Low Volume and High Intensity Training

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Middlebury College
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Am currently working as an instructor for the DeFrancos Gym and Fitness Center in Wyckoff, New Jersey. This is the best facility in the region where people can engage in various fitness activities to keep their bodies healthy as well as for professional purposes. The International Sports Sciences Association comprises of the strength and conditioning certification and as an alumnus of the association, I learnt all the techniques to engage in training people who need these services. I have been training Ken Elvis, a professional cyclist from New Jersey on a ten-minute climb plan. Under this program, a professional cyclist undertakes the training for duration of four weeks with five workouts per week.

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This stage is also referred to as the periodized training, which goes back to the ancient Olympics. Its fundamental premise is that via the manipulation of the training intensity and volume, with collaboration with relevant short-time unloading phase. During the process of training, Elvis reaches the peak at the appropriate time and minimizes the risks associated with overtraining. For the audience to understand how the peaks are achieved when engaging in the ten-minute climb, the concept of periodization is first explained.

The fundamental standard of is a change from focusing high volume and low intensity characterized by exercises, sets and repetitions to low volume and high intensity training. The training year is categorized in four different cycles with each known as the mesocycle. At first, Ken engaged in the hypertrophy or the preparatory phase comprising of the low intensity and high volume cycling. This stage was designed to increase the mass and endurance of muscles as well as prepare him for more advanced phases. Also the Adjustabikes, that is, the replicates of real bikes with proper groupsets as well as cranks for replicating his correct riding position. Moreover, there was no distortion of the flywheel similar to what happens in the spin bikes. In this case, the DeFrancos gym developed a proprietary hardware for professional cyclists and the facilitys electronics have a repeatable power and accurate measurement when altering the real wheel load approximately one hundred times every second to actual replicate rolling road feel.

About the efficacy of periodization, overtime, Ken has increased strength in the resistance-training program. However, the improvement in strength is not great because of periodized training. There is evidence of his upper range for the improvement of strength in the 1RM reported to be approximately 15% in the non-periodized and 27% in the periodized training program. Also, the upper range for the 1RM squat is approximately 33%. There are some benefits associated with the trainee involving the periodization program. These advantages include:

Ability to manage fatigue and minimize the risks associated with overtraining through the management of factors like recovery, intensity as well as load,

The athlete can optimize performance over certain period of time

This plan accounts for the personal factors inclusive of training age, time constraints as well as environmental factors.

As athlete progresses with the process of training any person will be able to understand the structuring of periodization. The next phase that Elvis engaged in was the road biking experience indoors. In this case, he joined other professional cyclist at all levels from the beginners to the elite to learn to use power based training to achieve quick results. The Shane Sutton technique is similar in all sessions to enable the rider push to his limits as well as improve with every visit.

The models of periodization have gained significant attention over the past few years and until currently, they comprise of uniform alterations in training intensity and volume, which remain stable with each mosocycle. The linear model refers to the classic design. However, the non-linear models are gaining popularity. During each week of training Elvis, the non-linear model appears effective because of his ability to utilize relatively light training intensities on the proceeding days. The table below reflects the non-linear and linear training models, which Elvis engaged and after the appropriate period it is possible to view the actual and the expected results.

Number of Sets Repetitions Rests between the training sets

Day 1 3-4 7-10 RM 3 Minutes

Day 2 4-5 3- 6 RM 3-4 Minutes

Day 3 3-5 10- 15 1 Minute

When the traditional method of periodization was utilized in training the athlete, it was clear that there were insignificant changes across most of the mesocycles. However, it was initially appropriate when Elvis was a beginner. The phases involved in the traditional model were the transition, competition, special and general preparatory phase. Even if there was improvement in his performance, the expected results were not achieved because there was decline in the number of cycles per minute.

Using the scientific approach to training the professional cyclists, Alvis adopts the technique so that to derive the data in every session. Training peaks and Strava are used to upload all the sessions in his account and comparison of the data with actual riding to contrast with the saddle time, cadence and wattage. Also physiological testing is conducted to assist the rider measure improvements with time by applying markers as utilized by the pro athletes. Therefore, the traditional technique was not able to offer a multi-peaking approach based on in-season performance as well as sufficient training stimuli.

Apart from cycling, Elvis engages in the muscle-strengthening activities that help to:

Develop stronger bones and muscles to minimize the risks associated with osteoporosis and increase the density of bones.

Regulate the body weight since as the body gains muscles, its metabolism rate increases and therefore enabling him to burn the calories more efficiently.

Minimize the risk of injury as stronger muscles can support the joints as well as protect them from being injured. Also, strength training improves the functioning of the neural system as well as improves the reaction time

Following the benefits associated with the strengthening of body muscles, the following table shows the Elvis muscle training program.

Activity Duration per Week

Sit-ups 120 minutes

Abdominal Crunches 170 minutes

Weight-Lifting 200 minutes

Pull-ups 150 minutes

Engaging the Resistance bands or tubings 100 minutes

Based on undulating design, there is variation of stimulus within the daily undulating periodization as well as the weekly model under which the daily changes are made to the intensity and volume. Given the benefits associated with linear modeling in professional athletes there are hopes that the Elvis will benefit from the program. The conjugate sequence or block periodization established by Verkoshansky for the athletes is used with it focus towards the development of the motor abilities as well as establishment of specific necessary strength qualities. By Elvis lifting different weights and engaging him in push and sit-ups, then the restitution block is used. The activities in this approach are able to improve specific technical motor qualities having a limited volume load. On the other hand, the accumulation block focuses on the ulilateral concentration of different loads, which allows specific systems to achieve higher stress levels.

Given that, the athlete has been engaging in consistent training sessions for the three and half years where he started with the contemporary technique to assess the variations as well as the progress, there were initial negative changes to his strength without a decline in his performance. Currently, Elvis is an intermediate professional cycler and as a coach, it is important to focus on undulating periodization model as well as its progressions. For example, there is evidence of the athlete using the squat exercise for the hypertrophy in the first stage of the undulating sessions. The following activities are conducted in a period of four weeks.

Period Activity Sets by Repetitions

Week 1 Squat 4 by 12

Week 2 Squat 4 by 8

Week 3 Squat 6 by 6

Week 4 Squat 3 by 5

From that point, he engages strength blocking by utilizing the 6/4/2 model and adds competition on the horizon where other professional cyclers are involved. Endurance and speed are measured in the indoor stationary bikes. In cases, where there are no competitors, then he engages other hypertrophy blocks by altering the volume as well as the intensity. Even if he does not perform based on the expectations, he improves every stage by adjusting these parameters and ensuring that he reduces the lead-time every training session. Given that the athlete is more on the strength phase, there is an evidence of increased intensity in all the activities but the training volume is reduced. The main aim of this mesocycle is to increase the strength of the athlete to allow him recover from the previous unloading phase.

Following the above training plans imposed to Elvis, a professional cycler based in New Jersey and engaging in fitness at DeFrancos Gym and Fitness Center, the results achieved shows that periodization can achieve peak condition through manipulation of training intensity and volume. Also, appropriate alteration of these parameters will not only result in the athlete achieving his peak time but also minimize the risks associated with overtraining.

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