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Effects of 3-Week Work-Matched High-Intensity Intermittent Cycling Training with Different Cadences on VO2max in University Athletes

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The aim of this study is to clarify the effects of 3-week work-matched high-intensity intermittent cycling training (HIICT) with different cadences on the VO2max of university athletes. Eighteen university athletes performed HIICT with either 60 rpm (n = 9) or 120 rpm (n = 9). The HIICT consisted of eight sets of 20 s exercise with a 10 s passive rest between each set. The initial training intensity was set at 135% of VO2max and was decreased by 5% every two sets. Athletes in both groups performed nine sessions of HIICT during a 3-week period. The total workload and achievement rate of the workload calculated before experiments in each group were used for analysis. VO2max was measured pre- and post-training. After 3 weeks of training, no significant differences in the total workload and the achievement rate of the workload were found between the two groups. VO2max similarly increased in both groups from pre- to post-training (p = 0.016), with no significant differences between the groups (p = 0.680). These results suggest that cadence during HIICT is not a training variable affecting the effect of VO2max.
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sports
Communication
Effects of 3-Week Work-Matched High-Intensity
Intermittent Cycling Training with Different
Cadences on VO2max in University Athletes
Nobuyasu Tomabechi 1 ,2 ,*, Kazuki Takizawa 3, Keisuke Shibata 2,4 and Masao Mizuno 5
1Sports Training Center, Nippon Sport Science University, Setagaya, Tokyo 158-8508, Japan
2Graduate School of Education, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0811, Japan
3Institute of Physical Development Research, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0061, Japan; takizawa@pd-r.org
4Department of Sustainable Agriculture, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Sciences,
Rakuno Gakuen University, Ebetsu, Hokkaido 069-0836, Japan; k-shibata@rakuno.ac.jp
5Faculty of Education, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0811, Japan;
mizuno@edu.hokudai.ac.jp
*Correspondence: nobuyasu.tomabechi@gmail.com; Tel.: +81-3- 5706-0900
Received: 27 August 2018; Accepted: 28 September 2018; Published: 29 September 2018


Abstract:
The aim of this study is to clarify the effects of 3-week work-matched high-intensity
intermittent cycling training (HIICT) with different cadences on the VO
2max
of university athletes.
Eighteen university athletes performed HIICT with either 60 rpm (n= 9) or 120 rpm (n= 9). The HIICT
consisted of eight sets of 20 s exercise with a 10 s passive rest between each set. The initial training
intensity was set at 135% of VO
2max
and was decreased by 5% every two sets. Athletes in both groups
performed nine sessions of HIICT during a 3-week period. The total workload and achievement rate
of the workload calculated before experiments in each group were used for analysis. VO
2max
was
measured pre- and post-training. After 3 weeks of training, no significant differences in the total
workload and the achievement rate of the workload were found between the two groups. VO
2max
similarly increased in both groups from pre- to post-training (p= 0.016), with no significant differences
between the groups (p= 0.680). These results suggest that cadence during HIICT is not a training
variable affecting the effect of VO2max.
Keywords: aerobic capacity; graded-exercise test; total workload
1. Introduction
High-intensity intermittent (or interval) training (HIIT) is considered a time-efficient exercise
strategy, due to its superior effect toward improving VO
2max
in less time than low- or moderate-intensity
continuous exercise [
1
,
2
]. In addition, HIIT can increase VO
2max
in a short period (2–4 weeks) [
3
9
].
Since the total available time for training is often limited for athletes, it is important to determine the
more effective HIIT methodology for increasing VO2max in a short period.
