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Table 1 Description of high intensity interval training compared to continuous exercise training studies in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

From: Effects of high intensity interval training on exercise capacity in people with chronic pulmonary conditions: a narrative review

 StudyType of exercise and populationInterval exerciseContinuous exerciseFrequency
Previous review [39]aArnadottir [53]
n = 60
2007
Cycling in people with COPD≥ 80% peak power, followed by 30 to 40% peak power
Duration: 39 min (intervals of 3 min: 3 min)
≥ 65% peak power
Duration: 39 min
2 x per week for 16 weeks
Coppoolse [54]
n = 21
1999
Cycling in people with COPD90% peak power interspersed with 45% peak power, plus continuous cycling at 60%
Duration: 30 min (intervals of 1 min: 2 min)
60% peak power
Duration: 30 min
5 x per week for 8 weeks
Mador [55]
n = 41
2009
Cycling or treadmill in people with COPD150% of continuous exercise target interspersed with 75% of target
Duration: 20 to 40 min (intervals of 1 min:
2 min)
50% peak power and at 80% of 6MWT average speed
Duration: 20 to 40 min
3 x per week for 8 weeks
Nasis [56]
n = 42
2009
Cycling in people with COPD100% peak power and 45% peak power
Duration: 30 to 40 min (intervals of 30 s)
60% peak power
Duration: 30 to 40 min
3 x per week for 10 weeks
a Puhan [57]
n = 98
2006
Cycling in people with COPD50% peak power of a steep-ramp test, followed by 10% peak power
Duration: 25 min (intervals of 20 s:
40 s)
≥ 70% peak power
Duration: 25 min
5 x per week for 3 weeks
Varga [58]
n = 71
2007
Cycling in people with COPD50% peak power interspersed with 10% peak power
Duration: 45 min (intervals of 20 s:
40 s)
≥ 70% peak power
Duration: 45 min
3 x per week for 8 weeks
Vogiatzis [30]
n = 36
2002
Cycling in people with COPD100% peak power and 45% peak power (intervals increased progressively to 140% peak power)
Duration: 40 min (intervals of 30 s)
50% peak power, increasing to 70% by the end of the program
Duration: 40 min
2 x per week for 12 weeks
Vogiatzis [59]
n = 19
2005
Cycling in people with COPD100% peak power and 45% peak power, (intervals increased progressively to 140% peak power)
Duration: 45 min (intervals of 30 s)
60% peak power, increasing to 70% by the end of the program
Duration: 45 min
3 x per week for 10 weeks
Additional studiesaBrØnstad [60]
n = 20
2013
Uphill treadmill walking in people with COPD~  90% maximal heart rate (‘work’)
Duration: 38 min (intervals of 4 min: 4 min)
70% maximum heart rate
Duration: 47 min
3 x per week for 10 weeks
Rodriguez [61]
n = 29
2016
Cycling in people with COPD70 to 100% Wmax (progressively increased over the program), interspersed with 40 to 50% Wmax
Duration: 40 min (intervals of 2 min: 3 min)
60% Wmax
Duration: 40 min
3 x per week for 8 weeks
  1. Abbreviations: 6MWD six minute walk distance, 6MWT six minute walk test, CI confidence interval, COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, VO2peak peak rate of oxygen uptake, Wmax maximum work rate. a identifies studies whereby the total work undertaken was unmatched between exercise training programs. The studies by Puhan et al. [57] and Varga et al. [58] report prescribing an intensity equivalent to 50% peak power of a steep-ramp test. This protocol is known to produce much higher maximum work rates than the traditional incremental / ramp protocols. In both studies, the authors clarify that work rates equivalent to 50% of the maximum achieved on this test is the equivalent to ~ 90% of maximum work rate achieved during traditional protocols. Rodriguez at al [61] reported that during the first 2 weeks of the program, cycling at high work rate was set to a minimum of 70% Wmax and was thereafter increased at 5% every week so that by week 3, training was being undertaken at a sufficiently high intensity to be classified as ‘HIIT’