8 Days, 5 hours and 28 minutes
Well, today I read this bit of research from scientists at McMaster University where they showed one group of athletes got the same endurance benefit as another group who exercised 80% less.
Exercise less but harder
In the study they took 16 college-aged students, separated them into two groups and made them perform 6 training sessions over two weeks. One group followed a standard endurance training program which involved riding a stationary bike 90-120 minutes at a moderate intensity. The other group did four to six 30-second bursts of all out cycling separated by 4 minutes of recovery during each session.
Total exercise time in the 2 weeks study for the standard group was 10.5 hours. Total exercise time for the sprint group was 2.5 hours.
Result: Both groups showed similar improvements in exercise performance and muscle parameters associated with fatigue resistance.
Their conclusion was that short bursts of intense exercise can produce the same results as hours of endurance training.
On some level I knew this so in my joggling training I try to do sprints and other speed workouts. Unfortunately, sprinting hurts! It’s hard. Your legs burn, you get short of breath. You start to feel like your head is going to explode! But if you want to get fitter faster then this could be the way to go.
*Photo: Courtesy of Emory Kimbrough