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Commentary: “Why Sprint interval training is inappropriate for a largely sedentary population” The satisfaction that moves us – Sprint interval training as an exercise method for sedentary individuals.



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Commentary: “Why Sprint interval training is inappropriate for a largely
sedentary population” The satisfaction that moves us – Sprint interval
training as an exercise method for sedentary individuals.
Fabrício Boscolo Del_Vecchio, Paulo Gentil, Victor Silveira Coswig and David Hideyoshi Fukuda
Journal Name: Frontiers in Psychology
ISSN: 1664-1078
Article type: General Commentary Article
First received on: 20 Jun 2015
Frontiers website link:
Psychology for Clinical Settings
Commentary: “Why Sprint interval training is inappropriate for a
largely sedentary population”
The satisfaction that moves us Sprint interval training as an exercise
method for sedentary individuals.
Fabrício Boscolo Del Vecchio1, Paulo Gentil2, Victor Silveira Coswig1*, David Hideyoshi
1 Federal University of Pelotas, Superior School of Physical Education, Pelotas/RS, Brazil
2 University of Brasilia, College of Physical Education, Brasilia/DF, Brazil
3 Institute of Exercise Physiology & Wellness, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, United
* Correspondence: Victor Silveira Coswig, Federal University of Pelotas, Superior School of
Physical Education, Pelotas/RS, 96055-410, Brazil.
Keywords: exercise psychology, sprint interval training, exercise intensity, behavior change,
feeling states, exercise adherence
Word count: 1000
The satisfaction that moves us Sprint interval training as an exercise method for sedentary
We read, with great interest, the manuscript by Hardcastle et al. (2014) published in this journal
that conveyed the opinion that sprint interval training (SIT) is inappropriate for sedentary individuals.
In this letter, we will try to explain why the authors may be misguided in their arguments and propose
an alternate point of view on this issue.
Minimal doses of exercise for health are somewhat limited within current recommendations
which tend to gravitate toward moderate intensity continuous exercise (MICE) presented by the
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). However, it appears that 150min per week of MICE
is insufficient for many aspects health, including weight loss and regain (Church et al., 2009). In
addition, approximately 31% of the world’s population is sedentary (Hallal et al., 2012), and for those
who aim to improve the previously mentioned health goals, SIT, which is a specific type of high-
intensity intermittent training (HIIT; Buchheit and Laursen, 2013), may be an advantageous exercise
strategy (Del Vecchio et al., 2013).
To advocate for decreased pleasure with increasing intensity, the authors (Hardcastle et al.,
2014) employ a review article that at no point mentions HIIT or SIT but primarily focused on MICE
at or near 85% of VO2reserve (Ekkekakis et al., 2011). In a direct comparison of single MICE or HIIT
sessions, Oliveira et al. (2013) observed greater ratings of perceived exertion during HIIT, but no
difference in physical activity enjoyment between the two types of exercise. In addition to the lack of
reference to SIT or HIIT in the currently discussed Opinion Article (Hardcastle et al., 2014), the authors
employ an “invited paper” (Parfitt and Hughes, 2009) which focuses on self-selected exercise intensity
and self-regulation to support the notion that "enjoyment is also a predictor of exercise adherence and
most people do not enjoy high intensity exercise". Contrary to the suggestions, in a controlled trial,
HIIT was shown to be more enjoyable than MICE (Bartlett et al., 2011). Specifically, similar results
were found in sedentary overweight/obese adults (Martinez et al., 2015).
It is our opinion that the motivation provided by positive health improvements and the time-
efficiency of SIT/HIIT exceeds the potential aversive effects of higher intensities. Moreover, the
assumption that these protocols have low adherence is not confirmed, with studies in elderly
individuals showing a preference for interval protocols (Guiraud et al., 2011) and lengthy training
studies (up to 9 months) reporting adherence greater than 90% with HIIT in obese participants and
people with joint disorders (Gremeaux et al., 2012; Bressel et al., 2014). The only study cited in the
Opinion Article (Hardcastle et al., 2014) to question adherence to intense protocols is by Perri et al.
(2002) which involved the comparison of two MICE sessions carried out between 40-55% and 65-75%
of heart rate reserve. In fact, the results of this study highlight potential issues with current MICE
recommendations, including decreased adherence and limitations with regard to training volume using
selected intensities for steady-state exercise. Interestingly, results from a systematic review showed
that 12 months of MICE resulted in less than 2kg of weight loss (Avenell et al., 2004), while others
have recommended advocated the use of HIIT for improvements in body composition (Boutcher,
Further, SIT has shown to improve motivation, particularly with regard to appearance and
maintenance of body mass, as well as raise quality of life scores in elderly sedentary people (Knowles
et al., 2015). Contradicting the assumptions made by Hardcastle et al. (2014), results from a
randomized controlled trial showed that 6 weeks of SIT lead to improvement in the perception of health
and mood of sedentary women (30-65yrs) at risk for metabolic syndrome (Freese et al., 2014).
