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High-intensity intermittent training versus moderate-intensity intermittent training: is it a matter of intensity or intermittent efforts?
  1. David Jiménez-Pavón1,
  2. Carl J Lavie2
  1. 1 GALENO Research Group and Department of Physical Education, Faculty of Education Sciences, University of Cádiz, Cádiz, Spain
  2. 2 Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, Ochsner Clinical School-The University of Queensland’s School of Medicine, New Orleans, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr David Jiménez-Pavón, GALENO Research Group and Department of Physical Education, Faculty of Education Sciences, University of Cádiz, Cádiz 11519, Spain; david.jimenez{at}

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High-intensity intermittent training (HIIT) has gained popularity in recent years for its similar or higher effects compared with aerobic continuous training (ACT) or controls in different age groups, several health-related parameters and cardiovascular diseases (CVD)1–3 as well as in competitive athletes.

‘Intensity’ is not the only difference between HIIT and continuous training

To analyse the role of HIIT comparing HIIT group with controls is an adequate approach for describing acute or chronic responses to a particular training model. However, when aiming to compare the efficacy of two training regimens, it has been usual to compare HIIT with ACT.1 In those cases, authors explained the differences largely on the grounds of intensity.4 However, we highlight that these studies compared two training modalities which are different in their training intensity and in the stimulus type—intermittent versus continuous.

To the best of our knowledge, only three studies5–7 analysed the influence of intensity itself—by comparing HIIT and moderate-intensity intermittent training (MIIT). Alkahtani et al 5 examined the effect of 4-week MIIT and HIIT on fat oxidation and the responses …

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  • Funding DJP was supported by a grant from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation - MINECO (RYC-2014-16938).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.