Sokmen, B., Beam, W., Witchey, R., & Adams, G. (2002). Effect of interval versus continuous training on aerobic and anaerobic variables. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 34(5), Supplement abstract 509.

Untrained young adults (N = 42) were randomly assigned to continuous or interval training groups. A separate control group of individuals not involved with training was also formed. Both groups trained three times per week for 10 weeks. The continuous constant-intensity training group started at 70% of VO2max for 30 minutes, built to 75% for 35 minutes by the end of the fifth week, and by the end of the eighth week was at 80% for 40 minutes. The interval group performed a similar work volume but intensity varied between 120-150% VO2max and 30-40% during recovery intervals.

Both experimental groups improved in VO2max, anaerobic treadmill time, and sprint time. The interval group improved significantly more than the continuous group in anaerobic treadmill time and sprint time. Isokinetic leg actions improved only in the interval group.

Implication. Both interval and continuous training improved aerobic work. Interval training produced greater anaerobic benefits than continuous work.

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