Cardiorespiratory coordination reveals training-specific physiological adaptations

Sergi Garcia-Retortillo , Mariano Gacto, O'Leary Thomas, Mark Noon, R Hristovski, Balagué Natalia, Martyn Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
131 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: To compare the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and moderate-intensity training (CONT), matched for total work, on cardiorespiratory coordination and aerobic fitness. Methods: This is a two-arm parallel group single-blind randomised study. Twenty adults were assigned to 6 weeks of HIIT or volume-matched CONT. Participants completed a progressive maximal cycling test before and after the training period. Principal component (PC) analysis was performed on the series of cardiorespiratory variables to evaluate dimensionality of cardiorespiratory coordination, before and after lactate turnpoint. PC 1 eigenvalues were compared. Results: Both HIIT and CONT improved aerobic fitness (main effects of time, p < 0.001, ηp2 ≥ 0.580), with no differences between groups. CONT decreased the number of PCs from two to one at intensities both below and above the lactate turnpoint; PC 1 eigenvalues increased after CONT both below (Z = 2.08; p = 0.04; d = 0.94) and above the lactate turnpoint (Z = 2.10; p = 0.04; d = 1.37). HIIT decreased the number of PCs from two to one after the lactate turnpoint only; PC 1 eigenvalues increased after HIIT above the lactate turnpoint (Z = 2.31; p = 0.02; d = 0.42). Conclusions: Although CONT and HIIT improved aerobic fitness to a similar extent, there were different patterns of change for cardiorespiratory coordination. These changes appear training-intensity specific and could be sensitive to investigate the individual response to endurance training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1701-1709
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number8
Early online date11 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

The final publication is available at Springer via 10.1007/s00421-019-04160-3

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


  • Coordinative variables
  • Endurance training
  • High-intensity interval training
  • Moderate-intensity continuous training
  • Principal component analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


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