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Table 2 Sex-based comparisons of outcomes related to cardiorespiratory fitness, insulin sensitivity, glycemic control, and mitochondrial content following low-volume interval training

From: Physiological Responses to Low-Volume Interval Training in Women

References

Sample size (M/W)

Population

Intervention

Outcome

Descriptives

Age (yr)

BMI (kg/m2)

\({\dot{\textbf{V}}\textbf{O}}_{\bf{2}}\)peak (ml/kg/min)

Menstrual cycle phase; HC use

Interval training protocol

Duration (wk); frequency (sessions/wk); exercise mode

Sex-specific results

Astorino et al. [68]

11/9

Rec active

M: ~ 25

W: ~ 25

~ 25

~ 22

~ 46

~ 41

NR; NR

4–6 × 30 s 'all out' sprints, 5 min recovery

2–3 wks;

2–3 sessions/wk;

cycling

\({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2}\)peak in M and W

Bagley et al. [10]

24/17

Healthy

M: ~ 38

W: ~ 41

~ 26

~ 22

~ 43

~ 34

NR; NR

4 × 20 s 'all out' sprints, 2 min recovery

12 wks;

3 sessions/wk;

cycling

\({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2}\)peak in W > M (p = 0.009)

↔ FPG or FPI in M and W

↔ HOMA-IR in M and W

Bonafiglia et al. [72]

9/12

Healthy,

rec active

M: ~ 20

W: ~ 20

~ 25

~ 23

~ 45

~ 39

NR; NR

8 × 20 s at ~ 170% \({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2}\)peak, 10 s rest

3 wks;

4 sessions/wk;

cycling

\({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2}\)peak in M and W

Bostad et al. [75]

6/9

Healthy,

untrained

M/W: ~ 21

~ 24

~ 37

Uncontrolled;

4 participants using OC

3 × 20 s ‘all out’ sprints, 2 min recovery

12 wks;

3 sessions/wk;

cycling

\({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2}\)peak in M and W (M > W, p < 0.01)

Esbjörnsson Liljedahl et al. [163]

6/10

Healthy,

rec active

M: ~ 26

W: ~ 25

~ 23

~ 22

NR

NR

NR; NR

3 × 30 s 'all out' sprints, 20 min rest

4 wks;

3 sessions/wk;

cycling

↔ CS maximal activity in M and W

Gillen et al. [53]

7/7

Obese,

inactive

M: ~ 29

W: ~ 30

~ 31

~ 29

~ 31

~ 28

Uncontrolled; NR

3 × 20 s 'all out' sprints, 2 min recovery

6 wks;

3 sessions/wk;

cycling

\({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2}\)peak in M and W

↓ 24 h blood glucose mean and AUC in M and ↔ in W (p < 0.05)

↔ FPG in M and W

↓ FPI in M and W

↓ HOMA-IR in M and W

↑ CS maximal activity in M and W

↑ COXIV protein content in M and W

Metcalfe et al. [69]

7/8

Healthy,

inactive

M: ~ 26

W: ~ 24

~ 24

~ 23

~ 36

~ 33

Trials separated by ~ 8 wks; NR

2 × 20 s 'all out' sprints, ~ 3 min recovery

6 wks;

3 sessions/wk;

cycling

\({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2}\)peak in M and W

↑ OGTT insulin sensitivity in M and ↔ in W

Metcalfe et al. [71]

17/18

Healthy,

inactive

M: ~ 33

W: ~ 36

~ 25

~ 24

~ 39

~ 32

Trials separated by ~ 8 wks; NR

2 × 20 s 'all out' sprints, ~ 3 min recovery

6 wks;

3 sessions/wk;

cycling

\({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2}\)peak in M and W

↔ OGTT glucose or insulin AUC in M and W

Phillips et al. [76]

64/72

Impaired glucose tolerance and/or BMI > 27,

inactive

M/W: ~ 36

~ 32

~ 27

NR; NR

5 × 1 min at 125% \({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2}\)peak, 1 min recovery

6 wks;

3 sessions/wk;

cycling

\({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2}\)peak in M and W [M > W for absolute (L/min), p < 0.001; no difference in relative (%), p > 0.05]

↓ HOMA-IR in M and W

Scalzo et al. [70]

11/10

Healthy,

rec active

M: ~ 22

W: ~ 23

~ 22

~ 23

~ 43

~ 40

Uncontrolled; 1 participant using OC

4–8 × 30 s,

4 min recovery

3 wks;

3 sessions/wk; cycling

\({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2}\)peak in M and W

> MPS in mitochondrial fraction in M versus W (trend p = 0.056)

 > MPS in cluster of mitochondrial proteins in M versus W (p < 0.001)

↑ CS protein content in M and W

↔ COXIV protein content in M and W

Søgaard et al. [73] &

Chrøis et al. [138]

11/11

Healthy, inactive

M: ~ 63

W: ~ 63

~ 31

~ 31

~ 27

~ 23

NR; NR

5 × 1 min at ~ 125% PPO, 1.5 min recovery

6 wks;

3 sessions/wk; cycling

\({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2}\)peak in M and W

↑ Clamp insulin sensitivity in M and W (M > W trend p = 0.068)

↔ OGTT glucose or insulin AUC in M and W

↔ FPG or FPI in M and W

↓ HbA1c in M and ↔ in W (p < 0.001)

↑ CS maximal activity in M and W

↑ ETC protein content in M and W

↑ Mitochondrial respiratory capacity in M and ↔ in W

(p < 0.001)

Weber et al. [74]

7/7

Healthy,

untrained

M: ~ 24

W: ~ 23

~ 26

~ 23

~ 44

~ 40

Tested in follicular phase; NR

3 × 2 min at ~ 100–120% of \({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2}\)peak, 6 min recovery

8 wks;

3 sessions/wk; cycling

\({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2}\)peak in M and ↔ in W

(p < 0.05)

  1. Statistical significance for the sex by time interaction or independent t-test is presented for outcomes demonstrating a sex-based difference. Body mass index (BMI) was not reported in some studies [68, 69, 72, 74, 75, 163] and was estimated using the mean height and weight values reported. Abbreviations: > greater; increase; decrease; ↔ no change, AUC area under the curve; CGM continuous glucose monitor; COXIV cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV; CS citrate synthase; ETC electron transport chain; FPG fasting plasma glucose; FPI fasting plasma insulin; HbA1c glycated hemoglobin; HC hormonal contraceptive; HOMA-IR homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance; M men; MPS muscle protein synthesis; NR not reported; OC oral contraceptive; OGTT oral glucose tolerance test; Rec active recreationally active; PPO peak power output; \({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2}\)peak peak oxygen uptake; W women