Preprint / Version 1

Effort and duration matched ‘High Intensity Interval Training’ using cycle ergometry compared to leg press resistance training


  • Marcelo Silva
  • Cláudio de Lira
  • James Steele
  • James Fisher
  • João Mota
  • Aline Gomes
  • Paulo Gentil



aerobic training, cardiorespiratory fitness, effort, intensity, strength, strength training


Purpose: Exercises for increasing muscle strength and cardiorespiratory fitness are traditionally prescribed separately, based on the different characteristics of the modalities and the adaptations that each typically promotes. This separation has been questioned by recent studies that suggest that the intensity of effort at which the exercise is performed seems to impart greater influence than the equipment involved. Based on this assumption, it has been proposed that ‘cardio’ training and resistance training might promote similar adaptations as long as effort and duration are equated. The objective of the present study was to compare two ‘High Intensity Interval Training’ protocols matched for effort and duration using different exercise modalities, leg press (resistance training) and cycle ergometry (‘cardio’), upon changes in muscle strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, and lower limb composition in recreationally trained men. Methods: Twenty-five trained men (28.9 ± 5.6 years, 6.6 ± 5.6 years of training experience) were randomly divided into two groups. One group performed sprint interval training on a cycle ergometer (4 sets of 30 seconds sprints) and the other performed leg press (4 sets of 10-12 repetitions to momentary failure). Both groups trained three times a week for 5 weeks. Before and after the training period, the participants performed a 10-repetition maximum (10RM) for knee extension, An incremental exercise test on a treadmill for time to exhaustion (TTE) and peak oxygen consumption (V ̇O2peak), and underwent dual energy X-ray absorptiometry to assess lower limb composition. Results: Knee extension 10RM and TTE increased in both groups with no statistically significant between group difference (p = 0.614 and p = 0.210). There was a statistically significant between group difference for change in V ̇O2peak (p = 0.023) with only the cycle ergometer group showing a significant within group increase. For all lower limb composition outcomes, changes were minimal. Conclusion: The results of the present study suggest that 5 weeks of effort and duration matched ‘High Intensity Interval Training’ using cycle ergometry ‘cardio’ or leg press resistance training may produce similar strength and endurance (TTE) adaptations. However, ‘cardio’ modality training may produce greater increases in cardiorespiratory fitness.