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A new study found that 20-second of sprint intervals are more effective and beneficial to performance and shorter intervals.

Those who enjoy interval training now have a guideline for the best ratio to improve muscle performance. A new study found that 20-second of sprint intervals are more effective and beneficial to performance and shorter intervals.

Published in the March 2024 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers from Waseda University in Japan found that two sprint intervals of 20 seconds in length, with 160-second recovery, resulted in better performance results compared to four 10-second sprints with 80-second recovery. 

The findings can help athletes better train for their sporting events while increasing overall fitness levels. 

“Exercise guidelines proposed by major organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine are updated every 5 to 10 years, and we are hopeful that our study can be a part of it. Future studies on SIE (sprint intensity exercises) can build on our findings to establish the dose-response relationship between exercise volume or intensity and the degree of training adaptations,” study researcher Dr. Takaki Yamagishi.

Sprinting study for sports physiology includes interval training findings.

Dr. Yamagishi from the Department of Sport Science and Research and a team that included Professor Yasuo Kawakami studied Vo2 levels, changes in tissue oxygenation index (∆TOI) in thigh muscles, as well as used MRI scans to see the activation of thigh muscle of healthy volunteers in this study. 

“Establishing a minimum dose of exercise training to bring about training benefits, such as aerobic fitness, has been one of my main research interests,” he said.

The study helps add to the field of sports physiology when it comes to optimizing sprint interval training protocols. Sprint intervals can be done in cycling, running, and walking. 

Lauren Keating

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