Cardiac autonomic disturbance following sprint-interval exercise in untrained young males: Does exercise volume matter?

Yingfeng Ye, Tomas K Tong, Zhaowei Kong, Emma Dan Tao, Xiaohua Ying*, Jinlei Nie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the influences of the volume of all-out sprint-interval exercise (SIE) on acute post-exercise heart rate variability (HRV) recovery.

Methods:HRV recovery following a session of (i) 2 × 30-s SIE (SIE2), (ii) 4 × 30-s SIE (SIE4), and (iii) non-exercising control (CON) were compared in 15 untrained young males. Time domain [standard deviation of normal-to-normal intervals, root mean square of successive R-R differences] and frequency domain [low frequency (0.04–0.14 Hz), high frequency (0.15–0.40 Hz)] measures of HRV were assessed every 20 min for 140 min after the exercise, and every hour during the first 4h of actual sleep time at immediate night. All trials were scheduled at 19:00.
Results:In comparison to CON, both SIE2 and SIE4 attenuated the HRV markedly (p < 0.05), while the declined HRV restored progressively during recovery. Although the sprint repetitions of SIE4 was twice as that of SIE2, the declined HRV indices at corresponding time points during recovery were not different between the two trials (p > 0.05). Nevertheless, the post-exercise HRV restoration in SIE2 appeared to be faster than that in SIE4. Regardless, nocturnal HRV measured within 10h following the exercise was not different among the SIE and CON trials (p > 0.05).
Conclusion:Such findings suggest that the exercise volume of the SIE protocol may be a factor affecting the rate of removal of the cardiac autonomic disturbance following the exercise. In addition, rest for ∼10h following either session of the SIE protocol appears to be appropriate for the cardiovascular system to recover.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Exercise Science and Fitness
Issue number1
Early online date30 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

User-Defined Keywords

  • Sprint-interval training
  • Heart rate variability
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Cardiac parasympathetic activity
  • Cardiac health


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