Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2017) 16, 219 - 229

Research article
Acute and Post-Exercise Physiological Responses to High-Intensity Interval Training in Endurance and Sprint Athletes
Lukas Cipryan1, , Gerhard Tschakert2, Peter Hofmann2
Author Information
1 Human Motion Diagnostic Centre & Department of Human Movement Studies, Ostrava University, Czech Republic
2 Institute of Sports Science, Exercise Physiology, Training & Training Therapy Research Group, University of Graz, Austria

Lukas Cipryan
✉ Ostravska Univerzita, CDLP, Varenska 40a, 702 00 Ostrava, Czech Republic
Publish Date
Received: 06-02-2017
Accepted: 31-03-2017
Published (online): 01-06-2017
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The purpose of the presented study was to compare acute and post-exercise differences in cardiorespiratory, metabolic, cardiac autonomic, inflammatory and muscle damage responses to high-intensity interval exercise (HIIT) between endurance and sprint athletes. The study group consisted of sixteen highly-trained males (age 22.1 ± 2.5 years) participating in endurance (n = 8) or sprint (n = 8) sporting events. All the participants underwent three exercise sessions: short HIIT (work interval duration 30s), long HIIT (3min) and constant load exercise (CE). The exercise interventions were matched for mean power, total time and in case of HIIT interventions also for work-to-relief ratio. The acute cardiorespiratory (HR, O2, RER) and metabolic (lactate) variables as well as the post-exercise changes (up to 3 h) in the heart rate variability, inflammation (interleukin-6, leucocytes) and muscle damage (creatine kinase, myoglobin) were monitored. Endurance athletes performed exercise interventions with moderately (CE) or largely (both HIIT modes) higher mean O2. These differences were trivial/small when O2 was expressed as a percentage of O2max. Moderately to largely lower RER and lactate values were found in endurance athletes. Markers of cardiac autonomic regulation, inflammation and muscle damage did not reveal any considerable differences between endurance and sprint athletes. In conclusions, endurance athletes were able to perform both HIIT formats with increased reliance on aerobic metabolic pathways although exercise intensity was identical in relative terms for all the participants. However, other markers of the acute and early post-exercise physiological response to these HIIT interventions indicated similarities between endurance and sprint athletes.

Key words: Intermittent exercise, training mode, heart rate variability, inflammation, muscle damage

           Key Points
  • The manner in which each training background (endurance vs. sprint) influences the response to HIIT is not well known.
  • Despite the identical exercise intensity in relative terms, endurance athletes are able to perform HIIT with increased reliance on aerobic metabolic pathways when compared to sprint athletes.
  • The mean O (% O) and HR as well as markers of the cardiac autonomic regulation, systemic inflammation and muscle damage monitored during the early recovery phase did not demonstrate any differences between endurance and sprint trained individuals.
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