Thursday, August 25, 2011

MaxVO2 progressions, no cadence test....

I have to admit, when doing MaxVO2 snatching and determining what weight and cadence (i.e., reps/15s) to use, I DON'T use the cadence test. The reasons are:
* Personally, I don't think there is a perfect correlation between the cadence test and oxygen metabolism. Part of it is just snatch proficiency.

* Progress is progress, if you are doing more work aren't you getting better. As you improve, you cadence will change. Since I only do MaxVO2 2x/week, if I tested monthly that is still 1/8 session. 12.5% of sessions spent on testing is excessive. I just focus on doing more.

* During training, do you ever REALLY know if you are operating at MaxVO2. And if you are operating at 90% or 110% of MaxVO2, are you really doing anything wrong.

So here is how I have been progressing.
* I started with 16kg/8 reps. I pretty much did this the first month. After achieving 80 sets, I then chose the next weight cadence by choosing the next combination by increase the (weight x cadence). Here are the weights and cadences that I have used/plan on using:
- 16 x 8 reps (128 kg)
- 16 x 9 reps (144 kg)
- 20 x 8 reps (160 kg)
- 24 x 7 reps (168 kg) <== This is where I am now, and easily get 20 minutes
- 20 x 9 reps (180 kg)
- 24 x 8 reps (192 kg)

* Even though you can, I haven't gone from one progression to the next until I have hit 40 minutes. Part of the reason for this is that at most I do this 2x/week, and it has always either been:
- Variety Day stuff, or
- Replace for swings during ETK (not recommended for beginners)

If you are doing 3 days a week, I do recommend doing a "supramax" session, where you work ABOVE your cadence. (e.g., if your cadence is 20kg x 8, do a shorter session with 20kg x 9 or 24kg x 7). I also believe that there is a diminishing returns with going past 40 minutes, since it just means that it is a pace of work that you can recover from completely. Work above your MaxVO2 will still improve your MaxVO2

* Even though I haven't done a lot of it, I still think the :36/:36 is valuable. As part of full disclosure, I generally use and analog clock when I train, so I train :30/:30 when I do this. My logic is: if :15/:15 is MaxVO2 snatching, and so is :36/:36, then why wouldn't :30/:30. And much easier to do with an analog clock and much easier to calculate cadence from :15/:15. A value of longer sets means that you can't get ugly like you can with sets of 7,8, or 9.

* I have found that the double snatches in RoTK improved my MaxVO2 snatches. Snatch heavy. In my case, this was 32kg/28kg and 2 32kg.

* For those that use heart rate monitors, you should find that you can either:
- do the same amount of work, at a lower heart rate
- do more work at the same heart rate
==> These are expected responses to improving MaxVO2. Don't confuse improving MaxVO2 with pegging your heart rate monitor. Focus on the work, not the heart rate.

Hope this helps. As long as you are doing more work at around the same exertion level, you are getting better. Don't get tied up in protocols, testing, and gadgets. Focus on doing work.

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