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Acute effects of high-intensity interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training sessions on cardiorespiratory parameters in healthy young men



The aim of the present study was to compare the energy expenditure (EE) during and after two treadmill protocols, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and moderate continuous training (CONT), in young adult men.


The sample was comprised by 26 physically active men aged between 18 and 35 years engaged in aerobic training programs. They were divided into two groups: HIIT (n = 14) which performed eight 20 s bouts at 130% of the velocity associated with the maximal oxygen consumption on a treadmill with 10 s of passive rest, or CONT (n = 12) which performed 30 min running on a treadmill at a submaximal velocity equivalent to 90–95% of the heart rate associated with the anaerobic threshold. Data related to oxygen consumption (\(\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{2}\)) and EE were measured during the protocols and the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) was calculated for both sessions.


No difference was found between groups for mean \(\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{2}\) (HIIT: 2.84 ± 0.46 L min−1; CONT: 2.72 ± 0.43 L min−1) and EE per minute (HIIT: 14.36 ± 2.34 kcal min−1; CONT: 13.21 ± 2.08 kcal min−1) during protocols. Regarding total EE during session, CONT resulted in higher values compared to HIIT (390.45 ± 65.15; 55.20 ± 9.33 kcal, respectively). However, post-exercise EE and EPOC values were higher after HIIT (69.31 ± 10.88; 26.27 ± 2.28 kcal, respectively) compared to CONT (55.99 ± 10.20; 13.43 ± 10.45 kcal, respectively).


These data suggest that supramaximal HIIT has a higher impact on EE and EPOC in the early phase of recovery when compared to CONT.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2



Analysis of variance


Caloric equivalent


Moderate-intensity continuous training


Energy expenditure


Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption


High-intensity interval training


Heart rate

HRmax :

Maximal heart rate

\({\text{i}}\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{2\hbox{max} }\) :

Intensity associated with maximal oxygen consumption

\(\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{2}\) :

Maximal oxygen consumption

VT2 :

Second ventilatory threshold


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The authors would like to thank all subjects who took part in the study for their genuine effort.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gustavo Zaccaria Schaun.

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The authors attest that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Communicated by Guido Ferretti.

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Schaun, G.Z., Alberton, C.L., Ribeiro, D.O. et al. Acute effects of high-intensity interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training sessions on cardiorespiratory parameters in healthy young men. Eur J Appl Physiol 117, 1437–1444 (2017).

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  • Exercise
  • Interval training
  • Continuous training
  • Oxygen uptake
  • Energy expenditure
  • EPOC