Is High Intensity Exercise Better for Weight Loss?

Is High Intensity Exercise Better for Weight Loss?

Ask any Personal Trainer and they will tell you that most clients use their services to lose weight. New research published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine has brought new opportunities to light when it comes to maximising weight-loss results.

The research focuses on high-intensity interval training (HIIT), to see whether participating in high-intensity workouts produce different results compared to continuous training when it comes to weight loss.

It must be noted that the researchers did highlight that high-intensity training isn’t best for everyone, as it does bring along a greater risk of injury and boost ‘cardiovascular stress’.

The research, carried out by the Federal University of Goias in Brasil, looked at over 1000 participants with varying fitness levels. Each participant was assigned either high-intensity training or continuous training for at least 4 times a week, which allowed the researchers to get an in-depth comparison between the two forms of exercise and the results that each had on participants’ weight loss.

When analysing the results, they found that those who carried out high-intensity training saw an average weight loss of 1.58kg, compared to 1.13kg for those who participated in lower intensity workouts; proving that HIIT training is more effective than continuous training for weight loss.

Even though these findings are positive, the researchers say that it is hard to say which form of high-intensity exercise is best for weight loss; if any at all. This is down to the researchers using more than one form of high-intensity workout, including cycling, running, swimming and more; making it hard to say which one had the biggest effect.

Although the results may be positive for advocates of HIIT training, experts such as Dr Niels Vollaard, a lecturer at the University of Stirling said that the results clash with previous research. This is due to previous research showing that continuous exercise is better for weight loss.

He said that there are two explanations for this. One is that “HIIT may lead to greater energy expenditure after exercise, meaning that metabolism may be increased for up to a day following a HIIT session…” The second explanation may be that “after a HIIT session, you may be less hungry. In our research, we have shown that appetite hormones are indeed affected.”

Although the research does not identify which form of high-intensity exercise is best for weight loss, the research does show positivity for Personal Trainers with Obesity & Diabetes fitness qualifications or just those with clients with weight loss goals, as they now have more exercise variety to work with to maximise the results their clients achieve; simply by replacing continuous exercise with HIIT training.

When assessing new clients, Personal Trainers have the chance to find out what form of high-intensity exercise their weight loss client enjoys most; allowing them to use these findings and their well-worked client progression plan to help their clients get the most from their training sessions.

Overall, the research is worthwhile, as it gives health and fitness experts more areas of fitness that they can focus on to help improve the overall health of the public and combat one of the most problematic health problems facing the UK.

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