Faster & Stronger for Longer with 10-20-30s
When January hits, most people are thinking about skiing powder. I’m doing that too, but for me January also means planning my summer mountain bike race schedule and starting to get serious about training. I ride inside a lot- pedaling on a stationary trainer isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but it allows you to do very specific workouts targeted for very specific outcomes. My end goal is always to be faster, and there are a lot of different theories on how to get there. I supplement my indoor training with backcountry skiing, running, and of course, strength training.
Because I coach other athletes and I personally love what strength training has done for my mind and body. I’m always looking for new ways to help myself and my clients get stronger and faster through work in the gym. I recently spent some time thinking about the workouts I do on my bike to get stronger and faster and determined that there were a few concepts that could translate well into a strength and conditioning workout.
One of these concepts is the Copenhagen Block, aka 10-20-30 Interval Training. This structure was studied by a Professor of Physiology at the University of Copenhagen and was determined to increase speed and endurance in runners, as well as have other physiological benefits such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. 10-20-30 intervals are a type of HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training and are geared towards getting maximus results in minimal time. Similar to a 20/10 Tabata or 30/30 intervals, 10-20-30s provide a chance to sprint or go anaerobic, but include a shorter sprint time that is more maintainable over time and a working recovery rather than straight rest, which researches believe leads to speed/endurance gains. This structure appeals to me as an athlete because it translates better to the mountains- typically if I’m sprinting to pass someone or cresting a hill I’ll max out for a brief period and need to be able to recover while still moving versus hopping off my bike and resting for 30 seconds.
The 10-20-30 intervals consist of:
- 30 seconds of light/moderate work (3 out of 10 on the rate of perceived effort scale)
- 20 seconds of moderate/hard work (6 out of 10 on the rate of perceived effort scale)
- 10 seconds sprint/anaerobic work (9/10 out of 10 on the rate of perceived effort scale)
These one minute intervals are repeated 5 times with no rest. Athletes get 2 minutes of rest after the 5 minutes of work and then repeat the intervals two or three more times, for a maximum of four, 5 minute blocks. Typically these intervals are done with cardio exercises like running, rowing, biking, etc., but with a little creativity the 10-20-30 structure can be brought into the gym for a stamina workout that can help lead to big gains in speed and endurance.
This week’s workout of the week starts with a total body strength set followed by includes four, 5 minute 10-20-10 blocks, and ends with a core-focused set. Have fun, get fast!
4x Mr. Spectacular
6x horizontal pull ups
5x 10-20-30 blocks with 2 minutes of rest (28 minutes):
30 second jog
20 second run
10 second sprint
2 mins rest
30 second step ups
20 second front hippities
10 second fast box jumps
2 mins rest
30 second squat
20 second swing
10 second burpees
2 mins rest
30 second moderate row
20 second hard row
10 second sprint row
2 mins rest
10x EOS (each)
20x Belly Blaster