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Effects of block periodization training versus traditional periodization training in trained cross country skiers
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences. Høgskolen i Lillehammer.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


The overall aim of this study was to develop a broader understanding on how to optimize the organization of aerobic endurance training programs, and especially how to better organize high-intensity training (HIT) and low intensity training (LIT) to give an optimum endurance performance progress.


This study compared the effects of two different training organization methods in trained cross-country (XC) skiers and biathletes. During a 5 week intervention period, one group of athletes (n = 10, 7 men and 3 women, age 23 ± 9 years) performed block periodization (BP) training with 5-1-3-1-1 HIT sessions in the respective weeks. The other group of athletes(n = 9, 7 men and 2 women, age 22 ± 5) followed a more traditional periodization (TRAD) method performing 2-2-3-2-2 HIT sessions. LIT was interspersed between the HIT sessions so that both groups performed similar total volumes of HIT and LIT during the intervention period.


The BP group increased relative and absolute VO2max (2.6 ± 3.6% and 2.0 ± 2.5%, P < 0.05) and time to exhaustion (6.1 ± 6.4%, P < 0.01). No changes were seen in the TRAD group on relative or absolute VO2max (0.8 ± 3.5% and -0.1 ± 3.0%) or time to exhaustion (-2.0 ± 7.7%). Mean effects size (ES) of the relative and absolute improvement in VO2max and time to exhaustion revealed small to moderate effects of performing BP training vs. TRAD training (ES range from 0.51 to 1.14).


This study indicates that organizing endurance training in XC skiers with block periodization training give better adaptations compared to performing traditional periodization training during a 5 week training period when performing similar volumes of high-intensity and low intensity training.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Examensarbete, 2013:62
Keyword [en]
Training organization, block periodization, high-intensity training, endurance performance, maximal oxygen consumption, cross-country skiers
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-3153OAI: diva2:689598
External cooperation
Høgskolen i Lillehammer
Subject / course
Educational program
Magister Education Program in Sport
Available from: 2014-01-21 Created: 2013-12-18 Last updated: 2014-01-21Bibliographically approved

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