1 International Journal of Obesity 2008 Vol: 32(4):684-691. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803781

The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women

International Journal of Obesity is a monthly, multi-disciplinary forum for papers describing basic, clinical and applied studies in biochemistry, genetics and nutrition, together with molecular, metabolic, psychological and epidemiological aspects of obesity and related disorders

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Figures
Figure 1: Total fat change for the high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE), steady-state exercise (SEE) and no exercise control groups. *Significantly different from control and SSE groups (P<0.05). Figure 2: Central abdominal fat change for the high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE), steady-state exercise (SEE) and no exercise control groups. *Significantly different from control and SSE groups (P<0.05). Figure 3: Fasting insulin change for the high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE), steady-state exercise (SEE) and no exercise control groups. *Significantly different from control (P<0.05).
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References
  1. Speiser PW, Rudolf MCJ, Anhalt H, Comacho-Hubner C, Chiarelli F, Elakim A et al. Consensus statement: childhood obesity. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2005; 90: 1871-1887 , .
    • . . . It has been estimated that the current level of 250 million obese (7% of world population), is likely to significantly increase in future.1 As being overweight is associated with long-term ill health and reduced life quality, it has been recommended that effective weight loss strategies be developed.2 Although caloric restriction has been the major weight loss strategy, it has been shown that exercise programs designed for fat loss result in an increase in cardiorespiratory fitness3 and a preservation of fat-free mass.4, 5, 6 Most exercise programs designed for weight loss have focused on steady-state exercise (SEE) of around 30 min at a moderate intensity on most days of the week . . .
  2. Jakicic JM, Clark K, Coleman E, Donnelly JE, Foreyt J, Melanson E et al. Appropriate intervention strategies for weight loss and prevention of weight regain for adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2001; 33: 2145-2156 , .
    • . . . It has been estimated that the current level of 250 million obese (7% of world population), is likely to significantly increase in future.1 As being overweight is associated with long-term ill health and reduced life quality, it has been recommended that effective weight loss strategies be developed.2 Although caloric restriction has been the major weight loss strategy, it has been shown that exercise programs designed for fat loss result in an increase in cardiorespiratory fitness3 and a preservation of fat-free mass.4, 5, 6 Most exercise programs designed for weight loss have focused on steady-state exercise (SEE) of around 30 min at a moderate intensity on most days of the week . . .
  3. Ross R, Dagnone D, Jones PJ, Smith H, Paddags A, Hudson R et al. Reduction in obesity and related comorbid conditions after diet-induced weight loss or exercise-induced weight loss in men: a randomized, controlled trial. Ann Int Med 2000; 133: 92-103 , .
    • . . . It has been estimated that the current level of 250 million obese (7% of world population), is likely to significantly increase in future.1 As being overweight is associated with long-term ill health and reduced life quality, it has been recommended that effective weight loss strategies be developed.2 Although caloric restriction has been the major weight loss strategy, it has been shown that exercise programs designed for fat loss result in an increase in cardiorespiratory fitness3 and a preservation of fat-free mass.4, 5, 6 Most exercise programs designed for weight loss have focused on steady-state exercise (SEE) of around 30 min at a moderate intensity on most days of the week . . .
  4. Evans EM, Saunders MJ, Spano MA, Arngrimsson A, Lewis RD, Cureton KJ. Effects of diet and exercise on the density and composition of the fat-free mass in obese women. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999; 31: 1778-1787 , .
    • . . . It has been estimated that the current level of 250 million obese (7% of world population), is likely to significantly increase in future.1 As being overweight is associated with long-term ill health and reduced life quality, it has been recommended that effective weight loss strategies be developed.2 Although caloric restriction has been the major weight loss strategy, it has been shown that exercise programs designed for fat loss result in an increase in cardiorespiratory fitness3 and a preservation of fat-free mass.4, 5, 6 Most exercise programs designed for weight loss have focused on steady-state exercise (SEE) of around 30 min at a moderate intensity on most days of the week . . .
  5. Kraemer WJ, Volek JS, Clark KL, Gordon SE, Puhl SM, Koziris LP et al. Influence of exercise training on physiological and performance changes with weight loss in men. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999; 31: 1320-1329 , .
    • . . . It has been estimated that the current level of 250 million obese (7% of world population), is likely to significantly increase in future.1 As being overweight is associated with long-term ill health and reduced life quality, it has been recommended that effective weight loss strategies be developed.2 Although caloric restriction has been the major weight loss strategy, it has been shown that exercise programs designed for fat loss result in an increase in cardiorespiratory fitness3 and a preservation of fat-free mass.4, 5, 6 Most exercise programs designed for weight loss have focused on steady-state exercise (SEE) of around 30 min at a moderate intensity on most days of the week . . .
