Autonomic recovery following sprint interval exercise

M. I. Stuckey, N. Tordi, L. Mourot, L. J. Gurr, M. Rakobowchuk, P. J. Millar, R. Toth, M. J. Macdonald, M. V. Kamath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The autonomic nervous activity was assessed following supramaximal exercise through heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) variability (HRV and BPV) and baroreflex sensitivity (BRS). The beat-to-beat HR and BP were recorded during the supine and standing states before (PRE) and at 60 (R60) and 120min (R120) following single (one Wingate, 1W) and multiple sprint intervals (four Wingates interspersed with 4min of light cycling, 4W). The supine low frequency (LF) component was increased (P<0.001) and the high frequency (HF) was reduced (P<0.01) at R60 (LF, 178.1 ± 11.0; HF, 74.8 ± 10.5) compared with PRE (LF, 140.2 ± 7.4; HF, 110.4 ± 7.2) after both exercises. Supine systolic BPV LF:HF was higher at R60 (4.6 ± 1.4) compared with PRE (6.8 ± 2.4) only after 4W (P=0.035). Supine BRS was lower (P<0.001) at R60 (6.8 ± 1.1) than at PRE (15.3 ± 1.8) and R120 (11.3 ± 1.3). BRS at R120 remained lower after 4W (P=0.02). Standing BRS was less (P<0.001) at R60 (2.3 ± 0.5) than at PRE (5.6 ± 0.8) or R120 (3.7 ± 0.6) and returned to PRE values only after 1W. We concluded that (a) autonomic balance is shifted to a greater sympathetic and less parasympathetic activation following both types of exercise, (b) it takes longer than 1h to recover following supramaximal exercise and (c) the recovery is longer after 4W than 1W.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)756-763
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Baroreflex
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Intermittent exercise
  • Recovery
  • Spectral analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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