HIIT with the use of a cycle ergometer is considered a safe method of training, and cadence
may be a training variable that affects the chronic effect of VO
2max
. In previous studies, various
training modes, such as cycling, running, aquatic treadmill running, jump rope, swimming, and
kettlebell training, have been attempted [
10
]. Results showed that the stress on the anterior cruciate
ligament was lower during cycling exercise [
11
,
12
]. In addition, cycling exercise was found to be
associated with fewer eccentric contraction phases, which cause muscle damage, when compared to
running [
13
]. Thus, HIIT by using a cycle ergometer can increase VO
2max
more safely. The cadence
used during work-matched cycling training may be a training variable that affects the chronic effect of
VO
2max
under relative intensity (e.g., %VO
2max
) and the length of time applied to the exercise-matched
Sports 2018,6, 107; doi:10.3390/sports6040107 www.mdpi.com/journal/sports
Sports 2018,6, 107 2 of 7
condition. The workload during cycling exercise is a product of load (kp) and cadence (rpm). Therefore,
high-intensity intermittent cycling training (HIICT) can be performed either with high load/low
cadence or with low load/high cadence under the workload, relative intensity (e.g., %VO
2max
), and
exercise time-matched conditions [
14
]. Many previous studies reported that oxygen uptake (VO
2
)
during work-matched cycling exercise increases more significantly in high-cadence cycling than in
low-cadence cycling (35–110 rpm) due to the elevated internal workload of active muscles [
15
20
].
Thus, work-matched cycling exercise with a high cadence may have a higher actual intensity than
cycling exercise with a low cadence, even though the relative intensity (e.g., %VO
2max
) is equal.
Matsuo et al. reported that high-intensity interval training improves VO
2max
more significantly
than moderate-intensity training due to an increase in left ventricular mass and stroke volume [
21
].
Therefore, it can be speculated that HIICT with a high cadence can improve VO
2max
more significantly
than HIICT with a low cadence. In contrast, Paton et al. reported that high-intensity interval training
with a low cadence significantly improved VO
2max
compared to that of a high cadence in male
cyclists [
22
]. However, workload was not matched in this study. Since the workload affects the chronic
effect of VO
2max
[
23
], the effect of the difference in cadence on VO
2max
should be examined under
work-matched conditions.
The aim of this study, therefore, was to examine whether 3-week work-matched HIICT with
a high cadence (120 rpm) can significantly improve VO
2max
compared to HIICT with a low cadence
(60 rpm) in university athletes.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Experimental Design
Participants were assigned to one of two groups according to their workload of HIICT, calculated
based on pre-training VO
2max
. One group of participants performed HIICT with a low cadence of
60 rpm (n= 9, age: 20.1
±
0.8 years, height: 174.6
±
4.8 cm, body weight: 65.4
±
3.9 kg) and the other
group of participants performed HIICT with a high cadence of 120 rpm (n= 9, age: 20.0
±
1.0 years,
height: 173.2
±
5.3 cm, body weight: 64.4
±
6.3 kg). HIICT was performed by both groups in nine
sessions during a 3-week period and at least twice per week in order not to bias the number of sessions
per week. In both groups, training load was increased by 2.5% after every three sessions. All training
sessions were supervised by investigators with expert knowledge of HIICT. VO
2max
measurement
during the graded-exercise test using a cycle ergometer was carried out pre- and post-training. All
measurements for each participant were performed at approximately the same time of day (
±
2.5 h) to
take into consideration the circadian rhythm.
2.2. Participants
A total of 21 Japanese male university athletes were initially recruited. However, three participants
could not complete the training due to injuries unrelated to the experiment. Thus, data from
18 participants were used for further analysis. All participants practiced exercise at least twice
per week and belonged to the university volleyball (n= 8), soccer (n= 3), soft tennis (n= 3), ultimate
(
n= 2
), badminton (n= 1), and sailing (n= 1) teams. Participants did not habitually perform any
physical training, except for practice for their respective sports; furthermore, no participants had
performed resistance training for the lower body more than two times per week during the previous
6 months or performed any cycling training for a competitive race. All participants were informed
about the potential risks of experiments and provided written consent prior to participation. This
study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Faculty of Education, Hokkaido University (approval
number: 17–24).
Sports 2018,6, 107 3 of 7
2.3. VO2max
The graded-exercise test using a cycle ergometer (Powermax-VII, Combi Wellness, Tokyo, Japan)
was performed to determine VO
2max
and relative intensity of the HIICT. The test was initiated at 60 W,
followed by 30 W increases every 3 min until each participant was unable to maintain a cadence of
60 rpm. The cadence during the test was controlled by a metronome and was displayed on a screen.
