High Intensity Interval Training is popular with active adults who appreciate an intense workout even when they’re short on time. The results can equal what you’d get out of a less intense workout lasting twice as long. A study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise examines what added intensity brings to your game.
Researchers had inactive female subjects in their mid-20s engage in high or moderate intensity interval training on a stationary bike. The high intensity workout was performed at 80% to 90% of capacity while moderate cycling was restricted to 60% to 80% of maximum effort. All subjects completed six and ten 60-second sets separated by active low intensity recovery. They trained three times weekly for a total of 12 weeks. Fat oxidation was more dramatically increased with HIIT, but neither group realized significant improvements in body weight, fat reduction or waist circumference.
True Strength Moment: The study brief didn’t mention anything about diet, so it’s hard to know what these subjects were eating during the 12-week program. Fat oxidation was increased for both groups, so that’s a positive development. Unfortunately, it only makes a difference if training efforts are complemented by sensible eating.