My god, not sure if I should laugh or cry! I've never read a more asinine article in many years, i thought that type of stupity in online "fitness" media had long been quelled!
First off t-Nation is a site, as you know, dedicated to people involved in weightlifting in all of it's forms as thier primary physical activity: I do frequent the site and while it is frequently full of good info it is geared towards bodybuilders, powerlifters etc...neither of which share any of the primary demands of alpine skiing.
The whole tone of the article is childish and argumentative, as soon as an "author" says something along theb lines of the "bulk of the research", without actually providing any citations you know you are dealing with bullsh@t, plain and simple.
Some important things to clear up: he cites the very infamous study by Dr.Izumi Tabata ( the author actually spells his name incorrectly), the poster boy study of the uneducqted and in-experienced coach or trainer trying to fight the unneseccary "either/or" argument. The study carried out by Tabata et.al was pretty simple, take two groups of 7 moderatly trained young men, non of whom cyclists, and have one group perform very, very high intensity training and the other group perform moderate trainign for 6 weeks then test to see whiwh ones improved their Maximal Oxygen uptake adn anaerobic performance...the answer was always clear. Of course taking poorly trained individuals and giving one group hard work and the other easy was going to result in better improvments for the "hard" group in measures of high intensity performance.
Some interesting limitations and facts from the Tabata study that are always missed are as follows:
1)At no point does Tabata state that the training Protocol used by group 2 (high intensity) is "anaerobic", that's because we know from many other studies that in repeat sprint training as sprints progress more and more of the energy produced to meet demands is....AEROBIC! The protocol called for the subjects to ride at 170% of their Vo2 Max for 20s followed by 10s rest for 4-8 sets. other research such as http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18368419, show a clear increase in aerobic contribution as repeat sprints continue, which makes total sense in Tabatas case as the 20/10 protocol showed huge improvments in max aerobic power.
2)The study wa only 6 weeks long, on untrained subjects, would highly trained cyclists have seen the same results, would group 2 continue to make better improvments then group 1 after say 9, 12 or 25 weeks? who knows, thats the limitations of research. but I know from first hand experience that no worl class athlete trains soley high intenisty for 12 months of the year.
3)The anti "aerobic" clowns like charles Staley, also always fail to miss a crucial part of the study..both groups performed a 10min easy warm up at 50% Vo2 Max, akin to..god forbid, joggin intenisty. But group two performed 30 mins of low intensity cycling before they started the sprint protocol once a week, they performed a total of six weeks, thus 180mins of low intensity exercise over teh 6 weeks, did it make them turn into women and fall to pieces like Charles postulates? No!
4)The subjects were instructed to carry out 8-9 sets of the protocol on 4 days of the week but the sessions were ter,inated when RPM dropped below 85. there is no mention of how often or how many of the participants reached the 9 set mark each session or how many were aloud progress to the 11w increase. Adherance to such a hard protocol is an important point when talking about recreational people and a "tabata" style protocol is not for the beginner.
Simply higher intenisty training will always be better at improving high intensity effort in the short term, that's just logical, but long term improvments require a far better understanding of physiology and planning then just blindly following Izumi Tabata's 6 week study!
Continuing, Charles Staley talks about the SAID principle, well clearly if all you did was jog, and nothing else you'd become pretty good at joggin and not much else! but who in their right mind would just jog if they wanted to improve performance in the weight room, their power or improve their athletic abilites for something as complex as Alpine skiing? No-one with a brain! If Staley thinks that some moderate intensity jogging including in a sound program geared to the demands of your sport will skew everything and make you all weak and slow then he clearly has no concept or education on teh adaptive processes of teh body, cellular metabolism, exercise physiology and psychological well being.
All that being said, I wouldn't recommend joggin for a competive almpine skier, especially in season, due to joint stress but in charles' field of weight/power lifting I think a low volume of it would be great!
Charles' comment about distance runners bulk of training coming from "jogging" is so stupid it beggers belief and really paints the picture of teh intellect we are dealing with. He has obviuosly never ran with or seen Kenyan's, Ethipoian or other world class middle distance runners run. Intensity and volumes that are mind-boggling and far beyond "jogging".
This comment Jogging, as the bulk of studies have repeatedly shown, reduces, or at the very least, makes it more difficult to maintain or develop all of the masculine traits I just described.
Is a complete lie! And the transparency is obvious seen as he does not provide even 1 citation! But guys like Oly,pic track sprinter Chris Hoy, do a lot of moderate to low intensity work and still squat 200kg plus and sprint faster then any of us could ever dream of! oh and are pretty Masculine.
Take home point, charles' article is utter crap, poorly written and not very well researched or even based on reality! As he's never jogged much himself how does he know it's so bad?
More importantly though is that the article has no relation to Alpine skiing, I wouldn't reccomend massive jogging volumes to skiers unless they like it and it agrees with them. so the article is a non-issue. Especially if the skier is using running based means for their higher and maximal intensity energy systems training.
The article is written for people looking primarily to be strong in the gym, gain mass for aesthetics or power lift, not world class alpine skiing athletes!