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May 04, 2011


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Adam -
can you please go a little into the theory of why not to do workouts like this more frequently? Like should this be the 'queen' workout of a two week block? Also, how quickly should an otherwise (somewhat) well trained rider expect to see adaptations from this workout?

No problem Dave.

You may have seen similar pyramid workouts from Joe Friel and Chris Carmichael that are suggested as once-a-week workouts. The difference here is that our longest interval is only 1min long (as opposed to the 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1min pyramid intervals). This interval set is highly anaerobic whereas longer pyramid sets have a highly aerobic component.

During these highly anaerobic and explosive intervals, we are utilizing quite a bit of our phosphate and creatine stores as well as producing a high amount of lactic acid. Combined with the limited amount of recovery in this workout and you are actually starting to breakdown your muscles.

I tend to do this interval set when I am about a week and a half out from a peak race. I use this as a last minute topper for my speed and anaerobic power when I already have a good base of fitness.

Like any new exercise, you can't expect to see adaptations overnight. Just like you can train your aerobic threshold, you can also train your anaerobic threshold and increase the intensity at which your body starts accumulating more lactate than it can dispose of. However, expect to start seeing an increase in power after 2 or 3 times simply due to muscle neurology (your muscles becoming better at firing int he correct sequence due to memory).

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