Studies in the Opinion Article (Hardcastle et al., 2014) used to convince the reader that SIT is
strenuous and can increase feelings of low self-esteem, potential failure and incompetence tended to
address generic issues and did not specifically involve SIT or HIIT, (Hein and Hagger, 2007; Lindwall
et al., 2011). Furthermore, self-discipline and self-regulation, presented as necessary factors to achieve
success with SIT, are essential for any behavior change. In particular, engagement in exercise for health
is a behavioral decision.
Additionally, the sense of self-esteem, motivation and competence is relative and can be
enhanced by professionals, as we believe that few people should perform exercise without supervision
or guidance. In this context, the exercise intensity is relative to the individuals current health and
emotional status. Often sedentary, obese or with medical restrictions, have such low physical fitness
that it would be impossible to conduct MICE. For example, a person with COPD, if a 30-minute
exercise is recommended, should exercise at 2.4-3.5km/h (Rugbjerg et al., 2015), which may results in
complications, including, but not limited to, joint pain, diaper rash, and general discomfort as reported
by obese individuals during this type of training.
The authors of the Opinion Article (Hardcastle et al., 2014) argue that intensity control during
SIT is complex. However, proper control of MICE requires expensive and complex equipment to
quantify intensities, such as heart rate monitors, global positioning systems and/or devices to report
external loads (speed, load, inclination…). In contrast, the interval-training model proposed by Tabata
et al. (1996) can be conducted with minimal equipment, with physiological adaptions equivalent to
those obtained with MICE (McRae et al., 2012). Regarding the use of extended rest/recovery periods
between exercise intervals, SIT models are flexible and Matsuo et al. (2014) reported superior results
using a protocol lasting only 7min compared to a 45-minute MICE session, further highlighting the
time efficient nature of this approach.
We would like to thank the authors of the Opinion Article for their efforts with regard to
potentially furthering the research agenda surrounding the beneficial effects of SIT. In closing, it is
should be recognized that the development of training programs should not be limited to a single
exercise methodology (Del Vecchio et al., 2013), and that, in addition to SIT and MICE, other modes,
including progressive strength training and leisure/recreational activities, should also be utilized in the
sedentary population.
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... 29,30 In contrast, other researchers have challenged this position and highlighted the potential of HIIT as a viable strategy for health promotion. [30][31][32][33] Indeed, it might be hypothesized that the time-saving aspect of HIIT could be helpful in overcoming time-related barriers to uptake and maintenance of physical activity. However, to the best of our knowledge, the dropout rates in HIIT trials conducted with previously untrained individuals have not yet been systematically reviewed and, thus, dropout patterns in HIIT interventions among sedentary populations are currently unclear. ...
... Our results challenge recent concerns that HIIT is inappropriate for sedentary individuals 29,30 and support opposing viewpoints, advocating that there is promising potential for HIIT-based exercise interventions to contribute to public health promotion. 29,[31][32][33] The relatively low prevalence of dropouts in HIIT trials when compared with traditional exercise programs could be due to several reasons. First, it is widely accepted that feelings of pleasure and enjoyment are crucial factors for adherence to exercise programs. ...
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Recent evidence suggests that high‐intensity interval training (HIIT) is an effective method to improve fitness and various health‐markers. However, the tolerability and acceptability of HIIT among sedentary individuals is currently controversially discussed. Therefore, our objective was to investigate the prevalence and predictors of dropout among sedentary individuals in HIIT‐based exercise interventions. MEDLINE/PubMed, SPORTDiscus and Web of Science were searched systematically for relevant articles until 06/2018. Studies included were required to (1) be written in English, (2) include sedentary healthy adults, (3) use some form of HIIT without any complementary intervention, (4) last ≥4 weeks, (5) report detailed description of the applied HIIT‐protocol, (6) report data that allows calculation of a dropout rate. Fifty‐five studies reporting results from 67 HIIT‐interventions with 1318 participants met the eligibility criteria. The trim and fill adjusted pooled dropout rate across all interventions was 17.6% (95% confidence interval 14.2–21.5%). Dropout rates were significantly lower in cycling‐based interventions compared with studies using running/walking as exercise‐modality (P<.001). Longer session time (β=0.02, P<.05), higher time effort/week (β=0.005, P<.05) and overall time effort/intervention (β=0.0003, P<.05) predicted greater dropout. Exercise intensity was not related to dropout. Our data suggest that HIIT‐based interventions are tolerable and acceptable for previously sedentary individuals, exhibiting generally lower dropout rates than commonly reported for traditional exercise‐programs. Given the association between HIIT‐volume and dropouts, future studies should further focus on identifying the minimally effective dose of practical HIIT for improving health status. Such efforts would be important to increase implementation and public health impact of HIIT. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... Because of the prescribed demand for an increase in exercise intensity in a HICT traditional program, there is evidence of adverse effects during the training with muscle soreness and pain being reported [8][9][10] . Sperlich et al. 10 showed that the overweight women who trained with the HICT traditional program perceived more pain after the 9-week intervention than those who trained in combination with high-volume, low-intensity exercise. ...
