Effects of a 6-Week Upper Extremity Low-Volume, High Intensity Interval Training on Oxygen Uptake, Peak Power Output and Total Exercise Time
The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of upper extremity (UE) high intensity interval training (HIIT) to UE continuous training (CT) when training at a similar intensity. 20 participants (mean age = 23 ± 3 yrs) were randomly assigned to either a HIIT (n = 10) or CT (n = 10) group. Participants completed a graded exercise test utilizing arm cranking prior to and following 6 wks (2 sessions · wk-1) of UE training. During sessions, HIIT performed 10 repetitions of 60 s of work at 92.3 ± 1.0% of the arm HRpeak (%aHRpeak) and 60 s of passive recovery (%aHRpeak = 73.0 ± 4.0%) yielding an average training intensity of 82.6 ± 1.5 %aHRpeak. CT exercised for 20 min. at an average intensity of 81.9 ± 2.2 %aHRpeak. Following training HIIT showed greater improvement in V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak compared to CT (Δ = 4.1 ml · min-¹ · kg-¹, 95%CI: 1.3 - 6.9 ml · min-¹ · kg-¹, p = .007). Total exercise time during the post-test GXT was also improved as a result of HIIT (Δ = 1.4 min, 95%CI: 0.4 - 2.3 min, p = .008). Both groups improved peak power output, but no difference was observed between them (Δ = 3.3 W, 95%CI: -3.3 - 9.9 W, p = .305). For a similar time investment, HIIT appeared to improve cardiopulmonary capacity and exercise time to a greater extent than CT and may be a time-efficient alternative for those who incorporate UE aerobic activity into a training program.