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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 December;59(12):1985-90

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.19.09584-7

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Aerobic interval training improves maximal oxygen uptake and reduces body fat in grapplers

Karsten ØVRETVEIT

Department of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway



BACKGROUND: Despite regularly engaging in high-intensity grappling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) athletes have a moderate maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max). The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and feasibility of high-intensity aerobic interval training as an accessory to BJJ training for improvements in V̇O2max.
METHODS: Twelve active male BJJ practitioners (age: 30.3±4.0 [SD] years; height: 183.0±5.3 cm; body mass: 82.7±8.3 kg; body fat: 11.9±3.8%) with 5.6±5.8 years of experience and a training volume of 9.9±4.6 hours·week-1 were randomly allocated to either a training group (TG) or control group (CG). The TG incorporated two high-intensity aerobic interval training sessions·week-1 comprising four 4-minute intervals at 85-95% of maximal heart rate (HRmax) separated by 3-minute active breaks at 70% of HRmax.
RESULTS: After six weeks, the TG increased their V̇O2max by 8±3% (95% CI=3.84, 12.73; P=0.04; ES=0.64), from 52.7 to 56.8 mL·kg-1·min-1. This was accompanied by a 1±1% reduction in absolute body fat (95% CI=-0.13, -2.2; P=0.04; ES=0.64). No changes in V̇O2max (P=0.12) or body composition (P=0.34) were detected in the CG.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings reveal compelling short-term effects of low-volume high-intensity aerobic interval training on V̇O2max and body composition in active BJJ athletes. There may be a ceiling effect in terms of developing V̇O2max in supine, intermittent grappling sports, making alternative approaches to aerobic conditioning particularly relevant for this athlete population.


KEY WORDS: Oxygen Consumption; Exercise; Adaptation, physiological; Adipose tissue; Martial arts

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