Low-frequency HIIT improves body composition and aerobic capacity in overweight men

Edwin C. CHIN, Angus P. YU, Christopher W. LAI, Daniel Y. FONG, King Chung Derwin CHAN, Stephen H. WONG, Fenghua SUN, Heidi H. NGAI, Patrick S.H. YUNG, Parco M. SIU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background The relationship between the frequency of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and the resultant adaptations is largely unclear.

Purpose This study compared the effects of different frequencies of HIIT with those of moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) on body composition in overweight or obese adults.

Methods Fifty-six overweight or obese (BMI: 26.4±2.9) men aged between 18 and 30 years (age: 22.8±3.1) were randomly assigned to the following groups: no-intervention control (CON; n=14), MICT performed thrice weekly (MICT×3/wk; n=9), HIIT performed thrice weekly (HIIT×3/wk; n=14), HIIT performed twice weekly (HIIT×2/wk; n=10), and HIIT performed once weekly (HIIT×1/wk; n=9). Each HIIT session consisted of 12×1-min bouts at 90% heart rate reserve (HRR), interspersed with 11×1-min bouts at 70% HRR. Aerobic capacity, body composition, resting heart rate, vascular function, insulin resistance, and biomarkers of metabolic syndrome risk factor were examined at baseline, after 4 weeks and after 8 weeks of intervention.

Results Aerobic capacity and percent fat-free mass significantly increased in all exercise groups compared with those in the CON group (CON vs. all exercise groups: p<0.05), whereas body fat mass and systolic blood pressure significantly decreased after 8 weeks of intervention in all exercise groups compared with those in the CON group (CON vs. all exercise groups: p<0.05). Body fat mass significantly decreased after 4 weeks in all HIIT groups compared with those in the CON group (CON vs. all HIIT groups: p<0.05) but not in the MICT×3/wk group.

Conclusion These novel results demonstrated that performing HIIT once weekly, even with a lower weekly volume of exercise, improved cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, and blood pressure in overweight/obese adults. Low-frequency HIIT might be a feasible and effective strategy for the prescription of an initial exercise program for inactive, overweight or obese young men. Copyright © 2019 American College of Sports Medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-66
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Volume52
Issue number1
Early online dateJul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Citation

Chin, E. C., Yu, A. P., Lai, C. W., Fong, D. Y., Chan, D. K., Wong, S. H., . . . Siu, P. M. (2020). Low-frequency HIIT improves body composition and aerobic capacity in overweight men. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 52(1), 56-66. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002097

Keywords

  • HIIT
  • HIT
  • Interval exercise
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Exercise frequency
  • Exercise intensity

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