Kilpatrick, M., Greeley, S. J., Hubbard, E. A., Collins, L. H., & Ohara, J. L. (2012). Exertional responses to sprint interval training: a comparison of 30-second and 60-second conditions. Presentation 2503 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012.

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This study determined the impact of sprint interval training on ratings of perceived effort responses obtained pre-exercise, during exercise (for work and recovery phases), and upon completion of exercise. Ss (M = 9; F = 7) completed a maximal cycle ergometer test and two counterbalanced sprint interval training sessions. Each session used the same work-to-rest ratio (1:1), work intensity (90% maximum), recovery intensity (10% maximum), and session duration (16 minutes). Trials differed on work duration, with a 30-second trial and a 60-second trial. Ratings of perceived exertion were assessed before, during, and after sessions. Sessions required the same amount of total work over the duration of the trial, but the manner in which the effort was distributed varied.

Predicted, momentary, and session ratings of perceived exertion were higher for the 60-second trial than the 30-second trial despite no difference in total work. Ratings of perceived exertion increased significantly over time in the work and recovery phases of the interval, with greater increases occurring in the 60-second trial.

Implication. Sprint interval trials using the same total external work and work-to-recovery ratio but differing in interval length produced significantly different ratings of perceived exertion. The ratings were significantly greater for sessions of exercise that used longer work intervals. Employing short work and short rest intervals may contribute to athletes' increased motivations to train.

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