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Development Team Member
Posts: 59
In my post about single vs. double training sessions
Juerg brought up a point about physiological goals of
hard intervals.

I admit that I never questioned the point of intervals much.
Sure, there were intervals to "raise lactate threshold",
"increase VO2max", "improve lactate buffering", etc. But mostly
we just did what coaches were telling us.

So, I am curious now about various physiological goals
and how those goals would translate to SmO2/ThB


Development Team Member
Posts: 178
you could download the free Moxy Cycling Training Guide. Despite the title it is about endurance training. Alternatively there is a HIIT Physiology Course in the Moxy Academy in the Training Section of the Moxy Website.

Development Team Member
Posts: 59
Specifically, I had Juerg's comment in mind:

Example on  your planned   hard interval  workout  day ( What  was the physiological goal  from your hard  workout )  cardiac overload  , intermuscular  overload , intra muscular overload., MCT  1  MCT  4  ,   deoxygenation  a.s

Cardiac overload and deoxygenation seem straight forward to monitor.

1. Cardiac overload: you are looking mainly at ThB curve

2. Deoxygenation: bring SmO2 level down to some value. Though, it's not clear
whether the speed at which you bring this down matters and whether you hold it
at that value for some time, or do you just go to that value and then let it go back to
your baseline.

But the others, I don't have a grasp of how SmO2/ThB/HR curves would look like and
how to actually elicit the desired stimulation.


Development Team Member
Posts: 1,501
Great  discussion
 So, I am curious now about various physiological goals and how those goals would translate to SmO2/ThB trends.

There are  different ways  you can look at physiological guided  training .

 1. Do  you like an  activity related    workout  to improve  the performance in your  activity.
Example .
The current  Australian  open.
 You  like to  improve   your recovery  for the  5  set  games  in a  Slam, versus  a 500 or  1000 series. 
So the preparation for the tournament  will be different and the situation  during the tournament will be different.
 The  longer games  will create a much  higher  activity with  delivery limitation than in a  500 or  1000 series.
 See  Wawrinkas  first  5  set  game or last  night  the upset .
 So  we have less a problem  of  O2  intake  as of  O2  utilization and as  such a much higher  work  for the  respiratory system  on  two areas.
 Eliminating  CO2  due to  the   longer  and  more increase in  H +  ( So CO2  release )  combined  with a   refueling of Cr.P   ( need  blood  flow   tHb ) reaction. 
Now  this paired  with    the  main core muscle  which is  the  diaphragm  and you can see ,why   in the 4  th and 5  th sets   there are  much more unforced  error  due to the  weakens of  core stability in the   ball position  as   the  main job  of the  diaphragm is   H +  balance  and  if  we  have  an increase in fatigue  where we loose  core stability  and we loose  optimal arm motion as  the metaboreflex  will create a vasoconstriction and  we  see the  transfer  of tHb  ( Blood  from  arms  to legs .  see in forum   tennis assessment  from Switzerland.)
Now  the beauty  of this statements  is  with the  great  statistic,  where we see  ball placement  and  run  motion of players  and they are directly  linked  to the above  reactions.

Now  this  is prepared  with different  aerobic lactic intervals. ( there is no such thing  like anaerobic  lacticid  intervals )
 So  we have to prepare  core  strength over  respiratory  workouts. paired  with   intervals  where we  look for  an intensity,  that we  create a delivery limitation , paired  with  a  relaxation  and timed  optimal  for  tHb recovery to  reload  Cr.P. The timing is  much more restricted now  due to the  20 second  rule , but there are some additional options  now  when the athlete is feeling the lack  of  tHb  recovery and the  need  to get  rid of  some more CO2  to be  normocapnic. All this  is  prepared in workouts , where NIRS   gives a live feedback  to a live feeling of the athletes,  so  that in the  big arena,  you  have the feeling and you see mentally  the pictures  what is going on. NIRS    is a bio feedback  not  to guide  the   activity but  to help  to get the feeling , so you can guide  it. Like blood sugar  in diabetic  I  person is felt  and the glucose  meter is  just a  feedback   to   show  that your feeling is great. Same  was with lactate, as we had  athletes  they could tell you the lactate values  based on feeling on  0.2  mmol   accurately,  even  when we  played  with  glucose intake.
 Your interval  is either sport specific  for  the  actual activity or  you may plan a workout  with the goal to stimulate a certain  reaction  so  you can than make a workout  with that  reaction.
 Most common  example would be:
 You make a plasma  volume  workout    and  check  whether you where successful  and if  yes  you than make  the next  day  or when the feedback is good a  SV  workout. 
 Or  you like  to  stimulate MCT  1    for your  sport as you may know that it will be always  an  end fight in the upcoming  event  so  you like to be able t o move lactate as an energy source  easier  into your  energy  demanding muscles. ( see examples in the forum )
 So  you  may create a workout  to increase  circulating lactate   and than  do a  workout where  you   try to move the  lactate in the muscles  to be used  as an energy source  to stimulate  the MCT  1  options. ( Protein)

Development Team Member
Posts: 1,501
An add on  to this   fascinating topic.

