Alactic + Aerobic

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Anna, I sort of agree and disagree with you at the same time. Go figure... What makes HR go up higher and higher with every set during A+A session? I think it is the gradual rise, or accumulation, of lactate. So if the goal is to keep lactate under a certain level then maybe certain HR rate limit might be meaningful to observe. I don't know. What is the HR number is another question altogether. I am pretty much thinking aloud here.
I agree with you there. Let me clarify using this HR track as an example (and here is a link to the session on Polar). Here I did 30 repeats of (5 snatches R, rest, 5 snatches L, rest, with 20, 20, 20, 24, 24, 24, 28, 28, 28, 28, 28, 24, 24, 20, 20 kg) for 150 total snatches in just over 40 minutes. (The 2nd video in this Instagram post was from this session). I was resting long enough so that my HR didn't elevate above 145 or so as the session progressed, which would have indicated an accumulation of lactate. But, I did not worry that my HR elevated sometimes 40 bpm from one repeat, or that it got above 140 (my MAF HR would be about 130) from any one repeat, which is what I meant above when I said we're not "trying to keep the heart rate under a certain threshold", or as Daniel said, "heart rate goes down enough that I know the next interval it won't go over my threshold". If I was doing that, I might wait until it got down to 90 before going so that it didn't get above 140... but I'm not worried about that. Does that make sense?


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Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
There are at least several physiological and completely normal reasons why HR increases later in a power session aside from lactate accumulation. And they are nothing to worry about. Just keep the overall workload at a rate and volume that you can recover from.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
I definitely see an upward trend as the session goes on. I keep the same target HR for recovery throughout the session. The time it takes to recover to the target certainly increases with more repeats.
I've noticed this as well, although I've also noticed as a session goes on it will reach an almost steady state of up and down. Only if I'm really pushing it with intentionally incomplete recovery does it reach a point where recovery HR barely drops and working HR won't go any higher. I don't see this with heavier resistance training though.

Anna, I sort of agree and disagree with you at the same time. Go figure... What makes HR go up higher and higher with every set during A+A session? I think it is the gradual rise, or accumulation, of lactate. So if the goal is to keep lactate under a certain level then maybe certain HR rate limit might be meaningful to observe. I don't know. What is the HR number is another question altogether. I am pretty much thinking aloud here.
Peak blood lactate levels spike about 5 minutes after a single 60 second all out effort, and can take 30-40 minutes to return to baseline. Lactate is going to increase no matter what your HR, I don't think you can correlate it (HR) to metabolic recovery with any accuracy.
 

Steve W.

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
So if the goal is to keep lactate under a certain level
My goal with A+A training is to accumulate a significant amount of overall work at a sustainable, low-moderate recovery cost. So I modulate my work load, rest intervals, and other training parameters, based on how I feel and my short and long term recovery.

The practice may be based on ideas about physiology and biochemistry, but I don't have to think about any of that in order to engage in it, and I mostly don't.
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Long-term A+A practitioners tend to get good at controlling the variables, and heart rate helps to teach this.

For example,

heat accumulation, stress hormone secretion, increased muscular tension, vascular pressure, increased pulmonary blood flow, SNS activity
If these things are kept relatively constant, and the work interval is the same, and one is adapted to the work (not in the first weeks of it), then the HR pattern will be fairly regular.

But then comes a day when despite the normal practice, the pattern is not regular. HR may drop more slowly, or not drop as low no matter how long you wait, or have a more spikey pattern, or not rise as high as usual... all sorts of things.

Then you begin to ask yourself, what is different today? Oh... it's a different time of day. Or, I'm outside instead of inside. Or, I'm really fired up about something so I'm being extra aggressive and explosive. Or, life stress is high. Or, I didn't sleep well. Or, I ate a lot of sugar today. Etc.....

In this way, the observation of HR during A+A can be very instructive about what affects your overall physiology.
 

Alaska80

Double-Digit Post Count
To All A+A Practitioners,

I have utilized A+A to great effect, but I was curious as to what the experiential evidence is to the minimum effective dose.

I know Al has stated an avg of 30 repeats as ideal, with 20 being the minimum, but at what frequency?

