Interval Training Helps Avoid Overtraining -
    • Interval Training Helps Avoid Overtraining

      From Ergo-Log

      Elite athletes usually have a jam-packed training schedule. Adding more training often means over-training, which can results in a drop in testosterone level, muscle breakdown and reduced performance. Fortunately, though, there's interval training: a possible solution according to sports scientists at Tarbiat Modares University in Iran. They discovered that free-style wrestlers become even fitter and produce even more testosterone if they add interval training to their routine.

      The researchers got 8 experienced male wrestlers to do interval training twice a week for 4 weeks. The training consisted of six 35-m sprints, with 10 seconds rest between sprints. A session lasted just 4 minutes, including a warming up and a cool down.

      On one occasion the wrestlers did their interval training on a day when no other forms of training were planned; on the other occasion they did the training during a separate part of the day. The interval training was never done just before, during or just after another training element.

      A control group of 7 wrestlers continued to train as before, doing the same amount of training – except for the interval training – as the experimental group. They did strength training twice a week, plyometric training once a week, and wrestled three times a week. Friday was their day off.

      The testosterone level of the men in the experimental group rose by a statistically significant 19 percent. The men's free testosterone level rose by 8 percent; their cortisol level went down by 13 percent. These two effects were not statistically significant.

      The maximal oxygen uptake in the experimental group increased by 5 percent: a statistically significant effect.

      And finally, the interval training resulted in the wrestlers being able to generate more power in the Wingate test: a standard measure of anaerobic capacity. In the figure below [click for a larger version] you can see that the wrestlers' anaerobic and aerobic capacity increased as a result of the interval training.

      Because interval training is so quick to do it's a great way for athletes to make improvements to their condition even though they're on the brink of over-training because of a high training volume, the Iranians conclude.

      "However, it must be considered that anaerobic types of training are very intensive; thus, the volume of the training should be monitored and increased with caution; otherwise, the performance may be reduced", they warn. "Therefore, the use of a higher number of sprints should be investigated further."

      J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Sep; 25(9): 2392-9.

      Comments 3 Comments
      1. EatMoar's Avatar
        EatMoar -
        I know what I'm doing on for cardio now .... That's an interesting study . Only 4 minutes too..
      1. GLHF's Avatar
        GLHF -
        Four minutes?! Its great that we get testosterone an cortisol reading but what about calories burned? Only four minutes seems too quick even for hiit.
      1. EatMoar's Avatar
        EatMoar -
        Originally Posted by GLHF View Post
        Four minutes?! Its great that we get testosterone an cortisol reading but what about calories burned? Only four minutes seems too quick even for hiit.
        to assess the intensity? because the whole point of the interval training was to lower cort. levels and raise test. levels to prevent overtraining.