Face it. We have all questioned the legitimacy of Interval Training. We always hear that is the best way to exercise and we have seen many social media posts of ripped athletes praising the methodology and how we can all be beach ready by implementing the strategy into our exercise routine.

In the past, for accelerated fat loss we thought steady-state cardio ie: jogging, walking, hiking was the best way to shed fat and be beach ready…but is it? According to this study completed in 2010 that may not be the best way.

“The effect of regular aerobic exercise on body fat is negligible; however, other forms of exercise may have a greater impact on body composition. For example, emerging research examining high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) indicates that it may be
more effective at reducing subcutaneous and abdominal body fat than other types of exercise…Regular HIIE has been shown to significantly increase both aerobic and
anaerobic fitness. HIIE also significantly lowers insulin resistance and results in a number of skeletal muscle adaptations that result in enhanced skeletal muscle fat oxidation and improved glucose tolerance.”

So saving you time, the study we are going to cover says that not only does HIIE decrease belly fat. HIIE will improve our aerobic and anaerobic capacity simultaneously, it will also improve blood sugar regulation and our muscles’ ability to recover, and improve hormone production ie: Growth Hormone, Cortisol, Testosterone, and more!

We are going to highlight certain areas of the article, but please go read the entire article HERE 

Section 2: Acute Response and Chronic Adaptations to High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise

  • Acute responses to HIIE that have been identified include heart rate, hormones, venous blood glucose, and lactate levels, autonomic, and metabolic reactivity.
  • Hormones that have been shown to increase during HIIE include catecholamines, cortisol, and growth hormones. Catecholamine response has been shown to be significantly elevated after Wingate sprints for both men and women [17, 18].
  • The significant catecholamine response to HIIE is in contrast to moderate, steady-state aerobic exercise that results in small increases in epinephrine and norepinephrine [20]. The HIIE catecholamine response is an important feature of this type of exercise as catecholamines, especially epinephrine, have been shown to drive lipolysis and are largely responsible for fat release from both subcutaneous and intramuscular fat stores [21]
  • Nevill et al. [25] examined the growth hormone (GH) response to treadmill sprinting in female and male athletes and showed that there was a marked GH response to only 30 s of maximal exercise and the response was similar for men and women but greater for sprint compared to endurance-trained athletes.
  • EPOC can become a driver in fat loss
    • During recovery, oxygen consumption is elevated to help restore metabolic processes to baseline conditions. The postexercise oxygen uptake in excess of that required at rest has been termed excess post-exercise oxygen consumption
      (EPOC). EPOC during the slow recovery period has been associated with the removal of lactate and H+, increased pulmonary and cardiac function, elevated body temperature, catecholamine effects, and glycogen resynthesis [33]
  • Chronic responses to HIIE training include increased aerobic and anaerobic fitness, skeletal muscle adaptations, and decreased fasting insulin and insulin resistance (Table 1). Surprisingly, aerobic fitness has been shown to significantly increase following minimal bouts of HIIE training.

We will be continuing posting on this article.