Table of Contents
Journal of Respiratory Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 879695, 6 pages
Research Article

The Physiologic Effects of an Acute Bout of Supramaximal High-Intensity Interval Training Compared with a Continuous Exercise Bout in Patients with COPD

1School of Physical Therapy, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 0W3
2College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5B2
3Division of Respirology, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 0W8

Received 25 May 2013; Revised 23 August 2013; Accepted 10 September 2013

Academic Editor: Rio Dumitrascu

Copyright © 2013 Scotty J. Butcher et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study compared physiological responses and work performed during a supramaximal high-intensity interval exercise training session (HIIT) and a constant work rate (CWR) exercise session. Fourteen patients with COPD (mean FEV1   % predicted (±SD)) completed an incremental cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) and a steep ramp anaerobic test (SRAT) and then two exercise bouts to symptom limitation on separate days, in random order: (1) a CWR trial at 80% of CPET peak work rate (mean  W) and (2) a HIIT trial using repeats of 30 s at 70% of SRAT peak work rate (mean  W) followed by 90 s at 20% of CPET peak work rate. Subjects ceased exercise primarily due to dyspnea for both HIIT and CWR (64% vs. 57%, resp.). End-exercise , HR, dyspnea, and leg fatigue were similar between the two exercise protocols. Average work rate was lower in HIIT than CWR (32 vs. 63 W, ); however, subjects performed HIIT longer (542 vs. 202 s, ) and for greater total work (23.3 vs. 12.0 kJ, ). The supramaximal HIIT protocol was well tolerated and demonstrated similar maximal physiologic responses to constant work rate exercise, but with greater leg muscle work performed and greater peak exercise intensity.