Effects of Combined Vigorous Interval Training Program and Diet on Body Composition, Physical Fitness, and Physical Self-Perceptions Among Obese Adolescent Boys and Girls

  • Rey Olivier
  • Vallier Jean-Marc
  • Nicol Caroline
  • Mercier Charles-Symphorien
  • Maïano Christophe

  • Interval training
  • Pediatric obesity
  • Physical fitness
  • Vigorous exercise
  • Physical self-perceptions

ART

Purpose: This study examined the effects of a five-week intervention combining vigorous interval training (VIT) with diet among twenty-four obese adolescents. Fourteen girls and ten boys (aged 14–15) schooled in a pediatric rehabilitation center participated. Methods: The VIT intensity was targeted and remained above 80% of maximal heart rate (HR) and over six kilocalories per minute. Pre-and postintervention measures were body composition (BMI, weight, body fat percentage), physical self-perceptions (PSP), physical fitness (6-min walking distance and work) and its associated physiological responses (HR peak and blood lactate concentration). A series of two-way analyses of variance or covariance controlling for weight loss were used to examine the changes. Results: Significant improvements were found in body composition, physical fitness and PSP (endurance, activity level, sport competence, global physical self-concept and appearance). In addition, boys presented higher levels of perceived strength and global physical self-concept than girls. Finally, there was a significant increase in perceived endurance, sport competence, and global physical self-concept in girls only. Conclusion: This five-week VIT program combined with diet represents an effective means for improving body composition, physical fitness, and PSP in obese adolescents, the effects on PSP being larger among girls.