Strength & Conditioning

UCAN Presents: Dr. Paul Laursen and the Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training, Part 3

In a special 3-part webinar series, Dr. Paul Laursen – researcher, endurance coach, and high performance consultant – talks about the science of high intensity interval training (HIIT), how to apply it to team sports and concurrent (strength + cardio) training programs, and the unique factors that influence the needs and goals of athletes and individuals who incorporate strength training and cardiovascular training into their programs.

This webinar is a must-listen for personal trainers, strength/team sport coaches, and individual exercisers who strive to optimize their clients’, athletes’, or personal programs. This education series aims to help fitness professionals and individuals alike maximize overall athlete and client outcomes while minimizing or eliminating over-training and the interference effect through smart and informed programming.

Watch Part 3 below and review the show notes. Click on the links to watch Part 1 and Part 2.

Text book: Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training: Solutions to the Programming Puzzle

Online course: Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training Online Course
*Course work NSCA CEU approved

Fine Tuning HIIT Weapons

  1. Know your context
  2. Know your physiological targets
  3. Know which HIIT “weapon” to use
  4. Consider 12 main variables

Long interval HIIT

  • VO2max power output for 2-5 Minutes
  • Recovery 1-4 minutes, typically passive
  • Type 3 and Type 4 Targets
    • Type 3: ↑O2 + ↑⦻2 + ↓NM
    • Type 4: ↑O2 + ↑⦻2 + ↑NM

Short Interval HIIT

  • Most versatile of all HIIT weapons
  • Can apply short HIIT weapons to reach almost all HIIT types
    • Type 1: ↑O2 + ↓⦻2 + ↓NM
    • Type 2: ↑O2 + ↓⦻2 + ↑NM
    • Type 3: ↑O2 + ↑⦻2 + ↓NM
    • Type 4: ↑O2 + ↑⦻2 + ↑NM
  • 100-120% of the velocity at the end of the 30-15 incremental field test for 10-60 seconds
  • Equivalent recovery durations (10-60 seconds), typically passive
    • Active recovery can be used if the purpose is to maximally condition aerobic energy system

*Myoglobin is the superstar of short interval HIIT*
Myoglobin: a protein that carries oxygen into muscle cells

  • Re-saturates very quickly in 10 sec on : 10 sec off intervals
  • The longest limit (60 seconds) is extremely taxing, and chiefly an anaerobic contribution. Adds to oxygen deficit

Conversely, doing 10 sec on, 10 sec off at the same intensity

  • Be near VO2max repeatedly, but remain at a very low level of blood lactate
  • All due to quick re-saturation of myoglobin
    • Many short-interval formats allow lactate to remain well below long-interval HIIT levels
    • Mainly applied to Type 1 and Type 2 HIIT targets, as they are ↓⦻2

Repeated Sprint Training

  • All-out effort of 3-10 second short sprints: typical in team sport context.
  • 15-60 seconds passive recovery
  • Type 4 and Type 5 Targets
    • Type 4: ↑O2 + ↑⦻2 + ↑NM
    • Type 5: ↓O2 + ↑⦻2 + ↑NM
  • In studies, in active vs. passive recovery in Repeated Sprint Training:
    • Faster sprints on treadmill with passive vs active recovery
    • This is aimed at developing fatigue resistance at maximal efforts

*When training on maximal effort, team sports coaches should emphasize passive recovery

Sprint Interval Training

The HIIT type that’s taken the health and fitness industry/media by storm

  • 20-30 second all-out sprints
  • 1-4 minutes passive recovery
  • Great for health, but needs to be monitored closely
  • Low aerobic contribution, typically very large neuromuscular and anaerobic contribution
    • Type 5: ↓O2 + ↑⦻2 + ↑NM
  • Highly effective in a short-duration setting, but too many of these types of training sessions can be a big factor in overtraining symptoms

Game-Based High-Intensity Interval Training

  • Types of sessions where the athletes don’t realize they’re getting physiological benefits because it’s play
  • Game simulation- manipulating games to elicit HIIT targets
    • Field /court dimensions: can shorten/expand the playing field
    • Player number: reduced player numbers over larger field elicits a greater intensity
    • Change technical rules
    • Coach encouragement has been shown to increase the intensity
    • Goalkeeper: having a goalkeeper present vs not has been shown to increase the intensity
  • HIIT Types
    • Type 2: ↑O2 + ↓⦻2 + ↑NM
    • Type 3: ↑O2 + ↑⦻2 + ↓NM
    • Type 4: ↑O2 + ↑⦻2 + ↑NM
  • 2-5 minutes work
  • 1:30- 2min passive recovery

“Nutrition is the Biggest Confounder”

You can’t out-run a bad diet

  • Dr. Laursen is often approached by athletes that suffer the effects of chronic overtraining/inadequate training programs and improper nutrition
  • Simple adjustments in diet result in better recovery, leading to better performance
  • Not anti-carb: it needs to be the right place at the right time.
    • Train high- a carbohydrate like UCAN for the HIIT efforts is ideal because the body needs energy available in the carbohydrate form
  • UCAN has been a key nutrition manipulation for Dr. Laursen in his practice to fine-tune performance
    • UCAN is revolutionary because it provides crucial carbohydrate energy without causing a significant insulin response
    • Can be used for HIIT sessions in addition to endurance sessions
  • Standard American Diet: pro-inflammatory, which is problematic for recovery.
    • If you can support your immune system by reducing inflammation in the form of a good diet and good sleep, the two interact to elicit a really powerful recovery milieu within the body
      • Key to optimizing performance