WHY HIGH-INTENSITY IS BETTER THAN CARDIO
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WHY HIGH-INTENSITY IS BETTER THAN CARDIO

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Burning more fat

Our workouts are intense! 😤 But did you know that short high-intensity exercise burn radically more fat than long aerobic workouts with the same calorie burn? This finding has been replicated for men and women; overweight and obese people, young, old, and diabetic people (Boutcher, 2010).

Cycle sprints vs. aerobic workouts

In a study of young women, 20-minute sessions of cycle sprints (8 sec. max intensity, alternating with 12 sec. at lower intensity) led to an 11.2% loss of body fat, compared with a group of women cycling for 40 minutes at 60% capacity, who lost no body fat (Trapp et al., 2008).

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Same calories burned, fat burning rate different

Again, the energy required for both workouts was the same. The high-intensity group wasn’t burning more calories during their workouts. But they lost a significant amount of fat in general, and abdonimal fat in particular, even though they had bumped up their caloric intake by 200 calories a day toward the end of the study. They were hormonally different: their insulin resistance (an indicator of Type 2 diabetes) was lower, and their metabolism had shifted to burn more fat. 

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Eating more and getting leaner

The cardio group, who lost no weight, was hormonally unchanged. They’d cut their daily caloric intake by 400 calories toward the end of the study, but had managed to gain nonsignificant amounts of belly fat. They’d improved their aerobic fitness – their heart and lung capacity – they just didn’t get any leaner. 

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Conclusion: shorter workouts and better results

We could go on and on about this, but in short: we ramp up the intensity with better results: more fat burned, higher caloric intake, metabolism burning more fat and all of that by working out a shorter amount of time!

SOURCES

S. Boutcher, “Review article: high-intensity intermittent exercise and fat loss,” Journal of obesity 2011, article ID 858305. Originally published online November 24, 2010.

 

E.G. Trapp, D.J. Chisholm, J.Freund, and S.H. Boutcher, “The effects of high-intensity intermittent training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women, “International Journal of Obesity 32 (2008): 1-8.