Those new to participating in “sprint training” may be doing their bodies more harm than good, according to a recent study.

In the study, Canadian and European researchers analyzed tissue samples from a dozen male volunteers in Sweden who identified themselves as untrained or only moderately active. The participants participated in high-intensity training over a 2-week period that involved repeated 30-second all-out sprints, followed by rest periods, explains a media release from the University of British Columbia.

According to their analysis, the scientists found that the participants had signs of stress in their muscle tissues. They also found that the participants’ mitochondria were also firing at half-power post-training, reducing their capacity to consume oxygen and their ability to fight off free radicals.

Well-trained, seasoned athletes have built up antioxidant enzymes in their bodies to protect against free radicals, states Robert Boushel, the study’s senior author and director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Kinesiology, in the release.

He recommends that, rather than performing full sprints all at once, that beginners new to training start slowly and gradually increase the sprints’ intensity over time, under the supervision of a trained professional or kinesiologist.

“If you’re new to going to the gym, participating in high-intensity ‘sprint’ classes may increase your performance but might not be healthy for you,” he adds, per the release.

The study was published recently in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal.

[Source(s): University of British Columbia, EurekAlert]