High-intensity interval exercise is time efficient and has similar cardiorespiratory health benefits as moderate-intensity continuous exercise. However, the prescription of high-intensity exercise may differ between men and women due to sex differences in cardiovascular function. PURPOSE: Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine whether sex differences exist for absolute and relative oxygen uptake (VO2) and heart rate (HR) when exercise was performed at a percentage of maximal cycling work rate measured in watts (Wmax). METHODS: We recruited 8 active college-aged participants (5 men, 3 women). Participants completed an incremental maximal exercise test on a cycle ergometer while VO2, HR, and Wmax were recorded. On a separate day, participants completed a high intensity interval session (4 min bouts with 3 min active recovery) prescribed at 65%Wmax for each bout and at 15%Wmax for the recovery. VO2, HR, and W were averaged from the last minute of each exercise bout for analysis using an independent t-test for sex comparisons. Data are reported in means ± standard deviations and significance was set at PRESULTS: Men exercised at a greater absolute workload than women during interval exercise (191±14 vs. 95±15 W; P2 was higher in men than women during exercise (2.7±0.4 vs. 1.5±0.3 L/min; PP=0.23). Relative VO2 (67±11 vs. 74±6 %VO2max; P=0.15) and HR (95±3 vs. 93±3 %HRmax; P=0.30) were also similar during exercise between sexes. CONCLUSION: In summary, these preliminary data suggest prescribing high-intensity interval exercise at a percentage of maximal work rate results in similar relative cardiorespiratory stress between men and women.



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