High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) vs. Traditional Continuous Training (CT): Testing the Cardiovascular Benefits Across A Wide Age Specturm- A Pilot Study
Grobler, Neil S.
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High intensity interval training (HIIT) has evolved into a popular method of cardiovascular training over recent years, however its benefits have only been explored in specific populations. It has rarely been studied in comparison to continuous training (CT). Thirteen healthy participants (21-44 years; 5 males, 8 females) were assigned to 1 of 2 groups based on baseline VO2max, gender, and age. Six participants (4 female, 2 male; VO2max average 37.370 ± 3.812 ml/kg/min) executed a HIIT regimen lasting 5 weeks, while the remaining seven individuals (4 female, 3 male; VO2max avg 39.896 ± 5.161 ml/ kg/min) participated in a CT regimen of equal duration. Subjects assigned to the CT group realized a significant change in exercise test time from initial to final testing, which resulted in an overall significant change in VO2max values. Subjects who were assigned to the HIIT group did prove an overall change, however, the level of change was not statistically significant. Although the CT group experienced significant change from initial to final testing (within group), the between group analysis did not yield significant results, perhaps due to small sample size. All individuals experienced an increase in overall exercise time and VO2max values from initial to final testing, regardless of exercise group assignment. Although no significant difference was apparent when analyzing exercise time and subsequently VO2max values between the two experimental groups, the statistical significance experienced independently within the CT group warrants further investigation with a larger sample size to yield more conclusive results. In this regard, when compared, neither HIIT nor CT truly proved to be a more beneficial or effective form of training, potentially allowing HIIT to be a viable substitute for CT in terms of cardiovascular exercise.