Effects of high intensity intermittent training on peak VO(2) in prepubertal children

Int J Sports Med. 2002 Aug;23(6):439-44. doi: 10.1055/s-2002-33742.


This study was designed to examine peak VO(2) responses of prepubescent children following a 7-week aerobic training. Twenty-three boys and thirty girls (9.7 +/- 0.8 years) were divided into a high intensity experimental group (HIEG: 20 girls and 13 boys) and a control group (CG: 10 girls and 10 boys). A graded 20-m shuttle run with measurement of gas exchange values was performed prior to and after the 7-week training program. The test consisted of a 3-min run at 7 km x h(-1) to determine energy cost of running, immediately followed by a 20-meter shuttle run test. HIEG had two 30 min-sessions of short intermittent aerobic training per week at velocities ranging from 100 up to 130 % of the maximal aerobic speed. For HIEG, absolute peak VO(2)(9.1 %) and relative to body mass peak VO(2)(8.2 %) increased significantly (p < 0.001); it was unchanged in the CG. Similarly, maximal shuttle run improved significantly in HIEG (5.1 %, p < 0.001). In contrast, there was no significant change for CG. For both groups energy cost of running remained unchanged. These findings show that prepubescent children could significantly increase their peak VO(2) and maximal shuttle velocity with high intensity short intermittent aerobic exercises.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Physical Fitness
  • Running / physiology*
  • Sex Factors