|Remember: HIIT does not have to happen on the treadmill.|
If you haven't yet decided on what type of cardio training you want to do, today's SuppVersity article may help you make the right endurance / cardiovascular exercise choices for 2015. In that, the headline already revealed: At least 50% of your 2015 "Cardio" training should be high intensity interval training (HIIT) - and here is why.
- HIIT is more time efficient - Unless you have lost your hob and are looking to kill the newly won time in 2015, you are probably similarly short on time as most of us. Against that background, the mere time efficiency of HIIT workouts are an argument even the most feverish advocates of low-intensity hour-long cardio cannot deny (Gaesser. 2011; Gillen. 2013).
"HIIT may help insufficiently active individuals overcome a major barrier to maintaining a physically active lifestyle, that of a perceived lack of time. An added bonus is that from a time:benefit perspective, HIIT may prove to be a good example where less can be more" (Gaesser. 2011).And it does not even take a Tabata workout to time-efficiently improve your health. As a SuppVersity reader you will be aware that "4x4 Minutes of HIIT Per Week That's All It Takes For Already Well-Conditioned Individuals to Stimulate Mitochondrial Growth ➯ 15% Increase in VO2Max, Peak & Mean Power" | learn more.
- HIIT has more favorable effects on your glucose metabolism and heart health - You probably have heard that 1h on the treadmill was the ideal exercise for the obese type II diabetic, right? Well, this may in fact be true, but the reason that's ideal for an obese type II diabetic is that even walking on a treadmill is a high intensity exercise for someone who weighs 300-450lbs.
A similar superiority has been observed by Weston et al. (2013) in patients with lifestyle-induced cardiometabolic disease. Their systematic review and meta-analysis in the British Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that "HIIT significantly increases CRF [cardio-respiratory fitness] by almost double that of MICT in patients with lifestyle-induced chronic diseases." (Weston. 2013).
- HIIT exercise will help curb your cravings - While steady-state "cardio" has repeatedly been associated with increases in appetite, hunger and most importantly food intake, there is good evidence that "Intensity [is] the Key to Minimize Exercise Induced Cravings?" (learn more)
Figure 3: Effects of exercise duration and intensity on energy intake; exemplary study results
from Erdmann et al. (2007, left) and Larson-Meyer et al. (2012, right).
"Exercise increases neural responses in reward-related regions of the brain in response to images of low-calorie foods and suppresses activation during the viewing of high-calorie foods" (Crabtree. 2014)Can't believe what you just read? Look at the figure on the right which depicts the VAS scores for hunger, desire to eat, fullness, and thirst, during REST (black line) and EX (gray line) in N=15 lean healthy men who completed two 60-min trials—exercise and a resting control trial (REST).
Thus, the study clearly confirms the validity of the suggestion to stay scrap your steady-state cardio workouts and replace them with HIIT, in order to finally be able to stick to your diet plans and see the fat loss you are looking for.
- HIIT ramps up the metabolism instead of ruining it - As long as you don't overdo it by training too often or extending your HIIT sessions to 1h, HIIT will produce a profound "after burn" that's 3x higher than in the case of classic steady-state "cardio" workouts.
Figure 5: EPOC and corresponding additional energy expenditure in the high intensity 3x Wingate group (SPIE) and the 30min continuous exercise group (HIE) during the 30 min right after the workout (Townsend. 2013)
- HIIT is perfectly scalable - Unlike steady-state cardio, where you would have to endlessly increase your workout times, HIIT workouts are easily scalable. You can either...
HRV = heart rate recovery analyses are a great tool to monitor your training & recovery | learn more
- increase the resistance on your training device or run / cycle on a more difficult track (intensity increase),
- increase the speed at which you run, pedal or row (intensity increase), or
- reduce the time of active rest between the intervals (intensity increase)
- Alkahtani, Shaea A., et al. "Acute interval exercise intensity does not affect appetite and nutrient preferences in overweight and obese males." Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition 23.2 (2014): 232.
- Crabtree, Daniel R., et al. "The effects of high-intensity exercise on neural responses to images of food." The American journal of clinical nutrition 99.2 (2014): 258-267.
- Erdmann, Johannes, et al. "Plasma ghrelin levels during exercise—effects of intensity and duration." Regulatory peptides 143.1 (2007): 127-135.
- Gaesser, Glenn A., and Siddhartha S. Angadi. "High-intensity interval training for health and fitness: can less be more?." Journal of Applied Physiology 111.6 (2011): 1540-1541.
- Gibala, Martin J., and Sean L. McGee. "Metabolic adaptations to short-term high-intensity interval training: a little pain for a lot of gain?." Exercise and sport sciences reviews 36.2 (2008): 58-63.
- Gillen, Jenna B., and Martin J. Gibala. "Is high-intensity interval training a time-efficient exercise strategy to improve health and fitness?." Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 39.3 (2013): 409-412.
- Gurd, Brendon J., et al. "High-intensity interval training increases SIRT1 activity in human skeletal muscle." Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 35.3 (2010): 350-357.
- Larson-Meyer, D. Enette, et al. "Influence of running and walking on hormonal regulators of appetite in women." Journal of obesity 2012 (2012).
- Martins, Catia, et al. "Effect of Moderate-and High-Intensity Acute Exercise on Appetite in Obese Individuals." Medicine and science in sports and exercise (2014).
- Owens, Krystyna. "The effectiveness of high intensity interval training in improving VO< sub> 2</sub> max for performance gains as compared to standard endurance training in athletes." (2013).
- Schoenfeld, Brad, and Jay Dawes. "High-intensity interval training: Applications for general fitness training." Strength & Conditioning Journal 31.6 (2009): 44-46.
- Skelly, Lauren E., et al. "High-intensity interval exercise induces 24-h energy expenditure similar to traditional endurance exercise despite reduced time commitment." Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 39.999 (2014): 1-4.
- Talanian, Jason L., et al. "Two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training increases the capacity for fat oxidation during exercise in women." Journal of applied physiology 102.4 (2007): 1439-1447.
- Townsend JR, Stout JR, Morton AB, Jajtner AR, Gonzalez AM, Wells AJ, Mangine GT, McCormack, WP Emerson NS, Robinson EH, Hoffman JR, Fragala MS Cosio-Lima L. Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) Following Multiple Effort Sprint And Moderate Aerobic Exercise. Kinesiology. 2013; 45(1):16-21
- Trapp, E. G., et al. "The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women." International journal of obesity 32.4 (2008): 684-691.
- Weston, Kassia S., Ulrik Wisløff, and Jeff S. Coombes. "High-intensity interval training in patients with lifestyle-induced cardiometabolic disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis." British journal of sports medicine (2013): bjsports-2013.