A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology has found that that just two minutes of high-intensity interval training (aka, HIIT) is just as good for the body as half-an-hour of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise.
Researchers from Victoria University recruited 8 Aussie adults to take part in three cycling sessions over a number of week. Each session varied in intensity: the first saw the participants ride continuously for 30 minutes at 50 per cent of their max level of exertion. For the second, they were required to ride for four minutes, then rest for 60 seconds, repeating this five times. The final test involved four 30 second ‘sprints’ at full speed, with four-and-a-half minutes recovery time in between.
To sus out how much energy the participants had expended and whether any mitochondrial changes had occurred, the researchers took muscle biopsies from their thighs before, immediately after and three hours post each workout.
And in excellent news for the time poor among us (*raises hand*), they found that their rate of recovery following the series of sprints was just as quick as after the moderate-intensity ride.
“This suggests that exercise may be prescribed according to individual preferences while still generating similar signals known to confer beneficial metabolic adaptions,” the authors explained.
“These findings have important implications for improving our understanding of how exercise can be used to enhance metabolic health in the general population.”