There was an interesting BBC news story recently, concerning a study which suggests that exercising with intensity delivers significant results compared with other workout programmes.
As detailed in the news story, according to research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, high intensity interval exercising (also known as Hiit training) may be more effective in terms of losing weight than longer, less intense workouts.
The British Journal of Sports Medicine analysed results from 36 earlier exercise studies which suggests that although all the participants lost weight, those following a Hiit programme saw a 28.5% greater weight loss than those who did not.
The research acknowledges that Hiit training is physically demanding and, because of this, is not for everyone. "Hiit might increase the risk of injury and impose higher cardiovascular stress," the report authors advise, but for those not in this situation such training does get results.
As part of the research study, researchers from the Federal University of Goias, Brazil analysed data from 576 men and 522 women with different fitness levels. For the purpose of the study Hiit is defined as cardiovascular exercise interval training which involves repeated bursts of intense effort, interspersed with recovery periods.
Cycling, swimming, running and boxing are all included within this definition and these workouts were compared with longer moderate workouts, most of which were between 30 and 45 minutes long, while all participants in the study exercised for at least four weeks.
Those undertaking interval training in the study lost, on average, 1.58kg compared with the 1.13kg lost by those doing lower intensity workouts.
Also, according to the study, sprint interval training seemed to be particularly effective for weight loss (though the study’s researchers caution that the wide variety of training programmes studied make it difficult to recommend one regime over another).
I advise everyone to take time to understand the findings of this study.
As anyone who knows me will be aware I believe absolutely in exercising with intensity and purpose to get lasting results. Working out should be demanding, energising and should also deliver measurable results. In my view coasting through a workout programme and slipping into a mechanical and passive exercise programme is a slow track to disappointment and mediocrity.
So, want to make progress in the gym?
Then exercise with intensity and passion.