Low cardiorespiratory fitness (e.g. aerobic power (VO2peak)) is highly associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and mortality from all causes. To alleviate the health burden associated with low fitness, exercise training guidelines recommend that people undertake physical activity to improve VO2peak. However, it is well known that there is a large inter-individual variability in improvements in VO2peak in response to exercise training. Given that high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness are one of the best predictors of the risk of morbidity and mortality it is important to understand what factors (e.g. genetic) predict the variability in the exercise training response.

The aim of this study is to identify genetic variants explaining the change in VO2peak that occurs in response to high intensity interval training (HIIT). Data from previous tightly-controlled studies using HIIT from Norway, Canada and Australia will be used. Participants with measured VO2peak data who achieved high compliance with supervised HIIT training (>90%) will be asked to provide saliva for genetic analysis (~n=1000). Additional demographic and clinical data from the studies will also be collated. Genetic variants identified in a previous study (Heritage Study) will be examined.

Project lead

Project collaborators

  • Professor Ulrik Wisloff, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Dr Jonathon Little, University of British Columbia
  • Professor Nuala Byrne, Bond University

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