Influence of continuous and discontinuous training protocols on subcutaneous adipose tissue and plasma substrates

Int J Sports Med. 2001 Jul;22(5):344-9. doi: 10.1055/s-2001-15643.


It has been shown that bouts of high-intensity exercise may reduce subcutaneous adipose tissue more than low-intensity exercise. The aim of the present study was to examine if a discontinuous training protocol is more successful in reducing adipose tissue than a continuous endurance training protocol. Fourteen untrained male volunteers were divided into two groups and trained for 10 weeks performing 3 discontinuous or 3 continuous workouts weekly (discontinuous exercise: 25 times 80 s 35% VO2max and 40 s 80% VO2max; continuous exercise: 50 min 50% VO2max). The discontinuous and the continuous training resulted in a similar subcutaneous adipose tissue loss, determined by skinfold measurement, in the leg above the patella (-2.4+/-2.4 and -2.4+/-1.4mm, respectively). The normalised plasma concentrations of free fatty acid, glycerol, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and lactate were similar throughout the final exercise test at the end of the training period. Our data suggested that the discontinuous protocol, selected so that the average intensity was similar to that of the continuous protocol, was not better than the latter in reducing subcutaneous adipose tissue.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diet Records
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lipolysis / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Skinfold Thickness