OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effect of high intensity training (HIT) on physical fitness, basal respiratory exchange ratio (bRER), insulin sensitivity and muscle histology in overweight/obese men compared to continuous aerobic training (CAT).

MATERIAL AND METHODS: 16 male participants with overweight/obesity (age: 42-57 years, body mass index: 28-36 kg/m2) were randomized to HIT (n=8) or CAT (n=8) for 10 weeks, twice a week. HIT was composed of 10 minutes high intensity, 10 minutes continuous aerobic, 10 minutes high intensity exercises. CAT was composed of three times 10 minutes continuous exercising. Changes in anthropometry, physical and metabolic fitness were evaluated. Muscle histology (mitochondria and lipid content) was evaluated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

RESULTS: HIT showed a significant increase for peak VO2 (P=0.01), for insulin sensitivity (AUC glucose (P<0,001), AUC insulin (P<0,001), OGTT composite score (P=0.007)) and a significant decrease of bRER (P<0.001) compared to CAT. Muscle mitochondrial content was significantly increased after HIT at the subsarcolemmal (P=0.004 number and P=0.001 surface) as well as the intermyofibrillar site (P<0.001 number and P=0.001 surface).

CONCLUSION: High intensity training elicits stronger beneficial effects on physical fitness, basal RER, insulin sensitivity, and muscle mitochondrial content, as compared to continuous aerobic training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-226
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

    Research areas

  • High intensity interval training, Insulin sensitivity, Mitochondria, Overweight/Obesity

ID: 38565094