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. genetics and training load) predict the variability in the exercise training response. Research data and a genetic sample from over 500 participants from high intensity interval training and moderate intensity continuous training-related studies will be collated and examined.

Improving VO2max training response (IMPROVE HIIT)

Based on the findings from the PREDICT HIIT study, a gene predictor score (GPS) will be established for the genetic variants associated with a high or low VO2max training response. Recent research has found VO2peak is associated with greater gut microbial diversity. There has been minimal, if any, research to identify the association between the gut microbiome and its effect on VO2peak trainability. Do individuals with a low or high response genetic profile for trainability have differing gut microbiota; and can this microbiome be positively influenced to elicit a greater VO2peak response to high-intensity interval training? Findings may contribute to the field of personalised medicine.

Funding Body: Collaborative Research Network for Advancing Exercise & Sports Science (CRN-AEESS) – Bond University, Robina, Australia.

Project members

The University of Queensland researchers involved in this project are:

Professor Jeff Coombes

Professor & Director
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences