Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males

John A. Babraj*, Niels B. J. Vollaard, Cameron Keast, Fergus M. Guppy, Greg Cottrell, Jamie A. Timmons

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background: Traditional high volume aerobic exercise training reduces cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk but involves a substantial time commitment. Extremely low volume high-intensity interval training (HIT) has recently been demonstrated to produce improvements to aerobic function, but it is unknown whether HIT has the capacity to improve insulin action and hence glycemic control.

Methods: Sixteen young men (age: 21 ± 2 y; BMI: 23.7 ± 3.1 kg x m-2; VO2peak: 48 ± 9 ml x kg-1 x min-1) performed 2 weeks of supervised HIT comprising of a total of 15 min of exercise (6 sessions; 4-6 x 30-s cycle sprints per session). Aerobic performance (250-kJ self-paced cycling time trial), and glucose, insulin and NEFA responses to a 75-g oral glucose load (oral glucose tolerance test; OGTT) were determined before and after training.

Results: Following 2 weeks of HIT, the area under the plasma glucose, insulin and NEFA concentration-time curves were all reduced (12%, 37%, 26% respectively, all P < 0.001). Fasting plasma insulin and glucose concentrations remained unchanged, but there was a tendency for reduced fasting plasma NEFA concentrations post-training (pre: 350 ± 36 v post: 290 ± 39 μmol x l-1, P = 0.058). Insulin sensitivity, as measured by the Cederholm index, was improved by 23% (P < 0.01), while aerobic cycling performance improved by approximately 6% (P < 0.01).

Conclusion: The efficacy of a high intensity exercise protocol, involving only ~250 kcal of work each week, to substantially improve insulin action in young sedentary subjects is remarkable. This novel time-efficient training paradigm can be used as a strategy to reduce metabolic risk factors in young and middle aged sedentary populations who otherwise would not adhere to time consuming traditional aerobic exercise regimes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Endocrine Disorders
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

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Exercise
Insulin
Nonesterified Fatty Acids
Glucose
Glucose Tolerance Test
Fasting
Metabolic Diseases
Insulin Resistance
Cardiovascular Diseases
High-Intensity Interval Training
Population

Cite this

Babraj, John A. ; Vollaard, Niels B. J. ; Keast, Cameron ; Guppy, Fergus M. ; Cottrell, Greg ; Timmons, Jamie A. / Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males. In: BMC Endocrine Disorders. 2009 ; Vol. 9, No. 3.
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title = "Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males",
abstract = "Background: Traditional high volume aerobic exercise training reduces cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk but involves a substantial time commitment. Extremely low volume high-intensity interval training (HIT) has recently been demonstrated to produce improvements to aerobic function, but it is unknown whether HIT has the capacity to improve insulin action and hence glycemic control.Methods: Sixteen young men (age: 21 ± 2 y; BMI: 23.7 ± 3.1 kg x m-2; VO2peak: 48 ± 9 ml x kg-1 x min-1) performed 2 weeks of supervised HIT comprising of a total of 15 min of exercise (6 sessions; 4-6 x 30-s cycle sprints per session). Aerobic performance (250-kJ self-paced cycling time trial), and glucose, insulin and NEFA responses to a 75-g oral glucose load (oral glucose tolerance test; OGTT) were determined before and after training.Results: Following 2 weeks of HIT, the area under the plasma glucose, insulin and NEFA concentration-time curves were all reduced (12{\%}, 37{\%}, 26{\%} respectively, all P < 0.001). Fasting plasma insulin and glucose concentrations remained unchanged, but there was a tendency for reduced fasting plasma NEFA concentrations post-training (pre: 350 ± 36 v post: 290 ± 39 μmol x l-1, P = 0.058). Insulin sensitivity, as measured by the Cederholm index, was improved by 23{\%} (P < 0.01), while aerobic cycling performance improved by approximately 6{\%} (P < 0.01).Conclusion: The efficacy of a high intensity exercise protocol, involving only ~250 kcal of work each week, to substantially improve insulin action in young sedentary subjects is remarkable. This novel time-efficient training paradigm can be used as a strategy to reduce metabolic risk factors in young and middle aged sedentary populations who otherwise would not adhere to time consuming traditional aerobic exercise regimes.",
author = "Babraj, {John A.} and Vollaard, {Niels B. J.} and Cameron Keast and Guppy, {Fergus M.} and Greg Cottrell and Timmons, {Jamie A.}",
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Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males. / Babraj, John A.; Vollaard, Niels B. J.; Keast, Cameron; Guppy, Fergus M.; Cottrell, Greg; Timmons, Jamie A.

