Four-Second Cycling Sprints: 10 Minutes Is All You Need for This High-Intensity Workout

Exercise Bike

The University of Texas at Austin Human Performance Lab studied health and performance benefits associated with four-second bursts of high-intensity exercise.

Four-second cycling sprints improve exercise endurance and power.

High-intensity cycling in very short bursts can lead to performance and health benefits in just 10 minutes a day, according to a new study that was presented virtually this week at the American Physiological Society’s (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2021.

Remzi Satiroglu

Remzi Satiroglu, MS, University of Texas at Austin. Credit: Remzi Satiroflu

Young adult volunteers participated in high-intensity cycling three times a week for eight weeks. They cycled at maximum effort for four seconds and rested for 15 to 30 seconds before beginning another four-second sprint. Each sprint-rest bout was repeated up to 30 times in a single workout session, for a total of 10 minutes.

By the end of the trial period, the participants had increased their maximum oxygen consumption, which indicates an improvement of aerobic exercise endurance. Their anaerobic power (strength) and total blood volume increased as well. Both athletic performance and cardiovascular health can improve with a boost in blood volume, explained Remzi Satiroglu, MS, first author of the study from the University of Texas at Austin.

These results may encourage people to exercise because the total workout time is very short, Satiroglu explained. “[People] often claim they don’t have enough time to squeeze [exercise] in. We offer people a workout that only takes 10 minutes total and shows results when completed three times per week,” he said.

About Experimental Biology 2021

Experimental Biology is the annual meeting of five societies that explores the latest research in physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, and molecular biology, investigative pathology and pharmacology. With a mission to share the newest scientific concepts and research findings shaping clinical advances, the meeting offers an unparalleled opportunity for global exchange among scientists who represent dozens of scientific areas, from laboratory to translational to clinical research.

About the American Physiological Society

Physiology is a broad area of scientific inquiry that focuses on how molecules, cells, tissues, and organs function in health and disease. The American Physiological Society connects a global, multidisciplinary community of more than 10,000 biomedical scientists and educators as part of its mission to advance scientific discovery, understand life, and improve health. The Society drives collaboration and spotlights scientific discoveries through its 16 scholarly journals and programming that support researchers and educators in their work.

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