The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether 6 weeks of sprint interval training (SIT) is associated with changes in mood and perceived health in women at risk for developing metabolic syndrome (MetS). Physically inactive women (30–65 years) were randomized to 6 weeks of nutrition meetings and SIT (n = 23; 3 bouts/week of 4–8 30-s cycle sprints with 4-min recovery) or a nonexercise control condition (CON; n = 24). Before and after the 6-week intervention, perceived health status and mood were assessed. Clinically relevant increases in role-physical scores (ES = 0.64) and vitality (ES = 0.52) were found after 6 weeks of SIT compared with a nonexercise control group. For middle-aged women at risk for MetS, it is concluded that high-intensity, low-volume SIT (1) increases feelings of vitality and perceptions of having fewer physical limitations and (2) does not induce mood disturbances as occurs with high-volume, high-intensity training.
Eric C. Freese, Rachelle M. Acitelli, Nicholas H. Gist, Kirk J. Cureton, Ellen M. Evans, and Patrick J. O’Connor are with the Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. Nicholas H. Gist is also with the Department of Physical Education, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. Address author correspondence to Eric C. Freese at firstname.lastname@example.org.