Decreasing Power Output Increases Aerobic Contribution During Low-Volume Severe-Intensity Intermittent Exercise

J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Sep;29(9):2434-40. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000914.


High-intensity interval training applied at submaximal, maximal, and supramaximal intensities for exercising at V[Combining Dot Above]O2max (t95V[Combining Dot Above]O2max) has shown similar adaptation to low-volume sprint interval training among active subjects. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate t95V[Combining Dot Above]O2max during 2 different intermittent exercises in the severe-intensity domain (e.g., range of power outputs over which V[Combining Dot Above]O2max can be elicited during constant-load exercise) and to identify an exercise protocol that reduces the time required to promote higher aerobic demand. Eight active men (22 ± 2 years, 72 ± 5 kg, 174 ± 4 cm, 47 ± 8 ml·kg·min) completed the following protocols on a cycle ergometer: (a) incremental test, (b) determination of critical power (CP), (c) determination of the highest constant intensity (IHIGH) and the lowest exercise duration (TLOW) in which V[Combining Dot Above]O2max is attained, and (d) 2 exercise sessions in a randomized order that consisted of a constant power output (CPO) session at IHIGH and a decreasing power output (DPO) session that applied a decreasing work rate profile from IHIGH to 110% of CP. Time to exhaustion was significantly longer in DPO (371 ± 57 seconds vs. 225 ± 33 seconds). Moreover, t95V[Combining Dot Above]O2max (186 ± 72 seconds vs. 76 ± 49 seconds) and O2 consumed (29 ± 4 L vs. 17 ± 3 L) were higher in DPO when compared with the CPO protocol. In conclusion, data suggest that the application of a DPO protocol during intermittent exercise increases the time spent at high percentages of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max.

Publication types

  • Clinical Study
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adult
  • Anaerobic Threshold / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology*
  • Fatigue
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Random Allocation
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult