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 (2021) 20, 45 - 51   DOI:

Research article
Short-Term Perceptually Regulated Interval-Walk Training in Hypoxia and Normoxia in Overweight-to-Obese Adults
Liam Hobbins1, Steve Hunter1, Nadia Gaoua1, Olivier Girard2, 
Author Information
1 Sport and Exercise Science Research Centre (SESRC), London South Bank University, London, UK
2 School of Human Sciences (Exercise and Sport Science), The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia

Olivier Girard
✉ School of Human Sciences (Exercise and Sport Science), The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.
Publish Date
Received: 09-10-2020
Accepted: 23-11-2020
Published (online): 01-03-2021
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We compared the effects of short-term, perceptually regulated training using interval-walking in hypoxia vs. normoxia on health outcomes in overweight-to-obese individuals. Sixteen adults (body mass index = 33 ± 3 kg·m-2) completed eight interval-walk training sessions (15 × 2 min walking at a rating of perceived exertion of 14 on the 6-20 Borg scale; rest = 2 min) either in hypoxia (FiO2 = 13.0%) or normoxia during two weeks. Treadmill velocity did not differ between conditions or over time (p > 0.05). Heart rate was higher in hypoxia (+10 ± 3%; p = 0.04) during the first session and this was consistent within condition across the training sessions (p > 0.05). Similarly, arterial oxygen saturation was lower in hypoxia than normoxia (83 ± 1% vs. 96 ± 1%, p < 0.05), and did not vary over time (p > 0.05). After training, perceived mood state (+11.8 ± 2.7%, p = 0.06) and exercise self-efficacy (+10.6 ± 4.1%, p = 0.03) improved in both groups. Body mass (p = 0.55), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.19 and 0.07, respectively) and distance covered during a 6-min walk test (p = 0.11) did not change from pre- to post-tests. Short term (2-week) perceptually regulated interval-walk training sessions with or without hypoxia had no effect on exercise-related sensations, health markers and functional performance. This mode and duration of hypoxic conditioning does not appear to modify the measured cardiometabolic risk factors or improve exercise tolerance in overweight-to-obese individuals.

Key words: Obesity, hypoxic conditioning, perceptually regulated exercise, cardio-metabolic health, interval training

           Key Points
  • We compared the effects of a 2-week (8 sessions) perceptually regulated interval-walk intervention in hypoxia . normoxia in overweight-to-obese adults.
  • Despite stronger hypoxia-induced physiological stimulus – yet essentially similar walking speeds – during training, psychological and physiological measures did not differ either between conditions or across sessions.
  • Hypoxic conditioning does not appear to ameliorate exercise-related sensations, cardio-metabolic markers and functional performance, at least over a short training period.
  • Adherence to exercise for longer than a 2-week period is likely required if the beneficial effects of exercise in hypoxia . normoxia are to be realized.
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