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Difference in total workload during sprint interval training for adults living with or without obesity

Abstract

Purpose

The primary objective of the study was to compare the implications of body composition on work volume, power outputs (peak, mean, and minimum), and relative drop load throughout 4 weeks of sprint interval training (SIT) in individuals living with and without obesity.

Methods

Thirty-four participants living with (n = 16) and without (n = 18) obesity took part in 12 sessions of SIT over 4 weeks. SIT consisted of repeated 30-s Wingate with a drop load of 7.5% of the participant’s body mass separated by 4 min of active recovery. Fat-free mass was estimated using a BOD POD. Work volume, drop load, and power output (peak, mean, and minimum) relative to body mass and fat-free mass were calculated using a Monark 874E Weight cycle ergometer.

Results

Individuals living with obesity had a significantly larger drop load relative to fat-free mass (p < 0.001) and absolute drop load (p < 0.001) as well as a lower cycling cadence (p < 0.001) compared to individuals without obesity. No significant difference was observed in work volume (p = 0.167) as well as mean (p = 0.903), peak (p = 0.294), and minimum (p = 0.103) power relative to fat-free mass between groups.

Conclusion

The findings suggest that individuals living with obesity work at a higher relative drop load when utilizing a percentage of body mass; however, a reduced cycling cadence results in similar total work volume throughout SIT.

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Availability of data and material

The datasets analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Code availability

Not applicable.

Abbreviations

ANOVA:

Analysis of variance

BMI:

Body mass index

CSEP:

Canadian society for exercise physiology

KGM:

Kilogram-meters

RPM:

Revolutions per minute

SIT:

Sprint interval training

W/kg:

Watts per kilogram

References

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Acknowledgements

This research project was supported from a research grant from the University of New Brunswick-University Research Fund (URF). Dr. Sénéchal was supported by an Establishment Grant from the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF) and Diabetes Action Canada (DAC). Benjamin H. Colpitts salary was supported by funding from the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU) NBHRF as well as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Funding

This research project was supported from a research grant from the University of New Brunswick-University Research Fund (URF). Dr. Sénéchal was supported by an Establishment Grant from the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF) and Diabetes Action Canada (DAC). Benjamin H. Colpitts salary was supported by funding from the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU) NBHRF as well as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

BHC contributed to conceiving the main idea and design of the study, data collection and analysis, and drafting, editing, and final approval of the manuscript. KS contributed to conceiving the main idea and design of the study, data analysis, and drafting, editing, and final approval of the manuscript. DRB contributed to drafting, editing, and final approval of the manuscript. MS contributed to conceiving the main idea and design of the study, data analysis, and drafting, editing, and final approval of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Martin Sénéchal.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The researchers have no conflict of interest to declare.

Ethical approval

The project was reviewed and approved by the University of New Brunswick Research Ethics Board (REB 2018–058).

Consent to participate and publication

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study and provided informed consent for publication.

Additional information

Communicated by Philip D. Chilibeck.

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Colpitts, B.H., Seaman, K., Bouchard, D.R. et al. Difference in total workload during sprint interval training for adults living with or without obesity. Eur J Appl Physiol 121, 2893–2902 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-021-04760-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-021-04760-y

Keywords

  • Wingate
  • Work volume
  • Cadence
  • Drop Load
  • Obesity
  • Fat-free Mass