European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 92, Issue 1–2, pp 121–127 | Cite as

Effects of 20-s and 180-s double poling interval training in cross-country skiers

  • Johnny E. Nilsson
  • Hans-Christer Holmberg
  • Per Tveit
  • Jostein Hallén
Original Article


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of upper body 20-s or 180-s interval training, using a double poling ergometer, on upper body power output and selected physiological and biomechanical parameters in cross-country skiers. Twenty (12 male, 8 female) well-trained cross-country skiers took part. Two intervention groups, a 20-s interval training group (IT20; n=6) and a 180-s interval training group (IT180; n=7), underwent training three times a week for 6 weeks on a double poling ergometer. A third group served as a control (CON; n=7) and followed the same training program as the IT20 and IT180 groups without the double poling ergometer interval training. The IT20 and IT180 groups significantly (P<0.05) increased both peak and mean power in a 30-s test and mean power in a 6-min test after double poling training. There was a significant improvement in work efficiency in both IT20 and IT180 (P<0.05) and, in IT180, a significant reduction (P<0.05) in blood lactate concentration at given sub-maximal workloads.O2peak increased significantly during double poling in IT180 (P<0.05) only.O2max did not change significantly in either group. There were no significant changes in any of the test variables in CON. In conclusion, this study shows that 6 weeks of 20-s or 180-s double poling interval training, three times a week, significantly increases power output in both 30-s and 6-min tests, as well as in selected physiological and biomechanical parameters in well-trained cross-country skiers.


Cross-country skiing Peak oxygen uptake Power Work efficiency Interval training 



The investigation was supported by grants, which are gratefully acknowledged, from the Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education in Oslo; University College of Physical Education and Sports in Stockholm, Sweden, and the Swedish Olympic Committee. We also thanks Erling Nordbo, Erlend Hem and Svein Leirstein for skilful technical assistance in the data collection.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johnny E. Nilsson
    • 1
    • 3
  • Hans-Christer Holmberg
    • 2
  • Per Tveit
    • 1
  • Jostein Hallén
    • 1
  1. 1.The Norwegian University of Sport and Physical EducationOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Physiology and PharmacologyKarolinska InstituteStockholmSweden
  3. 3.University College of Physical Education and SportsStockholmSweden

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