Even the researcher is amazed at the final results
But even the researcher behind a new studyÂ that compared the two techniques in a head-to-head contest says he continues to be amazed at what you can accomplish with interval training.
For the study, men who had previously been inactive exercised on stationary bikes 3 times a week for 12 weeks.
Half of those men did a 10-minute interval workout that included 3 sets of 20-second sprints separated by two minutes of recovery at an easy pace. They also did a 2-minute warmup and 3-minute cooldown of easy pedaling.
The participants assigned to the traditional cardio group had to log five times the minutes in the gym: For each workout, they cycled at a steady, moderate pace for 45 minutes, with a warmup and a cooldown, for a total duration of 50 minutes.
At the end of 12 weeks, both groups increased their VO2 maxâ€”a measure of cardiorespiratory fitnessâ€”by 19 percent, and significantly improved their insulin sensitivity and muscle health.
They both lost a similar amount of fat, too, reducing their body fat by about 2 percent.
How is that possible?
It appears that you can trigger the same physical adaptations to your cardiovascular system and muscles through short bursts of intense activity that you can with longer, easier bouts of exercise, says study author Martin Gibala, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University.
And the similarity in fat loss can be credited to the afterburn effect, Gibala says.
Source by menshealth