Effect of Change in VO2max on Daily Total Energy Expenditure in a Cohort of Norwegian Men: A Randomized Pilot Study

Nina Zisko 1, *, Dorthe Stensvold 1, 2, Katrine Hordnes-Slagsvold 1, 2, Øivind Rognmo 1, Javaid Nauman 1, Ulrik Wisløff 1, Trine Karlsen 1, 2
1 K.G. Jebsen - Center for Exercise in Medicine at the Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
2 Central Norway Regional Health Authority 464, N-7501 Stjørdal

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© Zisko et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the K.G. Jebsen - Center for Exercise in Medicine, Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7489 Trondheim, Norway; Tel: +47 4107 7445; Fax: +47 7359 8613; E-mail:



To investigate how a change in VO2max induced through 6 weeks of high intensity aerobic interval training affects daily total energy expenditure (TEE), active energy expenditure (AEE) and mitochondrial function in people not previously exposed to structured high intensity aerobic interval training (AIT).


Thirty healthy males (39±6 yrs) not exposed to structured exercise training were randomized to either 1x4 min AIT (1-AIT), 4x4 min AIT (4-AIT), both at 90-95% maximum heart rate (HRmax) or 47 min of MCT at 70% HRmax. TEE, AEE, number of steps, active time, sedentary time, VO2max and mitochondrial function in m. vastus lateralis were measured before and after intervention.


TEE increased 14% (p=0.014) and AEE increased 43% (p= 0.004) after MCT. There was no change in TEE or AEE after 1-AIT or 4-AIT, but 1-AIT had significantly lower TEE (p=0.033) and step-count (p=0.011) compared to MCT post intervention. VO2max increased 7% after 1-AIT (p= 0.004) and 9% after 4-AIT (p=0.004), with no change after MCT. No change was observed in maximal mitochondrial respiration (VMAX) or Citrate Synthase (CS) activity within or between interventions. Basal respiration (V0) increased after 1-AIT (p=0.029) and 4-AIT (p=0.022), with no significant change after MCT.


AIT interventions that increase VO2max, do not stimulate subjects to increase TEE or AEE. The intensity of exercise seems to play apart, as MCT increased TEE and AEE and AIT did not. Emphasis should be placed on the importance of maintaining everyday activities when introducing structured exercise training to untrained individuals.

Keywords: high intensity training, VO2max, daily energy expenditure, mitochondria.