The training and detraining effect of high-intensity interval training on post-exercise hypotension in young overweight/obese women

Biggie Bonsu, Elmarie Terblanche
European Journal of Applied Physiology 2016, 116 (1): 77-84

PURPOSE: Studies evaluating the response in blood pressure (BP) following high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are scant even though there has been extensive work done on the BP response following acute and chronic low- to moderate-intensity aerobic and resistance exercise in both hypertensive and normotensive individuals. The present study sought to investigate the training and detraining effects of short-term HIIT on the post-exercise hypotension (PEH) response in overweight/obese young women.

METHOD: Twenty young untrained women volunteered for the study. Participants performed six HIIT sessions on a treadmill within 2 weeks (week 1: 10 × 1 min and week 2: 15 × 1 min intervals at 90-95% HRmax, separated by 1 min active recovery at 70% HRmax each session) and detrained for 2 weeks. Post-exercise BP was measured for 1 h following the first and last HIIT sessions.

RESULTS: Participants were normotensive (SBP: 119.2 ± 5.60 mmHg; DBP: 78.8 ± 4.12 mmHg) and had a BMI greater than 25 kg m(-2). The magnitude of the systolic hypotensive response was slightly greater after the six sessions HIIT compared to pre-training (5.04 and 4.28 mmHg, respectively), and both would be considered clinically significant (>3 mmHg decrease). After 2 weeks, detraining the PEH response was not clinically significant (1.08 mmHg decrease). The magnitude of the DBP response was only clinically significant following post- and detraining (4.26 and 3.87 mmHg, respectively).

CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that six HIIT sessions is sufficient to affect clinically significant PEH responses in young, overweight/obese women; however, the training effects are lost within 2 weeks of detraining.

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