Six Sessions: to increase 100%

Burgomaster: Six Sessions

Six Sessions is a program to increase performance for intermediate athletes, designed by Kirsten Burgomaster, Scott Hughes, George Heiligenmauser, Suzanne Bradwell und Martin Gibala and published in 2006. Based on the realization that even short high intensive sessions result in an increase of performance (81-169% within the first 2 weeks) [Burgomaster KA, Hughes SC, Heigenhauser GJF, et al. Six sessions of sprint interval training increases muscle oxidative potential and cycle endurance capacity in humans. J Appl Physiol 2005;98:1985-1990.].

When you think about it, you’re only having 6 trainingssessions while having an average increase of 100%.

Observe that there only was a small increase of VO2max (ca. 5%). That means that nearly all increase comes from muscle efficiency and energy usage.

Session Build

You use a high frequent exercise. So you need an exercise which you can do with as many repetitions as possible (for example Airdyne Bike, Stationary Bike, Sprinting, Stairs, etc). Than you pause. Do this for 4-5 rounds. At the beginning of the program you only do 4 sessions per week, but each week you add one round. Within the second week you should do 5 rounds and in the third week you will do 6 rounds.

Do 3 of these sessions per week.


30 sek Sprinting (all out = as fast as you can)
4:30 min Pause
4-6 Rounds (add 1 Round per week)


If you are using a stationary bike you should train at 80% VO2max.

Don’t underestimate the stress this training put on your body and your central nerve system. It is possible that your power will decrease while you do the six session training.

If you train with with a HRM (Heart Rate Monitor), note who many beats your heart rate drops within the first minute of rest (decrease of 30-40 bpm is good; decrease of >50 bmp is very good).


If you want to dig further into the Six Sessions Program read this article:

Effect of short-term sprint interval training on human skeletal muscle carbohydrate metabolism during exercise and time-trial performance

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