Our aim was to examine the effects of seven high-intensity aerobic interval training (HIIT) sessions over 2 wk on skeletal muscle fuel content, mitochondrial enzyme activities, fatty acid transport proteins, peak O(2) consumption (Vo(2 peak)), and whole body metabolic, hormonal, and cardiovascular responses to exercise. Eight women (22.1 +/- 0.2 yr old, 65.0 +/- 2.2 kg body wt, 2.36 +/- 0.24 l/min Vo(2 peak)) performed a Vo(2 peak) test and a 60-min cycling trial at approximately 60% Vo(2 peak) before and after training. Each session consisted of ten 4-min bouts at approximately 90% Vo(2 peak) with 2 min of rest between intervals. Training increased Vo(2 peak) by 13%. After HIIT, plasma epinephrine and heart rate were lower during the final 30 min of the 60-min cycling trial at approximately 60% pretraining Vo(2 peak). Exercise whole body fat oxidation increased by 36% (from 15.0 +/- 2.4 to 20.4 +/- 2.5 g) after HIIT. Resting muscle glycogen and triacylglycerol contents were unaffected by HIIT, but net glycogen use was reduced during the posttraining 60-min cycling trial. HIIT significantly increased muscle mitochondrial beta-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (15.44 +/- 1.57 and 20.35 +/- 1.40 mmol.min(-1).kg wet mass(-1) before and after training, respectively) and citrate synthase (24.45 +/- 1.89 and 29.31 +/- 1.64 mmol.min(-1).kg wet mass(-1) before and after training, respectively) maximal activities by 32% and 20%, while cytoplasmic hormone-sensitive lipase protein content was not significantly increased. Total muscle plasma membrane fatty acid-binding protein content increased significantly (25%), whereas fatty acid translocase/CD36 content was unaffected after HIIT. In summary, seven sessions of HIIT over 2 wk induced marked increases in whole body and skeletal muscle capacity for fatty acid oxidation during exercise in moderately active women.