Effect of two doses of interval training on maximal fat oxidation in sedentary women

Todd A. Astorino, Matthew M. Schubert, Elyse Palumbo, Douglas Stirling, David W. McMillan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: The primary aim of the current study was to determine the effect of two doses of chronic high-intensity interval training (HIT) on changes in maximal fat oxidation (MFO) and body composition. METHODS: Sedentary women (N = 23, age and V̇O2max = 24.2 ± 6.2 yr and 30.3 ± 5.2 mL·kg·min, respectively) completed either high (HI) (80%-90% maximal workload) or moderate (MOD) intensity (60%-80% maximal workload) HIT on a cycle ergometer 3 d·wk for 12 wk consisting of 6-10 sixty-second bouts interspersed with active recovery. Seven women of similar age and fitness level served as controls. Every 3 wk, substrate oxidation was assessed during progressive exercise via indirect calorimetry to determine MFO and minimum fat oxidation, and body composition was assessed every 6 wk. Repeated-measures ANOVA was used to examine changes in substrate oxidation in response to training, with training group used as a between-subjects variable. RESULTS: Results revealed improved MFO (P = 0.04, 19%-25%) and minimum fat oxidation (P = 0.001, 22-24 W) in response to HIT, yet the magnitude of improvement was similar (P > 0.05) between training paradigms. No change (P > 0.05) in body weight, percent body fat, or waist-hip circumference was revealed with training. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that 12 wk of either moderate or more strenuous interval training similarly enhance fat oxidation in sedentary women but do not alter body weight or body composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1878-1886
Number of pages9
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cycle ergometry
  • Exercise
  • Interval training
  • Respiratory exchange ratio
  • Substrate use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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