VO2max, Tabatas, recovery-load-ratio, and some recreational maths

I have been doing a little Tabata yesterday, and it was an interesting (…) experience. At the beginning things were alright – 8 swings in 20sec are manageable, and the 10sec break was fine – but as the rounds went on the 10sec seemed to get shorter and shorter. After round 8 (the original Tabata protocol) I needed to really force myself to go on, and after round 10 I was dead. And it was neither the muscles, nor any particular set that would be to blame. It just happens that this fatigue – if this is the right word – crept up on me round after round.

So this got me thinking about RLR’s and the VO2 max, or how to combine recovery periods and the level of effort to optimally programme a metcon.

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Recovery/Load Ratio (“RLR”) and the anaerobic threshold

What I want to discuss here is how the load/recovery ratio of an exercise (sequence) relates to the anaerobic threshold and the VO2max. Continue reading