Sprint interval training (SIT) is an effective method to maintain cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and glucose homeostasis in Scottish adolescents

Rhona Martin, Duncan Buchanan, Julien Baker, John Young, Nicholas Sculthorpe, Fergal M Grace

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The present study examined the physiological impact of a school based sprint interval training (SIT) intervention in replacement of standard physical education (SPE) class on cardio-respiratory fitness (CRF) and glucose homeostasis during the semester following summer vacation. Participants (n=49) were randomly allocated to either intervention (SIT; n=26, aged 16.9 ± 0.3 yrs) or control group who underwent standard physical education (SPE; n=23, aged 16.8 ± 0.6 yrs). CRF (VO2max) and glucose homeostasis were obtained prior-to and following 7 weeks of SIT exercise. Significant group x time interaction was observed for CRF (P<0.01) with non-significant trends for fasting insulin (P= 0.08), and HOMA-IR (P = 0.06). CRF decreased (P<0.01) in SPE such that POST intervention CRF was significantly lower (P< 0.05) in SPE. Fasting plasma glucose (P<0.01), insulin (P< 0.01) and HOMA-IR (P< 0.01) increased significantly amongst SPE. The main finding of the present study is that 7-weeks of SIT exercise is an effective method of maintaining (but not improving) CRF and fasting insulin homeostasis amongst school-going adolescents. SIT exercise demonstrates potential as a time-efficient physiological adjunct to standard PE class in order to maintain CRF during the school term.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-313
JournalBiology of Sport
Issue number4
Early online date10 Oct 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Oct 2015



  • adolescents
  • sprint interval training (SIT)
  • cardio-respiratory fitness (CRF)

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