Short on time? New study suggests you can slash your workout and get just as good as results. But is it all it's cracked up to be?
The research, conducted in April had sedentary men volunteer to be part of 2 groups who were both subjected to 2 different styles of workout over a 12 week period.
Both groups used exercise bikes during their workouts. Group 1 did sprint interval training - one minute of intense exercise three times a week. This was split into three bouts of 20 second maximum effort sprints on the bike over the course of 10 minutes. The second group did 45 minutes of continuous cycling at 70% maximum heart rate.
The results? Both groups improved their fitness levels by a similar amount despite the fact that group 1 spent substantially less time working out than group 2.
The results aren't particularly surprising - studies are constantly showing the benefits of HIIT training and that we don't need to spend hours slogging away in order to see great results. However, the study does have a few limitations in the fact that the volunteers were all sedentary men. There's nothing to suggest that 1 minute of intense exercise a few times a week would create sustainable results over a longer period of time or whether the same results would occur in fit and active individuals.
The most important thing to take away from this study is that it's not the time you take working out that matters, but the intensity and effort at which you do it. So find something you love, be consistent, give it your maximum effort and you'll see results!