Short Intense Workouts: a Jump Start to achieving your Weight Loss Goals

Wondering what all the commotion is all about around fitness Boot Camps and home workouts like P90X and Insanity?

New research published April 5 in the American Journal of Human Biology reveals that high intensity exercise is more beneficial than traditional endurance training. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of mortality throughout the world and its risk factors have their origins in childhood, said lead author Duncan Buchan from the University of the West of Scotland. This particular study compares the effects of brief, intense exercise to traditional endurance exercises in adolescents.

Buchan’s team recruited a group of volunteer school children, forty seven boys and ten girls, and randomly divided the group into moderate (MOD) and high intensity (HIT) exercise teams.  The two groups performed three weekly exercise sessions over 7 weeks. The HIT groups training consisted of a series of 20 meter sprints over 30 seconds. In contrast the MOD group ran steadily for a period of 20 minutes.

By the end of the study the MOD group had completed 420 minutes of exercise while the HIT group had trained for a shorter 63 minutes. The estimated energy expenditure for the HIT intervention was 907.2 kcal in comparison to 4410 kcal for the MOD group.

The results revealed that both groups demonstrated improved CVD risk factors. However, the total exercise time over seven weeks was six times higher for the MOD group compared to the HIT group. Thus, significant improvements in CVD risk factors in the HIT group occurred in only 15% of the total exercise time.

These findings demonstrate that brief, intense exercise is a time efficient means for improving CVD risk factors in adolescents. Although limited to relatively small samples, the findings demonstrate significant improvements in cardio respiratory fitness, blood pressure, body composition and insulin resistance in healthy adolescent youth after a 7 week intervention of different exercise intensities.

This is the first study to demonstrate the effects of a novel interval training program on both traditional and novel CVD risk factors in adolescents, concluded Buchan. Larger scale and extended interventions must be undertaken so that the long term impact and effects of intermittent training programmers on unfavorable metabolic profiles may be investigated further.

Its completely understandable if this kind of workout does not sound like its up your alley.  But dont fret there are still options that have both the traditional endurance component as well as high intensity that can help segue into a exercise regime and healthier lifestyle.  Sandi Partyka, Smart Workout’s resident Certified Health Counselor states:

While variety is key in any workout regimen, short, intense intervals have also been proven to help aid in weight loss, because of its proven effects in burning fat in the body.  In the Weight Loss program at Smart Workout, weve incorporated interval training and endurance training to help burn fat and improve cardio vascular health. Since this program was created as a three-prong approach to weight loss; nutritional education, exercise program design and counseling support; interval training is a key aspect of the program to help clients reach their weight loss goals.

Adapted from:  Health News Report by Jonathan Kantrowitz