Sunday, October 7, 2012

Interval training....with no intervals

If you take the rest intervals out of an interval get a single all out sprint.  Why do we assume you need to do lots of separate sprints?  Just because Tabata has become a training cliche? Would we get the same effects from a single hard sprint?  Why not?

Well at last scientists are starting to look at this idea.  If we want to keep things simple, lets start with one hard sprint before we start to add complexity.

Check out what James Steele has to say about this idea and the recent new research.

Simply Single Bout Sprinting

....and of course if a single sprint works, why not just do hard resistance training, working to sequentially recruit as many fibres as possible, taking the exercises to failure?


Aaron said...

My training progression is evolving naturally along this course. The more intensely I learn to make my workouts, the less time I take doing them.

I started doing 8 all out sprints (15ish seconds) a few years ago and now I'm down to 4. I'll probably go to 3 here soon. And my lifting has been shaved to two all out static contractions per body part per week. I'm holding and squeezing the weight in position until it slowly lowers despite my mightiest effort to keep it in place.

My lifestyle actually affords me much more time to work out during the week, but I'm just listening to my body and going with the flow. Intensity is key.

Anonymous said...

Well, hasn't that Super Slow been saying this for years... that a set of resistance training would take care of our aerobic conditioning needs? Everybody poo pood the idea. Was it Wayne Westcott? I forget....

Douglas said...

While it drives me nuts that people think that the tabata protocol is the end-all and be-all of high intensity training programs, I would also question a move to ditch multi-set interval workouts for a single high intensity set...unless your goal is to get really, really good at that single high intensity set.

The study in question looked at blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, carb & fat oxidation. That's it.

I don't see how these results allow us to conclude that a single set protocol is superior to a multi set protocol.

We have no idea how it affects energy systems or long term power production, speed or any other markers of health & fitness.

With that said, I am all for challenging any & all accepted norms

JamesSteeleII said...


The key point to take from the study is that the starting place for research should be simplicity in the interventions examined. This study doesn't allow us to conclude a single set is superior, the results don;t even suggest that. They show that for the variables they measured a single set is sufficient to produce similar response as multiple sets.

The same point applies to single vs multiple set RT. Single sets aren't superior except in the fact that they are more time efficient and offer the same or almost similar strength results as multiple sets.

When looking into previously unexplored effects of training programs however the interventions should be simplified as much as possible before then beginning to manipulate variables such as volume, frequency, intensity, load etc. to see if a particular configuration of these variables using that training mode offers different results compared to the most controlled form of the intervention.

Bill said...

I'm now down to wriggling my toes very intensely for one minute once a week. Seeing great results!