We examined the effects of an 8-week modified high-intensity circuit training using body weight as resistance (HICTBW) on health-related physical fitness in sedentary obese women. Methods: Twenty-four sedentary obese women were allocated into the HICTBW or a non-training control group (CG). The modified HICTBW was performed for 8 weeks (3 times per week). Training consisted of a 30-second workout and 10-second rest for 12 exercise poses per 1 circuit (1 circuit in the first week), with an increase of 1 circuit every 2 weeks. Body weight and body composition included skeletal muscle mass (SMM), body fat mass (BFM), body fat percentage (BF%), visceral fat area (VFA), and skeletal muscle mass to visceral fat area ratio (MFR) were measured. Physical fitness included flexibility of the lower back and hamstrings (FlexLH), and leg and handgrip muscle strength (StrengthLeg, StrengthHG). Cardiovascular endurance included the Åstrand-Rhyming heart rate (HRÅstrand), relative maximum oxygen uptake (relative V̇ O2max), and workload. Results: All variables were obtained at baseline, week-4, and week-8. The HICTBW improved FlexLH, StrengthLeg, and relative V̇ O2max from baseline to week-4 (All P<0.05). Improvements from baseline to week-8 were observed for SMM, BFM, BF%, VFA and MFR, FlexLH, StrengthLeg, HRÅstrand, relative V̇ O2max, and workload (All p<0.05). Furthermore, the HICTBW elicited a higher change in SMM (+2.9%), BFM (-3.4%), BF% (-3.2%), MFR (+9.5%), FlexLH (+145.7%) and relative V̇ O2max (+32.3%) than the CG at week-8 (All P<0.05). Conclusions: An 8-week modified HICTBW program thrice a week is an effective training modality to influence health-related physical fitness in sedentary obese women.
... There is evidence that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) may be a viable exercise option for individuals deemed to be at risk for T2D (Campbell et al., 2019;Jung et al., 2015;Locke et al., 2018). Although this initial evidence is promising, the use of HIIT for individuals not meeting physical activity guidelines remains hotly debated (Astorino & Thum, 2016;Biddle & Batterham, 2015;Del Vecchio et al., 2016;Hardcastle et al., 2014;Little et al., 2015;Oliveira et al., 2018). The current study is the first to examine psychological responses to HIIT for individuals participating in a diabetes risk reduction programme. ...
The purpose of this secondary analysis study was to examine the affective and social cognitive responses to low-volume high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) over a progressive two-week supervised intervention for individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes. Ninety-nine adults that were low-active and overweight were randomized into one of two exercise conditions and had affective and social cognitive measures assessed before, during, and after intervention. Increases over time in post-exercise enjoyment, attitudes towards exercise, and intentions to exercise were noted for both HIIT and MICT conditions (ps <.05). The patterns of change in acute affective responses over the two-week intervention were consistent for both conditions, with participants in MICT reporting more positive in-task affect and affective attitudes throughout (ps <.001). Positive correlational relationships between affective and social cognitive responses were revealed throughout the intervention (ps <.05), highlighting the relationship between reflexive responses and reflective cognitions. Research is warranted to determine whether findings are a consequence of familiarization with exercise, whether such findings are translatable to real-world environments and non-progressive exercise protocols, and whether these reflexive responses and reflective cognitions are predictive of future exercise behaviour for individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes.
... HIIT has been regarded as a time-efficient option that may elicit amplified physiological adaptations compared to MICT [3,9]. Despite this, there is a debate as to whether HIIT is an appropriate training method for insufficiently active individuals due to questions of affective response, motivation levels, self-regulation, and adherence rates in this demographic [11][12][13][14]. The familiarity of MICT protocols may therefore serve as an advantage to exercise interventions targeting individuals not previously exposed to high-intensity exercise, as they may elicit more favourable affective responses to such protocols [11], consequently promoting continued engagement in physical activity. ...
