Améliorer sa puissance maximale aérobie (PMA)

Improve your maximum aerobic power (MAP)

Why improve your maximum aerobic power (MAP)?

Some individuals believe with conviction that Maximum Aerobic Power (MAP) is the key to everything, making it their greatest asset. Conversely, others neglect it, considering that it is only beneficial for short-term efforts, not exceeding ten minutes. They therefore prefer to direct their training towards other qualities, placing particular emphasis on their ability to maintain a specific percentage of their VO2max.

Performance during long-term events (beyond 30 minutes of effort) is undoubtedly linked to the ability to consume large quantities of oxygen, that is to say to VO2max. Of course, the longer the effort, the more important the ability to sustain a high percentage of Maximum Aerobic Power becomes. However, it remains undeniable that having an excellent "body" is a prerequisite for any performance. To illustrate this point, let's take two cyclists of strictly identical weight embarking on a climb. Rider A has a PMA of 450 W, capable of sustaining 85% of that power for an hour, while rider B has a PMA of 400 W, but can sustain 90% of that value. Initially, you might think that runner B will reach the top first (90% vs 85%). However, calculating, 85% of 450 W equals 382 W, while 90% of 400 W gives 360 W. In theory, runner A could sustain 382 W during the climb, while runner B would only develop 360 W. The verdict is clear: despite runner B's ability to maintain a higher percentage of his MAP, runner A would achieve a better performance thanks to his higher Maximum Aerobic Power.

In this context, carrying out specific sessions aimed at improving PMA is essential, whatever the characteristics of the test prepared.

How to improve your PMA?

Improve your maximum aerobic power (MAP)

Regarding training, to improve your Maximum Aerobic Power, it is possible to carry out low intensity outings, acting mainly on the peripheral muscular parameters of the PMA. However, these long outings have a major drawback. they require a significant investment of time, which few people can afford on a daily basis. Furthermore, the constraint generated is not sufficient to induce significant progress. Therefore, to really improve your PMA, intensive sessions are necessary.

The principles of these intensive sessions, whether called interval training, split training, fartlek, etc., remain the same: chaining together fractions of high-intensity effort, interspersed with periods of low-intensity recovery. This work, when repeated, induces sensitive adaptations, both central and peripheral.

To achieve the goal of improving Maximum Aerobic Power, an interval session must respect certain rules:

-the duration and intensity of the effort fractions can vary from 30 seconds to 4 minutes, with specific percentages of the PMA.

-The recovery time must be equal to or slightly less than that of the effort and the recovery between repetitions and sets must be active, at low speed.

-The number of sets and repetitions depends on goals, age, experience, etc. By adding the fractions of effort, the total duration should reach approximately fifteen minutes.

Regarding the time between two PMA sessions, it is generally recommended to respect an interval of 48 hours to allow adequate recovery. However, as part of training aimed at pushing the body's limits, it is sometimes acceptable to do two intense sessions 24 hours apart.

To calibrate the intensity of efforts and recovery, beyond objective indicators such as heart rate or power, it is important to take into account the subjective signals emanating from the body. Sensations during exercise, such as the inability to speak with strong ventilation, are important indicators.

Practical information !

Regarding the warm-up before a PMA session, around twenty minutes of low-intensity warm-up, followed by a few progressive accelerations, are sufficient, especially when time is limited. If time permits, the intense session can be integrated into a long outing, offering different fatigue conditions.

As for the ideal time to carry out a PMA session (morning, noon or evening), there is no clear consensus. A session in the evening, after a day of work, will not be less effective than a session in the morning. Efficiency lies more in the internal load generated than in the time of day.

Attention to diet is crucial, especially with regard to carbohydrate intake, glucose being the main energy substrate during intensive efforts.

When it comes to expected progress, it is important to recognize that response to training varies from person to person. Some progress quickly, while others, with similar constraints, may have little ability to progress. Heredity plays a role, but the environment, including diet, also has a significant influence. The success of a PMA session does not only depend on the session itself, but also on the quality of the recovery.

Finally, it is obvious that to have a successful quality session, you need high-performance clothing ;)

I want to see !

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