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 (2023) 22, 263 - 272   DOI:

Research article
Effect of Polarized Training on Cardiorespiratory Fitness of Untrained Healthy Young Adults: A Randomized Control Trial with Equal Training Impulse
Tsung-Lin Chiang1, Chu Chen2, Yu-Chin Lin1, Shih-Hsuan Chan1, Huey-June Wu1, 
Author Information
1 Graduate Institute of Sport Coaching Science, Chinese Culture University, Taipei City, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
2 Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

Huey-June Wu
✉ Graduate Institute of Sport Coaching Science, Chinese Culture University, 55, Hwa-Kang Rd., Yang-Ming-Shan, Taipei City 11114, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Publish Date
Received: 17-03-2023
Accepted: 08-05-2023
Published (online): 01-06-2023

To explore the effects of 8-week polarized training (POL), high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and threshold training (THR) interventions on the cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) of untrained healthy young adults. This study recruited 36 young adults and randomly assigned them to POL, HIIT, THR, or control (CG) groups to undergo an 8-week training intervention. The training impulse applied to all three intervention groups was identical. The training intensity was divided into Zone 1, 2, and 3 (Z1, Z2 and Z3) on the basis of the ventilatory thresholds (VT). The weekly training intensity distribution for POL was 75% of Z1 and 25% of Z3; HIIT was 100% of Z3 and THR was 50% of Z1 and 50% of Z2. Each group underwent Bruce protocol testing and supramaximal testing before, during, and after the intervention; relevant CRF parameters were assessed. 8 weeks of POL and HIIT significantly increased VT2 (p < 0.05); 8 weeks of POL, HIIT, THR and significantly increased VO2max and TTE (p < 0.05). The effect size of POL in relation to VO2max and TTE improvements was greater than that of HIIT and THR (g = 2.67 vs. 1.26 and 1.49; g = 2.75 vs. 2.05 and 1.60). Aerobic training models with different intensity distributions have different time effects on improving CRF. Relative to HIIT and THR, POL improved more variables of CRF. Therefore, POL is a feasible aerobic training method for improving CRF.

Key words: Ventilation threshold, Aerobic metabolism adaptation, Training intensity distribution

           Key Points
  • The effect of POL on improving VO (12.9%) and time to exhaustion (12.0%) was greater than that of HIIT and THR.
  • THR mainly comprises moderate-intensity exercises (Zones 1 and 2) and only improves aerobic metabolism (VT).
  • Both POL and HIIT encompass Z3 exercises; this indicates that high-intensity training is conducive to enhancing the energy supply for aerobic metabolism and delaying complete reliance on anaerobic metabolism.
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