Adaptations to 4 weeks of high-intensity interval training in healthy adults with different training backgrounds


Purpose: This study investigated the physical fitness and oxygen uptake kinetics ([Formula: see text]) along with the exercise-onset O2 delivery (heart rate kinetics, τHR; changes in normalized deoxyhemoglobin/[Formula: see text] ratio, Δ[HHb]/[Formula: see text]) adaptations of individuals with different physical activity (PA) backgrounds responding to 4 weeks of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and the possible effects of skeletal muscle mass (SMM) on training-induced adaptations. Methods: Twenty subjects (10 high-PA level, HIIT-H; 10 moderate-PA level, HIIT-M) engaged in 4 weeks of treadmill HIIT. Ramp-incremental (RI) test and step-transitions to moderate-intensity exercise were performed. Cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, muscle oxygenation status, VO2 and HR kinetics were assessed at baseline and post-training. Results: HIIT improved fitness status for HIIT-H ([Formula: see text], + 0.26 ± 0.07 L/min; SMM, + 0.66 ± 0.70 kg; body fat, - 1.52 ± 1.93 kg; [Formula: see text], - 7.11 ± 1.05 s, p textless 0.05) and HIIT-M ([Formula: see text], 0.24 ± 0.07 L/min, SMM, + 0.58 ± 0.61 kg; body fat, - 1.64 ± 1.37 kg; [Formula: see text], - 5.48 ± 1.05 s, p textless 0.05) except for visceral fat area (p = 0.293) without between-group differences (p textgreater 0.05). Oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin amplitude during the RI test increased for both groups (p textless 0.05) except for total hemoglobin (p = 0.179). The Δ[HHb]/[Formula: see text] overshoot was attenuated for both groups (p textless 0.05) but only eliminated in HIIT-H (1.05 ± 0.14 to 0.92 ± 0.11), and no change was observed in τHR (p = 0.144). Linear mixed-effect models presented positive effects of SMM on absolute [Formula: see text] (p textless 0.001) and ΔHHb (p = 0.034). Conclusion: Four weeks of HIIT promoted positive adaptations in physical fitness and [Formula: see text] kinetics, with the peripheral adaptations attributing to the observed improvements. The training effects are similar between groups suggesting that HIIT is effective for reaching higher physical fitness levels.

European Journal of Applied Physiology