts: 207
    Would similar benefits be achieved by doing an exercises other than sprinting? i.e. 20 seconds press-ups, 20 seconds squats, 20 seconds sit ups. If they were to be performed at a similar intensity.
    Just ride.
  • sandy771sandy771 Posts: 368
    HIT though is very effective but you should NEVER stop suddenly after doing any sort of intervals, instead you should allways keep moving otherwise you going to like posted above have a heart attack lol, just make sure you warmup and cooldown properly before doing intervals as you pushing your body a lot harder than typical workouts.

    Never heard this before. We tend to do this regularly as we will ride up one of the many long local hill trails and then stop at the top to regroup/take in the scenary/stop breathing out of our arses before the fun downhill bit. MTBing for us is almost by definition interval training with sudden stops.
  • mrmonkfingermrmonkfinger Posts: 1,452
    3 reps of 20 seconds isn't enough to get much of a long term increase. To start with it would certainly do something. But then almost anything will help to start with.

    Or to put it another way, after your body adapts to this three reps scheme, you have to do something extra, to get further adaptations.


    Show me the contest winning athletes who train for just 3 minutes, 3 times a week...
  • C0LL0C0LL0 Posts: 271
    HIT certainly has benefits, but it all depends upon what your final goal is, if it's to win MTB events then HIT is not going to do that, pounding the trails for mile upon mile is what will do it, as well as eating correclty, doing the correct weight training and above all cross train as well, there is no miracle fitness regime hard work all the way im afraid.

    but as I said, it's what your end goal is, that would depend on how you train!
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    This programme wound me up a bit as there was no mention of lactate threshold and its relevance to fitness.

    Also there was no mention of the effects of all the protein in a full English breakfast - only the fat.
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • sandy771 wrote:
    HIT though is very effective but you should NEVER stop suddenly after doing any sort of intervals, instead you should allways keep moving otherwise you going to like posted above have a heart attack lol, just make sure you warmup and cooldown properly before doing intervals as you pushing your body a lot harder than typical workouts.

    Never heard this before. We tend to do this regularly as we will ride up one of the many long local hill trails and then stop at the top to regroup/take in the scenary/stop breathing out of our arses before the fun downhill bit. MTBing for us is almost by definition interval training with sudden stops.

    :shock: Yep that would be doing it wrong mate .

    By stopping you shocking your body even more than going up that horrid hill, start stop is never good.

    Was told by a pro coach before that you should allways keep moving when you doing exercises even during the recovery as once you stop your body releases chemicals which start the recovery process and therefore stop you getting the most out of your exercise you trying to do.

    Good example, you in a triathlon and just done the swim+bike, you then suffering during the run and decide to stop/walk to recover....thats game over, as you switched yourself off and body will start the shutdown process as it starts to recover...ie never sitdown after a marathon :D
    Would similar benefits be achieved by doing an exercises other than sprinting? i.e. 20 seconds press-ups, 20 seconds squats, 20 seconds sit ups. If they were to be performed at a similar intensity.

    Dont think it works for non cardio exercises, doing what you said it just doing a typical gym styled "set"
    London2Brighton Challange 100k!
    http://www.justgiving.com/broxbourne-runners
  • Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    What about going all out and having to stop, unable to move, shaking you're so fatigued from the short burst?

    I saw the Horizon programme and I dunno, it can't do anything for endurance, only "endurance" rides can do that.

    Sounds like good training for a 100M/200M and maybe 400M sprinter but thats it.

    What I don't like about 20+ mile rides (apart from the time they take) is how I get worn tendons/ligaments whereas on a quick (but very steep) 1 mile blast up a 15% to 20% gradient, there isn't enough time to get that soreness in my tendons, so it has some advantages.

    Just rode up a hill near me "Werneth Low" and it was easier than in the past.

    XZaKv.jpg

    Not been up Werneth Low for months (been doing Snake Pass) but oh my god was it gruelling just then! I biked until I literally could not go any more... then yeah I stopped, I didn't have a heart attack. :P

    If you "might" have a heart attack, why? Sometimes I don't have the option to carry on. If I am on a 17% incline and I stopped because I was literally using my last breaths or the last bit of energy from the muscle in my legs - its not possible to carry on cycling up a 17% incline.

    So you mean if you sprinted until you literally collapsed, when you did collapse you should kinda move around on the floor a bit? Don't forget the Horizon program did have that bit with the room with 14% oxygen where he had it proven that our brains tell us to stop before the point we "really" have to stop, so there's a safety mechanism to it, the program proved that, but thats not related to heart attacks when stopping, it is along those lines though.

    Surely the "coming close to a heart attack" thing is in itself another form of training anyway, if you wanted to risk it that is. I mean the next time you won't be as close to the heart attack OR you'll do slightly more and be as close as last time.

    Doing Werneth Low then I had to stop, the laybys up it are spaced out at just the right distances lol.

    I have to admit what I just did (5 miles as hard as possible) was harder than a 30 mile ride at a leisurely pace, even Snake Pass isn't as hard as that was just then.

    I think its gonna have to be a mixture of HIT and endurance to eventually give you all round capability, EG the type of guy that wins TdF for example, he can't sprint anything like as fast as the best sprinters, but they can't hill climb like he can (which is why they physically cannot win the Tour), but all in all the guy that can hill climb and sprint when he has to is the winner of the entire Tour.

    Now I am really dubious about this HIT again after typing all that. lol

    My pulse is normally about 57 when sat in a chair. I have been back from my ride about 20 minutes now and it is still at 92. Pretty bad huh. I wish I had the money to just throw £50,000 at a guy and say there, get all the equipment (or hire it all) and keep everything logged, every possible way to monitor me, do it. I guess its like a snowball effect if you have natural talent, you'll get sponsors interested, then you get access to equipment for the first time and well, even those sponsored guys are probably in a better position to get fitter quicker than an unsponsored guy with more talent, simply because the more talented guy hasn't got a nutritionist telling him what to eat etc, or biologists telling him this and that, tweaking everything to the last calorie.

    Enough. I could waffle forever.
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