Table 1

Structure of the three different high-intensity interval training protocols

Total time38 min38 min38 min
Warm-up10 min warm-up with a heart rate of 60%–70% of HRmax 10 min warm-up on 30% of Wattmax 10 min warm-up at 60%–70% of HRmax
IntervalsFour intervals of 4 min at an intensity that will induce at least 85% of HRmax (starting at 75% of Wattmax).
Each interval is separated by 3 min active pauses, biking at 50%–70% of HRmax.
Six intervals of 1 min at 100% of the Wattmax.
Each interval is interspersed by 3 min active pauses at 30% of Wattmax.
Three intervals of 5 min interspersed by 3 min at 50%–70% of HRmax.
Each interval set consists of 5 min of five repeated 30-20-10 intervals, consisting of 30 s at easy pace, 20 s at medium pace and 10 s at all-out.
Cool-down3 min cool-down at ~warm up intensity7 min cool-down at ~warm-up intensity7 min cool-down at ~warm-up intensity
Success criteriaThe participant must spend at least 25% of the interval above 85% of HRmax.
The participant needs to reach 85% of HRmax during the first 3 min of each 4 min interval. If the participant does not reach 85% of HRmax, the last minute of the 4 min interval, the workload will be increased based on how far the heart rate is from the prescribed target.
Likewise, the workload will be reduced if the RPM falls below 60 or in the next interval if the HR exceeds 95% of HRmax.
The participant must keep a pace above 60 rounds per minute during each interval. If the participant is not capable of keeping the right pace, the workload will be downgraded by 10% from the next interval.The participant must spend at least 25% of each interval above 85% of HRmax.
  • HRmax, maximal heart rate; RPM, rounds per minute; Wattmax, maximal workload (in Watt).