Low-Volume, High-Intensity Interval Training in Patients With CAD

Katharine D. Currie; Jonathan B. Dubberley; Robert S. Mckelvie; Maureen J. Macdonald


Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013;45(8):1436-1442. 

In This Article


Given that "lack of time" is one of the commonly cited barriers to exercise adherence in cardiac rehabilitation, time-efficient exercise programs pose an advantageous treatment strategy for patients with cardiovascular diseases. This study demonstrated training-induced improvements in fitness and brachial artery FMD after 12 wk of END and time-efficient low-volume HIT, with no difference in the magnitude of response between exercise programs. Our findings are consistent with the previous body of literature examining low-volume interval prescriptions in young healthy populations and suggest that shorter duration interval protocols may be a sufficient prescription to infer health benefits in more clinically relevant populations. Although it is difficult to draw conclusions regarding the clinical effect of the adaptations observed, the ability to elicit favorable improvements with low-volume HIT is noteworthy, especially given the HIT group performed approximately half the amount of work than the END group. This study also demonstrated the feasibility of low-volume HIT in cardiac rehabilitation. We reported no adverse events and no difference in exercise program adherence, despite differences in exercise intensities. In conclusion, the findings from this study provide preliminary evidence in support of low-volume high-intensity interval exercise prescriptions in patients with CAD and support the continued investigation of alternative exercise prescriptions for individuals with CAD, including low-volume HIT protocols.