Optimise Your Performance

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Chris Furber’s recent transition from Lead coach of the British Paralympic Cycling to British Swimming National Performance Director for Paralympic swimming has shown exactly how sports can learn from one another.

Whether it’s elite management or simple training tips, there is always something to be learned from other sports, especially at a time when studies on sport are in such significant detail.

Interval training is used by coaches across many disciplines. It is great for reducing body fat, improving aerobic and anaerobic fitness and can also increase your production of anabolic hormones, such as testosterone and growth hormone.

New research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research by sport scientists from the Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel, shows that the beneficial effects from interval training on the endocrine system can further optimise performance.

Twelve sportsmen aged between 17 and 25 years participated as subjects. They twice performed interval training sessions consisting of four varied sprints covering a total of 1,000 meters, taking a total of 9 min rest between sprints.

The first session saw the subjects sprint 100m, rested 2 min, sprinted 200m, rested 3 min, sprinted 300m, rested for 4 and ended with a sprint of 400m.

The second session involved the opposite. The subjects sprinted 400m, rested 4 min, sprinted 300m, rested 3 min, sprinted 200 m, rested 2 min and ended with a sprint of 100m.

Results suggest that the workout with decreasing distance led to a substantial increase in lactic acid levels and an extra large increase in growth hormone. Similar research has also shown the same conclusion between lactic acid and GH.

Sport research like this study can be very useful to any type of sprinter, whether it is on the track or in the pool and is a great way of improving your training. It is important to keep an eye on recent research and think ‘how can I benefit from this and how can I use this research for maximum advantage?’




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