High intensity versus endurance training: Are physiological and biomechanical adaptations preserved 2 months following the completion of an intensive exercise intervention.
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In light of the current global prevalence of overweight and obesity, the associated health risks, and the continuing adoption of sedentary lifestyle, this thesis investigated some of the factors that contribute to exercise adherence, directly comparing high-intensity whole body interval training and continuous endurance training. 68 inactive university aged adults (Age: 21.4±3.4 yrs, BMI: 25.6±4.6 kg/m2, VO2peak 40.1±5.7 ml/kg/min) were randomized into one of three groups; a non-exercise control, whole body high intensity training, or continuous endurance training. Aerobic capacity measurements, time to completion trials, muscular endurance, and core strength measures were taken at pre, post and follow up testing sessions. Psychological questionnaires were also administered during exercise as well as throughout the study. Following the intervention both exercise groups demonstrated equivalent improvements in aerobic performance, with only the interval group experiencing improved muscular and core endurance. After the 2-month follow up testing sessions the interval group lost all aerobic and core adaptation, with endurance only experiencing a partial loss. This finding indicates that the interval group did not adhere to exercise at a level that was high enough to preserve the adaptations associated with training. This finding is further supported by the psychological factors measured throughout this study, including acute affect, enjoyment and intentions to engage in future exercise.