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Effects of Sprint Interval Training With Active Recovery vs. Endurance Training on Aerobic and Anaerobic Power, Muscular Strength, and Sprint Ability

Sökmen, Bülent1; Witchey, Ronald, L.2; Adams, Gene, M.2; Beam, William, C.2

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: March 2018 - Volume 32 - Issue 3 - p 624–631
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002215
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Sökmen, B, Witchey, RL, Adams, GM, and Beam, WC. Effects of sprint interval training with active recovery vs. endurance training on aerobic and anaerobic power, muscular strength, and sprint ability. J Strength Cond Res 32(3): 624–631, 2018—This study compared sprint interval training with active recovery (SITAR) to moderate-intensity endurance training (ET) in aerobic and anaerobic power, muscular strength, and sprint time results. Forty-two recreationally active adults were randomly assigned to a SITAR or ET group. Both groups trained 3× per week for 10 weeks at 75% of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max for 30 minutes weeks 1–4, with duration increasing to 35 minutes weeks 5–7 and 40 minutes weeks 8–10. While ET ran on a 400-m track without rest for the full training session, SITAR sprinted until the 200-m mark and recovered with fast walking or light jogging the second 200 m to the finish line in 3× original sprint time. Maximal oxygen consumption (V[Combining Dot Above]O2max), anaerobic treadmill run to exhaustion at 12.5 km·h−1 at 20% incline, isokinetic leg extension and flexion strength at 60 and 300°·s−1, and 50 m sprint time were determined before and after training. Results showed a significant improvement (p ≤ 0.05) in absolute and relative V[Combining Dot Above]O2max, anaerobic treadmill run, and sprint time in both groups. Only SITAR showed significant improvements in isokinetic leg extension and flexion at 300°·s−1 and decreases in body mass (p ≤ 0.05). SITAR also showed significantly greater improvement (p ≤ 0.05) over ET in anaerobic treadmill run and 50 m sprint time. These data suggest that SITAR is a time-efficient strategy to induce rapid adaptations in V[Combining Dot Above]O2max comparable to ET with added improvements in anaerobic power, isokinetic strength, and sprint time not observed with ET.

1Department of Kinesiology, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California; and

2Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, California

Address correspondence to Bülent Sökmen, sokmen@sonoma.edu.

Copyright © 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.