About this Research Topic
A large amount of retrospective studies have investigated the training intensity distribution (TID) in recreational to elite athletes in various disciplines. Most of these studies report a pyramidal TID, i.e. a large portion of time spent performing high volume low intensity training (HVLIT), while in some studies a polarized TID (a mix of HVLIT and high-intensity interval training (HIIT)) prove to be an effective strategy to enhance performance as well. However, in experimental studies lasting 6 weeks to 5 months in moderate to well-trained subjects, the polarized model may demonstrate superior effectiveness, while an emphasis on HVLIT or training at the threshold may not necessarily represent an effective strategy. Furthermore, long term effects of different TIDs (e.g. inverse pyramid, inverse polarized, exclusive HIIT) with different patterns of periodization (block vs. mixed training) on various variables related to performance in recreational to elite athletes have yet to be characterized. Currently, an "optimal" TID cannot be identified, and future prospective randomized and controlled investigations conducted over extended time-periods in various types of sports and among female and male recreational to elite athletes are warranted to address this matter.
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