Muscle performance and enzymatic adaptations to sprint interval training

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1998 Jun;84(6):2138-42. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1998.84.6.2138.


Our purpose was to examine the effects of sprint interval training on muscle glycolytic and oxidative enzyme activity and exercise performance. Twelve healthy men (22 +/- 2 yr of age) underwent intense interval training on a cycle ergometer for 7 wk. Training consisted of 30-s maximum sprint efforts (Wingate protocol) interspersed by 2-4 min of recovery, performed three times per week. The program began with four intervals with 4 min of recovery per session in week 1 and progressed to 10 intervals with 2.5 min of recovery per session by week 7. Peak power output and total work over repeated maximal 30-s efforts and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) were measured before and after the training program. Needle biopsies were taken from vastus lateralis of nine subjects before and after the program and assayed for the maximal activity of hexokinase, total glycogen phosphorylase, phosphofructokinase, lactate dehydrogenase, citrate synthase, succinate dehydrogenase, malate dehydrogenase, and 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase. The training program resulted in significant increases in peak power output, total work over 30 s, and VO2 max. Maximal enzyme activity of hexokinase, phosphofructokinase, citrate synthase, succinate dehydrogenase, and malate dehydrogenase was also significantly (P < 0.05) higher after training. It was concluded that relatively brief but intense sprint training can result in an increase in both glycolytic and oxidative enzyme activity, maximum short-term power output, and VO2 max.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Anaerobiosis / physiology
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / enzymology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Running / physiology*


  • Glycogen