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Multimodal high-intensity interval training increases muscle function and metabolic performance in females

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High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a time-efficient method of improving aerobic and anaerobic power and capacity. In most individuals, however, HIIT using modalities such as cycling, running, and rowing does not typically result in increased muscle strength, power, or endurance. The purpose of this study is to compare the physiological outcomes of traditional HIIT using rowing (Row-HIIT) with a novel multimodal HIIT (MM-HIIT) circuit incorporating multiple modalities, including strength exercises, within an interval. Twenty-eight recreationally active women (age 24.7 ± 5.4 years) completed 6 weeks of either Row-HIIT or MM-HIIT and were tested on multiple fitness parameters. MM-HIIT and Row-HIIT resulted in similar improvements (p < 0.05 for post hoc pre- vs. post-training increases for each group) in maximal aerobic power (7% vs. 5%), anaerobic threshold (13% vs. 12%), respiratory compensation threshold (7% vs. 5%), anaerobic power (15% vs. 12%), and anaerobic capacity (18% vs. 14%). The MM-HIIT group had significant (p < 0.01 for all) increases in squat (39%), press (27%), and deadlift (18%) strength, broad jump distance (6%), and squat endurance (280%), whereas the Row-HIIT group had no increase in any muscle performance variable (p values 0.33–0.90). Post-training, 1-repetition maximum (1RM) squat (64.2 ± 13.6 vs. 45.8 ± 16.2 kg, p = 0.02), 1RM press (33.2 ± 3.8 vs. 26.0 ± 9.6 kg, p = 0.01), and squat endurance (23.9 ± 12.3 vs. 10.2 ± 5.6 reps, p < 0.01) were greater in the MM-HIIT group than in the Row-HIIT group. MM-HIIT resulted in similar aerobic and anaerobic adaptations but greater muscle performance increases than Row-HIIT in recreationally active women.
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Keywords: HIIT; aerobic power; aviron; entraînement intermittent; entraînement par intervalle de sprint; entraînement à la force; intermittent training; multimodal; puissance aérobie; rowing; sprint interval training; strength training

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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