Sprint interval training in older adults: recovery, acute effects, and training adaptations

Yasar, Zerbu ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8838-7286 (2023) Sprint interval training in older adults: recovery, acute effects, and training adaptations. Doctoral thesis, University of Cumbria.

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Rationale & Introduction: Human ageing is presently characterised by an unavoidable biological ageing process following maturation, which occurs in the 2nd decade of life. Consequently, a decline in overall human functioning is observed. However, this process can be skewed to decelerate the ageing process and increase human functioning with the adoption of lifestyle changes. The focus of this thesis was to analyse the relevance of physical activity and its effects on markers of physical functioning and investigate the physiological and practical efficacy of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and more specifically sprint interval training (SIT) as a method of improving physical functioning in ageing cohorts.

Studies Overview: A systematic review meta-analysis was conducted with a focus on the physiological outcomes of HIIT interventions in older people. Study one investigated the peak power output recovery following 3 and 5 days of rest following SIT. Study two compared the physiological, psychological, and perceptive responses to SIT in three distinct modes: static sprinting, cycle ergometry, and box stepping. Study three investigated the effects of an 8 week SIT intervention in older adults on aerobic capacity, hemodynamics, and muscle power.

Results: Systematic review meta-analysis) HIIT interventions were found to have a positive effect on aerobic capacity (standard difference in means [SDM] = 0.74)), muscle power (SDM = 1.13), muscle strength (SDM = 0.19), and lean body mass (SDM = 0.17), and a negative effect on body fat (SDM = -0.30). Study 1) The findings suggest that older individuals recover similarly between 3 and 5 five days of rest following SIT with a small effect (p = 0.702, n2p = 0.022). Study 2) The findings of study two indicate that static sprinting and the cycle ergometer modes are likely more suitable to providing the physiological stimulus required to instigate adaptations to SIT. A medium effect of exercise mode for peak oxygen uptake (VȮ̇̇̇2peak) was observed (n2=0.213, p=0.091), a large effect was observed for peak blood lactate (BLapeak) between exercise modes (n2=0.712, p<0.001), a large effect was observed for peak rating of perceived exertion (RPE) between exercise modes (n2=0.390, p=0.007), and a medium effect was observed for the PACES (Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale) total between exercise modes (n2=0.255, p=0.052). Study 3) The results of study three suggest that SIT is effective at improving aerobic capacity, hemodynamic function, and muscle power. There was a small effect of time on body mass index (BMI; p=0.210, n2=0.122), a small effect of time on systolic blood pressure (p=0.111, n2=0.167), a medium effect of time on diastolic blood pressure (p=0.027, n2=0.260), a large effect of time on mean arterial pressure (p=0.027, n2=0.260), no effect of time on resting heart rate (p=0.578, n2=0.045), a medium effect of time on peak heart rate (HRpeak; p=0.032, n2=0.250), no effect of time on postural sway (p=0.258, n2=0.107), a large effect of time on muscle power measured by the Herbert 6s peak power output (PPO) test (p=0.018, n2=0.517), a large effect of time on countermovement jump power (p=0.008, n2=0.332), a large effect of time on countermovement jump height (p=0.004, n2=0.370), a small effect of time on V̇̇O2max (p=0.017, n2=0.137), no effect of time on O2 pulse (p=0.289, n2=0.009), a medium effect of time on the anaerobic threshold (AT) as a percentage of V̇̇O2max (AT % @ V̇̇O2max) (p=0.035, n2=0.243), and a medium effect of time on power at V̇̇O2max (p=0.010, n2=0.292).

Conclusion: The systematic review meta-analysis observed increased aerobic capacity, muscle power, muscle strength, lean body mass, and decreased fat mass with HIIT in older adults. However, the low number of studies reduces the reliability of findings. Peak power output recovery in older adults is similar at 3- and 5-days following SIT. SIT performed as different exercise modes (static sprinting, cycle ergometer, box stepping) result in different physiological, psychological, and perceptive responses. Static sprinting SIT performed twice a week over 8 weeks improves aerobic capacity, muscle power, and hemodynamic function in already physically active older adults.

Item Type: Thesis/Dissertation (Doctoral)
Departments: Institute of Health > Rehabilitation and Sport Science
Additional Information: A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Lancaster University Medical School / University of Cumbria Institute of Health, December 2023, word count: 66,279.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2023 11:35
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 15:46
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/7480


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