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Cardiorespiratory and Cardiac Autonomic Responses to 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test in Team Sport Players

Buchheit, Martin1; Al Haddad, Hani1; Millet, Grégoire Paul2; Lepretre, Pierre Marie3; Newton, Michael4; Ahmaidi, Said1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 93-100
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31818b9721
Original Research

Buchheit, M, Al Haddad, H, Millet GP, Lepretre, PM, Newton, M, and Ahmaidi, S. Cardiorespiratory and cardiac autonomic responses to 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test in team sport players. J Strength Cond Res 23(1): 93-100, 2009-The 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (30-15IFT) is an attractive alternative to classic continuous incremental field tests for defining a reference velocity for interval training prescription in team sport athletes. The aim of the present study was to compare cardiorespiratory and autonomic responses to 30-15IFT with those observed during a standard continuous test (CT). In 20 team sport players (20.9 ± 2.2 years), cardiopulmonary parameters were measured during exercise and for 10 minutes after both tests. Final running velocity, peak lactate ([La]peak), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were also measured. Parasympathetic function was assessed during the postexercise recovery phase via heart rate (HR) recovery time constant (HRRτ) and HR variability (HRV) vagal-related indices. At exhaustion, no difference was observed in peak oxygen uptake (o2peak), respiratory exchange ratio, HR, or RPE between 30-15IFT and CT. In contrast, 30-15IFT led to significantly higher minute ventilation, [La]peak, and final velocity than CT (p < 0.05 for all parameters). All maximal cardiorespiratory variables observed during both tests were moderately to well correlated (e.g., r = 0.76, p = 0.001 for o2peak). Regarding ventilatory thresholds (VThs), all cardiorespiratory measurements were similar and well correlated between the 2 tests. Parasympathetic function was lower after 30-15IFT than after CT, as indicated by significantly longer HHRτ (81.9 ± 18.2 vs. 60.5 ± 19.5 for 30-15IFT and CT, respectively, p < 0.001) and lower HRV vagal-related indices (i.e., the root mean square of successive R-R intervals differences [rMSSD]: 4.1 ± 2.4 and 7.0 ± 4.9 milliseconds, p < 0.05). In conclusion, the 30-15IFT is accurate for assessing VThs and o2peak, but it alters postexercise parasympathetic function more than a continuous incremental protocol.

1Laboratory of Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France; 2Aspire, Academy for Sports Excellence, Doha, Qatar; 3Laboratory of Biomechanics and Physiology, National Institute of Sports (INSEP), Paris, France; and 4School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia

Address correspondence to Martin Buchheit,

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association