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More Training Info > Research - Sprint interval training increases muscle oxidative potential

Six sessions of sprint interval training increases muscle oxidative potential and cycle endurance capacity in humans.

Summary and discussion based on original research from Kirsten A. Burgomaster,1 Scott C. Hughes,1 George J. F. Heigenhauser,2 Suzanne N. Bradwell,1 and Martin J. Gibala1. “Six sessions of sprint interval training increases muscle oxidative potential and cycle endurance capacity in humans.” J Appl Physiol 98: 1985-1990, 2005 see http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/abstract/98/6/1985 to read abstract

The Hypothesis

An earlier study (Parra et al. (Acta Physiol. Scand 169: 157–165, 2000) determined that daily interval training did not increase anaerobic work capacity, perhaps due to chronic fatigue. Burgomaster et al. wanted to see whether subjects would see improved results in endurance capacity by doing sprint interval training (SIT) less frequently (every other day rather than daily; 6 total sessions) over the course of two weeks.

The Results

Eight subjects performed 6 sessions of 4-7 “all-out” 30-second Wingate sprints with four minutes of rest between work bouts and 1-2 days between sessions for recovery purposes. The two most important results for endurance athletes were that 1) resting muscle glycogen content increased by 26%, and 2) cycle endurance capacity appeared to increase by an amazing 100% after including the SIT sessions.

The Take-Home Message

By including a few short workouts in your weekly routine that involve all-out sprints as supplements to your longer endurance bike rides, hikes, or jogs, you may increase your overall energy levels, since your muscles can store more glycogen that will sustain you for longer during exertion. You may also see rather dramatic improvement in your endurance. This type of short sprint interval training (merely 15 min of intense exercise over a two-week period) doubled the cycling endurance capacity of all eight recreational exercisers.

Other Useful Website Links

If the concept of interval training is unfamiliar to you, you may want to check out some of the links below. When doing intervals like those done in the study, be sure to warm up at least 10 minutes before doing your first all-out sprint, and include a 5-minute cool down and appropriate stretches after completing your last sprint recovery period. Then see how your longer endurance workouts go!

Click links below for futher information


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