Original Article

European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 110, Issue 5, pp 1029-1036

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

High-intensity interval training improves VO2peak, maximal lactate accumulation, time trial and competition performance in 9–11-year-old swimmers

  • Billy SperlichAffiliated withInstitute of Training Science and Sport Informatics, German Sport University Cologne Email author 
  • , Christoph ZinnerAffiliated withInstitute of Training Science and Sport Informatics, German Sport University CologneGerman Research Centre of Elite Sport
  • , Ilka HeilemannAffiliated withInstitute of Training Science and Sport Informatics, German Sport University CologneGerman Research Centre of Elite Sport
  • , Per-Ludvik KjendlieAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Performance, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
  • , Hans-Christer HolmbergAffiliated withDepartment of Health Sciences, Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre, Mid Sweden University
  • , Joachim MesterAffiliated withInstitute of Training Science and Sport Informatics, German Sport University CologneGerman Research Centre of Elite Sport

Abstract

Training volume in swimming is usually very high when compared to the relatively short competition time. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been demonstrated to improve performance in a relatively short training period. The main purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of a 5-week HIIT versus high-volume training (HVT) in 9–11-year-old swimmers on competition performance, 100 and 2,000 m time (T 100 m and T 2,000 m), VO2peak and rate of maximal lactate accumulation (Lacmax). In a 5-week crossover study, 26 competitive swimmers with a mean (SD) age of 11.5 ± 1.4 years performed a training period of HIIT and HVT. Competition (P < 0.01; effect size = 0.48) and T 2,000 m (P = 0.04; effect size = 0.21) performance increased following HIIT. No changes were found in T 100 m (P = 0.20). Lacmax increased following HIIT (P < 0.01; effect size = 0.43) and decreased after HVT (P < 0.01; effect size = 0.51). VO2peak increased following both interventions (P < 0.05; effect sizes = 0.46–0.57). The increases in competition performance, T 2,000 m, Lacmax and VO2peak following HIIT were achieved in significantly less training time (~2 h/week).

Keywords

Children Oxygen uptake Swimming Training Performance