Psychological Responses to High-Intensity Interval Training: A Comparison of Graded Walking and Ungraded Running at Equivalent Metabolic Loads

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $84.00

1 year subscription

USD  $111.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $159.00

2 year subscription

USD  $208.00

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is highly beneficial for health and fitness and is well tolerated. Treadmill-based HIIT normally includes running interspersed with walking. The purpose of this study was to compare ungraded running and graded walking HIIT on perceived exertion, affective valence, and enjoyment. Thirty-four active, healthy adults completed maximal testing and two 20-min HIIT trials alternating between 85% of VO2peak and a comfortable walking speed. Affective valence, enjoyment, and perceived exertion, both overall (ratings of perceived exertion [RPE]-O) and legs only (RPE-L), were measured. RPE-O and affective valence were similar between HIIT trials (p > .05), RPE-L was higher for walk HIIT (p < .05), and enjoyment was higher for run HIIT (p < .05). Findings indicate that both walk and run HIIT produce exertion, affective, and enjoyment responses that are positive and possibly supportive of exercise behavior. Walk HIIT may be desirable for individuals who are unable or do not want to run.

Fleming, Martinez, Ashley, Chiodini, Waddell, and Kilpatrick are with the Exercise Science Program, College of Education, and Collins, the Physician Assistant Program, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.

Kilpatrick (mkilpatrick@usf.edu) is corresponding author.
  • Alexander, N., & Schwameder, H. (2016). Effect of sloped walking on lower limb muscle forces. Gait & Posture, 47, 62–67. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2016.03.022

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • American College of Sports Medicine. (2018). ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bartlett, J., Close, G., MacLaren, D., Gregson, W., Drust, B., & Morton, J. (2011). High-intensity interval running is perceived to be more enjoyable than moderate-intensity continuous exercise: Implications for exercise adherence. Journal of Sports Sciences, 29(6), 547–553. PubMed ID: 21360405 doi:10.1080/02640414.2010.545427

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Borg, G. (1998). Borg’s perceived exertion and pain scales. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

  • Cockcroft, E.J., Williams, C.A., Tomlinson, O.W., Vlachopoulos, D., Jackman, S.R., Armstrong, N., & Barker, A.R. (2015). High intensity interval exercise is an effective alternative to moderate intensity exercise for improving glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in adolescent boys. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 18(6), 720–724. PubMed ID: 25459232 doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2014.10.001

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 155–159. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.112.1.155

  • Colbert, L.H., Hootman, J.M., & Macera, C.A. (2000). Physical activity-related injuries in walkers and runners in the aerobics center longitudinal study. Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, 10(4), 259–263. doi:10.1097/00042752-200010000-00006

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coyle, E.F. (2005). Very intense exercise training is extremely potent and time efficient: A reminder. Journal of Applied Physiology, 98(6), 1983–1984. PubMed ID: 15894535 doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00215.2005

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Decker, E.S., & Ekkekakis, P. (2017). More efficient, perhaps, but at what price? Pleasure and enjoyment responses to high-intensity interval exercise in low-active women with obesity. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 28, 1–10. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2016.09.005

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ekkekakis, P., & Petruzzello, S.J. (2000). Analysis of the affect measurement conundrum in exercise psychology. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 1(2), 71–88. doi:10.1016/S1469-0292(00)00010-8

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Lang, A.-G., & Buchner, A. (2007). G*Power 3: A flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Behavior Research Methods, 39, 175–191. PubMed ID: 17695343 doi:10.3758/BF03193146

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Haggerty, M., Dickin, D.C., Popp, J., & Want, H. (2014). The influence of incline walking on joint mechanics. Gait & Posture, 39(4), 1017–1021. PubMed ID: 24472218 doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2013.12.027

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hardy, C.J., & Rejeski, W.J. (1989). Not what, but how one feels: The measurement of affect during exercise. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 11(3), 304–317. doi:10.1123/jsep.11.3.304

