The Effects of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on Asthmatic Adult Males


  • Zakaria A Alyousif University of Toledo
  • Craig P Black
  • Suzanne Wambold
  • Mohamad Nawras
  • Barry W Scheuermann


Background This study explored the effects of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on pulmonary function, exercise tolerance, and fractional concentration of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) in asthmatic and healthy adults. FeNO levels, associated with lung inflammation, are a diagnostic tool for asthma treatment, making this study significant for understanding HIIT's impact on asthma management.


Materials and Methods:

Fourteen male subjects (7 asthmatic, 7 healthy) participated in a two-week HIIT protocol. Pulmonary function was assessed using peak expiratory flow (PEF), forced vital capacity (FVC), and the FEV1/FVC ratio. FeNO was measured with a NIOX portable device. Subjects underwent a progressive exercise test on a cycle ergometer to determine peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak), CO2 output (VCO2 peak), ventilation (VE), and time to exhaustion (TTE). HIIT sessions included warm-ups, 10 x 60-second high-intensity bouts with 60-second recovery intervals, and cool-downs. Intensity targeted 75% peak work rate (WR) for asthmatics and 80% for controls.


Significant differences were observed between groups in FeNO, VO2 peak, TTE, and peak WR, with no significant changes in pulmonary function measures. Pre-HIIT, asthmatics showed a mean FeNO of 28 ± 2 ppb compared to controls at 18 ± 1 ppb, with post-HIIT levels remaining stable. TTE and peak WR improved in both groups post-HIIT, indicating enhanced exercise tolerance and performance capacity. Specifically, asthmatics showed an increase in TTE from 691 ± 40 s to 781 ± 41 s and in peak WR from 175 ± 13 W to 203 ± 14 W.


HIIT was well-tolerated by asthmatic subjects, leading to improved exercise tolerance, higher ventilation, CO2 output, and work rate performance, without significant changes in pulmonary function or FeNO levels. These findings suggest that HIIT can be a safe and effective exercise intervention for asthmatic individuals to enhance exercise performance.




How to Cite

Alyousif, Z. A., Black, C. P., Wambold, S., Nawras, M., & Scheuermann, B. W. (2024). The Effects of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on Asthmatic Adult Males. Journal of Advanced Sciences, 3(1). Retrieved from