Comparison of substrate use in high intensity versus low intensity exercise in moderately trained females
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The study investigated whether low- intensity or high-intensity exercise would be the most effective mode of exercise intensity for body mass reduction. Eight moderately trained female subjects (mean ± SD; age, height, body mass, and body mass index were 20.1 ± 1.6 yrs, 167.7 ± 1.3 cm, and 70.1 ± 10.1 kg, 24.9 ± 3.3 kg · m-2 respectively) participated in the study. Participants carried out a VO2max test on a cycle ergometer (model no. 824E), a low-intensity continuous trial (LIt) and high-intensity interval trial (HIt) in random order, separated by at least two days. 30 min post-exercise was recorded following the trials. The LIt was performed at 40% VO2max, while the HIt was performed at 100% and 50% VO2max. All trials were recorded using an on-line automated gas analyser (Oxycon Pro, Jaegar). Heart rate, energy expenditure, respiratory quotient, fat and carbohydrate were recorded during exercise and post-exercise. There was no significant difference in fat oxidation between the LIt and HIt during exercise. There was no significant difference in the mean total fat oxidation (± SD) between the high-intensity trial and the low-intensity trial. However, the high-intensity trial (141.6 ± 53.5 grams · day-1) oxidised greater fat amounts than the low-intensity trial (116.8 ± 124.1 grams · day-1). Fat in the post-exercise period was significantly higher (P < 0.0) during the HIt than during the LIt. There was also no significant difference in total energy expenditure between the LIt and the LIt. Low-intensity exercise may be more effective than high-intensity exercise for obese individuals. The high-intensity trial showed greater fat oxidation than the low-intensity trial in post-exercise, however, considering the risks associated with high-intensity exercise in obese individuals, it is proposed that LI exercise may be safer and more effective than HI exercise.
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