During the test, VO
2
was measured every 10 s using mixing chamber methods with a respiratory gas
analyzer (VO2000, S&ME Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan) and the peak value was defined as VO2max [2426].
2.4. High-Intensity Intermittent Cycling Training
In all training sessions, the HIICT was performed by using a cycle ergometer (Powermax-VII,
Combi Wellness, Tokyo, Japan) following a warm-up at 90 W for 10 min and a rest period of 3 min.
The initial training intensity of the HIICT was set at 135% of VO
2max
and was decreased by 5% every
two sets. HIICT consisted of eight sets of 20 s pedaling, with a 10 s passive rest between each set.
This protocol was conducted according to the results of our pilot study that was, in turn, based on
previous studies [
3
,
27
,
28
]. Participants were instructed to maintain a cadence of either 60 rpm or
120 rpm, which was controlled by the value displayed on the screen and a metronome during each
session. After the HIICT, participants performed a cool down at 90 W for 5 min in all training sessions.
The total workload and achievement rate of the workload calculated before experiments involving
each group were used for analysis. The cadence was decided to be insufficient if the workload during
the 3-week period did not reach 90% of the workload calculated prior to the experiments; these data
were excluded from the analysis. The average value of the absolute load of the HIICT during the
training period is shown in Table 1.
Table 1.
Average value of the absolute load of high-intensity intermittent cycling training during the
training period.
Group Session 1–2 set (kp) 3–4 set (kp) 5–6 set (kp) 7–8 set (kp)
60 rpm
1–3 session 6.2 ±0.4 5.9 ±0.4 5.7 ±0.4 5.4 ±0.4
4–6 session 6.3 ±0.4 6.1 ±0.4 5.8 ±0.4 5.5 ±0.4
7–9 session 6.5 ±0.4 6.2 ±0.4 6.0 ±0.4 5.7 ±0.4
120 rpm
1–3 session 3.1 ±0.2 2.9 ±0.2 2.8 ±0.2 2.7 ±0.2
4–6 session 3.1 ±0.2 3.0 ±0.2 2.9 ±0.2 2.8 ±0.2
7–9 session 3.2 ±0.2 3.1 ±0.2 3.0 ±0.2 2.8 ±0.2
VO
2max
alues are mean
±
SD. 60 rpm, High-intensity intermittent cycling training with 60 rpm; 120 rpm, High-
intensity intermittent cycling training with 120 rpm.
2.5. Statistical Analyses
All data are presented as means and standard deviations (SD). Total workload, achievement rate,
baseline VO
2max
levels, and percent change of VO
2max
in both study groups were analyzed using the
unpaired t-test. Moreover, the changes in VO
2max
and body weight from pre- to post-training were
analyzed by two-way (group
×
time) mixed-design analysis of variance (ANOVA; between-participant
factor: group, within-participant factor: time). A post hoc analysis was performed using the Bonferroni
test. The statistical significance level was set at p< 0.05. As indices of the effect size, Cohen’s d
(for unpaired t-test and post hoc comparisons) and partial
η2
(for ANOVA) were also calculated. SPSS
Statistics (version 24.0 for Windows, SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) was used for data analysis.
3. Results
All 18 participants who completed the nine training sessions exceeded the 90% achievement rate
of the workload calculated prior to the experiments. No significant differences in the baseline VO
2max
levels were found between the groups (p= 0.967, Cohen’s d = 0.020, 60 rpm: 59.2
±
3.9 mL/kg/min,
120 rpm: 59.3
±
5.5 mL/kg/min). The total workload and achievement rate of the workload calculated
Sports 2018,6, 107 4 of 7
before the experiments for each group are shown in Table 2. No significant differences in the total
workload and achievement rate of the workload were found between the groups.
Table 2. Comparisons of total workload and achievement rate during the training period.
60 rpm 120 rpm pValue Cohen’s d
Total workload (W) 25,234.7 ±1572.8 24,897.1 ±1757.5 0.673 0.202
Achievement rate (%) 98.3 ±1.0 97.9 ±1.4 0.522 0.309
Values are mean
±
SD. 60 rpm, High-intensity intermittent cycling training with 60 rpm; 120 rpm, High-intensity
intermittent cycling training with 120 rpm.
The main effects of time and interaction were not observed in body weight (main effect of time:
p= 0.821, partial
η2
= 0.03, interaction: p= 0.821, partial
η2
= 0.03, 60 rpm pre-training:
65.4 ±3.9 kg
,
60 rpm post-training: 65.4
±
3.8 kg, 120 rpm pre-training: 64.4
±
6.3 kg, 120 rpm post-training:
64.3 ±5.9 kg
). Results in terms of change in VO
2max
from pre- to post-training between groups are
shown in Figure 1. The main effect of time was observed in VO
2max
(p= 0.016, partial
η2
= 0.311).
However, no interaction was observed (p= 0.680, partial
η2
= 0.011). No significant difference was
detected in the relative change of VO
2max
(p= 0.675, Cohen’s d = 0.201, 60 rpm: 4.3
±
6.2%, 120 rpm:
3.2
±
5.5%). The average values of VO
2max
were as follows: 60 rpm pre-training: 59.2
±
3.9 mL/kg/min,
60 rpm post-training: 61.7
±
4.4 mL/kg/min, and 120 rpm pre-training: 59.3
±
5.5 mL/kg/min, 120 rpm
post-training: 61.1 ±6.1 mL/kg/min.
Sports 2018, 6, x FOR PEER REVIEW 4 of 7
Table 2. Comparisons of total workload and achievement rate during the training period.
60 rpm
120 rpm
Cohen’s d
Total workload (W)
25,234.7 ± 1572.8
24,897.1 ± 1757.5
0.202
Achievement rate (%)
98.3 ± 1.0
97.9 ± 1.4
0.309
Values are mean ± SD. 60 rpm, High-intensity intermittent cycling training with 60 rpm; 120 rpm,
High-intensity intermittent cycling training with 120 rpm.
The main effects of time and interaction were not observed in body weight (main effect of time:
p = 0.821, partial η2 = 0.03, interaction: p = 0.821, partial η2 = 0.03, 60 rpm pre-training: 65.4 ± 3.9 kg, 60
rpm post-training: 65.4 ± 3.8 kg, 120 rpm pre-training: 64.4 ± 6.3 kg, 120 rpm post-training: 64.3 ± 5.9
kg). Results in terms of change in VO2max from pre- to post-training between groups are shown in
Figure 1. The main effect of time was observed in VO2max (p = 0.016, partial η2 = 0.311). However, no
interaction was observed (p = 0.680, partial η2 = 0.011). No significant difference was detected in the
relative change of VO2max (p = 0.675, Cohen’s d = 0.201, 60 rpm: 4.3 ± 6.2%, 120 rpm: 3.2 ± 5.5%). The
average values of VO2max were as follows: 60 rpm pre-training: 59.2 ± 3.9 mL/kg/min, 60 rpm post-
training: 61.7 ± 4.4 mL/kg/min, and 120 rpm pre-training: 59.3 ± 5.5 mL/kg/min, 120 rpm post-training:
61.1 ± 6.1 mL/kg/min.
Figure 1. Change of VO2max from pre- to post-training in 60 rpm and 120 rpm. Each line represents
the change for an individual participant. Bars are the average value for all participants. Error bars are
the standard deviation. * p < 0.05 vs pre-training in each group. 60 rpm: high-intensity intermittent
cycling training with 60 rpm; 120 rpm: high-intensity intermittent cycling training with 120 rpm.
4. Discussion
To the best of the author’s knowledge, this is the first study to examine whether 3-week work-
matched HIICT with a high cadence (120 rpm) significantly improves VO2max in university athletes,
compared to a low cadence (60 rpm). As a result of a 3-week training period, VO2max increased
similarly for 60 rpm and 120 rpm from pre- to post-training. These results were contrary to our
hypothesis.
