We assessed the time-course of changes in oxygen uptake (V̇o2) and muscle deoxygenation (i.e., deoxygenated hemoglobin and myoglobin, [HHb + Mb]) kinetics during transitions to moderate-intensity cycling following 12 wk of low-volume high-intensity interval training (HIIT) vs. moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) in adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Participants were randomly assigned to MICT ( n = 10, 50 min of moderate-intensity cycling), HIIT ( n = 9, 10 × 1 min at ∼90% maximal heart rate), or nonexercising control ( n = 9) groups. Exercising groups trained three times per week, and measurements were taken every 3 wk. [HHb + Mb] kinetics were measured by near-infrared spectroscopy at the vastus lateralis muscle. The local matching of O2 delivery to O2 utilization was assessed by the Δ[HHb + Mb]/ΔV̇o2 ratio. The pretraining time constant of the primary phase of V̇o2 (τV̇o2p) decreased ( P < 0.05) at wk 3 of training in both MICT (from 44 ± 12 to 32 ± 5 s) and HIIT (from 42 ± 8 to 32 ± 4 s) with no further changes thereafter, whereas no changes were reported in controls. The pretraining overall dynamic response of muscle deoxygenation (τ'[HHb + Mb]) was faster than τV̇o2p in all groups, resulting in Δ[HHb + Mb]/V̇o2p showing a transient "overshoot" relative to the subsequent steady-state level. After 3 wk, the Δ[HHb + Mb]/V̇o2p overshoot was eliminated only in the training groups, so that τ'[HHb + Mb] was not different to τV̇o2p in MICT and HIIT. The enhanced V̇o2 kinetics response consequent to both MICT and HIIT in T2D was likely attributed to a training-induced improvement in matching of O2 delivery to utilization.
NEW & NOTEWORTHY High-intensity interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training elicited faster pulmonary oxygen uptake (V̇o2) kinetics during moderate-intensity cycling within 3 wk of training with no further changes thereafter in individuals with type 2 diabetes. These adaptations were accompanied by unaltered near-infrared spectroscopy-derived muscle deoxygenation (i.e. deoxygenated hemoglobin and myoglobin concentration, [HHb+Mb]) kinetics and transiently reduced Δ[HHb+Mb]-to-ΔV̇o2 ratio, suggesting an enhanced blood flow distribution within the active muscles subsequent to both training interventions.