Goal: Complete 1000 Feet on the Versa-Climber in a 20x10x4 min session

Training Design:

Sometimes I have to ask myself why I do these things as you can see the pain in the video above.  About 9 months ago I broke 900 feet in a 20 sec effort/ 10 sec rest with the last effort at 30 seconds over 4 minutes on the Versa-Climber.  I completed 961 feet (see video).  I now want to beat that and cover 1000 feet in the same workout. (Same pain faster pace J )

So, I am spending more time on the Versa-Climber and will be sharing my workouts leading up to my attempt at this new record on the climber so you can try the workouts on your own. 

The first thing I did was to look at the pacing necessary to accomplish this goal.  7- 20 second efforts and one 30 second effort is 170 seconds of total time.  Divide this by 60 and you get 2.833 minutes of total effort.  Divide 1000ft by 2.83 and you get an average pace of 353.35 ft. per minute for each of the efforts.  The last time I did this effort I paced at 340 feet for a total of 961 feet.  I need a 4% increase in average speed per minute.  It does not sound like a lot but it will be tough.  This is where precise program design comes into play. 

So how do I design a program to accomplish this 4% increase?   In most sports 4% can be huge! The efforts are close to all out on each effort with only a 10 second recovery between bouts.  The pacing is important.  There are all three energy systems involved.   The ATP-PC system is fueling the engine in the first 10 seconds of the effort and then we see the glycolytic diesel picking up the load as the effort gets longer.    The total time of the effort is over 4 min which requires the long running aerobic engine to support the recovery between efforts.  That is why this effort is so difficult.  The primary requirement is the ability to deliver oxygen in large quantities to support the sprinting on the climber.  This Tabata interval is really a VO2 max interval magnified.  So the speed that I am moving the steps at are greater than what my maximum oxygen delivery would be pegged at.  So in layman’s terms my eyeballs are bleeding. 

With that in mind I am focusing most of my training on the first two energy systems.   ATP-PC and Glycolytic.  So this week I did one workout of 5, 4 min efforts.  The efforts were 30 secs at a high tempo, and then 30 seconds at a sprint or elevated effort.  This is focused on improving my oxygen delivery capabilities or my V02 maximum.  The tempo effort at a pace of 215ft per minute to 220ft partially depletes the oxygen stored in my body, and then the sprint effort at 240ft to 250ft following forces my body to get better at delivering more oxygen as I ask my body to match the output on each effort.  That is the important part of these efforts.  I want the same tempo pace and sprint pace in each of the four minutes.  This forces my body to step up my ability to deliver oxygen to the muscles.    If I cannot accomplish this level of output I reduce the number of total efforts or lower the pace for now.  Most people make the mistake of just finishing the intervals instead of measuring the quality of the overload. 

The second effort in the week will be all ATP-PC/Glycolytic or all out sprints.  I like 30 to 45 second sprints as these are both longer than the 20 seconds in the record attempt and also the 45 second ones help with lactate buffering as my legs start to burn after 3 or four of these.  I get full recovery between efforts of 2-4 min and I try to do a minimum of 6 and no more than 8 total efforts.  If I can easily do 8, I am not going hard enough.  I also monitor the output and want to be within 10% of my best output.  If I start falling off more than 10% I stop the session or else shorten the time of the effort and stay at the same pace. 

So I am focusing my workouts to support both of these energy systems.  My weekend training on the bicycle supports my overall aerobic training. 

This is what program design is all about.  Looking at the physiological requirements of a sport or effort and then building a program that best supports the needs of that effort.  This is what we do for all of our athletes and clients at Sirens and Titans Fitness.


‘Truth in Fitness’

Jacques DeVore, CSCS