The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Physiology of Intermittent Exercise Interest Group

Physiology of Intermittent Exercise Interest Group


Intermittent is a term used to describe exercise where the intensity alternates, as occurs during interval training or in a game of soccer. For example, soccer players are required to alternate between various modes of activity such as walking, standing, running, sprinting and jumping. In contrast to an endurance athlete such as a marathon runner whose movement speed tends to be relatively constant, the alternating modes of activity performed by the soccer player place unique physical and physiological requirements on the body. For example, it has been found that performing intermittent exercise is more energy demanding than continuous exercise at the same mean running speed (Bangsbo, 1994). Intermittent exercise is also used by allied health professionals in rehabilitation programmes. In fact, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that intermittent exercise of 3 to 5 minute bouts with an exercise-to-rest ratio of 2:1 should be used in the initial stages of a cardiac rehabilitation programme (Thompson, 2010). Given the global popularity of team sports such as soccer, and the increasing health crises burdening the western world, it is important that sport and exercise scientists have an understanding of the physiological responses to intermittent exercise and also knowledge of how intermittent exercise can be used in training programmes to increase the exercise capacity of patients with disease or increase the fitness and performance of an athlete.


Objectives of the Interest Group:

            To provide a forum for discussion and debate in this topic.

            To enable dissemination of current practices of relevance to this area.

            To provide a network of scientists and practitioners with interests in this area.

            To promote research in this area.

            To provide a focal point for external bodies to approach in relation to this topic.


Mission Statement of the Interest Group

To promote research, discussion and collaboration in the physiological aspects of intermittent exercise.



If you are interested in joining the group, new members are most welcome and anyone interested should contact:


Dr Grant Abt, The University of Hull - Convenor - Email:

Dr Barry Drust, Liverpool John Moores University - Deputy Convenor - Email:



Bangsbo, J. (1994). The physiology of soccer - with special reference to intense intermittent exercise. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, 151, 1-155.


Thompson, W. R. (ed.) (2010). ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (8th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.