The Impact of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on the Performance of Elite Rowing Athletes

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Muhammad Rushd-ud -din Butt
Muhammad Ghazi-ud-din Butt
Ghulam Shabbir Anjum


Background: The rowing being the fitness sports mainly depends upon the endurance component of fitness as valued by the trainers and coaches. But examination of latest training methods to attain optimal performance from elite rowing athletes compelled the trainers to develop combination of cross-fitness and high intensity training versions to achieve competitive performances.

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of high intensity interval training (HIIT) on the performance of male (2Kms) elite rowing athletes.

Methodology: This quasi-experimental study was conducted with non-probability convenience sampling over a period of 8 weeks. Total n=20 national and international  rowing male athletes, aged from 17-32 years, participated during  camping for the preparation of national rowing championship at Pakistan Sports Board, Jinnah Complex Islamabad, Pakistan. The athletes with any disease, or trauma and coaches were excluded. The athletes underwent 8 Wks (HIIT) fitness training to improve their overall performance in a controlled training environment. The results of the study were analyzed in frequencies, percentages. One sample t-Test was also incorporated to compare / compute the per-post intervention of 8 weeks.

Results: Study revealed significant difference in the scores of the beep (VO2Max) tests. The per-post experiment performance of VO2Max showed, (Mean ± SD), 48.61 ± 4.69 and 52.89 ± 4.85   (mL/Kg/min) respectively, whereas the actual performance of 2km rowing (Mean ± SD) were found 6.84 ± 0.346 and 6.40 ± 0.242 (Mins) respectively. The association between fitness capacity and actual event performance were also analysed.  The null hypothesis was rejected and association of high intensity training showed two tailed significant difference < 0.001by analysing through One Sample Test.

Conclusion: The eight weeks, high intensity interval training (HIIT) showed substantial improvement in overall fitness and performances of (2KMs) elite rowing athletes.

Recommendations: The advance coaches and trainers of today’s professional rowing athletes must incorporate this important training technique of (HIIT) during periodization, to improve the standards and overall performances.

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