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High Intensity Workouts

March 31, 2010

A few short bursts of high-intensity exercise may be more effective than hours of conventional training.


Getting fitter faster. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

If you think you don’t have time to exercise, think again. Exercise physiologist Martin Gibala of McMaster University in Canada says you can finish a great workout in the time it takes to watch a sitcom – without commercials. His team trained people on exercise bikes. For twenty minutes, they alternated one minute of rest with one minute of vigorous effort.

MARTIN GIBALA (McMaster University):
So not all-out, but still something that would be out of your comfort zone, and would require perhaps an 8 ½ to 9 on a ten point rating scale of intensity.

He says the cardiovascular benefits were equivalent to four to five hours of typical, moderate exercise. Previous studies showed similar results, but for more extreme, all-out effort on specialized equipment. Gibala says the new findings suggest anyone can benefit from this kind of training. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.