Intense Bouts of Exercise May be As Effective As Longer, Less Strenuous Workouts
Exercise creates new mitochondria, which are the energy centers of cells. A recent study suggests that a few minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or sprinting may be as effective as longer exercise sessions when it comes to stimulating beneficial improvements in mitochondrial function.
Participants in the study included eight recreationally active participants in their 20’s. They performed one of three cycling workouts: moderate exercise for 30 minutes at 50% peak effort; high-intensity interval exercise consisting of five four-minute cycling sessions at 75% effort, separated by one minute of rest; or sprint cycling consisting of four 30-second sessions at maximum effort, separated by 4.5 minutes of recovery time.
The researchers measured the amount of energy the volunteers expended in each workout. They also compared mitochondrial changes in their thigh muscles before and after each exercise session.
The researchers found that two minutes of sprint exercise resulted in similar mitochondrial responses compared to 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise.
Researchers from Victoria University led the study. It was published on September 5, 2018, in the American Journal of Physiology.
High-intensity interval training is a type of exercise that involves rotations of strenuous exercise with less strenuous exercise. Studies suggest that it is an effective way to both lose weight and build muscle.