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hialt, W.R., Wolfel, E.E., Meier, R.H., & Regensteiner, J.G. (1994). Superiority of treadmill walking exercise versus strength training for patients with peripheral arterial disease: Implications for the mechanism of the training response. Circulation, 90(4), 1866–1874. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.90.4.1866

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jelleyman, C., Yates, T., O’Donovan, G., Gray, L.J., King, J.A., Khunti, K., & Davies, M.J. (2015). The effects of high-intensity interval training on glucose regulation and insulin resistance: A meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 16(11), 942–961. PubMed ID: 26481101 doi:10.1111/obr.12317

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jung, M.E., Bourne, J.E., & Little, J.P. (2014). Where does HIT fit? An examination of the affective response to high-intensity intervals in comparison to continuous moderate- and continuous vigorous- intensity exercise in the exercise intensity- affect continuum. PLoS One, 9(12), 1–18.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kendzierski, D., & DeCarlo, K.J. (1991). Physical activity enjoyment scale: Two validation studies. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 13(1), 50–64. doi:10.1123/jsep.13.1.50

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Keppel, G. (1991). Design and analysis: A researcher’s handbook. Englewood Cliffs, NY: Prentice Hall.

  • Kilpatrick, M.W., Greeley, S.J., & Collins, L.H. (2015). The impact of continuous and interval cycle exercise on affect and enjoyment. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 86(3), 244–251. PubMed ID: 25811234 doi:10.1080/02701367.2015.1015673

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kilpatrick, M.W., Greeley, S.J., & Ferron, J.M. (2016). A comparison of the impacts of continuous and interval cycle exercise on perceived exertion. European Journal of Sport Science, 16(2), 221–228. PubMed ID: 25773871 doi:10.1080/17461391.2015.1017538

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lange, G.W., Hintermeister, R.A., Schlegel, T., Dillman, C.J., & Steadman, J.R. (1996). Electromyographic and kinematic analysis of graded treadmill walking and the implications for knee rehabilitation. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 23(5), 294–301. PubMed ID: 8728527 doi:10.2519/jospt.1996.23.5.294

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marcora, S.M., Bosio, A., & De Morree, H.M. (2007). Locomotor muscle fatigue increases cardiorespiratory responses and reduces performance during intense cycling exercise independently from metabolic stress. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 294, R874–R883.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marcora, S.M., & Staiano, W. (2010). The limit to exercise tolerance in humans: Mind over muscle? European Journal of Applied Physiology, 109(4), 763–770. PubMed ID: 20221773 doi:10.1007/s00421-010-1418-6

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Martinez, N., Kilpatrick, M.W., Salomon, K., Jung, M.E., & Little, J.P. (2015). Affective and enjoyment responses to high-intensity interval training in overweight-to-obese and insufficiently active adults. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 37(2), 138–149. PubMed ID: 25996105 doi:10.1123/jsep.2014-0212

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Milanovic, Z., Sporis, G., & Weston, M. (2015). Effectiveness of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and continuous endurance training for VO2max improvements: A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials. Sports Medicine, 45(10), 1469–1481. PubMed ID: 26243014 doi:10.1007/s40279-015-0365-0

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moyna, N.M., Robertson, R.J., Meckes, C.L., Peoples, J.A., Millich, N.B., & Thompson, P.D. (2001). Intermodal comparison of energy expenditure at exercise intensities corresponding to the perceptual preference range. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(8), 1404–1410. PubMed ID: 11474346 doi:10.1097/00005768-200108000-00025

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Oliveira, B.R.R., Santos, T.M., Kilpatrick, M., Pires, F.O., & Deslandes, A.C. (2018). Affective and enjoyment responses in high intensity interval training and continuous training: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One, 13(6), e0197124. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0197124

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Oliveira, B.R.R., Slama, F.A., Deslandes, A.C., Furtado, E.S., & Santos, T.M. (2013). Continuous and high-intensity interval training: Which promotes higher pleasure? PLoS One, 8(11), e79965. PubMed ID: 24302993 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079965

