The next evolution of interval training | Fitness Science Fitness Science

The next evolution of interval training

Evolution of interval trainingScientists are never satisfied. It has been known for some time that high intensity interval training (HIIT for the experts) is more effective and efficient than regular endurance exercise to improve your endurance and lose weight. However, interval training is not a complete form of exercise, because it does not improve muscle strength. Scientist from the Saskatchewan Canada developed a more complete form of training and performed a study on it while they were at it. These were their results.

What did the researchers do?

The researchers recruited twenty eight active young women into the study. Prior to the start of the training period, they were tested on maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), anaerobic endurance using a Wingate test, muscle strength in the back squat, bench press and deadlift exercises by an 1 repetition maximum test (1RM). Muscular endurance was tested by using a squat test at 70% 1RM until muscle failure. In addition jumping power was measured by a standing long jump. These test were of course repeated after the 6 week training program.

Groups

The researchers randomly divided the participants over two groups. Both groups trained three times a week for 60 minutes. Both started with a 20 minute active warm up, followed by 24 minutes of training and concluded with 16 minutes of cool down.

The interval training group performed 24 minutes of interval rowing. During these 24 minutes were six 60 second maximum intensity bouts followed by three minutes of passive recovery.

The modified training group (M-Interval) performed six bouts of 60 seconds of intense training as well followed by three minutes of rest. However, during those 60 seconds the subjects performed four to six repetitions of a strength exercise, immediately followed by eight to 10 repetitions in an assisting exercise. In the remaining seconds the subjects performed a high intensity metabolic training form. For example four to six repetitions of bench press, followed by eight to 10 repetitions of dumbbell fly’s followed by cycling on a stationary bike for the remainder of time.

What were the results?

The results are depicted in the figures below

Effects on VO2Max

Figure 1: Effects on VO2Max in ml/kg/min

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2: Effects on anaerobic power in Watt

Figure 2: Effects on anaerobic power in Watt

Figure 3 Effects on squat strength 1RM

Figure 3: Effects on squat strength 1RM

Figure 4 Effects on Bench Press strength 1Rm

Figure 4: Effects on Bench Press strength 1RM

 

Figure 5 Effects on deadlift strength 1RM

Figure 5: Effects on deadlift strength 1RM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 6: Effects on muscular endurance: Squat test repetitions to failure

Figure 6: Effects on muscular endurance: Squat test repetitions to failure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 7 Effects on jumping distance

Figure 7: Effects on jumping distance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After six weeks of training both groups improved their VO2max and anaerobic power similarly. Maximum muscle strength in squat, bench press and deadlift only increased in the M-Interval group. Furthermore jumping distance and muscular endurance in the squat test only increased in the M-Interval group as well.

What did the researchers conclude?

The researchers concluded that, although interval training was very effective to improve aerobic endurance and VO2max, it wasn’t any more effective as using the modified interval training protocol. Adding strength exercises is just as effective but improves as an added bonus muscle strength, muscle endurance, explosive power and jumping distance.

What does this mean for me?

Combining strength exercises and maximum interval training increases VO2max just as effectively as high intensity interval training alone. But leads to greater results in muscle strength in the same amount of time.

See also:

– Interval training vs endurance training for weight loss

– Tabata training

– Tabata training using kettlebell swings vs strength training

References:

-Buckley, S., Knapp, K., Lackie, A., Lewry, C., Horvey, K., Benko, C., Trinh, J., Butcher, S. Multi-modal High Intensity Interval Training Increases Muscle Function and Metabolic Performance in Females. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 2015, 40, 11, 1157-1162.