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Long Intervals 4×4 min vs 4×8 min vs 4×16 min

 

What long intervals are the best to improve your Threshold Power and VO2 Max?

Today I want to research what intervals are the best for you.

What is your guess?

  • 4×4 min
  • 4×8 min
  • 4×16 min

Testing Group and Training Protocol

 

35 cyclists (29 male and 6 female) with VO2 Max 52 ± 6 mL kg/min were separated into 4 groups. Training protocol was applied for 7 weeks. Intervals were prescribed at the maximal tolerate intensity.

The first group was doing only low-intensity training (8 cyclists), 4-6 sessions at low-intensity/week.

The second group (9 cyclists) was doing 2 sessions/week with 4×4 min intervals at intensity 94 ± 2 HR peak plus 2-3 low-intensity sessions/week.

The third group (9 cyclists) was doing 2 sessions/week with 4×8 min intervals at intensity 90 ± 2 HR peak plus 2-3 low-intensity sessions/week.

The fourth group (9 cyclists) was doing 2 sessions/week with 4×16 min intervals at intensity 88 ± 2 HR peak plus 2-3 low-intensity sessions/week.

Results

 

Threshold improvement was highest after 4×8 min intervals, 16.2%! 9.2% after 4×16 min intervals, 8.2% after 4×4 intervals, and even 7.7% after low-intensity training.

VO2 Max Power increased by 8.5% after 4×8 min intervals, 5.2% after 4×4 min intervals, 3.0% and 2.6% after 4×16 min intervals and low-intensity training

Conclusion

 

The goal was to compare the physiological impact of intervals at the threshold and VO2 Max intensity on recreationally trained cyclists. We could see the best results for 4×8 min intervals in increasing threshold power as well as VO2 Max power. We need to take into consideration that a test group of cyclists was recreational level. That’s why we can see faster improvement in threshold and VO2 Max values.

Remember to always adjust your training plan to your needs, but it is definitely worth it, to try Polarized Training. Let me know if you need the help of a coach.

Coach Damian

Coach Damian

Damian is a head coach and founder of Cyklopedia, which was created with one goal to help everyone be faster cyclists by structured training plans, healthy recipes, and nutrition plans. Damian is racing and coaching for over 10 years, working with athletes all around the world.

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