High intensity training-induced changes in skeletal muscle antioxidant enzyme activity. Academic Article uri icon


  • These experiments tested the hypothesis that high intensity (interval) training is superior to moderate intensity (continuous) exercise training in the upregulation of antioxidant enzyme activity in skeletal muscle. To test this postulate, we examined changes in oxidative and antioxidant enzyme activities in rat skeletal muscle following 12 wk of either interval (6 x approximately 5-min intervals at approximately 80-95% VO2max) or continuous (45 min at approximately 70% VO2max) exercise training. Both continuous and interval training resulted in significantly elevated (P < 0.05) succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) and 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA-dehydrogenase (HADH) activities in the gastrocnemius (G) and soleus (S) muscles compared with controls. SDH and HADH activities in the G and S muscles did not differ between the two exercise groups. Glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity exceeded controls (P < 0.05) in only the interval trained S muscle. Soleus superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was higher (P < 0.05) in both exercise groups compared with controls. No differences in SOD activity existed between interval and continuous trained animals. We conclude that when matched for oxygen cost, interval and continuous exercise training result in similar increases in SOD activity. However, high intensity interval exercise is superior to moderate intensity continuous exercise in the promotion of GPX activity in the S.

published proceedings

  • Med Sci Sports Exerc

author list (cited authors)

  • Criswell, D., Powers, S., Dodd, S., Lawler, J., Edwards, W., Renshler, K., & Grinton, S.

citation count

  • 161

complete list of authors

  • Criswell, D||Powers, S||Dodd, S||Lawler, J||Edwards, W||Renshler, K||Grinton, S

publication date

  • October 1993