The Effects of Sprint Interval vs. Continuous Endurance Training on Physiological and Metabolic Adaptations in Young Healthy Adults

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of sprint interval training (SIT) and continuous endurance training (CET) on selected anthropometric, aerobic, and anaerobic performance indices as well as the blood lipid profile, inflammatory and muscle damage markers in healthy young males. Fifteen recreationally active male volunteers (age: 21.7 ±2.2 years, body mass: 83.0 ±8.0 kg, body height: 1.82 ±0.05 m) were divided into two groups according to their initial VO2max levels. Training programs were conducted 3 times per week for 7 weeks. The SIT program consisted of 4-6 Wingate anaerobic sprints with a 4.5 min recovery, while CET consisted of 30-50 min cycling at 60% VO2max. Biochemical, anthropometric and fitness assessments were performed both pre and post-intervention. Significant improvements in VO2max, anaerobic power and capacity, and VO2 utilization during the submaximal workout and significant decreases in body fat and in waist circumference after the intervention occurred in both SIT and CET groups. Significantly greater gross efficiency was measured in the CET group. No differences in the lipid profile or serum levels of inflammatory, myocardial and skeletal muscle damage markers were observed after the training period. The study results agree with the effectiveness of a 30 s all-out training program with a reduced time commitment for anthropometric, aerobic and anaerobic adaptation and eliminate doubts about its safety as a model.

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