Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The effects of running compared with functional high-intensity interval training on body composition and aerobic fitness in female university students

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posted on 2022-03-15, 15:56 authored by Yining Lu, Huw Wiltshire, Julien S. Baker, Qiaojun Wang
High-intensity interval running (HIIT-R) and high-intensity functional training (HIFT) are two forms of HIIT exercise that are commonly used. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of HIFT on aerobic capacity and body composition when compared to HIIT-R in females. Twenty healthy, untrained female university students (age 20.5 ± 0.7 year) were randomly assigned to a 12-week HIIT-R or HIFT intervention. The HIIT-R group involved a 30 s maximal shuttle run with a 30 s recovery period, whereas the HIFT involved multiple functional exercises with a 2:1 work-active recovery ratio. Body composition, VO2max, and muscle performance were measured before and post intervention. As a result, HIIT-R and HIIT-F stimulated similar improvements in VO2max (17.1% ± 5.6% and 12.7% ± 6.7%, respectively, p > 0.05). Only the HIIT-F group revealed significant improvements in muscle performance (sit-ups, 16.5% ± 3.1%, standing broad jump 5.1% ± 2.2%, p < 0.05). Body fat percentage decreased (17.1% ± 7.4% and 12.6% ± 5.1%, respectively, p < 0.05) in both HIIT-R and HIIT-F with no between-group differences. We concluded that HIFT was equally effective in promoting body composition and aerobic fitness compared to HIIT-R. HIFT resulted in improved muscle performance, whereas the HIIT-R protocol demonstrated no gains.


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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health




  • VoR (Version of Record)


Lu, Yining, Huw D. Wiltshire, Julien S. Baker, and Qiaojun Wang. (2021) "The Effects of Running Compared with Functional High-Intensity Interval Training on Body Composition and Aerobic Fitness in Female University Students" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 21: 11312.

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Huw Wiltshire

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Sports Performance Analysis

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  • © The Authors


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