How to HIIT higher Aerobic Capacity – VO2Max

How to HIIT higher Aerobic Capacity

One of the best workouts for building fitness is intervals. That’s a session with alternating hard and easy segments. When your training schedule is interrupted by weather or work  or family commitments, add a sizzling intervals session to your program.

The physiological reason for doing this type of high-intensity interval training session is to improve aerobic capacity (VO2Max).

Which intervals offer better returns? Short or long?

How long should you make the WI in a high-intensity, anaerobic endurance interval session with the purpose of improving aerobic capacity and, therefore, race performance? A research team from Lillehammer University in Norway took a look at that question. The Norwegian researchers compared short and long intervals to see if there is any benefit one way or the other when it comes to aerobic capacity and performance benefits. They studied a group of 16 competitive cyclists divided into two groups with both doing anaerobic endurance intervals at the same intensity – about 90 to 100% of VO2max – with the workout interval the primary difference, short vs. long.

The team did 2 works a week for for 10 weeks.

The short intervals  group did 3 sets of 13 x 30 seconds with 15-second rest intervals after each WI,  and 3 minutes of extended recovery between each of the 3 sets.

vs the

The long intervals group did 4 x 5-minute WI with 2.5-minute rest intervals. both teams used active recovery inbetween work intervals, pedalling slowly as recovery.

RESULTS: Both the teams improved their aerobic capacity VO2Max!

However one group got more bang for the their workouts.

Can you guess?

The Long Interval group improved their VO2max by 2.6% on average over the course of the 10 weeks, but the Short Interval riders had a huge average improvement of 8.7%.

Short Intervals also made greater performance gains in 30-second, 5-minute and 40-minute time trials.

If you have not previously done high-intensity interval sessions in training or if there has a been a break of several weeks since you last did them, it’s probably best to start at a much lower level of total interval time in a session than was used in this study. That could be something such as one set of 10 x 30 seconds with 30-second recoveries or 5 x 1 minute with 1-minute recoveries.