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"Sport Medicine Journal" No.9 - 2007

The effect of high intensity training at medium altitude on maximum performance capacity in alpine skiers

Claudiu Avram1, Mihaela Oravitan1, Elena Sirbu1, Mircea Iurciuc2, Stela Iurciuc2, Martin Domokos1, Dan Gaita2
1Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of West Timişoara, Romania
2Victor Babeş University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timişoara, Romania


The present study is aiming to demonstrate the efect of high-intensity training (HIT) on two indicators of fitness - peak O2 uptake (VO2peak) and power output at a heart rate of 170 beats/minutes (PWC170) in alpine skiers. Twenty one skiers were randomly included in our study. They participated in a 5 weeks training ski camp at medium altitude (1400 meters). Among them twelve skiers (the SEALS group) performed also a modified SEALS physical training programme, consisted in running for 15 to 30 minutes and 3 to 5 sets of push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups per session. Each training sessions was monitored, recorded, and computer analyzed using a Polar RS800 heart rate monitor and a professional training software (Polar ProTrainer5 v.5.1, USA), in order to adjust the intensity and duration of the exercise programme. VO2peak and PWC170 were determined through a maximal effort test on a bicycle ergometer in the beginning and after 5 weeks of study. At the end of the study the HIT group showed a very significant increase of VO2peak and PWC170 comparing with the control group, where only VO2peak increased significantly, but not PWC170. In conclusion 5 weeks of HIT at medium altitude significantly increase the fitness level in skiers more then their usual ski training. Less increaseing of PWC170 in the control group is probably because PWC170 depends more on thigh muscle mass which is beter developed with high-intensity training.

Key words:

cardiorespiratory fitness, high-intensity training, alpine skiers.

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