Main content area

Modified sprint interval training protocols. Part II. Psychological responses1

Townsend, Logan K., Islam, Hashim, Dunn, Emily, Eys, Mark, Robertson-Wilson, Jennifer, Hazell, Tom J.
Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 2016 v.42 no.4 pp. 347-353
body mass index, exercise, males, metabolism, nutrition, oxygen consumption, self-efficacy
Sprint-interval training (SIT) is a viable method to improve health and fitness. However, researchers have questioned the utility of SIT because of its strenuous nature. The current study aimed to determine if manipulating the sprint and recovery duration, while maintaining the 1:8 work to rest ratio, could uncover a more favourable SIT protocol. Nine healthy active males (age, 23.3 ± 3.0 years; body mass index, 22.4 ± 2.2 kg·m⁻²; maximal oxygen consumption, 48.9 ± 5.3 mL·kg⁻¹·min⁻¹) participated in 3 experimental running SIT sessions: (i) 30:240 (4 × 30-s efforts, 240-s recovery), (ii) 15:120 (8 × 15-s efforts, 120-s recovery), (iii) 5:40 (24 × 5-s efforts, 40-s recovery), and (iv) a final behavioural choice follow-up session. Affect, intentions, task self-efficacy, enjoyment, and preference were evaluated. Midway through exercise, affect became more positive for 5:40 compared with 30:240 (p < 0.05) and postexercise affect was greater for both 5:40 (p = 0.014) and 15:120 (p = 0.015) compared with 30:240. Participants expressed greater intentions to perform 5:40 3 and 5 times/week compared with 15:120 and 30:240 (p < 0.05). Participants felt more confident in their ability to perform 5:40 (p = 0.001) and 15:120 (p = 0.008) compared with 30:240. The 5:40 session was also rated as more enjoyable than 15:120 (p = 0.025) and 30:240 (p = 0.026). All participants preferred the 5:40 protocol. These data suggest that shorter sprints with more repetitions are perceived as more enjoyable and lead to greater intentions to engage in SIT.