|High-intensity interval training (HIIT) sheds significantly more belly fat over (-10% vs. 0%) and under (-25% vs. +10%) female abs than isocaloric medium intensity steady state exercise aka MICT.|
Ok, I have to admit that's different from both, (a) the athletes in the second study that made it into today's SuppVersity short news (the one about maximal fat oxidation) and (b) the average SuppVersity readers, but knowing the exact protocol, which is different from much (if not everything) you may have seen so far, alone, should be reason enough to read the rest of today's SuppVersity Short News (all short news | make sure to scroll down and click on "older news" at the bottom).
The former is particularly true since the scientists tested another, albeit non-HIIT training regimen, too, one that resembles what the seventeen women (69 ± 1 years; BMI: 31 ± 1 kg/m²) who participated in the study would probably have done if they had not been randomly assigned to the classic, but useless ...
- medium intensity cycling training (MICT) - 40 min at 55–60% of their individual HRR as calculated by (estimated HRmax − HRrest) × 0.55 (or 60%, respectively) + HRrest - instead of the previously hinted at
- high-intensity interval training (likewise cycling) HIIT program - 60 × 8 s at 77–85% HRmax, 12 s of active recovery (at 20–30 rpm) - that yielded impressive results
"Women were asked to maintain their normal eating habits during the 16-week study period. At baseline and at week 16 of training, each participant provided a 7-day food-intake diary, which was evaluated by a dietitian using nutrition analysis software (Nutrilog®, Marans, France)" (Maillard. 2016).In addition, the subjects were "asked to maintain their normal levels of physical activity during the study period" (Maillard. 2016).
Whatever you do: If you want to lose weight - exercise! It's not just the study at hand that underlines how powerful (especially) HIIT exercise is when it comes to fat, not weight loss. Another recently published study by Edward P. Weiss et al. adds to the already convincing evidence that exercise protects you from the decreases in lean mass and reductions of VO2max that occur with deficits as low as only 20% (Weiss. 2016). In their study, Weiss et al. had observed that the ~2% (p=0.003) whole body and ~4% (p<0.0001) lower body lean mass loss that occurred during 15-18 weeks of dieting at 80% of the maintenance intake was reduced to non-significant 1% (p=0.44) and only just significant <2% (p=0.05) lower body lean mass loss while the ~6% decrease in aerobic exercise capacity was totally blunted with only 4.4+/-0.5 hr/wk of walking, jogging, cycling or more intense functional physical activities, such as yard work - needless to say that replacing that by a fast-paced strength training regimen (explicitly precluded in Weiss et al.) or concomitant strength + cardio training may have reduced the lean mass losses to zero, as well.Now, I have to admit I haven't told about the importance of a small word in the headline yet. The word is "intra-" and points away from belly fat in general and towards the "intra-belly" visceral fat with it's unhealthy effect on blood lipids and glucose levels.
|In January 2015 I wrote an article with the title "5 Reasons Why 50%+ of Your 'Cardio' Should Be HIIT". Now in 2016 the science is still valid | more|
If you lifted weight, for example, doing two types of exercise that tax the sympathetic nervous system may tax the CNS and produce results that are worse or not better than steady state cardio. Alternatively, if you lifted the calorie limit on the MICT, on the other hand, you may see (just as many previous studies did) that the extra calories burnt during MICT will help you lose more weight and often also more body fat. It's all about specificity and finding out what works for you!
|Figure 2: Lipid, fasting glucose and HbA1c changes from baseline to week 16 with moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT; n = 8) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT; n = 8 | Maillard. 2016).|
"[...] the total cholesterol (TC) reduction was positively correlated with total visceral FM loss (r = 0.39; P ≤ 0.05) and HbA1c change was positively associated with the decrease in abdominal FM (r = 0.29; P ≤ 0.05)" (Maillard. 2016).which points to an overall long-term benefit of HIIT on both, lipid and glucose metabolism. All that after 16 weeks, over which the scientists' nutrition and activity data confirm that the subjects did not - as they were advised - change their levels of physical activity (IPAQ score) or total energy (kcal) intake and macronutrient consumption (distribution and total amount).
- Maillard, F., et al. "High-intensity interval training reduces abdominal fat mass in postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes." Diabetes & Metabolism (2016).
- Weiss, P et al. "Effects of Weight Loss on Lean Mass, Strength, Bone, and Aerobic Capacity." Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: Post Acceptance: August 30, 2016 [ahead of print]. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001074.