High-intensity Interval Training Frequency: Cardiometabolic Effects and Quality of Life

Pinelopi S. Stavrinou, Gregory C. Bogdanis, Christoforos D. Giannaki, Gerasimos Terzis, Marios Hadjicharalambous

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of high intensity interval training (HIIT) frequency on cardiometabolic health and quality of life were examined in 35 healthy inactive adults (age: 31.7±2.6 yrs, VO 2 peak: 32.7±7.4 ml · kg -1 · min -1). Participants were randomly assigned to a control (CON) and two training groups, which performed 10×60-s cycling at ~83% of peak power, two (HIIT-2) or three times per week (HIIT-3) for eight weeks. Compared with CON, both training regimes resulted in similar improvements in VO 2 peak (HIIT-2: 10.8%, p=0.048, HIIT-3: 13.6%, p=0.017), waist circumference (HIIT-2: -1.4 cm, p=0.048, HIIT-3: -2.4 cm, p=0.028), thigh cross-sectional area (HIIT-2: 11.4 cm 2, p=0.001, HIIT-3: 9.3 cm 2, p=0.001) and the physical health component of quality of life (HIIT-2: 8.4, p=0.001, HIIT-3: 12.2, p=0.001). However, HIIT-3 conferred additional health-related benefits by reducing total body and trunk fat percentage (p<0.05, compared with CON), total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (p<0.02, compared with CON) and by improving the mental component of quality of life (p=0.045, compared with CON). In conclusion, performing HIIT only twice per week is effective in promoting cardiometabolic health-related adaptations and quality of life in inactive adults. However, higher HIIT frequency is required for an effect on fat deposits, cholesterol and mental component of well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-217
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • abdominal adiposity
  • cholesterol
  • glucose tolerance
  • maximal oxygen uptake
  • randomized control trial


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