It is given fact that if you want to see results on your body, you need to work hard, which requires you to spend countless hours of training. Recently a group of researchers from Norway proves that you don’t need to spend countless hours in the gym to see results. You just need to spend around four minutes of vigorous activity three times weekly and that is enough have a fitter and healthier body. Of course, this applies to those people new to workouts.
Regular training enhances the capacity of a person to use oxygen or otherwise known as oxygen uptake (VO2max), which is a well-known method for determining how fit a person is. But the problem is that it is hard to determine how much exercise, and how intense that exercise needed to see the benefits of regular exercise. Now, researchers from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) discovered that just three short high-intensity sessions (AIT) a week is enough to improve the fitness level of inactive people.
Arnt Erik Tjønna, a postdoctoral graduate at the centre and lead author of the study claimed that their data shows that a session of AIT performed three times per week to improve VO2max. This is better since most people lead a sedentary lifestyle and they can easily adopt this method into their daily lives.
The researchers assessed the changes in VO2max and traditional cardiovascular risk factors in 24 inactive participants. Take note that these guys are healthy despite leaving an inactive lifestyle. The participants were subjected to 10-week training session that involved three weekly high-intensity interval sessions. 13 participants were asked to follow a protocol that has been proven before, this method consists of four intervals of 4 minutes of high intensity exercise at 90% of maximal heart rate (HRmax) interspersed with 3 minutes of active recovery at 70% HRmax (4-AIT), commonly called the 4×4 training.
The other group was asked to perform the one 4-minute interval at 90% HRmax (1-AIT). After training, VO2max escalated to 10% in the group that had been subjected to just one high-intensity session three times a week (1-AIT), while the group that followed the 4×4 regime increased its VO2max by 13%. Both groups shows some signs of decrease in their blood pressure, but the 1-AIT the group’s blood pressures decreases more than that of their 4-AIT counterparts for both systolic and diastolic readings.
Tjønna believes that the new finding is not enough to make a conclusion as of now since there are only few participants. There is a need for a new study wherein there would be lots of people willing to participate before they can come with a conclusion. Researchers also think that active people won’t even feel the effects because their body is used to the stressed level that the participants went through.