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Intensity of Exercise Training: Old dogs, intervals and new tricks

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Presenter: Morris N

Queensland Lung Transplant Service, The Prince Charles Hospital, Queensland

Typically we consider intensity of exercise training to be a key component

of any exercise training program. In younger healthy individuals, a higher

exercise training intensity is thought to result in a greater training

adaptation. However in older individuals, we have found that adaptations

to exercise training may be independent of intensity, particularly when

the volume of exercise training is controlled over 10-12 week period. In

chronic lung disease patients, it is not clear if higher intensity training

results in greater physiological adaptation. Confusing this issue has been

the use of interval training, a training mode that alternates periods of

exercise with periods of rest or low intensity exercise. We have shown that

compared to high intensity continuous exercise, individuals are able to

perform a greater volume of interval exercise with lower oxygen uptake,

ventilation, heart rate and blood lactate response. In the history of athletic

performance, some of greats even used interval training with outstanding

results. It was reported that the Dr Eric Bannister used interval training

to conquer the four-minute mile barrier. What about the effect of interval

training on clinical populations, can they break any world record’s with

this approach? One of the confounding issues with this research has been

the fact that studies typically have manipulated both the mode and the

intensity of exercise when comparing different outcomes. This approach

makes it difficult to evaluate the impact of exercise training mode (interval

vs continuous) and training intensity (high vs low) on adaptations. This

presentation will examine the research comparing high vs low intensity

exercise and interval training. Maybe it is easier than we think.

CPD Points: 0.5

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