Aerobic and anaerobic changes with high-intensity interval training in active college-aged men

J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Apr;25(4):1104-12. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181d09ec9.


We investigated the aerobic and anaerobic benefits of high-intensity interval training performed at a work-to-rest ratio of 1:2 because little performance enhancement data exist based on this ratio. Recreationally active male volunteers (21 years, 184 cm, 81.5 kg) were randomly assigned to a training (interval training [IT] n = 10) or control group (n = 11). Baseline assessments were repeated after the last training session. Each participant underwent basic anthropometric assessment and performed a VO2max test on an electronically braked cycle ergometer and a 30-second Wingate test. Venous samples were acquired at the antecubital vein and subsequently processed for lactate (LA); samples were obtained at rest, and 5 and 15-minute post-Wingate test. The interval training used a cycling power output equivalent to 80% of VO2max (80% p VO2max) applied for 6 90-second bouts (each followed by 180-second rest) per session, 3 sessions per week, for 6 weeks. The control group maintained their normal routine for the 6-week period. Group × time repeated-measures analyses of variance revealed that IT improved VO2max (5.5 ml · kg(-1) · min), anaerobic threshold (3.8 ml · kg(-1) · min), work output (12.5 J · kg(-1)), glycolytic work (11.5 J · kg(-1)), mean power (0.3 W · kg), peak power (0.4 W · kg(-1)), and max power (0.4 W · kg(-1)); p < 0.05. Posttesting LA was lower on average for IT at the 5-minute mark but significantly so at the 15-minute mark. Twenty-seven minutes of cycling at 80% p VO2max applied with a work-to-rest ratio of 1:2 and spread over 3 sessions per week for 6 weeks provided sufficient stimulus to significantly improve markers of anaerobic and aerobic performance in recreationally active college-aged men. Inclusion of such a protocol into a training program may rapidly restore or improve a client's or athlete's maximal functional capacity.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anaerobic Threshold / physiology
  • Bicycling / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise*
  • Glycolysis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology
  • Rest*
  • Young Adult


  • Lactic Acid