High Intensity Interval Training More Effective for Women
When it comes to exercising, people often believe that working up a good sweat will give them a beach-ready body. However, not all exercises have the same effects on the body, which is why it is important to target areas with different forms of exercises. One of the more rigorous training routines that people tend to avoid when it comes to running is high intensity interval training, which involves a lot of sprints intermixed with recovery periods. Even though this type of training might be tiring and difficult, a new study is reporting that high intensity interval training for women in particular can be very beneficial.
For this study, the research team of Dr. Matt Laurent and Dr. Matt Kutz from Bowling Green State University, Lauren Vervaecke from the University of South Carolina, and Dr. Matt Green from the University of North Alabama recruited 16 people. The participants were between the ages of 19 and 30 with eight males and eight females who reported that they were at least at a moderate fitness level. The participants were asked to go through self-paced, high intensity interval training with different recovery times.
The participants used the treadmill six times at four-minute intervals at their personal highest intensity levels. The recovery times between the intervals were one minute, two minutes or four minutes. During the intervals, the researchers measured the participants' oxygen consumption and their heart rates. Based from these results, the researchers found a significant difference in the effect of this type of exercise for both genders.
The researchers reported that men had a higher self-selected pace. Even though men ran faster than women, the researchers found that women worked at a higher percentage of their heart rates. Women also worked at a higher percentage of their maximum oxygen consumption, which meant that women got more out of this type of training than men did.
"I think what our data show is that there appear to be meaningful differences in how men and women self-regulate their workouts," Laurent said according to Daily Mail. "Specifically, in our case, 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 standpoint than men."
Even though high intensity interval training is a great way of exercising for both genders, this study suggests that people should remember to focus on their own bodies and pay attention to their limits.
"In that sense, 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, and 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."