Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2018) 17, 501 - 508

Research article
The Effects of Acute Low-Volume HIIT and Aerobic Exercise on Leukocyte Count and Redox Status
Athanasios Z. Jamurtas1,2, , Ioannis G. Fatouros1, Chariklia K. Deli1, Kalliopi Georgakouli1, Athanasios Poulios1, Dimitrios Draganidis1, Konstantinos Papanikolaou1, Panagiotis Tsimeas1, Athanasios Chatzinikolaou3, Alexandra Avloniti3, Athanasios Tsiokanos1, Yiannis Koutedakis1,2,4
Author Information
1 Department of Physical Education & Sport Science, University of Thessaly, Karies, Greece
2 Institute of Human Performance and Rehabilitation, Centre for Research and Technology Thessaly, Greece
3 Department of Physical Education & Sport Science, University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece
4 School of Sports, Performing Arts and Leisure, University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom

Athanasios Z. Jamurtas
‚úČ School of Physical Education & Sport Science, University of Thessaly, Karies, Trikala 42100, Greece
Publish Date
Received: 18-04-2018
Accepted: 31-07-2018
Published (online): 14-08-2018
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A single bout of exercise can result in inflammatory responses, increased oxidative stress and upregulation of enzymatic antioxidant mechanisms. Although low-volume high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has become popular, its acute responses on the above mechanisms have not been adequately studied. The present study evaluated the effects of HIIT on hematological profile and redox status compared with those following traditional continuous aerobic exercise (CET). Twelve healthy young men participated in a randomized crossover design under HIIT and CET. In HIIT session, participants performed four 30-sec sprints on a cycle-ergometer with 4 min of recovery against a resistance of 0.375 kg/kg of body mass. CET consisted of 30-min cycling on a cycle-ergometer at 70% of their VO2max. Blood was drawn at baseline, immediately post, 24h, 48h and 72h post-exercise and was analyzed for complete blood count and redox status (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, [TBARS]; protein carbonyls, [PC]; total antioxidant capacity, [TAC]; catalase and uric acid). White blood cells (WBC) increased after both exercise protocols immediately post-exercise (HIIT: 50% and CET: 31%, respectively). HIIT increased (+22%) PC post-exercise compared to baseline and CET (p < 0.05). HIIT increased TAC immediately post-exercise (16%) and at 24h post-exercise (11%, p < 0.05), while CET increased TAC only post-exercise (12%, p < 0.05) compared to baseline, and TAC was higher following HIIT compared to CET (p < 0.05). Both HIIT and CET increased uric acid immediately post- (21% and 5%, respectively, p < 0.05) and 24h (27% and 5%, respectively, p < 0.05) post-exercise and the rise was greater following HIIT (p < 0.05). There were no significant changes (p > 0.05) for TBARS and catalase following either exercise protocol. Low-volume HIIT is associated with a greater acute phase leukocyte count and redox response than low-volume CET, and this should be considered when an exercise training program is developed and complete blood count is performed for health purposes.

Key words: High-intensity interval exercise, aerobic exercise, oxidative stress, immune system, recovery

           Key Points
  • HIIT perturbates indices of redox status to a greater extent compared to continuous aerobic exercise
  • HIIT elevates white blood cells post exercise to a greater extent compared to continuous aerobic exercise
  • Participation in HIIT one or two days prior to a complete blood count might result in false positive results.
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