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The effect of high-intensity interval training on hypertrophy, strength and oxidative capacity of active muscles in power sports athletes: a cross-sectional study

Alexander B. Miroshnikov, Vasily V. Volkov, Andrey V. Smolensky Russian State University of Physical Culture, Sports, Youth and Tourism, Moscow, Russia

Objective: the purpose of the study was to evaluate how high-intensity interval training affects strength, oxidative capacity and hypertrophy of working muscles in power sports athletes. Materials and methods: the study included 35 male power sports athletes (powerlifting), the average age was 30 ± 5,4 years. Metabolic exhaled gas analysis (determination of the anaerobic threshold and heart rate, maximum oxygen consumption and pedaling power at the maximum oxygen consumption, oxygen consumption at the anaerobic threshold and maximum oxygen consumption), ultrasonographic measurements of the anatomical cross-sectional area of the quadriceps femoris, the assessment of the maximum strength of the quadriceps femoris and methods of mathematical statistics were utilized. Athletes were subject to bicycle ergometry testing 3 times a week during 120 days according to the following protocol: 7 intervals with pedaling power of 100% of the maximum oxygen consumption for 2 min, and intervals with a heart rate of 85% of the anaerobic threshold for 2 min. Results: after 120 days of training, power athletes significantly increased the anaerobic threshold, power and oxygen consumption by 22,7 and 14,5%, respectively, as well as power and oxygen consumption at the level of maximum oxygen consumption by 18,5 and 13,6%, respectively. Regular high-intensity training on a bicycle ergometer causes muscle-specific hypertrophy, which leads to regional changes in the quadriceps femoris muscle and an increase in its strength by 6,5%. Conclusions: the aerobic workout training protocol that we developed allows athletes to effectively and safely increase the oxidizing capacities of active muscles, while not losing their main strength indicators.

hypertrophy, powerlifting, power sports