Shorter sprints elicit greater cardiorespiratory and mechanical responses with less fatigue during time-matched sprint interval training (SIT) sessions
The aim of this study was to compare the physiological, mechanical and perceptual responses of two sprint interval training (SIT) sessions with short vs. long sprints; and to verify if those differences could be reflected in measures of acute fatigue. Eleven physically active males performed, after maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) determination, SIT5s (16×5 s with 24 s of recovery) and SIT20s (4×20 s with 120 s of recovery) in random order in a cycle ergometer. Physiological, mechanical, and perceptual responses were evaluated during and after sessions. Countermovement jump (CMJ) and autonomic control of heart rate (HR) were evaluated before and after sessions. Diet was also controlled. SIT5s exhibited greater HR, VO2, power, and total work (TW) (p<0.05). In contrast, respiratory exchange ratio (RER), rate of fatigue (RF), and blood lactate (BLa) % change were greater in SIT20s (p<0.05). Perceived exertion and feeling scale (FS) scores were similar during both protocols (p>0.05). A faster HR recovery (HRR) and a higher CMJ were observed after SIT5s (p<0.05). However, HR variability (HRV) was similarly depressed after both protocols (p>0.05). Some correlations between mechanical and physiological responses were revealed only in SIT5s. The SIT session with short sprints demonstrated to be more efficient as exhibited greater mechanical responses associated to a higher oxidative activity, when compared to a volume matched SIT protocol of longer sprints. Simple monitoring tools as HRR and CMJ could help practitioners for detecting differences in acute fatigue after different SIT sessions.
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