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J Sports Sci. 2019 Jun;37(11):1257-1264. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1554615. Epub 2018 Dec 18.

Twelve weeks of low volume sprint interval training improves cardio-metabolic health outcomes in overweight females.

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a Faculty of Education , University of Macau , Macao , China.
b Institute of Physical Education , Huzhou University , Huzhou , Zhejiang , China.
c College of Physical Education , Hebei Normal University , Shijiazhuang , China.
d School of Physical Education and Sports , Macao Polytechnic Institute , Macao , China.
e Dr. Stephen Hui Research Centre for Physical Recreation and Wellness, Department of Physical Education , Hong Kong Baptist University , Hong Kong , China.


This study compared the effects of 12-week sprint interval training (SIT), high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) on cardiorespiratory fitness (V̇O2peak), body mass and insulin sensitivity in overweight females. Forty-two overweight women (age 21.2 ± 1.4 years, BMI 26.3 ± 2.5 kg·m-2) were randomized to the groups of SIT (80 × 6-s sprints + 9-s rest), and isoenergetic (300KJ) HIIT (~9 × 4-min cycling at 90% V̇O2peak + 3-min rest) and MICT (cycling at 60% V̇O2peak for ~ 61-min). Training intervention was performed 3 d·week-1 for 12 weeks. After intervention, all three groups induced the same improvement in V̇O2peak (~ +25%, p < 0.001) and a similar reduction in body mass (~ - 5%, p < 0.001). Insulin sensitivity and fasting insulin levels were improved significantly on post-training measures in SIT and HIIT by ~26% and ~39% (p < 0.01), respectively, but remain unchanged in MICT. In contrast, fasting glucose levels were only reduced with MICT (p < 0.01). The three training strategies are equally effective in improving V̇O2peak and reducing body mass, however, the SIT is time-efficient. High-intensity training (i.e. SIT and HIIT) seems to be more beneficial than MICT in improving insulin sensitivity. Abbreviations: BMI: body mass index; CVD: cardiovascular disease; HIEG: hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic glucose; HIIT: high-intensity interval training; HOMA-IR: homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance; HR: heart rate; MICT: moderate-intensity continuous training; RPE: ratings of perceived exertion; SIT: sprint interval training; T2D: type 2 diabetes; V̇O2peak: peak oxygen consumption.


Exercise; cardio-metabolic health; interval training; weight reduction

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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