European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 111, Issue 8, pp 1591–1597 | Cite as

Effect of sprint interval training on circulatory function during exercise in sedentary, overweight/obese women

  • Jennifer L. TrilkEmail author
  • Arpit Singhal
  • Kevin A. Bigelman
  • Kirk J. Cureton
Original Article


Very high-intensity, low-volume, sprint interval training (SIT) increases muscle oxidative capacity and may increase maximal oxygen uptake (\( {\dot{V}\text{O}}_{{ 2 {\text{max}}}} \)), but whether circulatory function is improved, and whether SIT is feasible in overweight/obese women is unknown. To examine the effects of SIT on \( {\dot{V}\text{O}}_{{ 2 {\text{max}}}} \) and circulatory function in sedentary, overweight/obese women. Twenty-eight women with BMI > 25 were randomly assigned to SIT or control (CON) groups. One week before pre-testing, subjects were familarized to \( {\dot{V}\text{O}}_{{ 2 {\text{max}}}} \) testing and the workload that elicited 50% \( {\dot{V}\text{O}}_{{ 2 {\text{max}}}} \) was calculated. Pre- and post-intervention, circulatory function was measured at 50% of the pre-intervention \( {\dot{V}\text{O}}_{{ 2 {\text{max}}}} \), and a GXT was performed to determine \( {\dot{V}\text{O}}_{{ 2 {\text{max}}}} \). During the intervention, SIT training was given for 3 days/week for 4 weeks. Training consisted of 4–7, 30-s sprints on a stationary cycle (5% body mass as resistance) with 4 min active recovery between sprints. CON maintained baseline physical activity. Post-intervention, heart rate (HR) was significantly lower and stroke volume (SV) significantly higher in SIT (−8.1 and 11.4%, respectively; P < 0.05) during cycling at 50% \( {\dot{V}\text{O}}_{{ 2 {\text{max}}}} \); changes in CON were not significant (3 and −4%, respectively). Changes in cardiac output (\( {\dot{\text{Q}}} \)) and arteriovenous oxygen content difference [(a − v)O2 diff] were not significantly different for SIT or CON. The increase in \( {\dot{V}\text{O}}_{{ 2 {\text{max}}}} \) by SIT was significantly greater than by CON (12 vs. −1%). Changes by SIT and CON in HRmax (−1 vs. −1%) were not significantly different. Four weeks of SIT improve circulatory function during submaximal exercise and increases \( {\dot{V}\text{O}}_{{ 2 {\text{max}}}} \) in sedentary, overweight/obese women.


Aerobic capacity Cardiac output Stroke volume Physical conditioning Training intensity 



The authors thank Miley Duvall, Mai Nguyen, Hemal Patel, Anna Gelbrich, Diana Kim and Sahir Ahsan for their technical assistance with the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer L. Trilk
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Arpit Singhal
    • 1
  • Kevin A. Bigelman
    • 1
  • Kirk J. Cureton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of KinesiologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public HealthUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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