Sprint Interval Training Effects on Aerobic Capacity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- 4.7k Downloads
Sprint interval training (SIT) involving repeated 30-s “all out” efforts have resulted in significantly improved skeletal muscle oxidative capacity, maximal oxygen uptake, and endurance performance. The positive impact of SIT on cardiorespiratory fitness has far-reaching health implications.
The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis to determine the effects of SIT on aerobic capacity.
A search of the literature was conducted using the key words ‘sprint interval training’, ‘high intensity intermittent training/exercise’, ‘aerobic capacity’, and ‘maximal oxygen uptake’. Seventeen effects were analyzed from 16 randomized controlled trials of 318 participants. The mean ± standard deviation number of participants was 18.7 ± 5.1. Participant age was 23.5 ± 4.3 years.
The effect size calculated for all studies indicates that supramaximal-intensity SIT has a small-to-moderate effect (Cohen’s d = 0.32, 95 % CI 0.10–0.55; z = 2.79, P < 0.01) on aerobic capacity with an aggregate improvement of ~3.6 mL·kg−1·min−1 (~8 % increase). The effect is moderate to large in comparison with no-exercise control groups (Cohen’s d = 0.69, 95 % CI 0.46–0.93; z = 5.84, P < 0.01) and not different when compared with endurance training control groups (Cohen’s d = 0.04, 95 % CI −0.17 to 0.24; z = 0.36, P = 0.72).
SIT improves aerobic capacity in healthy, young people. Relative to continuous endurance training of moderate intensity, SIT presents an equally effective alternative with a reduced volume of activity. This evaluation of effects and analysis of moderating variables consolidates the findings of small-sample studies and contributes to the practical application of SIT to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and health.
KeywordsEndurance Training Aerobic Capacity Training Intervention Cardiorespiratory Fitness Maximal Oxygen Uptake
The authors thank Dr. Timothy W. Puetz for his assistance with graphical representation of results.
No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this review.
- 11.Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR, et al. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise. Med Sci Sport Exerc. 2011;43(7):1334–59. doi: 10.1249/Mss.0b013e318213fefb.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 14.Gibala MJ, McGee SL. Metabolic adaptations to short-term high-intensity interval training: a little pain for a lot of gain? Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2008;36(2):58–63. doi: 10.1097/JES.0b013e318168ec1f.
- 15.Babraj JA, Vollaard NB, Keast C, et al. Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males. BMC Endocr Disord. 2009;9:3. doi: 10.1186/1472-6823-9-3.
- 17.Bayati M, Farzad B, Gharakhanlou R, et al. A practical model of low-volume high-intensity interval training induces performance and metabolic adaptations that resemble ‘all-out’ sprint interval training. J Sport Sci Med. 2011;10(3):571–6.Google Scholar
- 24.Burgomaster KA, Heigenhauser GL, Gibala MJ. Skeletal muscle metabolic and performance adaptations after short sprint interval training (SIT) [abstract]. Med Sci Sport Exerc. 2004;36(Suppl.5):S20.Google Scholar
- 28.Iaia FM, Hellsten Y, Nielsen JJ, et al. Four weeks of speed endurance training reduces energy expenditure during exercise and maintains muscle oxidative capacity despite a reduction in training volume. J Appl Physiol. 2009;106(1):73–80. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.90676.2008.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 41.Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG; PRISMA Group. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. Ann Intern Med. 2009;151(4):264–9, W64.Google Scholar
- 43.Carr N. The effect of high-intensity interval training on VO2peak and performance in trained high school rowers [thesis]. Tempe: Arizona State University; 2011.Google Scholar
- 48.Reid SM. The effects of sprint interval training on endothelial function in young men and women [monograph]. London: The University of Western Ontario; 2012.Google Scholar
- 49.Rowan AE. Short duration high-intensity interval training improves aerobic conditioning of female college soccer players. Int J Exerc Sci. 2012;5(3):232–8.Google Scholar
- 51.Cohen J. Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. 2nd edn. Hillsdale: L. Erlbaum Associates; 1988.Google Scholar
- 52.Hedges LV, Olkin I. Statistical methods for meta-analysis. Orlando: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; 1985.Google Scholar
- 54.Lipsey MW, Wilson DB. Practical meta-analysis. Applied Social Research Methods Series. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications; 2001.Google Scholar
- 56.Yaffee RA. Enhancement of reliability analysis: application of intraclass correlations with SPSS/Windows v.8. New York: Statistics and Social Science Group, New York University; 1998. p. 1–13.Google Scholar
- 58.Blair SN, Kohl HW 3rd, Barlow CE, et al. Changes in physical fitness and all-cause mortality. A prospective study of healthy and unhealthy men. JAMA. 1995;273(14):1093–8.Google Scholar
- 60.Gibala MJ, McGee SL. Metabolic adaptations to short-term high-intensity interval training: a little pain for a lot of gain? Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2008;36(2):58–63. doi: 10.1097/jes.0b013e318168ec1f.
- 61.Daussin FN, Zoll J, Dufour SP et al. Effect of interval versus continuous training on cardiorespiratory and mitochondrial functions: relationship to aerobic performance improvements in sedentary subjects. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2008;295(1):R264–72. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00875.2007.Google Scholar