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Background: Both high-intensity interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training demonstrate beneficial physiological outcomes for active and insufficiently active populations. However, it remains unclear whether compliance to exercise in supervised settings translates to long-term adherence to physical activity in real-world, unstructured environments. To our knowledge, no comprehensive review is available on compliance and/or adherence rates to either modes of exercise for insufficiently active individuals. Furthermore, it is unclear which training modality insufficiently active individuals comply and/or adhere more readily to. Based on these gaps, the following two questions will be addressed: (1) What are compliance and adherence rates to high-intensity interval training for insufficiently active adults aged 18-65 years and (2) How do compliance and adherence rates differ between high-intensity interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training? Methods: Both observational and experimental studies that report on compliance and/or adherence rates to high-intensity interval training will be included. Relevant studies will be retrieved from Medline, EMBASE, PsychINFO, SPORTDiscus, CINAHL, and Web of Science using a pre-specified search strategy. Pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria will be used by two independent researchers to determine eligible studies. Of those meeting the inclusion criteria, data extraction and narrative synthesis will be completed, and where applicable, random-effects meta-analyses will be computed to compare compliance and adherence rates between high-intensity interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training. Meta-regressions and sensitivity analyses will be used to further explore factors that could influence aggregate effect sizes. Risk of bias will be assessed using established tools by the Cochrane association, and quality assessment of the cumulative evidence will be assessed using the GRADE approach. Discussion: Results from this study may have the potential to inform future physical activity recommendations and guidelines on the ideal mode of exercise for the general population. This review will add to the body of literature on the feasibility of high-intensity interval training for an insufficiently active population, conclusively addressing the ongoing debate of whether it is an appropriate exercise choice for this demographic. With this new information, individuals working towards a healthier lifestyle through physical activity engagement may be better equipped to make an evidence-based decision. Systematic review registration: This review has been registered in the PROSPERO database and assigned the identifier CRD42019103313.
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Strategies aiming to promote weight loss usually include anything that results in an increase in energy expenditure (exercise) or a decrease in energy intake (diet). However, the probability of losing weight is low and the probability of sustained weight loss is even lower. Herein, we bring some questions and suggestions about the topic, with a focus on exercise interventions. Based on the current evidence, we should look at how metabolism changes in response to interventions instead of counting calories, so we can choose more efficient models that can account for the complexity of human organisms. In this regard, high-intensity training might be particularly interesting as a strategy to promote fat loss since it seems to promote many physiological changes that might favor long-term weight loss. However, it is important to recognize the controversy of the results regarding interval training (IT), which might be explained by the large variations in its application. For this reason, we have to be more judicious about how exercise is planned and performed and some factors, like supervision, might be important for the results. The intensity of exercise seems to modulate not only how many calories are expended after exercise, but also where they came from. Instead of only estimating the number of calories ingested and expended, it seems that we have to act positively in order to create an adequate environment for promoting healthy and sustainable weight loss.
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Background: The present study compared the effects of training and detraining periods of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), moderate-intensity interval training (MIIT) and moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) on functional performance, body composition, resting blood pressure and heart rate in elderly women nursing home residents. Methods: Forty-six volunteers (age, 80.8 ± 5.2 y; body mass, 69.8 ± 5.2 kg, height, 164.2 ± 4.12 cm) were divided into groups that performed treadmill exercise twice-weekly HIIT (4 bouts of 4-min intervals at 85-95% of the maximal heart rate [HRmax], interspersed by 4 min at 65% HRmax), MIIT (4 bouts of 4 min intervals at 55-75% HRmax, interspersed by 4 min at 45-50% HRmax) and MICT (30-min at 55-75% HRmax). Tests were performed before and after 8 weeks of training and 2 and 4 weeks of detraining. ANCOVA was used to analyze dependent variable changes. Results: After 8 weeks HIIT promoted greater reductions in body mass (HIIT = - 1.6 ± 0.1 kg; MICT = - 0.9 ± 0.1 kg; MIIT = - 0.9 ± 0.1 kg; p = 0.001), fat mass (HIIT = - 2.2 ± 0.1%; MICT = - 0.7 ± 0.1%; MIIT = - 1.2 ± 0.1%; p < 0.001) and resting heart rate (HIIT = - 7.3 ± 0.3%; MICT = - 3.6 ± 0.3%; MIIT = - 5.1 ± 0.3%; p < 0.001) and greater improvement in the chair stand test (HIIT = 3.4 ± 0.1 reps; MICT = 2.5 ± 0.1 reps; MIIT = 3.1 ± 0.1 reps; p < 0.001) when compared to MIIT and MICT. These improvements were sustained after 2 and 4 weeks of detraining only in the HIIT group. Conclusion: HIIT promoted greater benefits for body composition and functional performance than MICT and MIIT and also showed less pronounced effects of detraining. This suggests that the intensity of physical exercise is an important factor to consider when prescribing exercise to the elderly.
