Research Output
All-out sprinting: Reliability and sensitivity of testing, and the effects of work-to-rest ratio and exercise modality
  This PhD thesis by Published Works consists of six peer-reviewed journal articles relating to the overall theme of all-out sprint testing and training. The purpose of the thesis was, firstly, to investigate the performance reliability and test sensitivity of the 6- and 30-s Wingate Anaerobic Tests (WAnT), and secondly, to measure the effects of work-to-rest (W:R) ratios and exercise modality (cycling and running) during all-out training on physiological and performance adaptations in healthy participants.

In Publication 1, no significant differences in peak power output (PPO) and mean power output (MPO) across four trials of a 6- and 30-s WAnT were found in physically active males and females. Furthermore, test sensitivity of both WAnT protocols was generally marginal in both sexes, and only male MPO in the 30-s test displayed good test sensitivity. Publication 2 was a 2-week cycling repeated sprint training (RST) intervention in competitive runners. The results showed that the type and magnitude of adaptations is dependent on the prescribed W:R ratio. Specifically, greater improvements in endurance performance tests, as measured by the 3-km running time-trial (TT), time-toexhaustion (TTE) and peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak) were demonstrated with shorter rest periods (1:3 W:R ratio), whereas longer rest periods (1:8 and 1:12 W:R ratios) resulted in higher power outcomes (PPO and MPO). Publication 3 demonstrated improvement in tests requiring endurance intensive efforts (10-km cycling TT, TTE and critical power), following a 4-week cycling sprint interval training (SIT) in female-only participants. However, twice weekly cycling SIT sessions did not provide adequate stimulus to significantly increase cardiorespiratory fitness (V̇O2peak) in healthy young females. Publication 4 reported a significant change in lactate kinetics following a 6-week cycling RST in adolescent academy level male football players. These changes were associated with the improvements in different performance measures. Specifically, maximal blood lactate kinetics was shown to correlate with sprint and power parameters, while endurance performance was related to maximal blood lactate clearance. Publication 5 directly compared acute physiological adaptations in response to two weeks of cycling SIT and uphill run sprint training (UST) in recreationally active males. While there was no significant improvement in V̇O2peak following either training modality, the UST was effective at improving TTE and ventilatory threshold by 11% and 3%, respectively. Finally, Publication 6 measured the effectiveness of a longer, 6-week UST to improve physical characteristics in competitive male footballers. Twice weekly UST performed alongside normal football training significantly enhanced endurance measures (YYIR1 distance: +11.9%; estimated V̇O2peak: +2.9%; 3-km TT: -4%), increased leg and back strength (+10%) and decreased time taken to complete change of direction test (-3.2%).

Collectively, these findings have practical implications for testing selection and training prescription in research and practice. One of the key outcomes was provision of valuable data on testing and training responses during all-out sprinting in female participants. Specifically, both WAnT protocols (i.e., 6- or 30-s) can be reliably used when testing male and female participants. With regards to training prescription, the 1:8 W:R ratio during cycling all-out training appears to be optimal when targeting adaptations associated with explosive, high-intensity, and endurance intensive efforts. If access to a cycle ergometer is not possible, though, then the UST performed on a 6-10% slope offers an effective and freely accessible alternative. Finally, recommendations for future research are also presented to facilitate further advancement on this topic.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    07 July 2022

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Kavaliauskas, M. All-out sprinting: Reliability and sensitivity of testing, and the effects of work-to-rest ratio and exercise modality. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from


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