Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Rehabilitation and Movement Science

First Advisor

Ronald Evans

Second Advisor

Edmund Acevedo

Third Advisor

Richard Kunz

Fourth Advisor

Roy Sabo

Fifth Advisor

Robert Franco


High intensity exercise is believed to yield greater results on health and human performance than moderate intensity exercise. Extensive research indicates that not only do high-intensity interval training (HIT) and sprint interval training (SIT) produce significant improvements in cardiovascular fitness and disease, they may be more effective at improving long-term metabolic function, including insulin sensitivity (Si), by producing more mitochondria. Moreover, compliance rates for HIT and SIT participation are reported to be the same or better than traditional moderate intensity exercise. Because lack of time is often cited as major hindrance to exercise participation, SIT is also seen as a time efficient option to improve health and performance. It does appear, however, that repeated sessions of SIT are needed before overall improvements can be measured. SIT protocols employing maximal 30 sec sprints with ~5 min rest [a 1:9 work-to-rest ratio (W:R)], have garnered much of the research focus, while those using minimal rest periods, like Tabata which uses 20 sec sprints and 10 sec rest (2:1 W:R), have been ignored. This may omit a possible SIT option that could influence acute and chronic adaptations. The role of inflammatory cytokines on Si remains an area of continued research. While endurance exercise is thought to create an overall anti-inflammatory environment that stimulates improvement in Si, SIT is often viewed as pro-inflammatory. However, few studies have provided significant insight into cytokine release following SIT, and none haveexplored its impact on Si. In addition, the impact of W:R on cytokine remains speculative at best. Therefore, the examination of the effect of different sprint protocols of similar total work (kJ) on performance, metabolic function, and inflammatory response may provide valuable insight into these adaptive processes.


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