This study examined the effects of 12 weeks of sprint interval training (SIT), high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) on cardiorespiratory fitness (peak oxygen uptake, VO2peak), body composition and physical activity enjoyment in overweight young women. Sixty-six participants (age 21.2 ± 1.4 years, body mass index (BMI) 26.0 ± 3.0 kg·m−2, body fat percentage 39.0 ± 2.8%) were randomly assigned to non-exercise control (CON), thrice-weekly SIT (80 × 6 s “all-out” cycling interspersed with 9 s rest), and HIIT (4 min cycling at 90% VO2peak followed with 3 min recovery for ~ 60 min) or MICT (~ 65 min continuous cycling at 60% VO2peak) with equivalent mechanical work (200/300 KJ). Compared to the CON group, all three training groups had significant and similar improvements in VO2peak (~ +20%, d = 2.5–3.4), fat mass (~ −10%, d = 1.3–2.1) and body fat percentage (~ −5%, d = 1.0–1.1) after a 12-week intervention. Similar high levels of enjoyment were observed among groups for most (~70%) of the training sessions. The findings suggest that the three training regimes are equally enjoyable and could result in similar improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition in overweight/obese young women, but SIT is a more time-efficient strategy.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- high-intensity interval training
- intermittent exercise
- psychological responses
- repeated sprint training