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Sport-specific work rest ratio and work duration for HITT

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  • Sport-specific work rest ratio and work duration for HITT

    Hello Barbell Medicine Crew,

    First of all thank you for all the great content and insights you have shared with us in last couple of years.

    Second, I would like to know if you think it is more beneficial to mimic the 1) work rest ratio; and 2) work duration of a sport for HITT workouts that are not performed in said sport?

    Maybe to understand where I coming from:

    I play water polo recreationally and I am currently not able to workout in the pool as I would like to. To compensate the lack of time in the water, I would like to do more workouts on my air bike. I suppose these workouts should optimally suit the work done during water polo matches? Some studies of water polo report a work rest ratio of 5:3, where as others are closer to 1:1. The duration of high intensity work demands are up to 15 seconds.

    So in my specific case, would it be best to do workouts with lets say 20 sprints of 15s work / 15s rest?

    Kind regards,


  • #2
    I think doing both aerobic and anaerobic work that's somewhat similar to your sport would be good, unless you're practicing your sport a lot. In that case, you can introduce a bit more variety a la cross training.

    As far as what's the right prescription for you it would depend on what your personal needs are (e.g. current conditioning level) and how you respond. I don't think I'd program a 20 x 15:15 for this application, but more like a 30:30 (aerobic intervals) and 15:90 (anaerobic intervals) in addition to some good ol' LISS. Some of this should probably be done in the pool as well.
    Jordan Feigenbaum
    Last edited by Jordan Feigenbaum; 08-27-2021, 04:54 PM.
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    • #3
      Great, thank you for the quick reply. I'll try that out.