Sprint Training Increases Muscle Oxidative Metabolism During High-Intensity Exercise in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes

  1. Alison R. Harmer, PHD12,
  2. Donald J. Chisholm, MD3,
  3. Michael J. McKenna, PHD4,
  4. Sandra K. Hunter, PHD2,
  5. Patricia A. Ruell, PHD2,
  6. Justine M. Naylor, PHD1,
  7. Lyndal J. Maxwell, PHD1 and
  8. Jeff R. Flack, MD5
  1. 1Discipline of Physiotherapy, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Discipline of Exercise and Sports Science, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4School of Human Movement, Recreation, and Performance, Centre for Aging, Rehabilitation, Exercise, and Sport, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  5. 5Diabetes Centre, Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital, Bankstown, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Corresponding author: Alison Harmer, a.harmer{at}usyd.edu.au


OBJECTIVE—To investigate sprint-training effects on muscle metabolism during exercise in subjects with (type 1 diabetic group) and without (control group) type 1 diabetes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Eight subjects with type 1 diabetes and seven control subjects, matched for age, BMI, and maximum oxygen uptake (o2peak), undertook 7 weeks of sprint training. Pretraining, subjects cycled to exhaustion at 130% o2peak. Posttraining subjects performed an identical test. Vastus lateralis biopsies at rest and immediately after exercise were assayed for metabolites, high-energy phosphates, and enzymes. Arterialized venous blood drawn at rest and after exercise was analyzed for lactate and [H+]. Respiratory measures were obtained on separate days during identical tests and during submaximal tests before and after training.

RESULTS—Pretraining, maximal resting activities of hexokinase, citrate synthase, and pyruvate dehydrogenase did not differ between groups. Muscle lactate accumulation with exercise was higher in type 1 diabetic than nondiabetic subjects and corresponded to indexes of glycemia (A1C, fasting plasma glucose); however, glycogenolytic and glycolytic rates were similar. Posttraining, at rest, hexokinase activity increased in type 1 diabetic subjects; in both groups, citrate synthase activity increased and pyruvate dehydrogenase activity decreased; during submaximal exercise, fat oxidation was higher; and during intense exercise, peak ventilation and carbon dioxide output, plasma lactate and [H+], muscle lactate, glycogenolytic and glycolytic rates, and ATP degradation were lower in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS—High-intensity exercise training was well tolerated, reduced metabolic destabilization (of lactate, H+, glycogenolysis/glycolysis, and ATP) during intense exercise, and enhanced muscle oxidative metabolism in young adults with type 1 diabetes. The latter may have clinically important health benefits.


  • Published ahead of print at http://care.diabetesjournals.org on 20 August 2008.

    Clinical trial reg. no. ACTRN012606000368538, clinicaltrials.org

    Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ for details.

    The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

    • Accepted August 12, 2008.
    • Received February 13, 2008.
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  1. Diabetes Care vol. 31 no. 11 2097-2102
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