Low-Volume Interval Training Produces Same Results as Traditional Aerobics

Public health professional groups such as the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association recommend 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise for promoting good health. Fitness and markers of good health can improve with much less exercise if the intensity is great enough. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)— a series of short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by rest— increases aerobic capacity and improves heart disease risk factors as well as traditional aerobic exercise. Catia Martins from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and colleagues, found during a 12-week study that high-intensity interval training triggered changes in body composition and aerobic capacity as well as traditional aerobics. The researchers also found that an abbreviated interval-training program caused the same changes as the higher volume programs. At least in beginners, small amounts of high-intensity exercise can stimulate substantial changes in fitness and body composition. The key ingredient is intensity. (International Journal Sports Nutrition Exercise Metabolism, 26: 197-204, 2016)

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