High-intensity interval training is linked to the fastest rate of weight loss, research finds.
High-intensity interval exercise involves exercising hard for a short period, such as 30 seconds, and then recovering for four minutes.
People doing this type of interval exercise for 23 minutes lost 30 percent more weight than those exercising continuously for twice as long.
In other words, high-intensity interval training can lead to faster weight loss.
Interval training can be done on a bicycle, by running, jogging, speed walking or with a variety of other exercises.
Current recommendations for weight loss are to work out for an hour a day.
This is not practical for many people, so interval training provides a way to get the exercise done faster.
The conclusions come from a review of 36 studies involving 1,012 people.
The results showed that both continuous workouts and interval training helped with weight loss.
Those doing interval training lost an average of 28.5% more weight than those training continuously.
The study’s authors write:
“It is important to be aware of the possible risks and caveats associated with higher intensity training.
For example, it might increase the risk of injury and impose higher cardiovascular stress.
Adherence should also be examined as higher intensity protocols can result in higher discomfort.”
However, they included a wide variety of studies which…
“…makes it difficult to generally recommend that one particular protocol is ‘best’ for modulating body adiposity.”
Exercise, of course, has a variety of other benefits, many psychological.
One study found that long-term memory is boosted by interval training.
Another found that exercise makes people more extraverted and agreeable.
Exercise also increases people’s conscientiousness and makes them more open to experience.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (Viana et al., 2019).