|Fight your fat with a high intensity interval training program that's similar to that of pro-/amateur boxers.|
What may surprise you, though, is that Birinder S Cheema et al. still feel that more "[r]obustly designed randomized controlled trials are required toconfirm these findings and inform clinical guidelines and practice for obesity treatment" (Cheema. 2015).
In view of the ever-increasing number of studies that show that HIIT training is vastly superior to moderate or even low-intensity exercise in obesity treatment, the guidelines should have been changed all along. But let's forget about politics for the moment. In the study at hand, the basically healthy, yet overweight or obese study participants performed only one of the following training programs:
- Boxing training - Four 50-min sessions of supervised boxing training per week - The interval-based exercises were preceded by a 5 min warm-up of continuous skipping at a self-selected intensity. Intervals were prescribed at 2:1 (i.e. 2 min of high-intensity activity followed by 1 min of rest (standing or pacing) between intervals and exercises). Three intervals of each of the following five exercises were performed for a total of 30 min of high-intensity effort: (1) heavy bag, (2) focus mitts, (3) circular body bag, (4) footwork drills, and (4) skipping. The total amount of physical activity (excluding warm up and rest periods) was computed as 30 min x 6 metabolic equivalents (MET) per minute = 180 MET min . During the high-intensity bouts, participants were instructed to exercise at a rating of perceived exertion of 15-17/20 (“hard” to “very hard”) with the goal of achieving >75% of age-predicted maximal heart rate (i.e. 220-age; HRmax).
- Walking training - Four 50-min sessions of supervised brisk walking training - Participants were instructed to begin each session with a 5-min gradual warm-up and walk as quickly as possible for the remainder of the session (45 min). The total amount of physical activity (excluding warm up) was computed as 45 min x 4 metabolic equivalents (MET) per minute = 180 MET-min.
|Figure 1: Changes in physique markers and parameters of real world well-being (Cheema. 2015).|Figure 2: Significant improvements in markers of cardiovascular health were achieved only with HIIT boxing, not with brisk walking (Cheema. 2015).
- greater improvements in body fat percentage (p = 0.047),
- more pronounced reductions in systolic blood pressure (p = 0.026) and central aortic pressure (augmentation index | AIx; p < 0.001)),
- significantly more pronounced improvements in fitness (VO2Max), physical functioning and vitality, as well as
- greater improvements in health-related quality of life scores
- Arena, Ross, et al. "Should high-intensity-aerobic interval training become the clinical standard in heart failure?." Heart failure reviews 18.1 (2013): 95-105.
- Ashor, Ammar W., et al. "Exercise Modalities and Endothelial Function: A Systematic Review and Dose–Response Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials." Sports Medicine (2014): 1-18.
- Cheema, Birinder S., et al. "The feasibility and effectiveness of high-intensity boxing training versus moderate-intensity brisk walking in adults with abdominal obesity: a pilot study." BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation 7.1 (2015): 3.
- Gillen, J. B., et al. "Acute high‐intensity interval exercise reduces the postprandial glucose response and prevalence of hyperglycaemia in patients with type 2 diabetes." Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism 14.6 (2012): 575-577.
- Guiraud, Thibaut, et al. "High-intensity interval training in cardiac rehabilitation." Sports medicine 42.7 (2012): 587-605.