Prescribing Percent Effort of Mixed Modal Training Activity

Hello Everyone,


I am pretty new to the website, and I have been enjoying it thoroughly so far! Loads of good info. I came across an article the other day which has brought up some questions, and things I think are worth considering when programming. The study itself was done in 1997, which by all accounts makes it a little dated – so if there is a more recent article that you can turn me on to, please do!


I wil attach the full article but for those of you who just want the main points – here is the abstract: Abstract Skeletal muscle buffering capacity (??m), enzyme activities and exercise performance were measured before and after 4 weeks of high-intensity, sub- maximal interval training (HIT) undertaken by six well- trained competitive cyclists [mean maximal oxygen consumption (V ? O2max) = 66.2 ml · kg–1 · min–1]. HIT re- placed a portion of habitual endurance training and consisted of six sessions, each of six to eight repetitions of 5 min duration at 80% of peak sustained power out- put (PPO) separated by 1 min of recovery. ??m increased from 206.6 (17.9) to 240.4 (34.1) ??mol H+ · g muscle dw)1 · pH–1 after HIT (P = 0.05). PPO, time to fatigue at 150% PPO (TF150) and 40-km cycle time trial perfor- mance (TT40) all significantly improved after HIT (P < 0.05). In contrast, there was no change in the activity of either phosphofructokinase or citrate synthase. In addition, ??m correlated significantly with TT40 per- formance before HIT (r = )0.82, P < 0.05) and the relationship between change in ??m and change in TT40 was close to significance (r = )0.74). ??m did not corre- late with TF150. These results indicate that ??m may be an important determinant of relatively short-duration (< 60 min) endurance cycling activity and responds positively to just six sessions of high-intensity, submaximal interval training.


Other important info:
They completed 6 sessions in 4 weeks;
“Subjects performed a maximal incremental exercise test to exhaustion for the determination of sustained peak power output (PPO). The test was performed using an electronically braked cycle ergo- meter (Lode, Groningen, The Netherlands), modified to accom- modate the cyclists’ own cycling shoes and with low-profile handlebars. Subjects remained seated and pedaled with cadence of 80– 90 revolutions per minute during all tests. The initial workload was set at 3.33 W·Kg–1 body mass and was maintained for 150 s followed by an increase of 50 W which was maintained for a further 150 s. Subsequently, the workload was increased by 25 W·150 s–1 until fatigue. Subjects were verbally encouraged to make a maximal effort and the test was terminated when the subject could no longer maintain a cadence of >70 rev · min–1. The PPO test is described in more detail elsewhere (Kuipers et al. 1985; Hawley and Noakes 1992).”


This article is interesting to me in terms of prescription writing. I have not had the chance to attend OPT CCP but what I have gathered is that it is based off of RPE. In terms of measurability, do you all think it is possible to prescribe based off of sustained PPO?


Lets just say, for the sake of argument, that the same protocol was done on a rower. And lets just say that a person did 400W before they failed. 80% of 400 is 320W. Could we not teach our clients what that 80% exertion feels like on something like a rower, and have them transfer that to multiple modalities and time frames. For example, say you have someone who needs to increase their lactic endurance – say you have found their PPO previously during testing; and say that for their sport they need to increase their work capacity in the 4min range. Put them on the rower and tell them to row at 95-97% of PPO for 4 mins; rest 20 x 3 – gather HR data, RPE, etc. Once the client knows what that 95-97%% feels like, and you have recorded HR, etc, wouldn’t that be easier to transfer to multiple modalities? However, I have not tested this. It may be impossible to sustain a 95-97% of sustained PPO for that amount of time. I plan on trying it out in the near future, but for now I would like to hear your thoughts on this. James, and the rest of you that are way more experienced than I am, could maybe provide examples of why this would be a bad protocol? Or likewise why this would be a good protocol? Like I said before, I haven’t had the chance to do the certifications, so this may have previously been debunked!


Please let me know what you all think!


Best Regards,





Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *