A Comparison of Three Different High Intensity Interval Training Protocols
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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It is the belief of many that high intensity interval training (HIT) is superior to moderate or low intensity training (LIT) at increasing VO2 Max due to higher physiological stress exerted on the body and a longer period spent at a high percentage of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 Max). It has been reported that a method that spends the most time at or above a high percentage (%) of VO2 Max will result in greater aerobic adaptations and improvements in VO2 Max. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare three HIT methods, already proven more effective at increasing VO2 Max than a LIT protocol, to see which allows the most participants to spend the most time at or above 90% VO2 Max and HR Max. Ten male undergraduate participants (21.2 ± 0.8 years, 180.2 ± 7.6 cm, 80.6 ± 7.5 kg) completed firstly an incremental VO2 Max test, secondly a 21.15 min HIT protocol consisting of alternately cycling at 100% VO2 Max for 60s interspersed with 75s at 30 watts (60/75), thirdly, 21 min at 90% and 70% HR Max (15s each) (15/15) and lastly a protocol lasting 21 min consisting of 4 min and 3 min at the same intensity as the third protocol (4/3). The results showed that the 4/3 protocol spent significantly longer (18.1 ± 14.8%) (P=0.024) percentage time (%-Time) at or above 90% V02 Max compared to the 15/15 (7.8 ± 13.2%) and over double the %-Time of the 60/75 (8.4 ± 8.2%) protocol. From the findings of the current study, for those hoping to elicit increases in VO2 Max by spending the most time at or above 90% VO2 Max, it would be recommended to use the 4/3 protocol.
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