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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Nov;110(5):1029-36. doi: 10.1007/s00421-010-1586-4. Epub 2010 Aug 4.

High-intensity interval training improves VO(2peak), maximal lactate accumulation, time trial and competition performance in 9-11-year-old swimmers.

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Institute of Training Science and Sport Informatics, German Sport University Cologne, Am Sportpark Müngersdorf, Cologne, Germany.


Training volume in swimming is usually very high when compared to the relatively short competition time. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been demonstrated to improve performance in a relatively short training period. The main purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of a 5-week HIIT versus high-volume training (HVT) in 9-11-year-old swimmers on competition performance, 100 and 2,000 m time (T(100 m) and T(2,000 m)), VO(2peak) and rate of maximal lactate accumulation (Lac(max)). In a 5-week crossover study, 26 competitive swimmers with a mean (SD) age of 11.5 ± 1.4 years performed a training period of HIIT and HVT. Competition (P < 0.01; effect size = 0.48) and T(2,000 m) (P = 0.04; effect size = 0.21) performance increased following HIIT. No changes were found in T(100 m) (P = 0.20). Lac(max) increased following HIIT (P < 0.01; effect size = 0.43) and decreased after HVT (P < 0.01; effect size = 0.51). VO(2peak) increased following both interventions (P < 0.05; effect sizes = 0.46-0.57). The increases in competition performance, T(2,000 m), Lac(max) and VO(2peak) following HIIT were achieved in significantly less training time (~2 h/week).

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