Two weeks of reduced-volume sprint interval or traditional exercise training does not improve metabolic functioning in sedentary obese men

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2013 Dec;15(12):1146-53. doi: 10.1111/dom.12150. Epub 2013 Jul 16.


Aims: To investigate the effects of short-term, reduced-volume sprint interval training (SIT) compared to traditional exercise recommendations (TER) in sedentary obese men.

Methods: Sixteen subjects [37.8 ± 5.8 years; body mass index (BMI) 32.8 ± 4.7 kg/m(2)] were randomly allocated to 2 weeks of either SIT (6 sessions of 8-12 × 10 s sprints) or TER [10 sessions of 30 min at 65% peak oxygen consumption (VO(2peak))] cycle exercise. Fasting plasma glucose, insulin, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), homeostasis model assessment of insulin sensitivity (HOMA-IR), body composition and VO(2peak) were assessed at baseline and approximately 72 h after the final training bout. Skeletal muscle biopsy samples were also obtained before and 72 h after training and analysed for AS160 phosphorylation and COX II, COX IV, GLUT-4, Nur77 and SIRT1 protein expression.

Results: No changes in BMI, body composition, VO(2peak), glucose, insulin, NEFA and HOMA-IR were observed after training, either within or between groups. Skeletal muscle markers of glucose metabolism and mitochondrial function also remained unaltered after 2 weeks of exercise training.

Conclusions: Our findings show that 2 weeks of reduced-volume SIT or TER did not elicit any measurable metabolic adaptations in sedentary obese men. Further work is needed to determine the minimal amount of exercise required for short-term adaptations in this population.

Keywords: exercise; glucose uptake; obesity; skeletal muscle.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / metabolism
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Phosphorylation / physiology
  • Sedentary Behavior*


  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Insulin