Inter-Individual Variability in the Adaptive Responses to Endurance and Sprint Interval Training: A Randomized Crossover Study

PLoS One. 2016 Dec 9;11(12):e0167790. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167790. eCollection 2016.

Abstract

The current study examined the adaptive response to both endurance (END) and sprint interval training (SIT) in a group of twenty-one recreationally active adults. All participants completed three weeks (four days/ week) of both END (30 minutes at ~65% VO2peak work rate (WR) and SIT (eight, 20-second intervals at ~170% VO2peak WR separated by 10 seconds of active rest) following a randomized crossover study design with a three-month washout period between training interventions. While a main effect of training was observed for VO2peak, lactate threshold, and submaximal heart rate (HR), considerable variability was observed in the individual responses to both END and SIT. No significant positive relationships were observed between END and SIT for individual changes in any variable. Non-responses were determined using two times the typical error (TE) of measurement for VO2peak (0.107 L/min), lactate threshold (15.7 W), and submaximal HR (10.7bpm). Non-responders in VO2peak, lactate threshold, and submaximal HR were observed following both END and SIT, however, the individual patterns of response differed following END and SIT. Interestingly, all individuals responded in at least one variable when exposed to both END and SIT. These results suggest that the individual response to exercise training is highly variable following different training protocols and that the incidence of non-response to exercise training may be reduced by changing the training stimulus for non-responders to three weeks of END or SIT.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • High-Intensity Interval Training / methods*
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Endurance*
  • Running*
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Lactic Acid

Grant support

Funding was provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (grant number: 402635; http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/index_eng.asp) and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (grant number: 25476;https://www.innovation.ca/). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.