We know in high performance sport, that all kinds of legal  and less legal ideas  are used.
 Some of the  common once  are  plasma volume  expansion.  or  EPO  or any enhancer  for  O2  delivery.
 In some cases  they work incredible , as  the delivery was  the real limiter  . In other cases  they  do not work at all  Why.?
 We  than read  or  explain it simply as  responder or nonresponder  like in altitude  training.
 Perhaps we  have to ask, whether  the   responder or nonrespnder  are more  based on   information  of limiter . If  you have a  utilization limitation due to a limitation of mitochondria density, than  you can deliver  as much  O2  as you like  it may not  change too much in  your performance. If  you have a  VE  limitation  and you deliver more O2  you still  have a limitation to get rid  of  CO2  and so on.If  you have a VE limitation and  you  increase  blood plasma  what  will  change with  that ?
The desperate  tries to  improve  performance over  intake  of   substances  is perhaps  because  many coaches  do not  know how to train plasma  expansion naturally or how to improve SV  over  some structural  workouts.
 So it is easier  and if we  can not take  a substance , because it is not allowed , we still look for miracle  fast fixes like beet juice  and other magical ideas.

Development Team Member
Posts: 59
Thanks for your patience explaining this.

Could you, please, explain in simple terms 
1) Intermuscular overload
2) Intramuscular overload

I would like to understand this concept better.

A related question to physiological goals and more precision in training
with NIRS is about being "too scientific" and too analytical and losing
track of why we want to do this. Namely to run/bike/ski/swim faster.

To be more specific, there is a danger of looking at one physiological variable
(singular effect) as it may not lead to our ultimate goal. If an interval
session has a singular goal of, for example, increasing lactate buffering,
a negative effect of this session could be a *decrease* in aerobic 
capacity. The increase in buffering capacity may have led to heavier 
acidosis. While we may have improved in buffering capacity and achieved
our singular goal, it's possible the global effect (of running/biking faster) has
worsened and we are performing worse.

How do we guard against this?


Development Team Member
Posts: 1,501
That is a great  question as it is a  fundamental point, when we do strength  workouts   for example.
Could you, please, explain in simple terms 
1) Intermuscular overload
I try to make is  very simple with the risk of  some  mistakes.
 Biceps  curl:
 You have the biceps  so 2 different heads on one muscle. The short head  can bed only your elbow, the long head  can bend your elbow , but s well  can help to lift your arm up in front.
Now  you have some additional muscles,  who  can help  to bend  the  elbow  but have some other task  for  their  job duty. You do a  simple  biceps  curl  you will trigger  short biceps  head to help and long biceps  head  to help  so you have already  2  workers  so intermuscular, but now  you  can add by slightly " cheating  and lift  your   upper arm  a little bit forward  instead  of  very   close to the body and  you integrate  the biceps  long head  more  as well as  the front part of  your  delta muscle.
 Now you  as well   add the  brachioradialis  as an elbow  flexor  section  it and now  you have 4  muscles  who lift the same weight . This is intermuscular  coordination . one simple motion but you  integrate all muscles  who can help in the motion . You  than  can increase  the  numbers of  muscles  to a  so called muscle  chain  or  muscle sling  and  you have even more muscles involved
The key is  for an efficient   motion to integrate as many  muscles as possible in   or  at the right time  and you can move  much  more  weight or  your own body. We can go muhc more into  this but here a  simple option of  many we have.

Sebos  bike assessment. VL  and RF.

 This  can be a basic  intermuscular coordination. Now  in  top cyclists   compared  to good cyclists  we often do not have a VO2 max difference. 
 In fact we often see in top  world  class athletes  that their  VO2  max  drop  despite an improvement of performance, as well we can see ,that the old  idea of  lactate  changes  and we see less high maximal Lactate values.
 Besides  other reasons, the intermuscular  coordination is  a big  one. Moe efficiency means less energy needs better blood flow  and therefor lower VO  max  and less  lactate in the circulatory system
 Example  : three muscles  can move one joint.
 You  lift 100 kg . You have  a bad intermuscular coordination  you us  1  for  100 kg  you may get very fast an outflow restriction or perhaps  even an arterial occlusion. So  your  work is limited  by blood flow  and available  energy  in the local area  due to  lack of delivery.
 You improve  intermuscular coordination so you  have now 2. So  you have less  muscle compression in one and a higher chance  to avoid  arterial occlusion and may have only   venous occlusion, so still delivery but no  outflow  and performance may be  longer  despite the same  weight.
 You add the  third  one  and you have  now  free flow  and you can  go much much longer as  delivery is efficient now  and works  and  you  still move  100 kg. Another example  why the same wattage in cycling is not a great tool,  as  you may have intermuscular fatigue one  day  and the same wattage has  to be pushed  by less muscles and the  physiological  reaction is very different. You can see  why I use  MOXY  often for intermuscular   training  after   operations  and in rehab. 

2) Intramuscular overload
 Now  look at one muscles only
 You have  something called  motor units. Now  lets make it  easy. Yo have in  one muscle 10  workers  from  1  -  10 numbered. Some are great workers  some are okay and some get paid  but never  work.. Now  you bend the  arm and the good once from 1 - 5  immediately help   and if they do a good enough job  the rest   will do nothing just enjoy  how the good once  work. Now  you keep  working and the good  once will start t " fatigue"  but have to keep going. So the okay once se that and may jump in  o help but the lazy once  still enjoy watching.
 Now if the job is done  you may have activated  7  of the  10. Now  the  key is to get  the  three lousy once  activated as  well . If  you can do hat you improved your intramuscular coordination . You are stronger as  you  functionally  activated, what you  already have. 

Development Team Member
Posts: 1,501
Follow up n this  very  common  topic  and  questions .
 I admit that I never questioned the point of intervals much.
Sure, there were intervals to "raise lactate threshold",
"increase VO2max", "improve lactate buffering", etc. But mostly 
we just did what coaches were telling us.

That is very common.  you can ask  even world  class athletes, why  they do  what  they get ordered in a plan and they really may not have an answer. Too bad  as their real  work tool is really  their own body.
 That is not  that bad  . Much worse is, that  many   coaches  do not  question their own interval ideas  and  why  they do it.
It is  still the common believe , that you have to  do HIT  workouts or intervals  to  stimulate certain physiological reactions. This despite many great  research  clearly showing, that it is not the intensity  who creates  the  stimulation but rather the physiological demand we set up on the muscle or  different physiological systems. 
We  have an other thread  going on

KAATSU is the name of  the  type  of  workout  you  do but it was invented  by in Japan in 1966 and than got major attention in 1973 under  Dr.  Yoshiaki Sato. 
It is  a great example how  with very low intensity  you can create the same physiological stimulation as  with super  high loads. Similar as we  talk on her , that you can  create an intense  stimulation  for  desaturation  with a very low  intensity  ( load)
 The fact that  this is possible  throws  the idea  of  LT  easy over board as  LT is often  combined  by using the performance   form the LT  test in wattage or  speed, as a indirect 

Now  question as usual:

"increase VO2max", " 
Can somebody  who believes in this show me  some VO2  datas  collected  during a  VO2  max   or  110 %  VO2  max  interval.? Are  you really sure  that a  30 sec 120 %  VO2 max  will show  the VO2  in ml  you  would see in a  VO2  max  test. How  do you measure  VO2   120 % ?

improve lactate buffering", etc

Why would  you do a  interval to buffer  Lactate , when lactate  is in simple tear the actual buffer  of  your  potential acidosis. Why  would  you  actually try  to avoid  lactate  or  tolerate lactate, when we know if  we would inject lactate  we  would be able to go longer   that hard.?  I am sorry that this comes up again and again despite now  30 years  behind us , where this idea  was  refuted  and ditched . Brooks  1985.

Biochemistry of exercise-induced metabolic acidosis

Robert A. Robergs , Farzenah Ghiasvand , Daryl Parker

American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative PhysiologyPublished 1 September 2004Vol. 287no. R502-R516DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00114.2004

Robert A. Robergs


The development of acidosis during intense exercise has traditionally been explained by the increased production of lactic acid, causing the release of a proton and the formation of the acid salt sodium lactate. On the basis of this explanation, if the rate of lactate production is high enough, the cellular proton buffering capacity can be exceeded, resulting in a decrease in cellular pH. These biochemical events have been termed lactic acidosis. The lactic acidosis of exercise has been a classic explanation of the biochemistry of acidosis for more than 80 years. This belief has led to the interpretation that lactate production causes acidosis and, in turn, that increased lactate production is one of the several causes of muscle fatigue during intense exercise.

 This review presents clear evidence that there is no biochemical support for lactate production causing acidosis. Lactate production retards, not causes, acidosis.

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