Increased cardiovascular fitness, V˙O2max, is associated with enhanced endurance capacity and a decreased rate of mortality. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best methods to increase V˙O2max and endurance capacity for top athletes and for the general public as well. Because of the high intensity of this type of training, the adaptive response is not restricted to Type I fibers, as found for moderate intensity exercise of long duration. Even with a short exercise duration, HIIT can induce activation of AMPK, PGC-1α, SIRT1 and ROS pathway as well as by the modulation of Ca2+ homeostasis, leading to enhanced mitochondrial biogenesis, and angiogenesis. The present review summarizes the current knowledge of the adaptive response of HIIT.
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