|I am still waiting for a study using only body weight exercises like squats, push ups, burpees and co as a HIIT regimen for weight or rather fat loss.|
I guess, Panissa et al. knew that, because in their latest study they compared the effects of 6 weeks of high-intensity intermittent training (HIIT) to those of moderate intensity continuous exercise (MICT-control group) on body composition (skinfold measures), hunger and food intake.
As previously highlighted, the subjects were twenty-three previously untrained women (28.43 ± 12.53 years) who were randomly assigned to a HIIT (n = 11) or MICT group (n = 12).
- The HIIT group performed 15 1-min bouts at 90 % of maximum heart rate (HRmax) interspersed by 30-s active recovery (60 % HRmax).
- The MICT group performed a continuous exercise at 70 % HRmax equalizing the training load method proposed by Edwards (1993) to a similar value achieved by the HIIT group.
Was the training load standardized? To equalize training load between groups, the scientists used a method proposed by Edwards (1993). He proposed a zone based method for the calculation of training load. According to Edwards model, the time spent in five pre-defined arbitrary zones is multiplied by arbitrary coefficients to quantify training load. You can read up on the method here.The performance effects were assessed by the means of Astrand cycloergometer that were used to estimate maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) 1 week before and after the training period.
"Feeding behavior was assessed by two methods: (1) a 3 days daily food recordatory, including 1 weekend day before the protocols at baseline and after the last session. A detailed explanation for filling the food diary was held at the end of the evaluation, to be returned completed during the first week of training. The analysis of food diaries was made from the application to FatSecret [Subar. 2010]; (2) Immediately after each training session, participants answered a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) of Hunger ranging from 1 to 10, where 1 corresponded to no sensation of hunger and the 10 maximum feeling of hunger" (Panissa. 2016).The subjects body composition was calculated based on detailed measures of skinfold thickness (triceps, subscapular, chest, supra iliac, abdominal, thigh and leg and the circumference of waist, hip, arm, chest, thigh) and legs - a method that is, assuming it is done correctly, as accurate as an expensive DXA-scan (Eston. 2005; Steinberger. 2005).
|Figure 1: Relative changes in BMI, fat free mass (FFM), fat mass (FM) and waist circumference over the 6 week study; absolute changes in kg/m², kg and cm are displayed as first number below the bars (Panissa. 2016).|
This is no "HIIT is better than LISS / MICT study! Theoretically, the study at hand "proves" that HIIT is more effective than LISS, but let's be honest: if you volume-equate HIIT and light / medium intensity training you end up at durations for the LISS / MICT of which no one would be surprised that they don't trigger fat loss. Plus: Facebook Fans know: HIIT decreases MICT / LISS increases appetite when all things are considered (more). Furthermore, the women were untrained and didn't do extra resistance training which would add additional load on the sympathetic nervous system and may thus (if done 3+ times per week) better be combined with LISS or MICT which would provide a parasympathetic stimulus that could ideally complement your resistance training training.With a 2:1 fat to muscle ratio, the HIIT regimen was yet significantly more successful in improving the subjects' body composition (which obviously depends on the relative, not the total amount of fat) and that despite the fact that the energy intake didn't change significantly in either of the groups.
|Figure 2: Daily energy intake in kcal before and during / after the exercise intervention (Panissa. 2016).|
- Edwards S. "High performance training and racing." In: Edwards S (ed) High performance training and racing. Feet Fleet Press (2013), Sacramento, pp 113–12.
- Eston, R. G., et al. "Prediction of DXA-determined whole body fat from skinfolds: importance of including skinfolds from the thigh and calf in young, healthy men and women." European journal of clinical nutrition 59.5 (2005): 695-702.
- Panissa, Valéria Leme Gonçalves, et al. "Can short-term high-intensity intermittent training reduce adiposity?." Sport Sciences for Health (2016): 1-6.
- Steinberger, J., et al. "Comparison of body fatness measurements by BMI and skinfolds vs dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and their relation to cardiovascular risk factors in adolescents." International journal of obesity 29.11 (2005): 1346-1352.
- Subar, Amy F., et al. "Assessment of the accuracy of portion size reports using computer-based food photographs aids in the development of an automated self-administered 24-hour recall." Journal of the American Dietetic Association 110.1 (2010): 55-64.