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J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Oct;26(10):2866-71.

Metabolic response of different high-intensity aerobic interval exercise protocols.

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Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA.


Although high-intensity sprint interval training (SIT) employing the Wingate protocol results in significant physiological adaptations, it is conducted at supramaximal intensity and is potentially unsafe for sedentary middle-aged adults. We therefore evaluated the metabolic and cardiovascular response in healthy young individuals performing 4 high-intensity (~90% VO2max) aerobic interval training (HIT) protocols with similar total work output but different work-to-rest ratio. Eight young physically active subjects participated in 5 different bouts of exercise over a 3-week period. Protocol 1 consisted of 20-minute continuous exercise at approximately 70% of VO2max, whereas protocols 2-5 were interval based with a work-active rest duration (in seconds) of 30/30, 60/30, 90/30, and 60/60, respectively. Each interval protocol resulted in approximately 10 minutes of exercise at a workload corresponding to approximately 90% VO2max, but differed in the total rest duration. The 90/30 HIT protocol resulted in the highest VO2, HR, rating of perceived exertion, and blood lactate, whereas the 30/30 protocol resulted in the lowest of these parameters. The total caloric energy expenditure was lowest in the 90/30 and 60/30 protocols (~150 kcal), whereas the other 3 protocols did not differ (~195 kcal) from one another. The immediate postexercise blood pressure response was similar across all the protocols. These finding indicate that HIT performed at approximately 90% of VO2max is no more physiologically taxing than is steady-state exercise conducted at 70% VO2max, but the response during HIT is influenced by the work-to-rest ratio. This interval protocol may be used as an alternative approach to steady-state exercise training but with less time commitment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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