Although High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has shown its effectiveness in improving body composition, cardio-respiratory fitness and lipid profile in obese adults, evidences remain limited in overweight/obese youth. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of a 12-week HIIT program without caloric restriction on body composition and lipid profile among young overweight/obese men. Twenty healthy obese youth were randomly allocated into two groups; experimental group (HIIT) and control group. The HIIT program consisted in 3 exercises sessions per week (30 sec of work at 100% maximal aerobic velocity [MAV]) interspersed by 30 sec of active recovery at 50% MAV, starting by 15 repetitions to reach 27 by the end of the program. Aerobic capacity (MAV and maximum oxygen uptake [VO2max]), body composition (body mass index [BMI], waist circumference [WC], and fat mass percent) and lipid profile (triglycerides [TG] and total, high-density lipoprotein [HDL] and low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol) were determined before and after the HIIT program. Following 12 weeks of HIIT, WC, BMI (P<0.01), and fat mass percent (P<0.05) were significantly decreased. MAV and VO2max were significantly improved in the HIIT group, only. Total cholesterol (P<0.05) and TG (P<0.05) decreased significantly in the HIIT group, while LDL and HDL cholesterol levels remained unchanged in both groups. HIIT may be particularly useful in overweight/obese youth to improve body composition, aerobic fitness and lipid profile.
Keywords: Body composition; High-intensity interval training; Lipid pro-file; Obesity; Overweight; Youth.