This study examined the effects of 6 weeks of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on performance and health indicators in obese perimenopausal (PERIM) women and similarly aged and older postmenopausal women (POSTM1 and POSTM2, respectively).
Sixteen PERIM women (average age 49.6 y), 21 POSTM1 women (average age 50.6 y), and 19 POSTM2 women (average age 69.6 y) completed a 6-week HIIT intervention. Anthropometric parameters, mechanical efficiency (ME in %), lipid oxidation (LO in %), and low and high spectral frequencies (LF[ms] and HF[ms]) were computed pre- and postintervention.
PERIM women showed a significantly higher VO2max preintervention compared to POSTM1 and 2 (P < 0.01). Moreover, HF, LF, and the LF/HF ratio differed significantly in PERIM women preintervention compared to POSTM1 and 2 (P < 0.01, respectively). After 6 weeks, a significant decrease in anthropometric variables was observed for all groups (P < 0.01). The VO2max in mL/kg/min increased for all groups (P < 0.01). Multiple linear regression analysis demonstrated that age contributed significantly to differences in VO2max values between groups preintervention (r = 0.72). This model accounted for 34% (r2 = 0.34) of the variation. On the other hand, menopause status was an independent predictor of LO, accounting for 38% of the variation, as well as of HF (33%), LF (29%), and the LF/HF ratio (24%). After HIIT, no age or menopause effect was detected for these independent variables.
Maximal oxygen consumption, HF, LF, and the LF/HF ratio differ among women according to the menopausal status and age. A 6-week HIIT intervention improved many health and performance parameters and reduced the effects of menopause and age.