Has two times a week been sufficient to see gains in your experience?

Just a general question that I am curious about.
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Has two times a week been sufficient to see gains in your experience?
+1 to @rickyw

1-2x/week for tonic or maintenance
3-4x/week for actual improvements in strength/power/endurance/muscle development/feeling good/being able to use a heavier kettlebell, etc.

In this way it's much like LSD/cardio, or strength training (or pursuit of any new quality, really).
 

Sean M

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Where do double jerks fall on the continuum of optimal to suboptimal choices for A+A?
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Where do double jerks fall on the continuum of optimal to suboptimal choices for A+A?
Just my opinion here...

I think they can work for power repeats, because they do require a powerful, explosive movement and you can certainly do repeats and get a beautiful HR pattern that looks just like snatch repeats... I've done it.

But, I think they're not optimal for A+A specifically. If you do just the jerks, it's a small movement (the work of the arms/shoulders is mostly isomeric under the load, and the dip/drive is a small range of motion). And if you do a clean each time for C&J, it's hard to do it the work set fast enough to get a rapid PCr depletion.

Interested in others' thoughts.
 

Sean M

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
A proposed continuum, from optimal to sub-optimal (assuming each is 5-8RM):

Snatch --> Swing --> Jerk+FSq (2-3 jerks immediately into 2-3 front squats, or alternating sets?) --> Thruster? --> C&J --> Viking Push Press --> Press
 

Alaska80

Double-Digit Post Count
I tried a cycle of double LCCJs A+A style and it was more difficult then the snatches...but I think I would have to run a couple more alternating cycles to determine which produced the best results from a conditioning standpoint.
 

Damiola

Double-Digit Post Count
Do you mean like heat accumulation, stress hormone secretion, increased muscular tension, vascular pressure, increased pulmonary blood flow, SNS activity, etc?
I don't mean, I was asking. However, besides some relevance of heat accumulation the rest of the factors you listed are all over the place and are directly or indirectly related to increasing acidosis.
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
I don't mean, I was asking. However, besides some relevance of heat accumulation the rest of the factors you listed are all over the place and are directly or indirectly related to increasing acidosis.
Yes, lactate and decreased pH are factors as well. I don’t completely agree with you that everything I mentioned earlier can be traced back to pH drop as their cause. I’d also submit that psychological impact from the work is also very important in this discussion.

To really dive in and understand cause, review a basic physiology textbook. The mechanisms that cause increased HR is well understood. When we apply mammalian physiology to exercise (or work) we’re looking for the changes that are driving the known mechanisms. It doesn’t all boil down to pH.

But I’m not understanding your point. Maybe you’re not trying to make one, however. Your original question was about why HR takes off later in the session. This isn’t as significant once one is trained and manages the session properly, as Anna mentioned.
 

Damiola

Double-Digit Post Count
But I’m not understanding your point. Maybe you’re not trying to make one, however. Your original question was about why HR takes off later in the session. This isn’t as significant once one is trained and manages the session properly, as Anna mentioned.
I think you missed couple of posts. The theme discussed is: in A+A workout, should you set the upper limit of HR - or - should you not worry about it as much and focus on recovery, HR guided or otherwise. Anna said don't worry about exceeding estimated max HR. My point was: that as A+A is "alactic" workout, elevated HR corresponds with elevated lactate (yes, not only) and therefore it could be reasonable to set the upper limit to HR. In other words, the discussion was exactly that, how to better manage the session.
 

Damiola

Double-Digit Post Count
I want to backtrack a little and ask general questions about A+A workout.
  • What are the long term adaptations of this kind of training? I am interested in both physiological effects and black box results.
  • What would you use it for? Is it similar to a jog?
  • What's the optimal load and how do you determine it?
  • What is the optimal duration/volume of A+A workout? Why?
If these questions have been answered elsewhere I would appreciate a link.

The reason I am asking is to understand the place of this kind of training in the general continuum. It is relatively easy for the "exerciser", not so for someone involved in a sport. For example, should a boxer do this workout to improve his game and how should he do it without overtraining?
 
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