Exercise training comprising of single 20-s cycle sprints does not provide a sufficient stimulus for improving maximal aerobic capacity in sedentary individuals

Abstract

Sprint interval training (SIT) provides a potent stimulus for improving maximal aerobic capacity ( $${\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{ 2} { \hbox{max} }$$ V ˙ O 2 max ), which is among the strongest markers for future cardiovascular health and premature mortality. Cycling-based SIT protocols involving six or more ‘all-out’ 30-s Wingate sprints per training session improve $${\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{ 2} { \hbox{max} }$$ V ˙ O 2 max , but we have recently demonstrated that similar improvements in $${\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{ 2} { \hbox{max} }$$ V ˙ O 2 max can be achieved with as few as two 20-s sprints. This suggests that the volume of sprint exercise has limited influence on subsequent training adaptations. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine whether a single 20-s cycle sprint per training session can provide a sufficient stimulus for improving $${\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{ 2} { \hbox{max} }$$ V ˙ O 2 max . Thirty sedentary or recreationally active participants (10 men/20 women; mean ± SD age: 24 ± 6 years, BMI: 22.6 ± 4.0 kg m−2, $${\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{ 2} { \hbox{max} }$$ V ˙ O 2 max : 33 ± 7 mL kg−1 min−1) were randomised to a training group or a no-intervention control group. Training involved three exercise sessions per week for 4 weeks, consisting of a single 20-s Wingate sprint (no warm-up or cool-down). $${\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{ 2} { \hbox{max} }$$ V ˙ O 2 max was determined prior to training and 3 days following the final training session. Mean $${\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{ 2} { \hbox{max} }$$ V ˙ O 2 max did not significantly change in the training group (2.15 ± 0.62 vs. 2.22 ± 0.64 L min−1) or the control group (2.07 ± 0.69 vs. 2.08 ± 0.68 L min−1; effect of time: P = 0.17; group × time interaction effect: P = 0.26). Although we have previously demonstrated that regularly performing two repeated 20-s ‘all-out’ cycle sprints provides a sufficient training stimulus for a robust increase in $${\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{ 2} { \hbox{max} }$$ V ˙ O 2 max , our present study suggests that this is not the case when training sessions are limited to a single sprint.

DOI: 10.1007/s00421-016-3409-8

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Songsorn2016ExerciseTC, title={Exercise training comprising of single 20-s cycle sprints does not provide a sufficient stimulus for improving maximal aerobic capacity in sedentary individuals}, author={Preeyaphorn Songsorn and Anneliese Lambeth-Mansell and Jacqueline Louise Mair and Malindi Haggett and B. L. Fitzpatrick and Jos{\'e} S Ruffino and Adrian Holliday and Richard S. Metcalfe and Niels B. J. Vollaard}, booktitle={European Journal of Applied Physiology}, year={2016} }