Opinion

Thiel: Study compares benefits of long and short workouts

It was previously thought that in order to lose weight, people need to spend hours every week doing aerobic exercise.

Recent research has disproved this. Dr. Morrow DiPasquale, an exercise physiologist, recently completed a study that was aimed at accelerating weight loss using your own body’s physiology.

The previously conceived notion was that in order to burn fat, or mobilize free fatty acids, we need to spend longer durations on the treadmill, step machine, elliptical or running outdoors.

It was believed that the longer we made this physiological demands on our body, the quicker the weight loss would happen.

For example, on average a person would spend 30 to 60 minutes on the treadmill three to five times a week.

Dr. DiPasquale’s paper showed that high intensity training lasting only 12 minutes, had far better effects on the burning fat throughout the course of the day than did sustained aerobic activity lasting longer than 40 minutes.

The belief is that when one maintains high intensity exercise for a short duration the body needs to recover throughout the course of the day.

This in turn accelerates your body’s metabolism for many hours after exercise has ceased.

The previous model of long durations of exercise just increased your body’s metabolism during that exercise time only.

Here is where the principle of basal metabolic rate comes in. Basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is the thermostat at which your body burns it’s fuel throughout the course of the day.

The higher the BMR, the more fat burned. The high intensity exercise was demonstrated to increase the participants BMR as much as 71 per cent for a duration of eight hours post exercise.

This was the protocol he used in his study. The duration of exercise lasted no longer than 12 minutes. For the purpose of this study he implemented the use of a treadmill.

The 12 minute interval exercise routine was broken into 12 separate minutes.

The first minute, the participant ran at what they perceived 50% exertion. The second minute was at 60% perceived exertion. The third minute return to 50% followed by the fourth minute at 70%.

Once again, at the fifth minute the participant reduce the research and to perceive 50%, followed by 80% for the six minute.

The seventh minute was at 50%, the eighth minute at 90%.

For the remainder of the 12 minute interval, participants oscillated from 50 to 90% until the 12 minutes was completed.

One word of caution was mentioned within the confines of the study.

He mentioned individuals that are sedentary are not appropriate for high intensity interval training as it would be too taxing on their system and can pose a potential health hazard.

Any individual wanting to undertake a high intensity interval training regime should consult with your health practitioner first prior to beginning.

I have done this form of training in the past and I have had excellent results with it.

It seemed as though I have much more energy the course of the day and my belt stopped yelling at me.

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