Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Health and Human Performance (Exercise Science Option)

Department or School/College

Health and Human Performance

Committee Chair

Dr. John Quindry

Commitee Members

Dr. Annie Sondag, Dr. Keith Anderson, Susan Mathis


Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, high-intensity interval training, exercise prescription, program optimization, interval training


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Health and Physical Education


Aerobic exercise is an effective solution for improving mortality rates and physical outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). There is a controversy, however, in the research literature over what type of training modality produces the best results. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has emerged as a promising alternative to moderate-intensity continuous training (MCT), which is typically used to treat cardiovascular ailments. Currently, there is no consensus on the ideal HIIT prescription that would produce optimal benefits for patients, however. The goal of this review is to clarify whether HIIT provides either superior or equivalent outcomes in mortality, cardiac autonomic control, mitochondrial density, vascular homeostasis, cardiac structure, weight control, exercise adherence, and control other chronic diseases. In addition, this review analyzes the safety and programming considerations for including HIIT in cardiac rehabilitation facilities. Finally, an exercise prescription is presented, based on the literature, to suggest how HIIT prescriptions could be incorporated into traditional rehabilitation programs. After accounting for the potential benefits, risks, and integration considerations, this review recommends the use of HIIT in well-equipped rehabilitation programs after selecting interested, relatively fit, and low-risk patients.



© Copyright 2018 Matt C. Chapman