Athletes at all levels, and in every sport, are well aware of the myriad tremendous benefits of high-intesity interval training (HIIT). From building endurance to boosting the body’s production of calorie-burning human-growth hormone (HGH), it is a key workout component for anyone looking to improve their athletic performance or simply elevate their conditioning.
Now, it seems, women benefit from HIIT even moreso than men, according to new research conducted reported by ScienceDaily.com, using eight men and eight women–all of them possessed at least a moderate level of fitness and did interval training at least once every week. Each of them did six four-minute intervals at the highest levels each of them thought they could endure, with rest/recovery periods being either one, two or four minutes.
While the men worked at a faster relative pace, the women worked harder–as measured by their oxygen consumption and heart rate, working at a higher percentage of their maximums in each area than the men in both areas. Thus, their relative benefits were greater than those gained by men.
“Men and women tend to work at the same level of perceived exertion and feel similarly recovered between each interval, however, as they perform the interval runs women tended to work ‘harder’ from a relative cardiovascular (% HRmax and % VO2max) standpoint than men,” said Dr. Matt Laurent of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies at Bowling Green State University.
But gentlemen, there’s no reason to be discouraged, added Dr. Laurent. “When runners perform high-intensity intervals, trust that if you push yourself to run what you consider hard, you are probably at the correct intensity,” he said. “If you maintain recommended work-to-rest ratios you most likely will recover appropriately to get the most out of your workout, independent of gender.”
For suggestions and insights on HIIT, check out Bodybuilding.com.