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Olney, N., Wertz, T., LaPorta, Z., Mora, A., Serbas, J., & Astorino, T.A. (2018). Comparison of acute physiological and psychological responses between moderate-intensity continuous exercise and three regimes of high-intensity interval training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 32(8), 2130–2138. PubMed ID: 28737586 doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000002154

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Patterson, R., McNamara, E., Tainio, M., Sa, T.H., Smith, A.D., Sharp, S.J., & Edwards, P. (2018). Sedentary behaviour and risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, and incident type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and dose response meta-analysis. European Journal of Epidemiology, 33(9), 811–829. PubMed ID: 29589226 doi:10.1007/s10654-018-0380-1

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Piercy, K.L. (2018). The physical activity guidelines for Americans. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 320(19), 2020–2028. PubMed ID: 30418471 doi:10.1001/jama.2018.14854

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ramos, J.S., Dalleck, L.C., Tjonna, A.E., Beetham, K.S., & Coombes, J.S. (2015). The impact of high-intensity interval training versus moderate intensity continuous training on vascular function: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 45(5), 679–692. PubMed ID: 25771785 doi:10.1007/s40279-015-0321-z

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Saanijoki, T., Nummenmaa, L., Eskelinen, J.J., Savolainen, A.M., Vahlberg, T., Kalliokoski, K.K., & Hannukainen, J.C. (2015). Affective responses to repeated sessions of high-intensity interval training. Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, 47, 2604–2611. PubMed ID: 26110694 doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000000721

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sala, M., Baldwin, A.S., & Williams, D.M. (2016). Affective and cognitive predictors of affective response to exercise: Examining unique and overlapping variance. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 27, 1–8. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2016.07.005

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stanley, D.M., & Cumming, J. (2010). Are we having fun yet? Testing the effects of imagery use on the affective and enjoyment responses to acute moderate exercise. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11(6), 582–590. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2010.06.010

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stork, M.J., Banfield, L.E., Gibala, M.J., & Martin Ginis, K.A. (2017). A scoping review of the psychological responses to interval exercise: Is interval exercise a viable alternative to traditional exercise? Health Psychology Review, 11(4), 324–344. PubMed ID: 28460601 doi:10.1080/17437199.2017.1326011

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Su, L., Fu, J., Sun, S., Zhao, G., Cheng, W., Dou, C., & Quan, M. (2019). Effects of HIIT and MICT on cardiovascular risk factors in adults with overweight and/or obesity: A meta-analysis. PLoS One, 14(1), e0210644. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0210644

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Swain, D.P., Kelleran, K.J., Graves, M.S., & Morrison, S. (2016). Impact forces of walking and running at the same intensity. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 30(4), 1042–1049. PubMed ID: 27003452 doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001185

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thum, J.S., Parsons, G., Whittle, T., & Astorino, T.A. (2017). High-intensity interval training elicits higher enjoyment than moderate intensity continuous exercise. PLoS One, 12(1), e0166299. PubMed ID: 28076352 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166299

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Viana, R.B., Naves, J.P.A., Coswig, V.S., Barbosa de Lira, C.A., Steele, J., Fisher, J.P., & Gentil, P. (2019). Is interval training the magic bullet for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing moderate-intensity continuous training with High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). British Journal of Sports Medicine, 53(10), 655–664. PubMed ID: 30765340 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2018-099928

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wankel, L.M. (1993). The importance of enjoyment to adherence and psychological benefits from physical activity. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 24(2), 151–169.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Williams, D.M., Dunsiger, S., Emerson, J.A., Gwaltney, C.J., Monti, P.M., & Miranda, R., Jr. (2015). Self-paced exercise, affective response, and exercise adherence: A preliminary investigation using ecological momentary assessment. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 38(30), 282–291.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • World Health Organization. (2018). Global action plan on physical activity 2018–2030: More active people for a healthier world. Geneva, Switzerland: Author.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 261 261 76
Full Text Views 58 58 15
PDF Downloads 25 25 8