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A Review of Adolescent High-Intensity Interval Training

Abstract

Despite the promising evidence supporting positive effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on the metabolic profile in adults, there is limited research targeting adolescents. Given the rising burden of chronic disease, it is essential to implement strategies to improve the cardiometabolic health in adolescence, as this is a key stage in the development of healthy lifestyle behaviours. This narrative review summarises evidence of the relative efficacy of HIIT regarding the metabolic health of adolescents. Methodological inconsistencies confound our ability to draw conclusions; however, there is meaningful evidence supporting HIIT as a potentially efficacious exercise modality for use in the adolescent cohort. Future research must examine the effects of various HIIT protocols to determine the optimum strategy to deliver cardiometabolic health benefits. Researchers should explicitly show between-group differences for HIIT intervention and steady-state exercise or control groups, as the magnitude of difference between HIIT and other exercise modalities is of key interest to public health. There is scope for research to examine the palatability of HIIT as an exercise modality for adolescents through investigating perceived enjoyment during and after HIIT, and consequent long-term exercise adherence.

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Acknowledgements

No funding was received for this review which may have affected analysis or interpretation of data, writing of this manuscript, or the decision to submit for publication. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review. Greig R.M. Logan was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand PhD scholarship.

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Logan, G.R.M., Harris, N., Duncan, S. et al. A Review of Adolescent High-Intensity Interval Training. Sports Med 44, 1071–1085 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-014-0187-5

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Keywords

  • Cardiometabolic Risk
  • Aerobic Fitness
  • Interval Training
  • Cardiometabolic Risk Factor
  • Physical Education Class