Effect of Intensity of Aerobic Training on VO2max

Shannan E. Gormley; David P. Swain; Renee High; Robert J. Spina; Elizabeth A. Dowling; Ushasri S. Kotipalli; Ramya Gandrakota


Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008;40(7):1336-1343. 

In This Article


These results indicate that when exercise volume is controlled, vigorous-intensity exercise is more effective for improving V˙O2max than moderate-intensity exercise in a healthy adult population at low risk for cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, the most effective training was interval exercise performed at near-maximal intensity. This study contributes to a growing body of evidence concerning the beneficial effects of higher-intensity exercise for improvements in V˙O2max, as well as potential benefits for cardiovascular health.[33]

One concern with higher-intensity exercise is the possibility of poor adherence or "burnout." In the current study, vigorous-intensity training was performed for 5 wk, and interval training was performed for only 4 wk, with excellent compliance. Of course, subjects were supervised and received incentives for completing the study. Nonetheless, no problems were observed over the duration of the training program. Interval training is not traditionally used for extended periods of time, but further research should consider its benefits and potential deleterious effects. Additional clinical trials should investigate possible long-term health benefits of vigorous and higher-intensity training. This study illustrated short-term improvements in aerobic fitness for all groups, but further experimentation is warranted. A longer duration of training may result in a greater training effect on other variables, such as resting HR and BP.

The results of the present study do not constitute endorsement by ACSM.

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