There are two possibilities explaining why there was no significant difference in the effect on
VO2max between 60 rpm and 120 rpm in this study. First, the VO2 response during the HIICT in this
study may be similar for 60 rpm and 120 rpm, unlike the different responses seen in previous studies
[1520]. In many previous studies, VO2 was higher during work-matched cycling exercise with a high
cadence than a low cadence [1520]. However, submaximal exercise intensity was used in these
studies, while a much higher supramaximal intensity was used in this study. Recruitment of type II
fiber has been shown to be increased at a low cadence compared to a high cadence during
submaximal cycling [29,30], and type II fiber has higher ATP consumption than type I fiber [31]. In
this study, VO2 responses might be similar between 60 rpm and 120 rpm due to the recruitment of
Figure 1.
Change of VO
2max
from pre- to post-training in 60 rpm and 120 rpm. Each line represents the
change for an individual participant. Bars are the average value for all participants. Error bars are the
standard deviation. * p< 0.05 vs pre-training in each group. 60 rpm: high-intensity intermittent cycling
training with 60 rpm; 120 rpm: high-intensity intermittent cycling training with 120 rpm.
4. Discussion
To the best of the author’s knowledge, this is the first study to examine whether 3-week work-
matched HIICT with a high cadence (120 rpm) significantly improves VO
2max
in university athletes,
compared to a low cadence (60 rpm). As a result of a 3-week training period, VO
2max
increased similarly
for 60 rpm and 120 rpm from pre- to post-training. These results were contrary to our hypothesis.
There are two possibilities explaining why there was no significant difference in the effect on
VO
2max
between 60 rpm and 120 rpm in this study. First, the VO
2
response during the HIICT in
this study may be similar for 60 rpm and 120 rpm, unlike the different responses seen in previous
studies [
15
20
]. In many previous studies, VO
2
was higher during work-matched cycling exercise
with a high cadence than a low cadence [
15
20
]. However, submaximal exercise intensity was used
in these studies, while a much higher supramaximal intensity was used in this study. Recruitment
of type II fiber has been shown to be increased at a low cadence compared to a high cadence during
Sports 2018,6, 107 5 of 7
submaximal cycling [
29
,
30
], and type II fiber has higher ATP consumption than type I fiber [
31
]. In this
study, VO
2
responses might be similar between 60 rpm and 120 rpm due to the recruitment of more
intense type II fibers than in previous studies by using supramaximal intensity. Future studies should
investigate in detail the acute VO2response during work-matched HIICT with different cadences.
The second possibility is that workload, rather than exercise intensity, affects VO
2max
. In this
study, if VO
2
during HIICT with a high cadence was higher than with a low cadence like in many
previous studies, HIICT with a high cadence was higher in actual intensity compared to that with a low
cadence, even though their relative intensity (e.g., %VO
2max
) were the same. Matsuo et al. reported
that high-intensity training improves VO
2max
more significantly than moderate-intensity training due
to increased left ventricular mass and stroke volume [
21
]. On the other hand,
Scribbans et al. [32]
reported in their meta-analysis that increasing exercise intensity above 60% VO
2max
does not provide
additional increases in VO
2max
. In addition, Granata et al. [
23
] reported that VO
2max
can be changed
by manipulating the total workload, not the relative intensity. Therefore, the similar chronic effect on
VO2max in this study might be related to the equal workload in both groups.
In this study, the subjects had relatively high initial VO
2max
levels (60 rpm: 59.2
±
3.9 mL/kg/min,
120 rpm: 59.3
±
5.5 mL/kg/min) as compared to previous studies, in which the increase in VO
2max
was observed following a short training period (32.8–57.3 mL/kg/min) [
3
9
]. Nevertheless, VO
2max
significantly increased in both groups after the 3-week training period. This implies that, for regularly
trained athletes, the 3-week HIICT protocol used in this study appears to be an effective method to
improve VO2max in the short term, regardless of cadences used during the HIICT.
5. Conclusions
We examined whether 3-week work-matched HIICT with a high cadence (120 rpm) significantly
improves VO
2max
in university athletes compared to HIICT with a low cadence (60 rpm). Following
a 3-week training period, contrary to our hypothesis, VO
2max
increased similarly in groups using
a cadence of 60 rpm or 120 rpm. These results suggest that cadence during 3-week work-matched
HIICT is not training variable affecting the short-term effect of VO2max in university athletes.
