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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
Original Research

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,

Copyright © 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.