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Int J Sports Med. 2005 Nov;26(9):781-6.

Improving aerobic power in primary school boys: a comparison of continuous and interval training.

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Institute of Human Performance, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.


The purpose of this study was to assess whether the magnitude of change in aerobic power was different in boys (mean age 10.25 +/- 0.50 y) who followed a high-intensity interval training protocol, compared to those who followed a moderate-intensity continuous training protocol. Boys were assigned to either a control group (n = 15), a continuous training group (n = 10), or an interval training group (n = 10). They completed peak oxygen uptake tests at baseline and following an 8-week training period. The control group continued with normal activity habits, whilst the continuous training group followed a 20-minute steady-state cycle protocol at 80-85 % of the maximal heart rate, and the interval training group completed 30-s sprints on a cycle ergometer, interspersed with active rest periods. The two training protocols were designed to incur similar cardiovascular work over the 20 minutes of each training session. Significant increases (p < 0.05) in peak oxygen uptake were noted for both the interval and continuous training groups. The interval training group showed marked pre- to post-increases in both peak oxygen pulse, oxygen pulse at the ventilatory threshold, and ventilatory threshold that were not apparent in the continuous group boys. It would appear that a high-intensity interval protocol confers a different training effect in comparison to continuous steady-state training in boys. Possible mechanisms that underpin these adaptations may include increased blood volume and a concomitant adjustment in stroke volume.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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