Author Contributions:
N.T. conceived, designed, and carried out all experiments, performed statistical analyses
and wrote manuscript; K.T., K.S. and M.M. reviewed and provided feedback for approval of the final manuscript
draft. All authors have read and approved the manuscript.
Funding: This research received no external funding.
Acknowledgments: The authors thank the athletes for their participation.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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... Subjects were instructed to maintain either 60 rpm or 120 rpm and cadence was controlled using the display and a metronome. This HIICT protocol was based on a previous study 9) . The loads of the HL60 and LL120 were calculated based on the V ・ O2 of the incremental exercise test conducted at 60 rpm to equalize the total work volume and time required for training in both groups. ...
... The total work volume during each session was calculated as sum of work volume of each set (actual work rate × 20-s) and total work volume (KJ) throughout 18 sessions was calculated as sum of work volume of each session. Based on a previous study, a cadence is considered insufficient if the work-volume for the 6-week period did not reach 90% of the work volume calculated before the experiment and was therefore excluded from the analysis 9) . ...
... Aerobic capacity. Based on methods applied in previous studies, the incremental exercise test was carried out to determine V ・ O2peak and HIICT intensity using a cycle ergometer (Powermax-VII; Combi Wellness, Tokyo, Japan) 9) . The test started at 60W and increased by 30W ev-ery 3 minutes until the subject could no longer maintain 60 rpm. ...
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... Hal ini disebabkan olahraga intensitas tinggi dapat menurunkan jaringan lemak yang menumpuk dan meningkatkan pembentukan jaringan otot (Tomabechi et al., 2018). Selain itu, atlet yang memiliki tipe tubuh mesomorphic akan memiliki lebih banyak massa otot dibandingkan dengan massa lemak yang dapat mengurangi beban tubuh akibat adanya massa lemak dan meningkatkan energi yang dihasilkan oleh jaringan otot (Gligoroska et al., 2015;Marangoz & Var, 2018;Vaara et al., 2012). ...
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... The reason HIIT method and the flexibility of shoulder & hip made a greater contribution was strengthened by a statement in previous study which said that this could increase VO2max in short time (2-4 weeks). Because the total time available for training is often limited to athletes, it is important to determine which HIIT methodologies are more effective in increasing VO2max in short time, and high intensity, proven to be more effective, and there is a significant increase in endurance performance (p <0,05) [16][17][18]. The research conducted [18] revealed that with a two-week HIIT training conducted at an intensity of 80% -95% resulting in an increase in VO2max from 7 to 12%, depending on age, subject fitness level and duration of exercise, and an increase in body composition. ...
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Previous studies have concluded that static stretching impairs running economy and endurance running performance. However these studies examined long durations (90-120 seconds for one muscle) of static stretching. Another study reported that most athletes perform static stretching of each muscle for less than 20 seconds in their warm-up. The purpose of this study was to clarify the influence of 20-second static stretches of the lower extremities after 15 minutes warm-up on endurance running performance. Seven healthy well-trained middle or long distance male runners (age 21.3 ± 2.1 years; height 170.3 ± 3.1 centimeters; weight 60.0 ± 5.5 kilograms) took part in the present study. Each subject ran on a treadmill at 90% VO2max until exhaustion after one of two warm-up procedures. The two warm-up procedures were 15 minutes running at 70% VO2max (Warm-up) and 15 minutes running at 70% VO2max plus five static stretches of the lower extremities (Warm-up + static stretching). The running performance was evaluated by time to exhaustion. In the results, there were no significant differences in time to exhaustion among the warm-up exercises (Warm-up: 819.3 ± 230.6 sec., Warm-up + static stretching 817.9 ± 213.7 sec.). These results suggested that endurance running performance was not affected by the presence or absence of 20-second static stretches and there may be no need to avoid static stretches before endurance running if the duration is not too long.
