For many people, one of the motivators for working out is to lose some body fat, but there’s a lot of (often contradictory) information out there about the best way to go about this.
But researchers at King Faisal University recently did some interesting research, comparing how a low-impact aerobic working with strength training stacks up against a high-impact aerobics workout.
Women’s Health Magazine shared the findings, which were originally published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 32 overweight women took part in the study and were randomly assigned to one of the two programmes outlined above.
Both groups participated in workouts four times per week, and both spent an hour at each session. So what did they learn? After 24 weeks, both groups had lost fat and improved their fitness in general; no surprises there.
What’s fascinating though is that the women in the high-intensity group lost more body fat, fat mass and body weight than those in the low-intensity group. But before you race off to sign up for your nearest HIIT class, it’s worth noting that the women in the low-intensity and strength training group gained more lean muscle, which boosts metabolism.
The women in the high-intensity group didn’t gain any lean muscle during their 24 weeks. This might be a small study, but it’s interesting to see how different exercises affect different elements of our fitness.
It’s also important to remember that you should always tailor your exercise regime to suit your body, which is why working with an online personal trainer can be so helpful.
If you want to try HIIT workouts, take a look at our tips on how to get started, and remember that the key with this kind of exercise is to get the intensity right.