In this study, researchers have shown that “only a few minutes of high intensity interval exercise, performed over two weeks, significantly improves glycemic control in sedentary young adults”.
In contrast, previous studies have shown that:
- Long term (2-16 months) aerobic exercise programs have produced mixed results. While there were improvements in the insulin profile, the same can’t be said for the blood sugar profile. This indicates only a partial improvement in insulin action.
- Long term strength training programs (hypertrophy style programs) produced results similar to the cardio programs.
- Walking based interventions have also be unsuccessful with groups trying to prevent the risk factors of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
The low volume, high intensity interval training utilized in the current study significantly reduced both glucose AUC (area under curve) by (-12%) and insulin AUC by (-37%), with a sustained improved insulin action until at least day three after the last exercise session.
And these improvements required a minimal time commitment from the test subjects.
The HIIT Program
- 2 weeks in duration
- 6 workouts (3 per week)
- 17-26 minutes per workout
- 2-3 minutes of sprints per workout
- Average caloric burn – 250 per workout (note – the researcher only measured caloric burn during the session – there was no mention of EPOC)
In comparison, the long term cardio programs I mentioned earlier required the test subjects to spend hours on an exercise bike, sweat out between 2000 to 3000 calories per week…and still receive inferior results.
So let’s compare:
- Less time spent exercising
- Better results
- More time spent exercising
- Inferior results
HIIT workouts produce significant improvements in glycemic contol and are a superior method for helping sedentary people improve their glycemic control.
Translation: HIIT kicks some serious Type 2 Diabetes butt.
- Extremely short duration high intensity interval training
substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males
John A Babraj†1, Niels BJ Vollaard†1, Cameron Keast1, Fergus M Guppy1,
Greg Cottrell1 and James A Timmons*1,2
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