The effects of short work vs. longer work periods within intermittent exercise on V̇o2p kinetics, muscle deoxygenation, and energy system contribution.
We examined the effects of inserting 3-s recovery periods during high-intensity cycling exercise at 25-s and 10-s intervals on pulmonary oxygen uptake (V̇o2p), muscle deoxygenation [deoxyhemoglobin (HHb)], their associated kinetics (τ), and energy system contributions. Eleven men (24 ± 3 yr) completed two trials of three cycling protocols: an 8-min continuous protocol (CONT) and two 8-min intermittent exercise protocols with work-to-rest periods of 25 s to 3 s (25INT) and 10 s to 3 s (10INT). Each protocol began with a step-transition from a 20-W baseline to a power output (PO) of 60% between lactate threshold and maximal V̇o2p (Δ60). This PO was maintained for 8 min in CONT, whereas 3-s periods of 20-W cycling were inserted every 10 s and 25 s after the transition to Δ60 in 10INT and 25INT, respectively. Breath-by-breath gas exchange measured by mass spectrometry and turbine and vastus lateralis [HHb] measured by near-infrared spectroscopy were recorded throughout. Arterialized-capillary lactate concentration ([Lac–]) was obtained before and 2 min postexercise. The τV̇o2p was lowest (P < 0.05) for 10INT (24 ± 4 s) and 25INT (23 ± 5 s) compared with CONT (28 ± 4 s), whereas HHb kinetics did not differ (P > 0.05) between conditions. Postexercise [Lac–] was lowest (P < 0.05) for 10INT (7.0 ± 1.7 mM), was higher for 25INT (10.3 ± 1.9 mM), and was greatest in CONT (14.3 ± 3.1 mM). Inserting 3-s recovery periods during heavy-intensity exercise speeded V̇o2p kinetics and reduced overall V̇o2p, suggesting an increased reliance on PCr-derived phosphorylation during the work period of INT compared with an identical PO performed continuously.
NEW & NOTEWORTHY
We report novel observations on the effects of differing heavy-intensity work durations between 3-s recovery periods on pulmonary oxygen uptake (V̇o2p) kinetics, muscle deoxygenation, and energy system contributions. Relative to continuous exercise, V̇o2p kinetics are faster in intermittent exercise, and increased frequency of 3-s recovery periods improves microvascular O2 delivery and reduces V̇o2p and arterialized-capillary lactate concentration. The metabolic burden of identical intensity work is altered when performed intermittently vs. continuously.
Swim coaches should consider doing more short rest-periods within training, as it may provide similar power output and more PCr-derived phosphorylation.
- McCrudden MC1, Keir DA1, Belfry GR2. The effects of short work vs. longer work periods within intermittent exercise on V̇o2p kinetics, muscle deoxygenation, and energy system contribution. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2017 Jun 1;122(6):1435-1444. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00514.2016. Epub 2017 Mar 23.