If we could, most of us would exercise as little as possible to be our fittest selves. A 2021 study by the professor of kinesiology and health education at the University of Texas, Dr Edward Coyle, has found surprising results. The researchers found that four seconds of intense interval training repeated until you reach a minute of total exercise can lead to rapid progress in strength, fitness, and general physical performance of middle-aged and older adults.
This study relied on the use of a type of specialised stationary bicycle where subjects had to cycle intensely for about four seconds. Dr Coyle and his team found that this helped to metabolise fat better, improve leg muscle mass, and improve aerobic fitness.
Before you cut short your everyday workouts to four seconds, hear us out. This protocol was performed on a specialised stationary bike, so if you don’t have access to it, you may not reap the same results. The three trials of this study were conducted on very small groups of people. One had only eight subjects, another one 11, and the last one had only 39 amateur 50 to 68-year-olds taking part in the study. Unless you are a skilled athlete, attaining that perfect form maybe a little bit of a challenge.
When you’re doing intense workouts, your body needs longer rest to recover. After HIIT training, you may be tempted to remain sedentary, instead of moving around. This undermines the workout and you’re better off incorporating it into your routine, two or three times a week only. You might be better off mixing up your weekly workouts and including yoga, long walks, and strength training in your plan.