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-   -   Power Bias 2 article (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=86)

Chris Forbis 10-15-2006 06:22 PM

Power Bias 2 article
Just read the Power Bias 2 article. Good stuff. It reinforced thoughts I have had relating to sprinting.

I had been doing tabata sprints weekly in my training. Tabata sprinting is brutal, with my 4th-8th rounds conducted at greatly reduced speed (relative to my absolute maximum speed). I recently abandoned these tabata sprints for 100m sprints followed by 2 minutes of rest (spent walking back to the start line). I do this for 6-10 sets. Following this plan, I see minimal increase in my overall time from my first to last set (and thus little reduction in power output).

My rationale for following this protocol was that both the tabatas and what I recently adopted leave me as a wreck, heaving for breath and semi-naseous. I opted to stick with the one where I'm peforming the work at a higher power output.

Now we'll see how I do on a 5k in 4 weeks on this minimal amount of running training.

Greg Everett 10-15-2006 06:25 PM

Do you ever combine those punctuated sprinting bouts with other exercises?

Steve Shafley 10-16-2006 05:24 AM

What are you training for, Chris?

Yael Grauer 10-16-2006 09:37 AM

That article made intuitive sense to me (I ignored all the science ;) ) because I used to do intervals back when I was running five days a week (before Crossfit). I'd either do short sprints and jog back or I'd do 15 seconds of full power holding onto the handlebar "running" followed by slow-motion "walking" on the elliptical. Which incidentally got me just as many strange looks as CF does. Anyways, doing this for twenty minutes definitely sucked more than my short sprint or slow long distance days, even though I was only full-out running for 5 minutes. I took my brother to the gym when he was visiting me last winter, and he said it sucked more than anything, which surprised him as he'd just finished running a half marathon. And we were on the wimpy little elliptical! (I'm far too uncoordinated to put my feet on the sides of the treadmill without falling over and didn't want to keep fumbling with the settings, hence the elliptical.) So it had to be the intervals.

I always wondered why the CF intervals didn't suck as bad, but I thought it was because there were other exercises interspersed which used other muscles (etc.) and never considered the rest factor.

So if one wanted to do today's WOD with that stellar research in mind, would you just do 21 deadlifts, take a 2 minute break, and then do the HSPU's and take another 2 minute break?

Ben Kaminski 10-16-2006 11:03 AM

I think you've got it right, Yael. Normally one would power through, breaking sets when tired and/or resting briefly between exercises. To incorporate this idea, I think that one would do the deadlifts, rest, do the HSPUS, rest, etc. until complete. Also, all of the sets would ideally be unbroken.

I think this WOD is tougher to break out than one such as Helen.

Chris Forbis 10-16-2006 02:55 PM


Right now, I'm not adding in any other exercises. I'm just focusing on the running for the upcoming 5K. After that, I will almost assuredly throw in other stuff. Maybe: sprint 200m, rest 2min, near max clapping pushups (leave 1-2 in tank), rest 2min, near max kipping pullups (leave 1-2 in tank), rest 2min, repeat two more rounds.


I'm recovering from a back strain from losing lordosis due to poor flexibility in my extensors. So I'm just training in small amounts to keep my sanity as I rehab. I have a very limited pool of exercises that don't aggravate the injury (upper body BW stuff, running, most jumping). I'm kind of focused on the 5K in four weeks, thus the recent emphasis on sprinting. I'd like to see if I could break 20 minutes with a minimal training program. After that, it will be upper body BW strength work until my back is healthy enough for me to start lifting heavy things again.

Robb Wolf 10-16-2006 05:55 PM

I think the short intervals (100m) will not cuas emuch of the adaptations you ar elooking for (increased mitochondrial density, increased glycolytic and oxidative enzyes etc). That said, if you find a comfortable level you can chug along for quite a while...you just have ot remain below the level of substrate exaustion. Even a few 200-400m repeats (long rest between bouts) will force the adaptations you are looking for. Good economics on this: Minimum input, max output.

Silly Science!

Yael Grauer 10-17-2006 09:00 AM

I love science. :) Just another quick question--would you be doing intervals within intervals (I forgot what the cool kids term for that was) for every metcon WOD? When I was running (not that I was getting stellar PP from it, but I did manage to get my 1 mile treadmill time down from 14 minutes to 7 in less than six months) I only did intervals once a week. Then I'd do slow long distance once or twice a week and sprints once or twice a week and throw in a mile run for time every once in a while (and I did pilates and yoga and weight circuits to mix it up). Stop laughing!! Anyways, my point is that I always thought doing intervals would be far too intense for more than just once a week. I'm guessing it's different when you're doing interval WODs because you at least get to do different exercises each time (and anthropological records show us that arthritis never existed until there was specialized activity...plus treadmilling five days a week made me want to break things) but I just have to wonder whether just the level of intensity would need to be monitored.

Which leads me to another question. Maybe a couple months after I started CF'ing I stopped going through the motions and have tried to have maximum intensity every single time I work out, and I'm starting to question whether that's the best approach. I've gotten really great results, but I am starting to wonder whether varying the intensity might be better. I'll even admit that I'm kind of tired of being sore all the time. :o Anybody mix things up a bit or is everyone going balls to the wall every single time?

(For the record, I'm not saying I want to go back to half-assed loooong workouts but I'm toying with the idea of throwing in a low-intensity day once a week or something.)

Robb Wolf 10-17-2006 11:09 AM

One can do all intervals, all the time but I think mixing it up is obviously fine. It's important to keep ones goals in mind. Even if general fitness is the main goal one must mix things up and have specific strength/power/skill elements one is working on. A potential template could be:
Day-1 O-lift
Day-2 Metcon (minimize eccentric lower body loading)
Day 3 Gymnastics
Day-4 off.

It seems prudent to plan unloading days/weeks (every 3rd training day or 3rd time you work an element cut the volume in half) and every 3-4 weeks cut volume/ by half and every 12-16 weeks take a full week off. That is a lot to keep track of but I think it almost ensures long term progress and injury/burnout avoidance.
I think yoou will notice also that you will likely be much less cooked from a schedule like this. If you ever need more metcon...add more days.

Chris Forbis 10-17-2006 02:35 PM


What you said reflects my current experience pretty well. I was coming from near zero metcon four to six weeks ago, so I've been working my way up on the number of 100m sprints the last few weeks. They are starting to get easier, so I'm looking to drop the rest interval a bit and/or increase the distance to 200m.

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