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36 is Greater than One

May 3, 2016

New Study Proves HIIT can Provide Results with One-Minute of Work

Ever heard the expression, “You can do anything for a minute?” Well, according to a new study conducted by McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, you can now get fit with one minute of exercise. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? According the study, it’s not, but It’s not ideal though, either. The New York Times recently broke down the study very well.

What the study actually uncovered is that one-minute of intense, strenuous activity, such as riding a stationary bike in this case, mixed in with a proper warm up, periods of active rest, and a proper cool down, can provide the same results as a moderate, 45-minute workout, when tested three times a week over a 12-week period. The interval training group’s stationary bike exercise went like this: two-minute warmup, 20-second sprint, two-minute slow pace ride, 20-second sprint, two-minute slow pace ride, 20-second sprint, three-minute cool down.

The findings help tell the story that interval training, and particularly high intensity interval training (HIIT), can provide effective fitness results in far less time than moderate or even average intensity workouts. Studies like this provide more science behind what type of results can be accomplished with a quality HIIT workout – training that is done at FIT36® studios every day.

Now about that whole one-minute workout phenomenon. One of the most important pieces to this study is the active rest the interval training group did between sprints. By staying active—basically just not being inactive—your heart rate never truly drops to its resting rate. The participants are actually able to reach a higher heart rate during the 20-second sprint. The higher the heart rate they can hit during their sprint, the more carbs and fat they can burn. If you are thinking you can just get off the couch, do something really hard for one-minute, and then sit back down and all of a sudden be a super hero, think again. Active rest matters.

So, should you start doing this one-minute workout (well, make that 10-minute), instead of a 36-minute workout at FIT36®? No, you shouldn’t. Why, you ask? It’s science.

FIT36® classes train your whole body thanks to a quality mix of movements. So rather than a few, 20-second sprints on a bike, we give you 12 different stations that work for one-minute each. Then, there’s 30 seconds of rest before moving on to the next circuit. The circuits are done twice, thus resulting in a 36-minute workout.

The FIT36® workout is a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio, which according to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning is the optimal work-to-rest HIIT ratio. Your heart rate gets into carb and fat burning zones, and will stay there for the majority of the 36-minute workout. Additionally, because the workout is only 36 minutes, your body will not burn muscle, but rather build muscle. Longer HIIT classes actually burn fat, carbs and muscle. You don’t want to lose muscle. You want to gain muscle. Additionally, FIT36® workouts provide its members with the after-burn affect. The after-burn affect is the ability to continue burning calories long after a workout, thanks to the amount of exertion committed during the workout.

With that said, if you can’t make it to class, and you only have 10 minutes to get in some sort of fitness activity, something along the lines of the workout in the study is definitely better than nothing. We recommend something with more strength-based movements in it. Try this if you are in a pinch and need a 10-minute burn:

  • Two-minute, full-body warmup consisting of: 20 jumping jacks, 10 body-weight squats and 10-leg kicks (each leg). Repeat if needed to reach two-minutes
  • 20-seconds of burpees
  • Two-minute wall sit
  • 20-seconds of squat jumps
  • Two-minute plank
  • 20-seconds of burpees
  • Three minute cooldown/stretch: 10 jumping jacks, 10 body-weight squats, alternating slow lunges, and a stretch of choice to finish three minutes

Getting fit is never easy, but luckily HIIT, and places like FIT36®, and their ability to provide a great workout in a short period of time, have removed the time constraint blocker from the equation.