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      Is high-intensity interval training a time-efficient exercise strategy to improve health and fitness?

      Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism = Physiologie appliquée, nutrition et métabolisme

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          Abstract

          Growing research suggests that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a time-efficient exercise strategy to improve cardiorespiratory and metabolic health. "All out" HIIT models such as Wingate-type exercise are particularly effective, but this type of training may not be safe, tolerable or practical for many individuals. Recent studies, however, have revealed the potential for other models of HIIT, which may be more feasible but are still time-efficient, to stimulate adaptations similar to more demanding low-volume HIIT models and high-volume endurance-type training. As little as 3 HIIT sessions per week, involving ≤10 min of intense exercise within a time commitment of ≤30 min per session, including warm-up, recovery between intervals and cool down, has been shown to improve aerobic capacity, skeletal muscle oxidative capacity, exercise tolerance and markers of disease risk after only a few weeks in both healthy individuals and people with cardiometabolic disorders. Additional research is warranted, as studies conducted have been relatively short-term, with a limited number of measurements performed on small groups of subjects. However, given that "lack of time" remains one of the most commonly cited barriers to regular exercise participation, low-volume HIIT is a time-efficient exercise strategy that warrants consideration by health practitioners and fitness professionals.

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          Short-term sprint interval versus traditional endurance training: similar initial adaptations in human skeletal muscle and exercise performance.

          Brief, intense exercise training may induce metabolic and performance adaptations comparable to traditional endurance training. However, no study has directly compared these diverse training strategies in a standardized manner. We therefore examined changes in exercise capacity and molecular and cellular adaptations in skeletal muscle after low volume sprint-interval training (SIT) and high volume endurance training (ET). Sixteen active men (21 +/- 1 years, ) were assigned to a SIT or ET group (n = 8 each) and performed six training sessions over 14 days. Each session consisted of either four to six repeats of 30 s 'all out' cycling at approximately 250% with 4 min recovery (SIT) or 90-120 min continuous cycling at approximately 65% (ET). Training time commitment over 2 weeks was approximately 2.5 h for SIT and approximately 10.5 h for ET, and total training volume was approximately 90% lower for SIT versus ET ( approximately 630 versus approximately 6500 kJ). Training decreased the time required to complete 50 and 750 kJ cycling time trials, with no difference between groups (main effects, P
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            A practical model of low-volume high-intensity interval training induces mitochondrial biogenesis in human skeletal muscle: potential mechanisms.

            High-intensity interval training (HIT) induces skeletal muscle metabolic and performance adaptations that resemble traditional endurance training despite a low total exercise volume. Most HIT studies have employed 'all out', variable-load exercise interventions (e.g. repeated Wingate tests) that may not be safe, practical and/or well tolerated by certain individuals. Our purpose was to determine the performance, metabolic and molecular adaptations to a more practical model of low-volume HIT. Seven men (21 + or - 0.4 years, V(O2peak) = 46 + or - 2 ml kg(-1) min(-1)) performed six training sessions over 2 weeks. Each session consisted of 8-12 x 60 s intervals at approximately 100% of peak power output elicited during a ramp V(O2) peak test (355 + or - 10 W) separated by 75 s of recovery. Training increased exercise capacity, as assessed by significant improvements on both 50 kJ and 750 kJ cycling time trials (P < 0.05 for both). Skeletal muscle (vastus lateralis) biopsy samples obtained before and after training revealed increased maximal activity of citrate synthase (CS) and cytochrome c oxidase (COX) as well as total protein content of CS, COX subunits II and IV, and the mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) (P < 0.05 for all). Nuclear abundance of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator 1alpha (PGC-1alpha) was approximately 25% higher after training (P < 0.05), but total PGC-1alpha protein content remained unchanged. Total SIRT1 content, a proposed activator of PGC-1alpha and mitochondrial biogenesis, was increased by approximately 56% following training (P < 0.05). Training also increased resting muscle glycogen and total GLUT4 protein content (both P < 0.05). This study demonstrates that a practical model of low volume HIT is a potent stimulus for increasing skeletal muscle mitochondrial capacity and improving exercise performance. The results also suggest that increases in SIRT1, nuclear PGC-1alpha, and Tfam may be involved in coordinating mitochondrial adaptations in response to HIT in human skeletal muscle.
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              High-intensity interval running is perceived to be more enjoyable than moderate-intensity continuous exercise: implications for exercise adherence.

              The aim of this study was to objectively quantify ratings of perceived enjoyment using the Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale following high-intensity interval running versus moderate-intensity continuous running. Eight recreationally active men performed two running protocols consisting of high-intensity interval running (6 × 3 min at 90% VO(2max) interspersed with 6 × 3 min active recovery at 50% VO(2max) with a 7-min warm-up and cool down at 70% VO(2max)) or 50 min moderate-intensity continuous running at 70% VO(2max). Ratings of perceived enjoyment after exercise were higher (P < 0.05) following interval running compared with continuous running (88 ± 6 vs. 61 ± 12) despite higher (P < 0.05) ratings of perceived exertion (14 ± 1 vs. 13 ± 1). There was no difference (P < 0.05) in average heart rate (88 ± 3 vs. 87 ± 3% maximum heart rate), average VO(2) (71 ± 6 vs. 73 ± 4%VO(2max)), total VO(2) (162 ± 16 vs. 166 ± 27 L) or energy expenditure (811 ± 83 vs. 832 ± 136 kcal) between protocols. The greater enjoyment associated with high-intensity interval running may be relevant for improving exercise adherence, since running is a low-cost exercise intervention requiring no exercise equipment and similar relative exercise intensities have previously induced health benefits in patient populations.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                24552392
                10.1139/apnm-2013-0187

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