High intensity training is the “old-new” way of training; that is, it has been around a long time but now it has been repackaged. In short, it is repeated bouts of high-intensity exercises followed by rest which is said to build fitness very quickly.
Researchers from Canada found that 6 sessions of high-intensity training, also known as HIIT, on a stationary bike increased muscle oxidative capacity by nearly 50% and endurance by 100%. This was done in a mere 15 minutes done twice weekly. This study caused quite the frenzy to say the least.
People who never heard of HIIT were now touting its benefits and abandoning traditional methods. However, over time, people were not getting the purported benefits and the results were being called into question.
A new study by Dr. Gordon Fisher from the University of Alabama compared HIIT training with traditional or moderate levels of exercise.
Results were virtually identical for all of the major markers – aerobic capacity, body composition, insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and blood fats.
The only difference was the time element. HIIT results were produced in 20-25% of the time it took to do moderate training. On the flip side, there were less reported injuries with moderate training.