A common barrier to exercise is “lack of time”. Accordingly, interest in low-volume, high-intensity training has grown exponentially since this activity is considered time-efficient. However, the high-intensity nature of this exercise may frequently result in feelings of displeasure creating another barrier for many people. The purpose of this study was to compare affective (pleasure-displeasure) responses to three low-volume, high-intensity exercise conditions, including a novel shortened-sprint protocol. Using a within-subjects, randomised crossover experiment, healthy participants (N = 36) undertook a single bout of: 1) traditional reduced-exertion, high-intensity interval training (TREHIT), 2) a novel, shortened-sprint REHIT (SSREHIT) protocol, and 3) sprint continuous training (SCT). Affect and perceived efforts were recorded throughout exercise using the Feeling Scale (FS) and the 15-point Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale, respectively. Enjoyment was recorded 5 min post-exercise using the Exercise Enjoyment Scale (EES). Differences were found for FS (condition by time interaction: P = 0.01GG, η² = 0.26), RPE (P = 0.01GG, η² = 0.23), and enjoyment (P < 0.01) with all outcomes favouring SSREHIT. Shortened-sprint protocols may diminish feelings of displeasure and might be a time-efficient yet tolerable exercise choice to help motivate some people to increase their physical activity and fitness.
BackgroundA number of mobile health (mHealth) apps exist that focus specifically on promoting exercise behavior. To increase user engagement, prompts, such as text messages, emails, or push notifications, are often used. To date, little research has been done to understand whether, and for how long, these prompts influence exercise behavior. Objective This study aimed to assess the impact of prompts on mHealth self-monitoring and self-reported exercise in the days following a prompt and whether these effects differ based on exercise modality. Methods Of the possible 99 adults at risk for developing type II diabetes who participated in a diabetes prevention program, 69 were included in this secondary analysis. Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of the following 2 exercise conditions: high-intensity interval training or moderate-intensity continuous training. In the year following a brief, community-based diabetes prevention program involving counseling and supervised exercise sessions, all participants self-monitored their daily exercise behaviors on an mHealth app in which they were sent personalized prompts at varying frequencies. mHealth self-monitoring and self-reported exercise data from the app were averaged over 1, 3, 5, and 7 days preceding and following a prompt and subsequently compared using t tests. ResultsIn the year following the diabetes prevention program, self-monitoring (t68=6.82; P.05). In the first half of the year, self-monitoring was significant in the 3 days following a prompt (t68=8.61; P
BACKGROUND: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an important training component to improve aerobic and anaerobic exercise capacity. Higher HIIT workloads in general may generate additional effects on the improvement of exercise capacity, while missing adherence to more strenuous training regimes may affect training success. This study investigated if higher training workload generated by progressive HIIT (proHIIT) is superior to HIIT when used in an uncontrolled setting. METHODS: Thirty-four moderately trained females and males performed a 4-week training intervention with three exercise sessions per week. Participants were randomized into two HIIT groups using the individual lactate threshold at baseline: Group 1 (n = 17), HIIT, 4 runs at maximal speed (all-out) with 30 s active recovery (total = 48 runs), Group 2 (n = 17), proHIIT, 4 runs at maximal speed (all-out) with 30 s active recovery with one extra repetition every week (up to 7 runs, total = 66 runs). An incremental field test protocol with standard blood lactate (LA) diagnostic and heart rate monitoring was used to access changes in exercise capacity. RESULTS: Overall, power output (running speed) at LA threshold (baseline LA+1.5 mmol∙L-1) increased by +3.6% (p = 0.004, effect size [ES] = 0.38) after 4 weeks of HIIT. However, no significant between-group differences pre- vs post-intervention were detected. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that proHIIT does not provide additional improvement of running speed at individual lactate threshold over HIIT in an uncontrolled setting.
Background: Sprint interval training (SIT) can be as effective, or more effective, than continuous moderate intensity exercise (CMIE) for improving a primary risk factor for cardiometabolic disease, low cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). However, there has been no direct comparison in inactive individuals, of the acute effects of a session of SIT with a work-matched session of CMIE on local oxygen utilisation, which is a primary stimulus for increasing CRF. Furthermore, post-exercise blood pressure (BP) and enjoyment, if symptomatic and low, respectively, have implications for safety and adherence to exercise and have not been compared between these specific conditions. It was hypothesised that in young inactive men, local oxygen utilisation would be higher, while post-exercise BP and enjoyment would be lower for SIT, when compared to CMIE. Methods: A total of 11 inactive men (mean ± SD; age 23 ± 4 years) completed a maximal ramp-incremental exercise test followed by two experiment conditions: (1) SIT and (2) work-matched CMIE on a cycle ergometer on separate days. Deoxygenated haemoglobin (∆HHb) in the pre-frontal cortex (FH), gastrocnemius (GN), left vastus lateralis (LVL) and the right vastus lateralis (RVL) muscles, systemic oxygen utilisation (VO2), systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure and physical activity enjoyment scale (PACES) were measured during the experiment conditions. Results: During SIT, compared to CMIE, ∆HHb in FH (p = 0.016) and GN (p = 0.001) was higher, while PACES (p = 0.032) and DBP (p = 0.043) were lower. No differences in SBP and ∆HHb in LVL and RVL were found between conditions. Conclusions: In young inactive men, higher levels of physiological stress occurred during SIT, which potentially contributed to lower levels of post-exercise DBP and enjoyment, when compared to CMIE.
