Does It Have To Be High Intensity To See Results? Article, Fitness


Does It Have To Be High Intensity To See Results?

By Hannah Wilson, CPT

Moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) is characteristic of moderate intensity over an extended period of time, while, high intensity interval training (or HIIT) is higher intensity exercises over a shorter duration.  The definition is in the name, but it is still important to differentiate. That being said, which is better for fat loss? Which is better for muscular strength? 

The Journal of Diabetes Research did a study using 43 obese young women in a test of Abdominal Visceral Fat Reduction.  Of those 43 women, 15 were taken through a 12-week HIIT program, 15 did MICT, and 13 did no exercise program. The two groups that participated in HIIT or MICT showed significant decreases in both visceral fat and subcutaneous fat in the abdominal region compared to the sedentary group.  However, the two groups did not show significant differences compared to each other, meaning neither training group achieved more fat loss than the other. (Zhang, Tong, Qiu) With this information, what is the best method of exercise for YOU? 

The Journal of Sports Science and Medicine compared The Effects of High Intensity Interval Training vs Steady State Training on Aerobic and Anaerobic Capacity. This study took 55 untrained college-aged individuals through a triweekly 8-week program.  1) The steady-state training program consisted of 19 subjects for twenty minutes. 2) The Tabata training group consisted of 21 subjects for eight intervals of 20 seconds high intensity, 10 second rest, which is the format for Tabata training . 3) Finally, the Meyer training group consisted of 15 subjects for 13 sets of 30 seconds high intensity. (Foster, Farland, Guidotti)

Results showed no significant difference between the three groups, however, there was a significant increase in VO2 max, PPO, and peak and mean power in the testing. (Foster, Farland, Guidotti)  This means there was an increase in the maximum oxygen consumption, the exercise intensity, and the amount of power supplied over a short period of time. No significant difference in aerobic and anaerobic when the three groups of steady-state, Tabata, and Meyer were compared to each other.  What does this mean? This means you cannot lose! Unless you are the sedentary group from experiment one, you can only help your overall health and wellness. 


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