Fibre-Specific Responses to Endurance and Low Volume High Intensity Interval Training: Striking Similarities in Acute and Chronic Adaptation Journal Articles uri icon

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  • The current study involved the completion of two distinct experiments. Experiment 1 compared fibre specific and whole muscle responses to acute bouts of either low-volume high-intensity interval training (LV-HIT) or moderate-intensity continuous endurance exercise (END) in a randomized crossover design. Experiment 2 examined the impact of a six-week training intervention (END or LV-HIT; 4 days/week), on whole body and skeletal muscle fibre specific markers of aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Six recreationally active men (Age: 20.7 ± 3.8 yrs; VO2peak: 51.9 ± 5.1 mL/kg/min) reported to the lab on two separate occasions for experiment 1. Following a muscle biopsy taken in a fasted state, participants completed an acute bout of each exercise protocol (LV-HIT: 8, 20-second intervals at ∼ 170% of VO2peak separated by 10 seconds of rest; END: 30 minutes at ∼ 65% of VO2peak), immediately followed by a muscle biopsy. Glycogen content of type I and IIA fibres was significantly (p<0.05) reduced, while p-ACC was significantly increased (p<0.05) following both protocols. Nineteen recreationally active males (n = 16) and females (n = 3) were VO2peak-matched and assigned to either the LV-HIT (n = 10; 21 ± 2 yrs) or END (n = 9; 20.7 ± 3.8 yrs) group for experiment 2. After 6 weeks, both training protocols induced comparable increases in aerobic capacity (END: Pre: 48.3 ± 6.0, Mid: 51.8 ± 6.0, Post: 55.0 ± 6.3 mL/kg/min LV-HIT: Pre: 47.9 ± 8.1, Mid: 50.4 ± 7.4, Post: 54.7 ± 7.6 mL/kg/min), fibre-type specific oxidative and glycolytic capacity, glycogen and IMTG stores, and whole-muscle capillary density. Interestingly, only LV-HIT induced greater improvements in anaerobic performance and estimated whole-muscle glycolytic capacity. These results suggest that 30 minutes of END exercise at ∼ 65% VO2peak or 4 minutes of LV-HIT at ∼ 170% VO2peak induce comparable changes in the intra-myocellular environment (glycogen content and signaling activation); correspondingly, training-induced adaptations resulting for these protocols, and other HIT and END protocols are strikingly similar.


  • Scribbans, Trisha D
  • Edgett, Brittany A
  • Vorobej, Kira
  • Mitchell, Andrew S
  • Joanisse, Sophie D
  • Matusiak, Jennifer BL
  • Parise, Gianni
  • Quadrilatero, Joe
  • Gurd, Brendon J

publication date

  • 2014