Low volume sprint intervals versus traditional endurance training

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Active but untrained subjects (23 +/- 1 years) cycled for 1 hour at 65% of peak oxygen uptake (VO2-peak) before and after 6 weeks of either Sprint Interval Training (SIT) or Endurance Training (ET).  SIT consisted of four to six rounds of 30 second full-sprint cycling  with 4.5 min recovery between sprints, 3 days per week. ET consisted of 40-60 min of continuous cycling at a workload at 65% effort,  per day, 5 days per week.  Amazingly, both protocols induced similar increases in mitochondrial markers for skeletal muscle carbohydrate and lipid oxidation, while glycogen and phosphocreatine utilization during exercise were reduced after training, and calculated rates of whole-body carbohydrate and lipid oxidation were decreased and increased, respectively, with no differences between groups.

(J. Physiol. 2008 Jan 1;586(1):151-60. Epub 2007 Nov 8.)

It’s important to note that the subjects doing the Sprint Interval Training completed roughly 1.5 hours of work per week while the subjects doing traditional Endurance Training took 4.5 hours per week to get the same metabolic results.

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