Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Health Sciences


Evidence suggests that sprint interval training (SIT) is a time efficient alternative for improving aerobic fitness or insulin sensitivity due to its reduced training volume and is of increasing interest since most sedentary individuals indicate lack of time as their number one barrier to being physically active. However, most SIT research uses cycling exercise performed with healthy active males, and limited research examines its effects on women or individuals at higher risk for inactivity related diseases, as well as different modes of exercise. PURPOSE: To evaluate the effects of running SIT (R-SIT) versus moderate intensity endurance training (MIET) on aerobic capacity, resting HR, BP, body composition, blood lipids, and glucose in sedentary, overweight/obese women. METHODS: Twelve sedentary, overweight/obese women (30.7±7.4kg/m2, 33.6±5.8y, 27.9±6.5ml/kg/min) were randomly divided into two 12-week training protocols, each for 3 days per week. The R-SIT group (n=5) completed 4-10 bouts of 30s “all out” sprints on a motorized treadmill at a 3-5% incline with 4 min active recovery. The MIET group (n=7) completed 30-60 min of moderate intensity (45-55% HRR) walking on a treadmill at a 3-5% incline. RESULTS: VO2max significantly improved 19.7% with R-SIT (mean ± SD; 29.59±7.3 to 35.57±10.4 ml/kg/min) and 38.6% with MIET (26.74±35.29±6.6 ml/kg/min) pre to post (p0.05). CONCLUSION: Despite the reduced time commitment, R-SIT elicits similar improvements in aerobic fitness and was more effective at improving body composition than MIET in sedentary, overweight/obese women. Additionally, there is suggestive evidence that R-SIT may induce greater improvements in fat mass, triglycerides, and HbA1c measures. This study provides practical application for the implementation of R-SIT to reduce risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease in sedentary, overweight/obese population. More research is necessary to determine the extent of these reductions. xi