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Acute Responses to Resistance and High-Intensity Interval Training in Early Adolescents

Harris, Nigel K.1; Dulson, Deborah K.1; Logan, Greig R.M.1; Warbrick, Isaac B.2; Merien, Fabrice L.R.3; Lubans, David R.4

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2017 - Volume 31 - Issue 5 - p 1177–1186
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001590
Original Research

Abstract: Harris, NK, Dulson, DK, Logan, GRM, Warbrick, IB, Merien, FLR, and Lubans, DR. Acute responses to resistance and high-intensity interval training in early adolescents. J Strength Cond Res 31(5): 1177–1186, 2017—The purpose of this study was to compare the acute physiological responses within and between resistance training (RT) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) matched for time and with comparable effort, in a school setting. Seventeen early adolescents (12.9 ± 0.3 years) performed both RT (2–5 repetitions perceived short of failure at the end of each set) and HIIT (90% of age-predicted maximum heart rate), equated for total work set and recovery period durations comprising of 12 “sets” of 30-second work followed by 30-second recovery (total session time 12 minutes). Variables of interest included oxygen consumption, set and session heart rate (HR), and rate of perceived exertion, and change in salivary cortisol (SC), salivary alpha amylase, and blood lactate (BL) from presession to postsession. Analyses were conducted to determine responses within and between the 2 different protocols. For both RT and HIIT, there were very large increases pretrial to posttrial for SC and BL, and only BL increased greater in HIIT (9.1 ± 2.6 mmol·L−1) than RT (6.8 ± 3.3 mmol·L−1). Mean set HR for both RT (170 ± 9.1 b·min−1) and HIIT (179 ± 5.6 b·min−1) was at least 85% of HRmax. V[Combining Dot Above]O2 over all 12 sets was greater for HIIT (33.8 ± 5.21 ml·kg−1·min−1) than RT (24.9 ± 3.23 ml·kg−1·min−1). Brief, repetitive, intermittent forays into high but not supramaximal intensity exercise using RT or HIIT seemed to be a potent physiological stimulus in adolescents.

1Human Potential Center, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand;

2Taupua Waiora Center for Maori Health Research, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand;

3Roche Diagnostics Laboratory, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand; and

4Priority Research Center in Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Education, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia

Address correspondence to Nigel K. Harris,

Copyright © 2017 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.