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Aims: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) leads to improvements in various markers of cardiometabolic health but adherence to HIIT following a supervised laboratory intervention has yet to be tested. We compared self-report and objective measures of physical activity after one month of independent exercise in individuals with prediabetes who were randomized to HIIT (n = 15) or traditional moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT, n = 17). Method: After completing 10 sessions of supervised training participants were asked to perform HIIT or MICT three times per week for four weeks. Results: Individuals in HIIT (89 ± 11%) adhered to their prescribed protocol to a greater extent than individuals in MICT (71 ± 31%) as determined by training logs completed over one-month follow-up (P = 0.05, Cohen's d = 0.75). Minutes spent in vigorous physical activity per week measured by accelerometer were higher in HIIT (24 ± 18) as compared to MICT (11 ± 10) at one-month follow-up (P = 0.049, Cohen's d = 0.92). Cardiorespiratory fitness and systolic blood pressure assessed at one-month follow-up were equally improved (P's < 0.05). Conclusions: This study provides preliminary evidence that individuals with prediabetes can adhere to HIIT over the short-term and do so at a level that is greater than MICT.
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High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has many known physiological benefits, but research investigating the psychological aspects of this training is limited. The purpose of the current study is to investigate the affective and enjoyment responses to continuous and high-intensity interval exercise sessions. Twenty overweight-to-obese, insufficiently active adults completed four counterbalanced trials: a 20-min trial of heavy continuous exercise and three 24-min HIIT trials that used 30-s, 60-s, and 120-s intervals. Affect declined during all trials (p < .05), but affect at the completion of trials was more positive in the shorter interval trials (p < .05). Enjoyment declined in the 120-s interval and heavy continuous conditions only (p < .05). Postexercise enjoyment was higher in the 60-s trial than in the 120-s trial and heavy continuous condition (p < .05). Findings suggest that pleasure and enjoyment are higher during shorter interval trials than during a longer interval or heavy continuous exercise.
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Purpose: Most guidelines recommend pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and modified Medical Research Council dyspnea scale (mMRC) levels ≥2, but the effectiveness of PR in patients with less advanced disease is not well established. Our aim was to investigate the effects of PR in patients with COPD and mMRC ≤1. Methods: The methodology was developed as a part of evidence-based guideline development and is in accordance with the principles of the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) Working Group. We identified randomized controlled trials (RCTs) through a systematic, multidatabase literature search and selected RCTs comparing the effects of PR with usual care in patients with COPD and mMRC ≤1. Predefined critical outcomes were health-related quality of life (HRQoL), adverse effects and mortality, while walking distance, maximal exercise capacity, muscle strength, and dropouts were important outcomes. Two authors independently extracted data, assessed trial eligibility and risk of bias, and graded the evidence. Meta-analyses were performed when deemed feasible. Results: Four RCTs (489 participants) were included. On the basis of moderate-quality evidence, we found a clinically and statistically significant improvement in short-term HRQoL of 4.2 units (95% confidence interval [CI]: [-4.51 to -3.89]) on St George's Respiratory Questionnaire, but not at the longest follow-up. We also found a statistically significant improvement of 25.71 m (95% CI: [15.76-35.65]) in the 6-minute walk test with PR; however, this improvement was not considered clinically relevant. No difference was found for mortality, and insufficient data prohibited meta-analysis for muscle strength and maximal exercise capacity. No adverse effects were reported. Conclusion: We found a moderate quality of evidence suggesting a small, significant improvement in short-term HRQoL and a clinically nonsignificant improvement in walking distance following PR in patients with COPD and mild symptoms. This resulted in a weak recommendation of routine PR in these patients using the GRADE approach.
