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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2017 Mar;27(3):318-326. doi: 10.1111/sms.12660. Epub 2016 Feb 16.

Effects of submaximal and supramaximal interval training on determinants of endurance performance in endurance athletes.

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Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada.
Research Center of the Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de Québec, Québec, QC, Canada.
School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.
Department of Physiology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Neurovascular Research, Laboratory, Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales, South Wales, UK.
Sondes Moléculaires en Biologie, Laboratoire Chimie Provence UMR 6264 CNRS, Université de Provence Marseille, Marseille, France.


We compared the effects of submaximal and supramaximal cycling interval training on determinants of exercise performance in moderately endurance-trained men. Maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max ), peak power output (Ppeak ), and peak and mean anaerobic power were measured before and after 6 weeks (3 sessions/week) of submaximal (85% maximal aerobic power [MP], HIIT85 , n = 8) or supramaximal (115% MP, HIIT115 , n = 9) interval training to exhaustion in moderately endurance-trained men. High-intensity training volume was 47% lower in HIIT115 vs HIIT85 (304 ± 77 vs 571 ± 200 min; P < 0.01). Exercise training was generally associated with increased VO2max (HIIT85 : +3.3 ± 3.1 mL/kg/min; HIIT115 : +3.3 ± 3.6 ml/kg/min; Time effect P = 0.002; Group effect: P = 0.95), Ppeak (HIIT85 : +18 ± 9 W; HIIT115 : +16 ± 27 W; Time effect P = 0.045; Group effect: P = 0.49), and mean anaerobic power (HIIT85 : +0.42 ± 0.69 W/kg; HIIT115 : +0.55 ± 0.65 W/kg; Time effect P = 0.01; Group effect: P = 0.18). Six weeks of submaximal and supramaximal interval training performed to exhaustion seems to equally improve VO2max and anaerobic power in endurance-trained men, despite half the accumulated time spent at the target intensity.


Aerobic capacity; cycling; endurance training; sprint performance

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