High-intensity decreasing interval training (HIDIT) increases time above 90% [Formula: see text]O2peak

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2020 Nov;120(11):2397-2405. doi: 10.1007/s00421-020-04463-w. Epub 2020 Aug 11.


Purpose: Training near [Formula: see text]O2max is considered to be the most effective way to enhance [Formula: see text]O2max. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a well-known time-efficient training method for improving cardiorespiratory and metabolic function and [Formula: see text]O2max. While long HIIT bouts allow [Formula: see text]O2max to be achieved quickly, short HIIT bouts improve time to exhaustion (Tlim). The aim of this study was to evaluate the time spent above 90% [Formula: see text]O2peak (T > 90% [Formula: see text]O2peak) during three different HIIT protocols.

Methods: Twelve cyclists performed three HIIT sessions. Each protocol had the same work and recovery power and ratio of work·recovery-1. The protocols consisted of long-interval HIIT (LIHIIT, 3 min work-2 min recovery), short-interval HIIT (SIHIIT, 30 s work-20 s recovery), and high-intensity decreasing interval training (HIDIT, work from 3 min to 30 s and recovery from 2 min to 20 s). T > 90% [Formula: see text]O2peak, Tlim, blood lactate [La], and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured at Tlim.

Results: T > 90% [Formula: see text]O2peak was greater in HIDIT (312 ± 207 s) than in SIHIIT (182 ± 225 s; P = 0.036) or LIHIIT (179 ± 145 s; P = 0.027). Tlim was not significantly different (P > 0.05) between HIDIT (798 ± 185 s), SIHIIT (714 ± 265 s), and LIHIIT (664 ± 282). At Tlim, no differences in [La] and RPE were found between protocols (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: HIDIT showed the highest T > 90% [Formula: see text]O2peak, suggesting that it may be a good strategy to increase time close to [Formula: see text]O2peak, despite similar Tlim, [La], and RPE at Tlim.

Keywords: HIIT; O2max; O2max training; Time at O2max.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anaerobic Threshold*
  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness
  • High-Intensity Interval Training / methods*
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Random Allocation


  • Lactic Acid