The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two different methods of organizing endurance training in trained cyclists during a 12-week preparation period. One group of cyclists performed block periodization (BP; n = 8), wherein every fourth week constituted five sessions of high-intensity aerobic training (HIT), followed by 3 weeks of one HIT session. Another group performed a more traditional organization (TRAD; n = 7), with 12 weeks of two weekly HIT sessions. The HIT was interspersed with low-intensity training (LIT) so that similar total volumes of both HIT and LIT were performed in the two groups. BP achieved a larger relative improvement in VO2max than TRAD (8.8 ± 5.9% vs 3.7 ± 2.9%, respectively, < 0.05) and a tendency toward larger increase in power output at 2 mmol/L [la(-)] (22 ± 14% vs 10 ± 7%, respectively, P = 0.054). Mean effect size (ES) of the relative improvement in VO2max , power output at 2 mmol/L [la(-)], hemoglobin mass, and mean power output during 40-min all-out trial revealed moderate superior effects of BP compared with TRAD training (ES range was 0.62-1.12). The present study suggests that BP of endurance training has superior effects on several endurance and performance indices compared with TRAD.
Keywords: endurance performance; lactate threshold; maximal oxygen consumption; peak power output; training organization.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.