High-intensity interval training improves fat oxidation during submaximal exercise in active young men

A. Ahmadi*, H. Rajabi, J.S. Baker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


This study aimed to examine the effects of four-weeks high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on fat oxidation responses during submaximal exercise in active young men. For this purpose, 20 active young men (who participated in the exercise three times per week) were divided into two groups, including a training group (age: 19.3±0.48 years, VO2peak 2.9±0.35 l/min, n=10) and a control group (age: 19.7±0.67 years, V̇O2peak 2.7±0.26 l/min, n=10). The training group performed high-intensity interval training for three sessions per week. Specifically, each session included 8-11 intensive cycling efforts comprising of 60 s duration. A 75 s low pedalling rate (30 W) was used as an active recovery between the intervals. Furthermore, a V̇O2peak test was performed prior to, at the end of two weeks and after the training period. Also, a 60 min constant cycling protocol was performed at ~60% V̇O2peak, in addition to the V̇O2peak test, before and after the training protocol. To assess plasma free fatty acids and glucose, blood samples were taken during a 60-min aerobic exercise prior to and following the training period. An increase (17.8%) in VO2peak was observed for the HIIT group after the training period compared to the control group (P<0.05). The HIIT group performed the 60 min sub-maximal exercise test at a lower percentage of V̇O2peak, and decreases in the respiratory exchange ratio were greater in the HIIT group than in the control group (P<0.05). Compared to the pre-test values and control group results, the HIIT group used less carbohydrate and more lipid oxidation during submaximal exercise (P<0.05). The present study’s results indicate that short-term low volume HIIT can increase aerobic capacity and fat oxidation during submaximal exercise

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-238
Number of pages10
JournalComparative Exercise Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biophysics
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • veterinary (miscellaneous)
  • Physiology (medical)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Active young men
  • High-intensity interval training
  • RER
  • Training volume
  • V̇O2peak


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