HIIT Exercise Programs Show Similar Efficacy As Moderate Intensity Programs

HealthDay News — Short-term moderate-intensity to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) leads to modest body composition improvements in overweight and obese individuals, according to research published online in Obesity Reviews.

Michael Wewege, from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify trials comparing HIIT and moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) in overweight or obese participants (aged 18 to 45 years).

Based upon 13 studies, averaging 3 training sessions per week for 10 weeks, the researchers found that both HIIT and MICT led to significant (P <.05) reductions in whole-body fat mass and waist circumference. Body composition measures did not significantly differ between HIIT and MICT. HIIT required approximately 40% less training time commitment. Running training showed large effects on whole-body fat mass for both HIIT and MICT, but cycling training did not lead to fat loss.

“HIIT and MICT show similar effectiveness across all body composition measures suggesting that HIIT may be a time-efficient component of weight management programs,” the authors write.

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Wewege M, van den Berg R, Ward RE, Keech A. The effects of high-intensity interval training vs moderate-intensity continuous training on body composition in overweight and obese adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis [published online April 11, 2017]. Obesity Rev. doi: 10.1111/obr.12532