Interval training may help people to lose more weight than a continuous moderate intensity workout, suggests research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The finding comes at a time when most guidelines recommend the equivalent of around an hour or more of exercise daily for weight loss.
Researchers undertook a qualitative analysis including 41 studies and a meta-analysis including 36 studies, to explore if interval training such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and sprint interval training (SIT), might match moderate-intensity continuous training (MOD) for overall weight loss and reductions in percentage body fat, despite taking less time to complete.
They found both interval training and MOD reduced overall weight and percentage body fat. While there was no significant difference in percentage body fat reduction between the two approaches, interval training provided 28.5 per cent greater reductions in total absolute fat mass than MOD. SIT resulted in an even greater total absolute fat loss when compared with MOD.
The authors cautioned that the methodological diversity among interval training protocols in the literature “makes it difficult to generally recommend that one particular protocol is ‘best’ for modulating body adiposity”.