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Background Enhancing cardiovascular fitness can lead to substantial health benefits. High-intensity interval training (HIT) is an efficient way to develop cardiovascular fitness, yet comparisons between this type of training with traditional endurance training are equivocal. Objective Our objective was to meta-analyse the effects of endurance training and HIT on the maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) of healthy, young to middle-aged adults. Methods Six electronic databases were searched (MEDLINE, PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science, CINAHL and Google Scholar) for original research articles. A search was conducted and search terms included ‘high intensity’, ‘HIT’, ‘sprint interval training’, ‘endurance training’, ‘peak oxygen uptake’, ‘VO2max’. Inclusion criteria were controlled trials, healthy adults aged 18-45 y, training duration ≥2 weeks, VO2max assessed pre- and post-training. Twenty-eight studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. This resulted in 723 participants with a mean ± SD age and initial fitness of 25.1 ± 5 y and 40.8 ± 7.9 mL•kg-1•min-1, respectively. We made probabilistic magnitude-based inferences for meta-analysed effects based on standardized thresholds for small, moderate and large changes (0.2, 0.6 and 1.2, respectively) derived from between-subject standard deviations (SDs) for baseline VO2max. Results The meta-analysed effect of endurance training on VO2max was a possibly large beneficial effect (4.9 mL•kg-1•min-1; 95% confidence limits ±1.4 mL•kg-1•min-1), when compared with no exercise controls. A possibly moderate additional increase was observed for typically younger subjects (2.4 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±2.1 mL•kg-1•min-1) and interventions of longer duration (2.2 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±3.0 mL•kg-1•min-1), and a small additional improvement for subjects with lower baseline fitness (1.4 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±2.0 mL•kg-1•min-1). When compared to no exercise controls, there was likely large beneficial effect of HIT (5.5 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.2 mL•kg-1•min-1), with a likely moderate greater additional increase for subjects with lower baseline fitness (3.2 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.9 mL•kg-1•min-1) and interventions of longer duration (3.0 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.9 mL•kg-1•min-1), and a small lesser effect for typically longer HIT repetitions (-1.8 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±2.7 mL•kg-1•min-1). The modifying effects of age (0.8 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±2.1 mL•kg-1•min-1) and work:rest ratio (0.5 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.6 mL•kg-1•min-1) were unclear. When compared to endurance training, there was a possibly small beneficial effect for HIT (1.2 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±0.9 mL•kg-1•min-1) with small additional improvements for typically longer HIT repetitions (2.2 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±2.1 mL•kg-1•min-1), older subjects (1.8 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.7 mL•kg-1•min-1), interventions of longer duration (1.7 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.7 mL•kg-1•min-1), greater work:rest ratio (1.6 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.5 mL•kg-1•min-1) and lower baseline fitness (0.8 mL•kg-1•min-1; ±1.3 mL•kg-1•min-1). Conclusion Endurance training and HIT both elicit large improvements in the VO2max of healthy, young to middle-aged adults with the gains in VO2max being greater following HIT, when compared to endurance training.
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The present study aimed to analyze and compare the effects of four different interval-training protocols on aerobic fitness and muscle strength. Thirty-seven subjects (23.8 ± 4 years; 171.7 ± 9.5 cm; 70 ± 11 kg) were assigned to one of four groups: low-intensity interval training with (BFR, n = 10) or without (LOW, n = 7) blood flow restriction, high-intensity interval training (HIT, n = 10), and combined HIT and BFR (BFR + HIT, n = 10, every session performed 50% as BFR and 50% as HIT). Before and after 4 weeks training (3 days a week), the maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), maximal power output (Pmax), onset blood lactate accumulation (OBLA), and muscle strength were measured for all subjects. All training groups were able to improve OBLA (BFR, 16%; HIT, 25%; HIT + BFR, 22%; LOW, 6%), with no difference between groups. However, VO2max and Pmax improved only for BFR (6%, 12%), HIT (9%, 15%) and HIT + BFR (6%, 11%), with no difference between groups. Muscle strength gains were only observed after BFR training (11%). This study demonstrates the advantage of short-term low-intensity interval BFR training as the single mode of training able to simultaneously improve aerobic fitness and muscular strength.