According to the latest research by Liverpool John Moores and the University of Birmingham, intense intermittent training can be a time-saving choice for endurance training. So even if HIIT takes up half the time, the same health benefits can be obtained from endurance activities.
How is this going?
The researchers recruited 16 young men with a mean age of 21 and compared them to endurance training and intermittent dash training. Some participants completed six weeks of endurance training (five times a week, 40 to 60 minutes by bike). The rest were intensively trained intermittently (four or six repetitions of 30 seconds of Full Force sprint, interspersed with 4.5 minutes of low-intensity cycling three times a week). In the next phase of the study, the researchers performed muscle biopsies before and after the participants completed a 60-minute cycle ride.
It turns out that both forms of exercise – five hours of endurance training and HIIT for 90 minutes – help to reduce aortic stiffness (affecting how fast the blood passes through the arteries) and increase systemic insulin sensitivity (the body is dealing with glucose). This is important because it means that HIIT and endurance training are equally effective in helping reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
This study adds more and more research shows that in adults and children, HIIT is a more time efficient way to see the same health effects we gain from endurance training.
Specifically, research shows that HIIT improves skeletal muscle oxidation (how the muscles use oxygen effectively) and improves performance. We can even get these benefits from Low Volume High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which includes 15 to 60 second high-intensity cycling arrays and low-intensity cycling with 2-4 minute intervals.
There is also some evidence that people are more likely to insist on HIIT training than endurance training. This may be due to the much reduced time required for HIIT, which is one of the main reasons why adults do not exercise. Better news? Scientists say HIIT is suitable for anyone of all ages and health levels (start sprint, Gramps!).
Of course, on the other hand, this study does not mean that long distance runners can say goodbye to long distance running. Mileage and marathon runners have time and place while other endurance athletes still need to record some distance during the preparation for the match (or match). It is also important to note that intense sprint practice depletes the body’s energy stores, especially glycogen. So it’s worth mixing it with less intense heart workouts so your body can cheer.
No matter who we are, one of the most important parts of building an exercise routine is finding something enjoyable and maintainable. So for those looking for the same 45-minute treadmill running speed, there is no need to immediately switch to the running interval. However, even when we are in a very rapid period, we still have time to practice good health habits.