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There is a demand for effective training methods that encourage exercise adherence during advancing age, particularly in sedentary populations. This study examined the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise on health-related quality of life (HRQL), aerobic fitness and motivation to exercise in ageing men. Participants consisted of males who were either lifelong sedentary (SED; N = 25; age 63 ± 5 years) or lifelong exercisers (LEX; N = 19; aged 61 ± 5 years). [Formula: see text] and HRQL were measured at three phases: baseline (Phase A), week seven (Phase B) and week 13 (Phase C). Motivation to exercise was measured at baseline and week 13. [Formula: see text] was significantly higher in LEX (39.2 ± 5.6 ml kg min(-1)) compared to SED (27.2 ± 5.2 ml kg min(-1)) and increased in both groups from Phase A to C (SED 4.6 ± 3.2 ml kg min(-1), 95 % CI 3.1 - 6.0; LEX 4.9 ± 3.4 ml kg min(-1), 95 % CI 3.1-6.6) Physical functioning (97 ± 4 LEX; 93 ± 7 SED) and general health (70 ± 11 LEX; 78 ± 11 SED) were significantly higher in LEX but increased only in the SED group from Phase A to C (physical functioning 17 ± 18, 95 % CI 9-26, general health 14 ± 14, 95 % CI 8-21). Exercise motives related to social recognition (2.4 ± 1.2 LEX; 1.5 ± 1.0 SED), affiliation (2.7 ± 1.0 LEX; 1.6 ± 1.2 SED) and competition (3.3 ± 1.3 LEX; 2.2 ± 1.1) were significantly higher in LEX yet weight management motives were significantly higher in SED (2.9 ± 1.1 LEX; 4.3 ± 0.5 SED). The study provides preliminary evidence that low-volume HIIT increases perceptions of HRQL, exercise motives and aerobic capacity in older adults, to varying degrees, in both SED and LEX groups.
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The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether 6 weeks of sprint interval training (SIT) is associated with changes in mood and perceived health in women at risk for developing metabolic syndrome (MetS). Physically inactive women (30-65 years) were randomized to 6 weeks of nutrition meetings and SIT (n = 23; 3 bouts/week of 4-8 30-s cycle sprints with 4-min recovery) or a nonexercise control condition (CON; n = 24). Before and after the 6-week intervention, perceived health status and mood were assessed. Clinically relevant increases in role-physical scores (ES = 0.64) and vitality (ES = 0.52) were found after 6 weeks of SIT compared with a nonexercise control group. For middle-aged women at risk for MetS, it is concluded that high-intensity, low-volume SIT (1) increases feelings of vitality and perceptions of having fewer physical limitations and (2) does not induce mood disturbances as occurs with high-volume, high-intensity training.
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Public health practitioners and researchers in behavioral medicine recognize the need to find effective physical activity interventions and prescriptions to curb the growth in inactivity and prevent chronic illness (Conn et al., 2009; Hagger, 2010; Hardcastle et al., 2012; Katzmarzyk and Lear, 2012). For example, researchers in exercise physiology have focused on the minimal dose of exercise needed to gain favorable physiological adaptations to cardiovascular and metabolic systems (Gibala et al., 2012). Efforts to identify a minimal dose of exercise are linked to the problem of exercise adherence with few people meeting current physical activity guidelines of 30 min per day of moderate intensity exercise. Given that time is the most commonly cited barrier to exercise (Trost et al., 2002; Sequeira et al., 2011), exercise professionals have focused attention on the development of time-efficient exercise interventions (Gibala, 2007). A recent development is the advocacy of Sprint Interval Training (SIT) as a means to attain substantial health benefits with a lower overall exercise volume. SIT is characterized by repeated, brief (4–6 × <30 s), intermittent bursts of all-out exercise, interspersed by periods (approximately 4.5 min) of active or passive recovery (Gibala et al., 2012). Research has consistently demonstrated that participation in SIT results in a host of physiological adaptations including improvements in health and fitness indicators (Burgomaster et al., 2006, 2008; Gibala et al., 2006, 2012; Rossow et al., 2010; Tong et al., 2011). In addition, these improvements have been reported to be equal or superior to traditional continuous aerobic training despite SIT involving a substantially lower total overall training volume (Rossow et al., 2010; Tong et al., 2011; Gibala et al., 2012; Cocks et al., 2013). Consequently, SIT is being advocated as a time-efficient alternative intervention for the achievement of fitness and health benefits through exercise (Gibala, 2007; Whyte et al., 2013).
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This review provides information about the effects of high intensity intermittent training (HIIT) on variables related to the metabolic syndrome (MS). After the diagnoses criteria contextualization, results from exercise interventions on MS are presented, as well as the possibility of achieving benefits with HIIT. Eleven studies that assessed the acute effects and 16 that measured the chronic effects of exercise were recovered. Studies showed improvements in body composition (including visceral fat), cardiovascular variables (especially aerobic power) and metabolic components (mainly related to glycemia). When comparing different types of training, intermittent and continuous, there are favorable indications for the HIIT in most of the MS components. In conclusion, from this study, it appears that HIIT can be relevant for the prevention and treatment of the MS.
