Research Topic

Translating High Intensity Interval Training into a ‘Real World’ Exercise Strategy

About this Research Topic

Physical inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle are strongly linked to the development of cardio-metabolic pathologies and risk of premature mortality. Whilst traditional exercise guidelines, centered on regularly undertaking moderate-intensity type exercise, are an effective strategy to improve cardio-metabolic health, uptake and prolonged engagement in such programs is poor. The last 15 years, however, has seen a surge in interest surrounding the potential therapeutic benefits of high intensity interval training (HIT), primarily due to its time-efficient nature and purported ability to induce similar cardio-metabolic benefits as traditional moderate-intensity exercise programs. Indeed, both the physiological and psychological benefits of HIT are well-documented, but to date the majority of work is limited to tightly-controlled, lab-based investigations.

The goal of the present Research Topic is to highlight important new findings about how HIT can be effectively adopted as an exercise strategy in the ‘real world’. That is, this Research Topic will focus on whether the cardio-metabolic benefits of HIT are retained outside of a laboratory setting, and whether these benefits are comparable to traditional exercise interventions. The Research Topic also aims to highlight work that considers strategies for the prescription of HIT, and particularly the use of novel technologies, as well as evaluating the efficacy and uptake of HIT programs within individuals and communities. Research may also consider psychological outcomes related to HIT which are of importance in underpinning an effective exercise strategy outside of the laboratory. Research in clinical populations is welcome, whether the focus is on prevention or treatment. Together, this collection of research articles will provide a basis from which to optimize HIT so that it can be used by health professionals as a strategy to help alleviate the burden of physical inactivity and associated pathologies.

The scope of this Research Topic is any work that provides new knowledge to support and expedite HIT as an exercise strategy into the public domain. Original research articles are preferred, but narrative or systematic reviews are also welcome. The following themes/sub-topics are of particular interest:

• HIT and cardio-metabolic outcomes in both healthy individuals and clinical populations
• Technology to support prescription and monitoring of HIT (e.g., app-based prescription/monitoring)
• HIT and psycho-social outcomes
• Evaluation of short- and long-term HIT programs (especially uptake and adherence)
• Community-based HIT programs
• Physiological adaptations to HIT
• Immunological effects of HIT
• HIT and the exercise environment
• HIT interventions for adolescents (e.g. school-based HIT)
• Technology-based HIT (e.g. exergaming, virtual reality)
• Combined HIT and nutrition interventions


Keywords: Interval Training, Inactivity, Cardio-metabolic Health, Technology, Exercise Prescription


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Physical inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle are strongly linked to the development of cardio-metabolic pathologies and risk of premature mortality. Whilst traditional exercise guidelines, centered on regularly undertaking moderate-intensity type exercise, are an effective strategy to improve cardio-metabolic health, uptake and prolonged engagement in such programs is poor. The last 15 years, however, has seen a surge in interest surrounding the potential therapeutic benefits of high intensity interval training (HIT), primarily due to its time-efficient nature and purported ability to induce similar cardio-metabolic benefits as traditional moderate-intensity exercise programs. Indeed, both the physiological and psychological benefits of HIT are well-documented, but to date the majority of work is limited to tightly-controlled, lab-based investigations.

The goal of the present Research Topic is to highlight important new findings about how HIT can be effectively adopted as an exercise strategy in the ‘real world’. That is, this Research Topic will focus on whether the cardio-metabolic benefits of HIT are retained outside of a laboratory setting, and whether these benefits are comparable to traditional exercise interventions. The Research Topic also aims to highlight work that considers strategies for the prescription of HIT, and particularly the use of novel technologies, as well as evaluating the efficacy and uptake of HIT programs within individuals and communities. Research may also consider psychological outcomes related to HIT which are of importance in underpinning an effective exercise strategy outside of the laboratory. Research in clinical populations is welcome, whether the focus is on prevention or treatment. Together, this collection of research articles will provide a basis from which to optimize HIT so that it can be used by health professionals as a strategy to help alleviate the burden of physical inactivity and associated pathologies.

The scope of this Research Topic is any work that provides new knowledge to support and expedite HIT as an exercise strategy into the public domain. Original research articles are preferred, but narrative or systematic reviews are also welcome. The following themes/sub-topics are of particular interest:

• HIT and cardio-metabolic outcomes in both healthy individuals and clinical populations
• Technology to support prescription and monitoring of HIT (e.g., app-based prescription/monitoring)
• HIT and psycho-social outcomes
• Evaluation of short- and long-term HIT programs (especially uptake and adherence)
• Community-based HIT programs
• Physiological adaptations to HIT
• Immunological effects of HIT
• HIT and the exercise environment
• HIT interventions for adolescents (e.g. school-based HIT)
• Technology-based HIT (e.g. exergaming, virtual reality)
• Combined HIT and nutrition interventions


Keywords: Interval Training, Inactivity, Cardio-metabolic Health, Technology, Exercise Prescription


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

03 May 2021 Manuscript
03 June 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

03 May 2021 Manuscript
03 June 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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