Practical Model of Low-Volume Paddling-Based Sprint Interval Training Improves Aerobic and Anaerobic Performances in Professional Female Canoe Polo Athletes

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Brief, intense exercise training employing running and cycling as exercise interventions may induce aerobic and anaerobic adaptations in athletes from wide range of sports. However, this has not been studied extensively for those sports in which the upper-body is predominantly involved. Our purpose was to examine the effects of kayak paddling-based sprint interval training (SIT) on cardiorespiratory fitness and anaerobic performance. 16 professional female canoe polo athletes (age = 27.6 ± 1.9 years; height = 165.7 ± 5.2 cm; body mass = 62.6 ± 8.5 kg; BMI = 22.8 kg·m-2; Body fat = 23.8 ± 4.9 %) were randomized to either an intense exercise training consisting of sets of 5×5-second maximum sprint efforts interspersed by a 10-second recovery between each sprint (3,4,5,6 sets/session from 1st to 4th week respectively with 3 minutes of rest between each set), performed three times per week for 4 weeks (n=8), or a usual training control group (n=8). Before and after the training period, aerobic and anaerobic measurements were assessed via a kayak specific test and Wingate protocol respectively. Training increased V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak, O2 pulse, anaerobic threshold, peak and mean power output in the SIT group compared to control group (p<0.05) who showed no changes in these variables when tested 4 weeks apart without SIT. Paddling-based SIT was a potent stimulus and time-efficient strategy to induce rapid adaptations in aerobic and anaerobic performances in professional female canoe polo athletes who can use this training method to achieve fitness in a short time period.

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