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To compare the psychological responses to continuous (CT) and high-intensity interval training (HIT) sessions. Fifteen men attended one CT session and one HIT session. During the first visit, the maximum heart rate, VO2Peak and respiratory compensation point (RCP) were determined through a maximal cardiopulmonary exercise test. The HIT stimulus intensity corresponded to 100% of VO2Peak, and the average intensity of both sessions was maintained at 15% below the RCP. The order of the sessions was randomized. Psychological and physiological variables were recorded before, during and after each session. There were no significant differences between the average percentages of VO2 during the two exercise sessions (HIT: 73.3% vs. CT: 71.8%; p = 0.779). Lower responses on the feeling scale (p≤0.01) and higher responses on the felt arousal scale (p≤0.001) and the rating of perceived exertion were obtained during the HIT session. Despite the more negative feeling scale responses observed during HIT and a greater feeling of fatigue (measured by Profile of Mood States) afterwards (p<0.01), the physical activity enjoyment scale was not significantly different between the two conditions (p = 0.779). Despite the same average intensity for both conditions, similar psychological responses under HIT and CT conditions were not observed, suggesting that the higher dependence on anaerobic metabolism during HIT negatively influenced the feeling scale responses.
Bressel, E, Wing, JE, Miller, AI, and Dolny, DG. High-intensity interval training on an aquatic treadmill in adults with osteoarthritis: effect on pain, balance, function, and mobility. J Strength Cond Res 28(8): 2088-2096, 2014-Although aquatic exercise is considered a potentially effective treatment intervention for people with osteoarthritis (OA), previous research has focused primarily on calisthenics in a shallow pool with the inherent limitations on regulating exercise intensity. The purpose of this study was to quantify the efficacy of a 6-week aquatic treadmill exercise program on measures of pain, balance, function, and mobility. Eighteen participants (age = 64.5 ± 10.2 years) with knee OA completed a non-exercise control period followed by a 6-week exercise period. Outcome measures included visual analog scales for pain, posturography for balance, sit-to-stand test for function, and a 10-m walk test for mobility. The exercise protocol included balance training and high-intensity interval training (HIT) in an aquatic treadmill using water jets to destabilize while standing and achieve high ratings of perceived exertion () while walking. In comparison with pretests, participants displayed reduced joint pain (pre = 50.3 ± 24.8 mm vs. post = 15.8 ± 10.6 mm), improved balance (equilibrium pre = 66.6 ± 11.0 vs. post = 73.5 ± 7.1), function (rising index pre = 0.49 ± 0.19% vs. post = 0.33 ± 0.11%), and mobility (walk pre = 8.6 ± 1.4 s vs. post = 7.8 ± 1.1 s) after participating in the exercise protocol (p = 0.03-0.001). The same benefits were not observed after the non-exercise control period. Adherence to the exercise protocol was exceptional and no participants reported adverse effects, suggesting that aquatic treadmill exercise that incorporates balance and HIT training was well tolerated by patients with OA and may be effective at managing symptoms of OA.
The aim of this study was to compare the effects of time-efficient, low-volume, interval exercises on cardiorespiratory capacity and left ventricular (LV) mass with traditional continuous exercise in sedentary adults. Forty-two healthy but sedentary male subjects (aged 26.5 ± 6.2 years) participated in an 8-week, 5 times/week, supervised exercise intervention. They were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 exercise protocols: sprint interval training (SIT, 5 min, 100 kcal); high-intensity interval aerobic training (HIAT, 13 min, 180 kcal); and continuous aerobic training (CAT, 40 min, 360 kcal). Cardiorespiratory capacity (VO2max) and LV mass (3T-MRI) were measured pre- and post-intervention. We observed significant (P < 0.01) increases in VO2max in all three groups, while the effect of the HIAT was the greatest of the three (SIT, 16.7 ± 11.6%; HIAT, 22.5 ± 12.2%; CAT, 10.0 ± 8.9%, P = 0.01). There were significant changes in LV mass, stroke volume (SV) and resting heart rate (HR) in both the SIT (LV mass, 6.5 ± 8.3%; SV, 5.3 ± 8.3%; HR, -7.3 ± 11.1%, all P < 0.05) and HIAT (LV mass, 8.0 ± 8.3%; SV, 12.1 ± 9.8%; HR, -12.7 ± 12.2%, all P < 0.01) but not in the CAT (LV mass, 2.5 ± 10.1%; SV, 3.6 ± 6.6%; HR, -2.2 ± 13.3%, all P > 0.05). Our study revealed that VO2max improvement with the HIAT was greater than with the CAT despite the HIAT being performed with a far lower volume and in far less time than the CAT. This suggests that the HIAT has potential as a time-efficient training mode to improve VO2max in sedentary adults.