We assessed whether 10-s sprint interval training (SIT) bouts with 2 or 4 min recovery periods can improve aerobic and anaerobic performance. Subjects (n = 48) were assigned to one of four groups [exercise time (s):recovery time (min)]: (1) 30:4, (2) 10:4, (3) 10:2 or (4) control (no training). Training was cycling 3 week−1 for 2 weeks (starting with 4 bouts session−1, increasing 1 bout every 2 sessions, 6 total). Pre- and post-training measures included: VO2max, 5-km time trial (TT), and a 30-s Wingate test. All groups were similar pre-training and the control group did not change over time. The 10-s groups trained at a higher intensity demonstrated by greater (P < 0.05) reproducibility of peak (10:4 = 96%; 10:2 = 95% vs. 30:4 = 89%), average (10:4 = 84%; 10:2 = 82% vs. 30:4 = 58%), and minimum power (10:4 = 73%; 10:2 = 69%; vs. 30:4 = 40%) within each session while the 30:4 group performed ~2X (P < 0.05) the total work session−1 (83–124 kJ, 4–6 bouts) versus 10:4 (38–58 kJ); 10:2 (39–59 kJ). Training increased TT performance (P < 0.05) in the 30:4 (5.2%), 10:4 (3.5%), and 10:2 (3.0%) groups. VO2max increased in the 30:4 (9.3%) and 10:4 (9.2%), but not the 10:2 group. Wingate peak power kg−1 increased (P < 0.05) in the 30:4 (9.5%), 10:4 (8.5%), and 10:2 (4.2%). Average Wingate power kg−1 increased (P < 0.05) in the 30:4 (12.1%) and 10:4 (6.5%) groups. These data indicate that 10-s (with either 2 or 4 min recovery) and 30-s SIT bouts are effective for increasing anaerobic and aerobic performance.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Astrand I, Astrand PO, Christensen EH, Hedman R (1960a) Intermittent muscular work. Acta Physiol Scand 48:448–453
Astrand I, Astrand PO, Christensen EH, Hedman R (1960b) Myohemoglobin as an oxygen-store in man. Acta Physiol Scand 48:454–460
Barnett C, Carey M, Proietto J, Cerin E, Febbraio MA, Jenkins D (2004) Muscle metabolism during sprint exercise in man: influence of sprint training. J Sci Med Sport 7:314–322
Bogdanis GC, Nevill ME, Boobis LH, Lakomy HK, Nevill AM (1995) Recovery of power output and muscle metabolites following 30 s of maximal sprint cycling in man. J Physiol 482(Pt 2):467–480
Bogdanis GC, Nevill ME, Boobis LH, Lakomy HK (1996) Contribution of phosphocreatine and aerobic metabolism to energy supply during repeated sprint exercise. J Appl Physiol 80:876–884
Burgomaster KA, Hughes SC, Heigenhauser GJ, Bradwell SN, Gibala MJ (2005) Six sessions of sprint interval training increases muscle oxidative potential and cycle endurance capacity in humans. J Appl Physiol 98:1985–1990
Burgomaster KA, Heigenhauser GJ, Gibala MJ (2006) Effect of short-term sprint interval training on human skeletal muscle carbohydrate metabolism during exercise and time-trial performance. J Appl Physiol 100:2041–2047
Burgomaster KA, Cermak NM, Phillips SM, Benton CR, Bonen A, Gibala MJ (2007) Divergent response of metabolite transport proteins in human skeletal muscle after sprint interval training and detraining. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 292:R1970–R1976
Burgomaster KA, Howarth KR, Phillips SM et al (2008) Similar metabolic adaptations during exercise after low volume sprint interval and traditional endurance training in humans. J Physiol 586:151–160
Daniels J, Scardina N (1984) Interval training and performance. Sports Med 1:327–334
Dempster P, Aitkens S (1995) A new air displacement method for the determination of human body composition. Med Sci Sports Exerc 27:1692–1697
Gibala MJ, McGee SL (2008) Metabolic adaptations to short-term high-intensity interval training: a little pain for a lot of gain? Exerc Sport Sci Rev 36:58–63
Gibala MJ, Little JP, van Essen M et al (2006) Short-term sprint interval versus traditional endurance training: similar initial adaptations in human skeletal muscle and exercise performance. J Physiol 575:901–911
Gibala MJ, McGee SL, Garnham AP, Howlett KF, Snow RJ, Hargreaves M (2009) Brief intense interval exercise activates AMPK and p38 MAPK signaling and increases the expression of PGC-1alpha in human skeletal muscle. J Appl Physiol 106:929–934
Harmer AR, McKenna MJ, Sutton JR et al (2000) Skeletal muscle metabolic and ionic adaptations during intense exercise following sprint training in humans. J Appl Physiol 89:1793–1803
Laursen PB, Jenkins DG (2002) The scientific basis for high-intensity interval training: optimising training programmes and maximising performance in highly trained endurance athletes. Sports Med 32:53–73
MacDougall JD, Hicks AL, MacDonald JR, McKelvie RS, Green HJ, Smith KM (1998) Muscle performance and enzymatic adaptations to sprint interval training. J Appl Physiol 84:2138–2142
McCartney N, Spriet LL, Heigenhauser GJ, Kowalchuk JM, Sutton JR, Jones NL (1986) Muscle power and metabolism in maximal intermittent exercise. J Appl Physiol 60:1164–1169
Noreen EE, Lemon PW (2006) Reliability of air displacement plethysmography in a large, heterogeneous sample. Med Sci Sports Exerc 38:1505–1509
Rognmo O, Hetland E, Helgerud J, Hoff J, Slordahl SA (2004) High intensity aerobic interval exercise is superior to moderate intensity exercise for increasing aerobic capacity in patients with coronary artery disease. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil 11:216–222
Siri WE (1961) Body composition from fluid spaces and density: analysis of methods. In: Brozek J, Henschel A (eds) Techniques for measuring body composition. National Research Council Education, National Academy Sciences, Washington, DC
Spriet LL, Lindinger MI, McKelvie RS, Heigenhauser GJ, Jones NL (1989) Muscle glycogenolysis and H+ concentration during maximal intermittent cycling. J Appl Physiol 66:8–13
Stathis CG, Febbraio MA, Carey MF, Snow RJ (1994) Influence of sprint training on human skeletal muscle purine nucleotide metabolism. J Appl Physiol 76:1802–1809
Thomas S, Reading J, Shephard RJ (1992) Revision of the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q). Can J Sport Sci 17:338–345
Warburton DE, McKenzie DC, Haykowsky MJ et al (2005) Effectiveness of high-intensity interval training for the rehabilitation of patients with coronary artery disease. Am J Cardiol 95:1080–1084
Wisloff U, Stoylen A, Loennechen JP et al (2007) Superior cardiovascular effect of aerobic interval training versus moderate continuous training in heart failure patients: a randomized study. Circulation 115:3086–3094
Communicated by Susan Ward.
About this article
Cite this article
Hazell, T.J., MacPherson, R.E.K., Gravelle, B.M.R. et al. 10 or 30-s sprint interval training bouts enhance both aerobic and anaerobic performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 110, 153–160 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-010-1474-y
- Endurance training
- Time trial