In: BMC Endocrine Disorders, Vol. 9, No. 3, 28.01.2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males

AU - Babraj, John A.

AU - Vollaard, Niels B. J.

AU - Keast, Cameron

AU - Guppy, Fergus M.

AU - Cottrell, Greg

AU - Timmons, Jamie A.

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Y1 - 2009/1/28

N2 - Background: Traditional high volume aerobic exercise training reduces cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk but involves a substantial time commitment. Extremely low volume high-intensity interval training (HIT) has recently been demonstrated to produce improvements to aerobic function, but it is unknown whether HIT has the capacity to improve insulin action and hence glycemic control.Methods: Sixteen young men (age: 21 ± 2 y; BMI: 23.7 ± 3.1 kg x m-2; VO2peak: 48 ± 9 ml x kg-1 x min-1) performed 2 weeks of supervised HIT comprising of a total of 15 min of exercise (6 sessions; 4-6 x 30-s cycle sprints per session). Aerobic performance (250-kJ self-paced cycling time trial), and glucose, insulin and NEFA responses to a 75-g oral glucose load (oral glucose tolerance test; OGTT) were determined before and after training.Results: Following 2 weeks of HIT, the area under the plasma glucose, insulin and NEFA concentration-time curves were all reduced (12%, 37%, 26% respectively, all P < 0.001). Fasting plasma insulin and glucose concentrations remained unchanged, but there was a tendency for reduced fasting plasma NEFA concentrations post-training (pre: 350 ± 36 v post: 290 ± 39 μmol x l-1, P = 0.058). Insulin sensitivity, as measured by the Cederholm index, was improved by 23% (P < 0.01), while aerobic cycling performance improved by approximately 6% (P < 0.01).Conclusion: The efficacy of a high intensity exercise protocol, involving only ~250 kcal of work each week, to substantially improve insulin action in young sedentary subjects is remarkable. This novel time-efficient training paradigm can be used as a strategy to reduce metabolic risk factors in young and middle aged sedentary populations who otherwise would not adhere to time consuming traditional aerobic exercise regimes.

AB - Background: Traditional high volume aerobic exercise training reduces cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk but involves a substantial time commitment. Extremely low volume high-intensity interval training (HIT) has recently been demonstrated to produce improvements to aerobic function, but it is unknown whether HIT has the capacity to improve insulin action and hence glycemic control.Methods: Sixteen young men (age: 21 ± 2 y; BMI: 23.7 ± 3.1 kg x m-2; VO2peak: 48 ± 9 ml x kg-1 x min-1) performed 2 weeks of supervised HIT comprising of a total of 15 min of exercise (6 sessions; 4-6 x 30-s cycle sprints per session). Aerobic performance (250-kJ self-paced cycling time trial), and glucose, insulin and NEFA responses to a 75-g oral glucose load (oral glucose tolerance test; OGTT) were determined before and after training.Results: Following 2 weeks of HIT, the area under the plasma glucose, insulin and NEFA concentration-time curves were all reduced (12%, 37%, 26% respectively, all P < 0.001). Fasting plasma insulin and glucose concentrations remained unchanged, but there was a tendency for reduced fasting plasma NEFA concentrations post-training (pre: 350 ± 36 v post: 290 ± 39 μmol x l-1, P = 0.058). Insulin sensitivity, as measured by the Cederholm index, was improved by 23% (P < 0.01), while aerobic cycling performance improved by approximately 6% (P < 0.01).Conclusion: The efficacy of a high intensity exercise protocol, involving only ~250 kcal of work each week, to substantially improve insulin action in young sedentary subjects is remarkable. This novel time-efficient training paradigm can be used as a strategy to reduce metabolic risk factors in young and middle aged sedentary populations who otherwise would not adhere to time consuming traditional aerobic exercise regimes.

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DO - 10.1186/1472-6823-9-3

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JO - BMC Endocrine Disorders

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