As Meb Keflezighi’s (4th Place London Olympics) training assistant and massage/stretch therapist for the last 5 years, I can honestly say this is one of the most informative and competent threads I have come across in a loonngg ass time.
I was also with the 1996 US Olympic Sculling team and got to train with them and watch them for a six month period.
What I came away with was this. Both Coaches, Igor Grinko ('96 sculling team) and Bob Larson (Ucla, Meb’s personal coach of 17 years) both understood/ understand that If on a limited time schedule you are better off
to Train at a Maximum heart rate for as long as possible than to train steady state.
There analogy is the gas in the tank. You only have so much to burn so burn it with maximum output. It has also been found to be true that output of heartrate above 85% will transfer over into endurance while the opposite is Not true.
As American Alpinist Marc Twight once famously said “You always have sometime to burn, even if it is Grey Matter”.
Your body can only produce so much ATP at a time at the anaerobic level but has a near unlimited capacity to produce this at a lower heart rate level.
When Meb is two weeks out from a major Marathon he is doing a LOT more speed work twice a week while doing his long runs 22+ miles at a more moderate level AND usually on An Egg, a sausage and a piece of toast. To say he is lean would make John Meadows look fat…no offence to John.
Lets please keep this thread going in this positive direction…killerDIRK.
Im the one on the bike, Ha ha…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P1Y6b1RXM0[/quote]
Yeah if you are only going to have 3 hours a week to train then higher intensity training is going to give you more bang for your buck. But if you have more resources in terms of time available, you would probably be better served with training modalities that more specifically illicit your desired training response (be that improved leanness, speed, strength, etc…).
To compare it to diet, a bodybuilder could potentially just eat quinoa with some olive oil on it (since quinoa is technically a complete protein, as well as a complex carb, and the olive oil would provide EFA’s) morning noon and night and probably be at least fairly healthy (would probably need to take a multivitamin as well). Probably more heathy than one who only are Chicken or one who only ate grapefruit, but eating a diet consisting of a variety of foods, specifically chosen to satisfy specific nutritional needs, is probably going to yield better results.
Not saying that you are saying otherwise; you even mentioned how Meb (a competitive marathoner) did some speed work during his race prep. Just saying that a lot of people (coaches included) tend to get hung up on one type of cardio or another and some even seek to discredit the other type.
In regards to the discussion on EPOC, my understanding has always been that it was believed that the body increased it’s metabolic and cardio respiratory rate to make up for the “oxygen debt” it had incurred during the intense exercise. But really, all that matters from a fat loss perspective is that we know the body DOES increase it’s metabolic rate post intense exercise. This is also true of pure resistance training (provided it is actually intense in nature) as well though and not unique to only HIIT sessions.