Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reduced Volume + Increased Intensity = Results

This isn't normally my type of thing (read: nutrition), but when I come across something that's yelling as loudly as this study, I get all giddy inside like a kid at Christmas.  Time to get Sciencey!

Reduced volume and increased training intensity elevate muscle Na+-K+ pump {alpha}2-subunit expression as well as short- and long-term work capacity in humans

Jens Bangsbo, Thomas P. Gunnarsson, Jesper Wendell, Lars Nybo, and Martin Thomassen Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Section of Human Physiology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Submitted 12 April 2009 ; accepted in final form 28 September 2009
The present study examined muscle adaptations and alterations in work capacity in endurance-trained runners as a result of a reduced amount of training combined with speed endurance training. For a 6- to 9-wk period, 17 runners were assigned to either a speed endurance group with a 25% reduction in the amount of training but including speed endurance training consisting of six to twelve 30-s sprint runs 3–4 times/wk (SET group n = 12) or a control group (n = 5), which continued the endurance training (~55 km/wk). For the SET group, the expression of the muscle Na+-K+ pump {alpha}2-subunit was 68% higher (P < 0.05) and the plasma K+ level was reduced (P < 0.05) during repeated intense running after 9 wk. Performance in a 30-s sprint test and the first of the supramaximal exhaustive runs was improved (P < 0.05) by 7% and 36%, respectively, after the speed endurance training period. In the SET group, maximal O2 uptake was unaltered, but the 3-km (3,000-m) time was reduced (P < 0.05) from 10.4 ± 0.1 to 10.1 ± 0.1 min and the 10-km (10,000-m) time was improved from 37.3 ± 0.4 to 36.3 ± 0.4 min (means ± SE). Muscle protein expression and performance remained unaltered in the control group. The present data suggest that both short- and long-term exercise performances can be improved with a reduction in training volume if speed endurance training is performed and that the Na+-K+ pump plays a role in the control of K+ homeostasis and in the development of fatigue during repeated high-intensity exercise.

No?  Translation:  The control group doing LESS km/week improved performance by INCREASING intensity by incorporating sprints.  Now, for those than think running is just running, well, I'd urge you to head out to a track (albeit, frozen, but whatever) and run some 30s sprints.  FULL OUT.  Rinse, repeat.  Yeah, that's intense.

Why am I blathering about sprints?  We talk a lot about intensity in Crossfit.  In fact, I might alter a WOD for a client, reducing the total workload, to "keep the intensity" up.  By doing this, the client is able to maintain a high level of power output, and therefore, achieve the hormonal and physiological manipulation that makes the workout effective.

Intensity.  It's good shit.

Deadlift, CFLA, Dec 1st, 8PM

Finished up coaching the 5,6,7PM classes, and while I felt like going home and curling up to a bottle of Patron, I figured a coach actually doing some work was warranted.

Gayest shorts.  Ever.  But it illustrates the terminology about grip.

135#x5 mixed, left pronated, right supinated.  This is my usual mixed grip (right "up", left "down")
135#x5 mixed, left supinated, right pronated.  
225#x3 double pronated grip (both hands "down", or towards my body)
285#x3 mixed, left sup, right prone.  Felt brutal.  My weaker grip, fo' sho'
315#x3 mixed, left prone, right sup
345#x3 mixed
365#x3 mixed, 10# PR from Nov 6th.  I'd be a liar is I said these reps were pretty.

Tried a few 1RMs at 415#, which was just stupid funny, considering how 365# went.  No dice, not even close.

Met Con, "Annie", brought to you today by Vibrams.  Get primal, get Vibrams! (That's some catchy advertising for you, Jamie K.)

Double Unders
Situps (Abmat, feet anchored)
Pretty damn happy with this, as this was actually my first ever crack at Annie.  In the past I had either just missed the day it was programmed, or as one enlightened client stated "had just conveniently avoided it".  Perhaps.  My double under have always sucked rocks, but in all 150 reps, I just missed once, in the 40 set.  Was it the power of Vibrams?  I dunno.  But I'll take it!  Situps are slower than molasses in January, as Ma used to say.  I could bust into the 5 min realm if I could just speed these up.  I'm fairly sure the abmat slows things down by forcing a great ROM, but I have nothing at this point to compare that, other than from what I'm hearing and seeing from others.