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'No time to exercise' is no excuse, study shows

Hamilton, ON. September 19, 2006 Those who maintain that the busy pace of life offers no time to exercise have just run out of another excuse, unless of course they can't spare three minutes to exercise.

The "catch" is that the exercise consists of short bursts of intense effort separated by a few minutes of recovery, meaning a single training session lasts about 20 min. However, a new study published in the Journal of Physiology shows that performing three of those sessions each week provides the same benefits as that achieved by up to two hours of daily moderate exercise.

"The most striking finding from our study was the remarkable remarkably similar adaptations induced by two such diverse training strategies," says Martin Gibala, associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster University.

If the study sounds familiar it is, partly: Last year, Gibala and his team made headlines when they suggested that a few minutes of high-intensity exercise could be as effective as an hour of moderate activity. However, their previous work did not directly compare sprint versus endurance training. Gibala's latest study did just that.

Sixteen young men performed six training sessions over two weeks. Eight subjects performed between four and six 30-second bursts of "all out" cycling separated by four minutes of recovery during each training session. The other eight subjects performed 90-120 minutes of continuous moderate-intensity cycling. Total training time commitment including recovery was 2.5 hours in the sprint group, whereas the endurance group performed 10.5 hours of total exercise over two weeks. Both groups showed similar improvements in exercise performance and the muscle's ability to resist fatigue.

"Our study shows confirms that interval-based exercise is indeed a very time-efficient training strategy," says Gibala. "It is a demanding type of training and requires a high level of motivation, however it might be the perfe
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Contact: Martin Gibala
gibalam@mcmaster.ca
McMaster University
19-Sep-2006


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