Metabolic and hormonal responses to prolonged intermittent exercise

Kazunobu Ohmori, Isao Muraoka, Yoshio Nakamura, Fukio Ohta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to compare the influence of prolonged continuous (CON) and intermittent (INT) exercises on metabolic and hormonal responses in 8 male college students (age; 23.0±0.5yr, weight; 67.7±1.5kg, V̇O2max; 2.8±0.1 L/min, mean±SE). Both trials consisted of two 40 min cycling bouts divided by a 5-min rest period. The intensity of INT was alternated every 4 min at low intensity (25% V̇O2max) and high intensity (75% V̇O2max), whereas the intensity of CON was maintained at 50% V̇O2max. Blood samples were collected before, and after 40 and 80 min of exercise, to determine blood lactate, serum glucose, FFA, insulin, plasma adrenaline and noradrenaline. Perceived exertion (RPE) was assessed at 40 and 80 min of exercise using the Borg scale. Although the changes in the concentration of plasma noradrenaline and serum insulin from basal values were similar in INT and CON, the degree of increase in plasma adrenaline during INT was significantly smaller than that during CON (90.5±16.6 vs. 152.8±27.0 pg/ml, p<0.05, after 80 min of exercise). There was no difference in the change in the serum glucose level between the two trials. However, serum FFA in INT was significantly smaller than that in CON after 40 min (0.28± 0.06 vs. 0.10±0.04 mEq/l, p<0.05) and 80 min (0.54±0.08 vs. 0.33±0.07 mEq/l, p<0.05) of exercise. RPE did not differ between the trials. These data indicate that even if performed total work and exercise duration are the same, metabolic and hormonal responses during prolonged intermittent exercise differ from those during continuous exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-508
Number of pages10
Journaljapanese journal of physical fitness and sports medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Oct


  • Adrenaline
  • Exercise intensity
  • Free fatty acid
  • Intermittent exercise
  • Prolonged exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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