By Chris Case
March 2, 2020

100 // Dr. Stephen Seiler – The Past, Present, and Future of Polarized Training

Welcome to episode 100! Today we are joined by Dr. Stephen Seiler, one of the preeminent exercise physiologists working today, and the man who has popularized the polarized training method.

We are proud to have brought you 100 episodes of training advice, tips from the pros, and the science of cycling performance. Thanks to all of you for coming along with us as we’ve interviewed some of the best physiologists, nutritionists, and athletes in professional cycling, and many of the most knowledgeable coaches in the world.

To that point, the very big announcement we’d like to start with is that Dr. Seiler will be coming to Boulder in late April. Stay tuned for more details on his visit, and opportunities you’ll have to meet Dr. Seiler.

Today in episode 100, we get nearly two hours of Dr. Seiler. Our conversation is mostly casual, but there are many moments of enlightenment and clarity. Yes, Trevor wrote an outline for the show, as he always does. Then we proceeded to completely disregard it.

Still, we learn about the inception of the polarized method, from the creator himself. We discuss Dr. Seiler’s current research on the all-important aerobic threshold. And we jaw—that’s my nod to his Texas roots—about the future of sport science.

One last thing: Are you following Dr. Seiler on Twitter!? If not, you should. He’s @StephenSeiler. He frequently posts workout challenges, surveys, and his commentary on new scientific research and studies.

Quick reminder to everyone, that you can find us on social media at @realfastlabs. Take a selfie of yourself listening to Fast Talk—on the trainer, out climbing some hills—and tag us.

Now, sit back and grab your favorite beverage, or, better yet, find a nice long stretch of lonely road to listen in. Let’s make you fast!


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References
  1. Cavar, M., Marsic, T., Corluka, M., Culjak, Z., Cerkez Zovko, I., Muller, A., et al. (2019). Effects of 6 Weeks of Different High-Intensity Interval and Moderate Continuous Training on Aerobic and Anaerobic Performance. J Strength Cond Res, 33(1), 44-56.
  2. Dudley, G. A., Abraham, W. M., & Terjung, R. L. (1982). Influence of exercise intensity and duration on biochemical adaptations in skeletal muscle. J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol, 53(4), 844-850.
  3. Esteve-Lanao, J., Foster, C., Seiler, S., & Lucia, A. (2007). Impact of training intensity distribution on performance in endurance athletes. J Strength Cond Res, 21(3), 943-949.
  4. Guellich, A., Seiler, S., & Emrich, E. (2009). Training methods and intensity distribution of young world-class rowers. Int J Sports Physiol Perform, 4(4), 448-460.
  5. Hewson, D. J., & Hopkins, W. G. (1996). Specificity of training and its relation to the performance of distance runners. Int J Sports Med, 17(3), 199-204.
  6. Laursen, P. B. (2010). Training for intense exercise performance: high-intensity or high-volume training? Scand J Med Sci Sports, 20 Suppl 2, 1-10.
  7. Medbo, J. I., Mohn, A. C., Tabata, I., Bahr, R., Vaage, O., & Sejersted, O. M. (1988). Anaerobic capacity determined by maximal accumulated O2 deficit. J Appl Physiol (1985), 64(1), 50-60.
  8. Medbo, J. I., & Toska, K. (2001). Lactate release, concentration in blood, and apparent distribution volume after intense bicycling. Jpn J Physiol, 51(3), 303-312.
  9. Munoz, I., Seiler, S., Bautista, J., Espana, J., Larumbe, E., & Esteve-Lanao, J. (2014). Does Polarized Training Improve Performance in Recreational Runners? [Article]. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 9(2), 265-272.
  10. Noordhof, D. A., de Koning, J. J., & Foster, C. (2010). The maximal accumulated oxygen deficit method: a valid and reliable measure of anaerobic capacity? Sports Med, 40(4), 285-302.
  11. Seiler, K. S., & Kjerland, G. O. (2006). Quantifying training intensity distribution in elite endurance athletes: is there evidence for an “optimal” distribution? Scand J Med Sci Sports, 16(1), 49-56.
  12. Seiler, S. (2010). What is best practice for training intensity and duration distribution in endurance athletes? Int J Sports Physiol Perform, 5(3), 276-291.
  13. Seiler, S., Haugen, O., & Kuffel, E. (2007). Autonomic recovery after exercise in trained athletes: intensity and duration effects. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 39(8), 1366-1373.
  14. Seiler, S., Joranson, K., Olesen, B. V., & Hetlelid, K. J. (2013). Adaptations to aerobic interval training: interactive effects of exercise intensity and total work duration. Scand J Med Sci Sports, 23(1), 74-83.
  15. Skovereng, K., Sylta, O., Tonnessen, E., Hammarstrom, D., Danielsen, J., Seiler, S., et al. (2018). Effects of Initial Performance, Gross Efficiency and <(V)over dot>O-2peak Characteristics on Subsequent Adaptations to Endurance Training in Competitive Cyclists. [Article]. Frontiers in Physiology, 9, 9.
  16. Stoggl, T. L., & Sperlich, B. (2015). The training intensity distribution among well-trained and elite endurance athletes. Front Physiol, 6, 295.
  17. Swart, J., Lamberts, R. P., Derman, W., & Lambert, M. I. (2009). Effects of high-intensity training by heart rate or power in well-trained cyclists. J Strength Cond Res, 23(2), 619-625.
  18. Sylta, O., Tonnessen, E., Hammarstrom, D., Danielsen, J., Skovereng, K., Ravn, T., et al. (2016). The Effect of Different High-Intensity Periodization Models on Endurance Adaptations. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 48(11), 2165-2174.
  19. Sylta, O., Tonnessen, E., Sandbakk, O., Hammarstrom, D., Danielsen, J., Skovereng, K., et al. (2017). Effects of High-Intensity Training on Physiological and Hormonal Adaptions in Well-Trained Cyclists. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 49(6), 1137-1146.

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