Performance changes in world-class kayakers following two different training periodization models
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This study was undertaken to compare training-induced changes in selected physiological, body composition and performance variables following two training periodization models: traditional (TP) versus block periodization (BP). Ten world-class kayakers were assessed four times during a training cycle over two consecutive seasons. On each occasion, subjects completed an incremental test to exhaustion on the kayak ergometer to determine peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), VO2 at second ventilatory threshold (VO2 VT2), peak blood lactate, paddling speed at VO2peak (PSpeak) and VT2 (PSVT2), power output at VO2peak (Pwpeak) and VT2 (PwVT2), stroke rate at VO2peak (SRpeak) and VT2 (SRVT2) as well as heart rate at VO2peak and VT2. Volume and exercise intensity were quantified for each endurance training session. Both TP and BP cycles resulted in similar gains in VO2peak (11 and 8.1%) and VO2 VT2 (9.8 and 9.4%), even though the TP cycle was 10 weeks and 120 training hours longer than the BP cycle. Following BP paddlers experienced larger gains in PSpeak, Pwpeak and SRpeak than those observed with TP. These findings suggest that BP may be more effective than TP for improving the performance of highly trained top-level kayakers. Although both models allowed significant improvements of selected physiological and kayaking performance variables, the BP program achieved similar results with half the endurance training volume used in the TP model. A BP design could be a more useful strategy than TP to maintain the residual training effects as well as to achieve greater improvements in certain variables related to kayaking performance.
KeywordsAerobic fitness Cardiorespiratory Canoeing Endurance performance Power output Anthropometric
We thank personnel from the Andalusian High-Performance Sports Medicine Centre in Seville and personnel from the High-Performance and Sport Science Research Center (CARICD) in Madrid for their excellent technical help with laboratory apparatus and medical assistance to the athletes. We also acknowledge the dedicated effort, commitment and professionalism of the selected group of kayakers who took part in this research. No funding was received for this work from any institution.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest relevant to the content of this manuscript.
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