Comparison of Cardiorespiratory and Metabolic Responses in Kettlebell High-Intensity Interval Training Versus Sprint Interval Cycling

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Williams, BM and Kraemer, RR. Comparison of cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses in kettlebell high-intensity interval training versus sprint interval cycling. J Strength Cond Res 29(12): 3317–3325, 2015—The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a novel exercise protocol we developed for kettlebell high-intensity interval training (KB-HIIT) by comparing the cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses to a standard sprint interval cycling (SIC) exercise protocol. Eight men volunteered for the study and completed 2 preliminary sessions, followed by two 12-minute sessions of KB-HIIT and SIC in a counterbalanced fashion. In the KB-HITT session, 3 circuits of 4 exercises were performed using a Tabata regimen. In the SIC session, three 30-second sprints were performed, with 4 minutes of recovery in between the first 2 sprints and 2.5 minutes of recovery after the last sprint. A within-subjects' design over multiple time points was used to compare oxygen consumption (V[Combining Dot Above]O2), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), tidal volume (TV), breathing frequency (f), minute ventilation (VE), caloric expenditure rate (kcal·min−1), and heart rate (HR) between the exercise protocols. Additionally, total caloric expenditure was compared. A significant group effect, time effect, and group × time interaction were found for V[Combining Dot Above]O2, RER, and TV, with V[Combining Dot Above]O2 being higher and TV and RER being lower in the KB-HIIT compared with the SIC. Only a significant time effect and group × time interaction were found for f, VE, kcal·min−1, and HR. Additionally, total caloric expenditure was found to be significantly higher during the KB-HIIT. The results of this study suggest that KB-HIIT may be more attractive and sustainable than SIC and can be effective in stimulating cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses that could improve health and aerobic performance.

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