BACKGROUND: The determination of critical power (CP) during training is a useful tool monitoring performance progression and to demarcate training intensity zones. The aims of this study were: 1) to compare CP with varied effort short, medium and long intervals (SML-INT) with a field CP test; 2) to assess if SML-INT is an effective way to improve CP.METHODS: Seven male cyclists completed a 4-week training period. Before and after the training period, an assessment of CP was conducted using a 2 and 3-parameter model. Furthermore, during the training period, mean maximal power (MMP) achieved during 30-s, 1-, 3- and 7-min intervals, were used to calculate CP.RESULTS: CP was increased by 5% after four weeks. A significant difference in CP and W' (the finite amount of work which can be performed above CP) in pre-test values and all power outputs analyzed (P<0.05) except to 7-min MMP were found. Then, 7-min MMP was tracked and there were no significant differences between CP pre-test during the first two weeks. Then, 7-min MMP achieved during the interval sessions in the first two weeks, was not significantly different from the CP determined pre-training period. However, 7-min MMP achieved during the interval sessions in the last two weeks was significantly different from the CP determined post-training period.CONCLUSIONS: Data suggest that SML-INT training can improve CP and the 7-min MMP values achieved within the SML-INT can potentially be used as an indirect indicator of CP progression.
- Physical fitness
- Athletic performance
- High-intensity interval training