Physiological basis of interval training for performance enhancement
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NEW FINDINGS: What is the topic of this review? This review considers the physiological basis of interval training for performance enhancement, with an emphasis on the capacity for aerobic energy provision. What advances does it highlight? It highlights advances regarding the effect of interval training on primary physiological determinants of aerobic energy provision, which are associated with performance. ABSTRACT: Interval training refers to an intermittent style of exercise, in which bouts of more intense effort are interspersed with recovery periods within a given training session. Physiological responses to interval training depend on numerous factors, including the specific nature of the intervention and the initial training state of the individual. Interval training improves performance in part by enhancing the capacity for aerobic energy provision, even in those who are already trained. Two primary mechanisms in this regard are an increased whole-body maximal oxygen uptake and an enhanced capacity for oxidative metabolism in skeletal muscle owing to an increase in mitochondria. In comparison to moderate-intensity continuous exercise, interval training can elicit superior responses when total work is matched, and similar responses despite a reduced training volume and time commitment.
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