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Physiological Responses during Interval Training with Different Intensities and Duration of Exercise

Zuniga, Jorge M1; Berg, Kris2; Noble, John2; Harder, Jeanette3; Chaffin, Morgan E2; Hanumanthu, Vidya S4

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 1279-1284
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181d681b6
Original Research

Zuniga, JM, Berg, K, Noble, J, Harder, J, Chaffin, ME, and Hanumanthu, VS. Physiological responses during interval training with different intensities and duration of exercise. J Strength Cond Res 25(5): 1279-1284, 2011-The purpose of this study was to compare 4 interval training (IT) sessions with different intensities and durations of exercise to determine the effect on mean O2, total O2, and duration of exertion ≥95% maximum power output (MPO), and the effects on biomarkers of fatigue such as blood-lactate concentration (BLC) and rating of perceived exertion. The subjects were 12 recreationally competitive male (n = 7, mean ± SD age = 26.2 ± 3.9 years) and female (n = 5, mean ± SD age = 27.6 ± 4.3 years) triathletes. These subjects performed 4 IT sessions on a cycle ergometer varying in intensity (90 and 100% MPO) and duration of exercise (30 seconds and 3 minutes). This study revealed that IT using 30-second duration intervals (30-30 seconds) allows the athlete to perform a longer session, with a higher total and mean O2 HR and lower BLC than 3-minute durations. Similarly, submaximal exertion at 90% of MPO also allows performing longer sessions with a higher total O2 than 100% intensity. Thus, the results of the present study suggested that to increase the total time at high intensity of exercise and total O2 of a single exercise session performed by the athlete, IT protocols of short durations (i.e., 30 seconds) and submaximal intensities (i.e., 90% MPO) should be selected. Furthermore, performing short-duration intervals may allow the athlete to complete a longer IT session with greater metabolic demands (O2) and lower BLC than longer (i.e., 3 minutes) intervals.

1Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Center of Youth Fitness and Sports Research, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska; 2School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska; 3School of Social Work, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska; and 4Department of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska

Address correspondence to Jorge Zuniga,

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association