Open Access Short Report

Cardiorespiratory fitness level correlates inversely with excess post-exercise oxygen consumption after aerobic-type interval training

Tomoaki Matsuo1*, Kazunori Ohkawara23, Satoshi Seino4, Nobutake Shimojo4, Shin Yamada1, Hiroshi Ohshima1, Kiyoji Tanaka4 and Chiaki Mukai1

Author Affiliations

1 Space Biomedical Research Office, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), 2-1-1, Sengen, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8505, Japan

2 Faculty of Informatics and Engineering, University of Electro-Communications, 1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Chofu, Tokyo, 182-8585, Japan

3 Health Promotion and Exercise Program, National Institute of Health and Nutrition, 1-23-1, Toyama, Shinjuku, Tokyo, 162-8636, Japan

4 Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8574, Japan

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:646  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-646

Published: 21 November 2012



The purpose of this study was to reveal any association between cardiorespiratory fitness level and excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) using three cycling protocols with varying degrees of exercise intensity, i.e., sprint interval training (SIT), high-intensity interval aerobic training (HIAT), and continuous aerobic training (CAT).


Ten healthy men, aged 20 to 31 years, attended a cross-over experiment and completed three exercise sessions: SIT consisting of 7 sets of 30-s cycling at 120% VO2max with a 15-s rest between sets; HIAT consisting of 3 sets of 3-min cycling at 80~90% VO2max with a 2-min active rest at 50% VO2max between sets; and CAT consisting of 40 min of cycling at 60~65% VO2max. During each session, resting VO2, exercise VO2, and a 180-min post-exercise VO2 were measured. The net exercise VO2 during the SIT, HIAT, and CAT averaged 14.7 ± 1.5, 31.8 ± 4.1, and 71.1 ± 10.0 L, and the EPOCs averaged 6.8 ± 4.0, 4.5 ± 3.3, and 2.9 ± 2.8 L, respectively. The EPOC with SIT was greater than with CAT (P < 0.01) and HIAT (P = 0.12). Correlation coefficients obtained between subjects’ VO2max and the ratio of EPOC to net exercise VO2 for SIT, HIAT, and CAT were −0.61 (P = 0.06), -0.79 (P < 0.01), and −0.42 (P = 0.23), respectively.


Our data suggest that cardiorespiratory fitness level correlates negatively with the magnitude of EPOC, especially when performing aerobic-type interval training.

Aerobic fitness; Maximal oxygen consumption; Cycling; Energy expenditure; Exercise physiology