The effects of short sprint interval training (sSIT) with efforts of ≤10 seconds on maximal oxygen consumption (V̇O max), aerobic and anaerobic performances remain unknown. To verify the effectiveness of sSIT in physically active adults and athletes, a systematic literature search was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). The databases PubMed/MEDLINE, ISI Web of Science, SPORTDiscus were systematically searched on the 9 of May 2020 and updated on the 14 of September 2021. Inclusion criteria were based on PICO and included healthy athletes and active adults of any sex (≤40 years), performing supervised sSIT (≤10 s of “all out” and non “all out” efforts) of at least 2 weeks, with a minimum of 6 sessions. As a comparator, a non-sSIT control group, another high-intensity interval training (HIIT) group, or a continuous training (CT) group were required. A total of 18 studies was deemed eligible. The estimated SMDs based on the random-effects model were -0.56 (95% CI: -0.79, -0.33, p < 0.001) for V̇O max, -0.43 (95% CI: -0.67, -0.20, p < 0.001) for aerobic performance, and -0.44 (95% CI: -0.70, -0.18, p 0.05) for all outcomes when comparing sSIT vs. HIIT/CT. Our findings indicate a very high effectiveness of sSIT protocols in different exercise modes (e.g. cycling, running, paddling, punching) to improve V̇O max, aerobic and anaerobic performances in physically active young healthy adults and athletes.
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