Optimizing sprint interval exercise for post-exercise hypotension: A randomized crossover trial

Eur J Sport Sci. 2022 Mar 13;1-9. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2022.2046860. Online ahead of print.


This study aimed to examine the effects of manipulating the rest intervals during sprint interval training (SIT) on post-exercise hypotension and within-session oxygen consumption.Thirty healthy, trained adults (aged 30.9 ± 8.7 years; 14 males, 16 females; BMI 22.1 ± 2.3 kg/m2; VO2max 50.7 ± 7.8 ml/kg/min) completed two different SIT protocols (4x 30-seconds all-out cycling sprints) with a one-week washout period. Sprint bouts were separated by either 1 (R1) or 3 (R3) minutes of active recovery. Both before and throughout the 45 min after the training, peripheral systolic (pSBP) and diastolic (pDBP) blood pressure, central systolic (cSBP) and diastolic (cDBP) blood pressure, aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV), stroke volume (SV), and heart rate (HR) were assessed. Throughout the SIT protocols, oxygen consumption (VO2) was monitored.There were no significant differences in time spent at 75%, 85%, 95%, and 100% of maximal VO2 between R1 and R3. After R3, there was a significant reduction in pSBP, pDBP, cSBP, cDBP, and aPWV. After R1, there were no changes in the respective parameters. There were significant interaction effects in pSBD (p < 0.001), pDBP (p < 0.001), cSBP (p < 0.001), cDBP (p = 0.001), and aPWV (p = 0.033). HR significantly increased after both conditions. Only R1 resulted in a significant reduction in SV.Longer resting intervals during SIT bouts seem to result in more substantial post-exercise hypotension effects. Time spent at a high percentage of maximal VO2 was not affected by rest interval manipulation.

Keywords: Sprint interval training; blood pressure; hemodynamics; post-exercise hypotension; rest interval manipulation.