Stimulus Level during Endurance Training: Effects on Lactate Kinetics in Untrained Men

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Tuttor, Michael
von Stengel, Simon
Hettchen, Michael
Kemmler, Wolfgang

Background/Objective. Not only but particularly due to their time efficiency, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is becoming increasingly popular in fitness-oriented endurance sports. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a HIIT running program versus a Moderate Intensity Continuous Exercise (MICE) training running program (16 weeks each) on lactate kinetics in untrained males. Methods. 65 healthy but untrained males (30-50 years, BMI: 27.2 ± 3.7kg/m2) were randomly assigned to either an HIIT (n=33) or a waiting-control/MICE group (n=32). HIIT consisted of intervals and intense continuous running bouts at or above the individual anaerobic threshold (IANS, 95-110% of IANS-HR), while MICE focused on continuous running at 70-82.5% IANS-HR. Both programs were adjusted for “total workload”. Study endpoints were time to IANS and time from IANS till “time to exhaustion” (TTE) as assessed by stepwise treadmill test. Results. In both exercise groups time to reach IANS (MICE: 320 ± 160 s versus HIIT: 198 ± 118 s) increased significantly (p<.001), with the groups differing significantly (p<.001). Time from IANS until TTE was prolonged significantly among the HIIT group (27 ± 66s, p=.030), while among the MICE group a significant reduction of time from IANS until TTE (59 ± 109s; p=.017) was determined. Between-group difference is significant (p=.003) for this parameter. In both groups TTE increased significantly (HIIT: 27.2 ± 17.7% versus MICE: 29.0 ± 19.4%, both p<.001) at a similar level (p=.279). Conclusion. HIIT and MICE protocols, when adjusted for total workload, similarly increased running performance in untrained male subjects; however, the underlying mechanisms differ fundamentally. Due to its effects on aerobic and anaerobic performance improvement, HIIT can be recommended for untrained individuals as a time-efficient alternative or complementary training method to MICE. However, our protocol did not confirm the general superiority of HIIT versus MICE on the key endurance parameter “time to exhaustion” that has been reported by other comparative exercise studies.

Journal Title
Journal of Sports Medicine
Journal of Sports Medicine 2018 (2018). <>
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