Towards the minimal amount of exercise for improving metabolic health: beneficial effects of reduced-exertion high-intensity interval training

  title={Towards the minimal amount of exercise for improving metabolic health: beneficial effects of reduced-exertion high-intensity interval training},
  author={Richard S. Metcalfe and John Babraj and Samantha Fawkner and Niels B. J. Vollaard},
  journal={European Journal of Applied Physiology},
High-intensity interval training (HIT) has been proposed as a time-efficient alternative to traditional cardiorespiratory exercise training, but is very fatiguing. In this study, we investigated the effects of a reduced-exertion HIT (REHIT) exercise intervention on insulin sensitivity and aerobic capacity. Twenty-nine healthy but sedentary young men and women were randomly assigned to the REHIT intervention (men, n = 7; women, n = 8) or a control group (men, n = 6; women, n = 8). Subjects… 
No Acute Effect of Reduced-exertion High-intensity Interval Training (REHIT) on Insulin Sensitivity.
Data suggest that improvements in insulin sensitivity following a chronic REHIT intervention are the result of training adaptations rather than acute effects of the last exercise session.
A comparison of the health benefits of reduced-exertion high-intensity interval training (REHIT) and moderate-intensity walking in type 2 diabetes patients.
Reduced-exertion high-intensity interval training is superior to a 5-fold larger volume of moderate-intensity walking in improving aerobic fitness, but similar to walking REHIT is not an effective intervention for improving insulin sensitivity or glycaemic control in T2D patients in the short term.
Whether two popular HIT protocols (30HIT and 60HIT) can increase aerobic exercise capacity without verbal encouragement or specialised cycle ergometers is investigated, such that HIT interventions can be delivered in a real life setting independent of instructors.
High-intensity interval neuromuscular training promotes exercise behavioral regulation, adherence and weight loss in inactive obese women
It is suggested that a 10-month implementation of a high-intensity interval neuromuscular training programme promotes positive psychological adaptations provoking exercise behavioural regulation and adherence while inducing weight loss in inactive obese women.
Low-Volume High-Intensity Interval Training in a Gym Setting Improves Cardio-Metabolic and Psychological Health
HIT performed in a real-world gym setting improves cardio-metabolic risk factors and psychological health in physically inactive adults and offers a viable and effective exercise strategy to target the growing incidence of metabolic disease and psychological ill-being associated with physical inactivity.
Interval training causes the same exercise enjoyment as moderate-intensity training to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition in young Chinese women with elevated BMI
It is suggested that the three training regimes are equally enjoyable and could result in similar improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition in overweight/obese young women, but SIT is a more time-efficient strategy.
High-intensity exercise training does not influence body weight but improves lipid oxidation in obese adults: a 6-week RCT
In obese adults, HIT increased lipid contributions to energy release at rest and in response to incremental exercise, while there were no changes in participants’ aerobic capacity, which supports the hypothesis that metabolic changes rather than improved aerobic capacity are important to improve LO.
Changes in aerobic capacity and glycaemic control in response to reduced-exertion high-intensity interval training (REHIT) are not different between sedentary men and women.
It is concluded that reduced-exertion high-intensity interval training improves maximal aerobic capacity in both sedentary men and women, but improves insulin sensitivity in men only and there is large interindividual variability in responses to REHIT, but sex differences in the responses are not apparent.
Is high-intensity interval training a time-efficient exercise strategy to improve health and fitness?
  • J. Gillen, M. Gibala
  • Psychology
    Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism = Physiologie appliquee, nutrition et metabolisme
  • 2014
Low-volume HIIT is a time-efficient exercise strategy that warrants consideration by health practitioners and fitness professionals, given that "lack of time" remains one of the most commonly cited barriers to regular exercise participation.


Effects of exercise training on glucose homeostasis: the HERITAGE Family Study.
Although the effects of structured regular exercise were highly variable, there were improvements in virtually all i.v.GTT-derived variables, suggesting that regular exercise is required for sustained improvements in glucose homeostasis.
Effect of 2 weeks of sprint interval training on health-related outcomes in sedentary overweight/obese men.
Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males
The efficacy of a high intensity exercise protocol, involving only ~250 kcal of work each week, to substantially improve insulin action in young sedentary subjects is remarkable and can be used as a strategy to reduce metabolic risk factors in young and middle aged sedentary populations who otherwise would not adhere to time consuming traditional aerobic exercise regimes.
Similar metabolic adaptations during exercise after low volume sprint interval and traditional endurance training in humans
Given the markedly lower training volume in the SIT group, these data suggest that high‐intensity interval training is a time‐efficient strategy to increase skeletal muscle oxidative capacity and induce specific metabolic adaptations during exercise that are comparable to traditional ET.
Sprint interval and traditional endurance training induce similar improvements in peripheral arterial stiffness and flow-mediated dilation in healthy humans.
It is concluded that SIT is a time-efficient strategy to elicit improvements in peripheral vascular structure and function that are comparable to ET, however, alterations in central artery distensibility may require a longer training stimuli and/or greater initial vascular stiffness than observed in this group of healthy subjects.
Short‐term sprint interval training increases insulin sensitivity in healthy adults but does not affect the thermogenic response to β‐adrenergic stimulation
Combined data from both studies revealed no effect of SIT on fasted circulating concentrations of glucose, insulin, adiponectin, pigment epithelial‐derived factor, non‐esterified fatty acids or noradrenaline (all P > 0.05).
Six sessions of sprint interval training increases muscle oxidative potential and cycle endurance capacity in humans.
It is concluded that short sprint interval training (approximately 15 min of intense exercise over 2 wk) increased muscle oxidative potential and doubled endurance capacity during intense aerobic cycling in recreationally active individuals.
Low-volume high-intensity interval training reduces hyperglycemia and increases muscle mitochondrial capacity in patients with type 2 diabetes.
It is indicated that low-volume HIT can rapidly improve glucose control and induce adaptations in skeletal muscle that are linked to improved metabolic health in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Systematic analysis of adaptations in aerobic capacity and submaximal energy metabolism provides a unique insight into determinants of human aerobic performance.
It is demonstrated that improvements in high-intensity aerobic performance in humans are not related to altered maximal oxygen transport capacity, and metabolic parameters do not change in a manner that relates to aerobic capacity changes.
Rating Perceived Exertion during Short Duration, Very High Intensity Cycle Exercise
As an individual generates more force during high resistance exercise than in light resistance exercise, a potential explanation of the results is that the increased motor outflow and corollary sensory signal lead to a greater sense of effort.