Effects of High Intensity Interval Training vs. High Volume Training on VO2max, Power, and Body Composition of College-Age Students

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Dr. Kevin Cole, Hope College

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The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a high intensity interval-training program compared to a more traditional endurance-training program. A sample of seventeen college-aged students (11 males, 6 females) ranging in ages from 18-20, were randomly assigned to either a high intensity interval training (HIIT) group (n=9) or a high volume training group (n=8). Pre- and post-training measurements of cardiovascular endurance (VO2max), body composition, resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, vertical jump, and anaerobic capacity (Wingate test) were used to evaluate each participant’s fitness level. The HIIT group exercised on stationary bicycles for a total time of 12-14 minutes per training session. This was followed by 6-8 sets of 30-second, 100% effort, sprint intervals, with resistance, ending with 1 minute of active recovery with no resistance. The participants in the HVT group exercised by riding a stationary bicycle at 75% of their max heart rate for 30 minutes. Both groups trained 3 times per week for four weeks, for a total of 12 exercise sessions. Following 4 weeks of training, no significant differences between the two training regimens were found. However, a significant difference was found within the pre- and post-tests for each group. Significant results were seen for VO2max (p<0.024, 1.020±.396), systolic blood pressure (SiBP) (p<.024, 117.451 ±1.105), diastolic blood pressure (DiBP) (p<0.009, 75.017±1.028), resting blood pressure, perceived exertion (RPE) (p<0.00, 1.982±.179), absolute mean power (AMP) (p=0.036, 455.417±34.730) and relative mean power (RMP) (p=0.032, 6.314±.375). Based on this study, minimal evidence exists to support the hypothesis that greater anaerobic and aerobic improvements will occur from high intensity interval training compared to traditional endurance training (high volume training) over a four-week period of time.

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