European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 117, Issue 6, pp 1257–1265 | Cite as

High intensity interval training does not impair strength gains in response to resistance training in premenopausal women

  • Paulo Gentil
  • Claudio Andre Barbosa de Lira
  • Suedi Gonçalves Cardoso Filho
  • Cauê Vazquez La Scala Teixeira
  • James Steele
  • James Fisher
  • Juliana Alves Carneiro
  • Mário Hebling Campos
Original Article



To compare the increases in upper- and lower-body muscle strength in premenopausal women performing resistance training (RT) alone or alongside concurrent high-intensity interval training (CT).


Sixteen women (26–40 years) were randomly assigned into two groups that performed either RT or CT. Both groups performed the same RT program; however, CT performed additional high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on a bicycle ergometer before RT. The study lasted 8 weeks and the participants were tested for ten repetition maximum (10RM) load in elbow flexion (barbell biceps curl) and knee extension exercises pre- and post-intervention. RT was performed with 10–12 repetitions to self-determined repetition maximum in the first four weeks and then progressed to 8–10. During CT, HIIT was performed before RT with six 1-min bouts at 7–8 of perceived subjective exertion (RPE) and then progressed to eight bouts at 9–10 RPE.


Analysis of variance revealed significant increases in upper and lower body strength for both the RT and CT groups. Biceps barbell curl 10RM load increased from 12.9 ± 3.2 kg to 14 ± 1.5 kg in CT (p < 0.05) and from 13 ± 1.8 kg to 15.9 ± 2.5 kg in RT (p < 0.05), with no significant between-groups differences. Knee extension 10RM increase from 31.9 ± 11.6 kg to 37.5 ± 8.5 kg for CT (p < 0.05) and from 30.6 ± 8.6 kg to 41.2 ± 7.4 kg for RT (p < 0.05).


In conclusion, performing HIIT on a cycle ergometer before resistance training does not seem to impair muscle strength increases in the knee extensors or elbow flexors of pre-menopausal women. This information should be considered when prescribing exercise sessions, since both activities may be combined without negative effects in muscle strength.


Aerobic training Strength training Resistance exercise Intermittent training Muscle fitness 



1 Maximum repetition


10 Maximum repetitions


Protein kinase B


AMP kinase


Analysis of variance


Aerobic training


Concurrent training


Forkhead box O3


High intensity interval training


Intra-class coefficient


Least significant difference


Mammalian target of rapamycin


Phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase


Repetitions maximum


Rate of perceived exertion


Resistance training


Standard error of the mean




Maximum oxygen consumption


Sum of three skinfolds



The study has no external financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have any financial interest in relation to this study of its results.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paulo Gentil
    • 1
  • Claudio Andre Barbosa de Lira
    • 1
  • Suedi Gonçalves Cardoso Filho
    • 1
  • Cauê Vazquez La Scala Teixeira
    • 2
  • James Steele
    • 3
  • James Fisher
    • 3
  • Juliana Alves Carneiro
    • 1
  • Mário Hebling Campos
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Avaliação do Movimento Humano/FEFD, Faculdade de Educação Física e DançaUniversidade Federal de GoiasGoiâniaBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade de São Paulo/Campus Baixada SantistaSantosBrazil
  3. 3.Sport Science Laboratory, Centre for Health, Exercise and Sport ScienceSouthampton Solent UniversitySouthamptonUK

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