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Effect of High-Intensity Interval Training on Cardiovascular Function, Vo2max, and Muscular Force

Astorino, Todd A1; Allen, Ryan P1; Roberson, Daniel W2; Jurancich, Matt1

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue 1 - pp 138-145
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318218dd77
Original Research

Astorino, TA, Allen, RP, Roberson, DW, and Jurancich, M. Effect of high-intensity interval training on cardiovascular function, V̇o2max, and muscular force. J Strength Cond Res 26(1): 138–145, 2012—The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of short-term high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on cardiovascular function, cardiorespiratory fitness, and muscular force. Active, young (age and body fat = 25.3 ± 4.5 years and 14.3 ± 6.4%) men and women (N = 20) of a similar age, physical activity, and maximal oxygen uptake (V̇o2max) completed 6 sessions of HIIT consisting of repeated Wingate tests over a 2- to 3-week period. Subjects completed 4 Wingate tests on days 1 and 2, 5 on days 3 and 4, and 6 on days 5 and 6. A control group of 9 men and women (age and body fat = 22.8 ± 2.8 years and 15.2 ± 6.9%) completed all testing but did not perform HIIT. Changes in resting blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR), V̇o2max, body composition, oxygen (O2) pulse, peak, mean, and minimum power output, fatigue index, and voluntary force production of the knee flexors and extensors were examined pretraining and posttraining. Results showed significant (p < 0.05) improvements in V̇o2max, O2 pulse, and Wingate-derived power output with HIIT. The magnitude of improvement in V̇o2max was related to baseline V̇o2max (r = −0.44, p = 0.05) and fatigue index (r = 0.50, p < 0.05). No change (p > 0.05) in resting BP, HR, or force production was revealed. Data show that HIIT significantly enhanced V̇o2max and O2 pulse and power output in active men and women.

1Department of Kinesiology, California State University, San Marcos, California; and 2Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon

Address correspondence to Dr. Todd A. Astorino,

© 2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association