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Effect of Two Doses of Interval Training on Maximal Fat Oxidation in Sedentary Women


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: October 2013 - Volume 45 - Issue 10 - p 1878–1886
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182936261
Basic Sciences

Introduction The primary aim of the current study was to determine the effect of two doses of chronic high-intensity interval training (HIT) on changes in maximal fat oxidation (MFO) and body composition.

Methods Sedentary women (N = 23, age and V˙O2max = 24.2 ± 6.2 yr and 30.3 ± 5.2 mL·kg−1·min−1, respectively) completed either high (HI) (80%–90% maximal workload) or moderate (MOD) intensity (60%–80% maximal workload) HIT on a cycle ergometer 3 d·wk−1 for 12 wk consisting of 6–10 sixty-second bouts interspersed with active recovery. Seven women of similar age and fitness level served as controls. Every 3 wk, substrate oxidation was assessed during progressive exercise via indirect calorimetry to determine MFO and minimum fat oxidation, and body composition was assessed every 6 wk. Repeated-measures ANOVA was used to examine changes in substrate oxidation in response to training, with training group used as a between-subjects variable.

Results Results revealed improved MFO (P = 0.04, 19%–25%) and minimum fat oxidation (P = 0.001, 22–24 W) in response to HIT, yet the magnitude of improvement was similar (P > 0.05) between training paradigms. No change (P > 0.05) in body weight, percent body fat, or waist–hip circumference was revealed with training.

Conclusion These data suggest that 12 wk of either moderate or more strenuous interval training similarly enhance fat oxidation in sedentary women but do not alter body weight or body composition.

1Department of Kinesiology, California State University—-San Marcos, San Marcos, CA; and 2Griffith University, Gold Coast, AUSTRALIA

Address for correspondence: Todd Anthony Astorino, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology, California State University, San Marcos, 333. S. Twin Oaks Valley Road, UNIV 320, San Marcos, CA 92096-0001; E-mail:

Submitted for publication October 2012.

Accepted for publication March 2013.

© 2013 American College of Sports Medicine