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TWO SHORT,DAILY ACTIVITY BOUTS VS.ONE LONG BOUT: ARE HEALTH AND FITNESS IMPROVEMENTS SIMILAR OVER TWELVE AND TWENTY-FOUR WEEKS?.

QUINN TIMOTHY J.; KLOOSTER, JENNY R.; KENEFICK, ROBERT W.
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: February 2006
ORIGINAL RESEARCH: PDF Only

This study sought to determine whether a 12-week intermittent (INT; 2 3 15 min[middle dot]d-1) exercise program yielded similar improvements in cardiovascular health and fitness, compared with a traditional 12-week, 30-minute continuous (CON; 1 X 30 min[middle dot]d-1) exercise program. A second purpose was to determine the effects of switching exercise programs and continuing training for an additional 12 weeks. Twenty women and 17 men, (age 48.8 +/- 9.0 years) were divided randomly into 2 groups: INT (n = 20) and CON (n = 17). Aerobic exercise was performed 4 d[middle dot]wk-1 for 12 weeks. Subjects then crossed over to the opposite training program for an additional 12 weeks of training. Subjects exercised incrementally for weeks 1-4 and training was conducted at 70-80% heart rate reserve for weeks 5-24. Both groups showed comparable exercise adherence, completing 96.6 +/- 12.2% (CON) and 96.3% +/- 17.7% (INT) of the prescribed exercise time. The INT walked at a lower percentage of [latin capital V with dot above]O2max, maximum heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure (p < 0.05). Maximal oxygen consumption increased by 4.5% in CON and by 8.7% in INT. Following the second 12 weeks, [latin capital V with dot above]O2max increased by 3.6 and 7.7% in CON and INT, respectively. Treadmill test time increased by 41 seconds in CON (p < 0.05) and 71 seconds in INT (p < 0.05) after 12 weeks of training. High-density lipoproteins significantly increased in the INT group following the first 12 weeks of training. This study suggests that an INT exercise program, which is incremental in nature, provides comparable, and in some cases greater, health and fitness benefits than those expected following traditional CON exercise training.

(C) 2006 National Strength and Conditioning Association