Clinical Rehabilitation published a randomized control research trial on the influence of sprint interval training on body composition, physical and metabolic fitness in adolescents and young adults with intellectual disability. The 54 participants with intellectual disabilities (average age 17 years) in the study were randomly assigned to one of three groups: sprint interval training, continuous aerobic training or control group (did not participate in any exercise). Sprint interval training consisted of three blocks of 10 minutes at ventilatory threshold (blocks 1 and 3: 10 sprint bouts of 15 seconds, followed by 45 seconds relative rest; block 2: continuous training) twice a week for 15 weeks. Continuous aerobic training consisted of three blocks of 10 minutes continuous training. Following eight weeks, intensity was increased to 110% of ventilatory threshold. Prior to the training period and after the training period, body composition, physical and metabolic fitness were evaluated.
The following results were recorded:
- sprint interval training showed a significant positive evolution for waist circumference, fat%, systolic blood pressure, lipid profile, fasting insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, peak VO2, peak Watt, ventilatory threshold, 6-minute walk distance and muscle fatigue resistance when compared to the control group with no training.
- sprint interval training group demonstrated significant improvements for fat%, systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein, fasting insulin, peak VO2 and peak power and ventilatory threshold when compared with continuous aerobic training.
The researchers concluded that sprint interval training has stronger beneficial effects on body composition, physical fitness and metabolic fitness than no exercise or continuous aerobic training.
Reference: Pieter-Henk Boer et al. The influence of sprint interval training on body composition, physical and metabolic fitness in adolescents and young adults with intellectual disability: a randomized controlled trial Clin Rehabil March 2014 28: 221-231, first published on August 20, 2013 doi:10.1177/0269215513498609
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