  6. Kyle UG, Gremion G, Genton L, Slosman DO, Golay A, Pichard C. Physical activity and fat-free and fat mass by bioelectrical impedance in 3853 adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2001; 33: 576-584 , .
    • . . . It has been estimated that the current level of 250 million obese (7% of world population), is likely to significantly increase in future.1 As being overweight is associated with long-term ill health and reduced life quality, it has been recommended that effective weight loss strategies be developed.2 Although caloric restriction has been the major weight loss strategy, it has been shown that exercise programs designed for fat loss result in an increase in cardiorespiratory fitness3 and a preservation of fat-free mass.4, 5, 6 Most exercise programs designed for weight loss have focused on steady-state exercise (SEE) of around 30 min at a moderate intensity on most days of the week . . .
  7. Shaw K, Gennat H, O'Rourke P, Del Mar C, The Cochrane Collaboration. Exercise for overweight or obesity. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2006; 4: 1-88 , .
  8. Burgomaster KA, Hughes SC, Heigenhauser GJF, Bradwell SN, Gibala M. Six sessions of sprint interval training increases muscle oxidative potential and cycle endurance capacity in humans. J Appl Physiol 2005; 98: 1985-1990 , .
    • . . . Prior research has demonstrated that HIIE enhances capacity for fat oxidation and mitochondrial enzyme activity;8, 9, 10 however, the ability of chronic HIIE to induce fat loss has only been examined by one study . . .
  9. Talanian JL, Galloway SDR, Heigenhauser GJF, Bonen A, Spriet LL. Two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training increases the capacity for fat oxidation during exercise in women. J Appl Physiol 2007; 102: 1439-1447 , .
    • . . . Prior research has demonstrated that HIIE enhances capacity for fat oxidation and mitochondrial enzyme activity;8, 9, 10 however, the ability of chronic HIIE to induce fat loss has only been examined by one study . . .
    • . . . Talanian et al.9 have also found that an intermittent sprinting exercise program significantly elevated aerobic power; in this study, the oxidative enzyme β-hydroxy-acyl-CoA dehydrogenase was used as an indicant of mitochondrial volume and was found to increase by 31%, suggesting that intermittent sprinting enhances mitochondrial capacity . . .
  10. Dudley GA, Abraham WM, Terjung RL. Influence of exercise intensity and duration on biochemical adaptations in skeletal muscle. J Appl Physiol 1982; 53: 844-850 , .
    • . . . Prior research has demonstrated that HIIE enhances capacity for fat oxidation and mitochondrial enzyme activity;8, 9, 10 however, the ability of chronic HIIE to induce fat loss has only been examined by one study . . .
  11. Tremblay A, Simoneau J, Bouchard C. Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism. Metabolism 1994; 43: 814-818 , .
    • . . . Tremblay et al.11 compared exercising intermittently at high-intensity and continuous moderate intensity exercise five times per week for 20 weeks . . .
    • . . . That HIIE produced a greater fat reduction effect compared to SSE supports the results of Tremblay et al.11 Despite exercising half the time, HIIE subjects in the present study lost 11.2% of total FM with SSE subjects experiencing no fat loss . . .
    • . . . Indeed, HIIE-induced suppressed diet intake may be one of a number of possible factors underlying the fat loss effect of HIIE.11 For example, HIIE may have suppressed appetite or decreased attraction for energy-dense foods.24, 25 Another explanation for the HIIE fat loss effects is that this type of exercise may result in enhanced lipid utilization . . .
  12. Thomas S, Reading J, Shephard RJ. Revision of the physical activity readiness questionnaire (PAR-Q). Can J Sport Sci 1992; 17: 338-345 , .
    • . . . Subjects were screened using the PAR-Q,12 which is a standard pre-exercise questionnaire and approval for the study was granted by a University Research Ethics Committee . . .
  13. Schell J, Leelarthaepin B. Physical Fitness Assessment in Exercise and Sport Science 2nd edn. Leelar Biomediscience Services: Matraville, Australia, 1994 , .
    • . . . The test ceased when the standard criteria of attainment of VO2peak or volitional exhaustion was reached.13 The test was followed by a 5-min cooldown . . .
  14. Carey DG, Jenkins AB, Campbell LC, Freund J, Chisholm DJ. Abdominal fat and insulin resistance in normal and overweight women. Direct measurements reveal a strong relationship in subjects at both low and high risk of NIDDM. Diabetes 1996; 45: 633-638 , .
  15. Bertin E, Marcus C, Ruiz J-C, Eschard J-P, Leutenegger M. Measurement of visceral adipose tissue by DXA combined with anthropometry in obese humans. Int J Obes 2000; 24: 263-270 , .
    • . . . Total body and central abdominal fat and lean tissue mass and percentage of total tissue were measured as previously described.14 DEXA has been validated as a measure of body fat in obese and normal weight individuals,15, 16, 17 and central abdominal fat measurement by DEXA has been shown to correlate strongly with insulin resistance.14 DEXA gives two measures of central adiposity . . .
    • . . . For example, Bertin et al.15 found a significant correlation (r=0.60) between visceral fat determined by computed tomography (CT) scan and abdominal FM measured by DEXA, indicating that changes in abdominal fat reflect to some degree, changes in visceral fat . . .
  16. Paradisi G, Smith L, Burtner C, Leaning R, Garvey WT, Hook G et al. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry assessment of fat mass distribution and its association with the insulin resistance syndrome. Diabetes Care 1999; 22: 1310-1317 , .
    • . . . Total body and central abdominal fat and lean tissue mass and percentage of total tissue were measured as previously described.14 DEXA has been validated as a measure of body fat in obese and normal weight individuals,15, 16, 17 and central abdominal fat measurement by DEXA has been shown to correlate strongly with insulin resistance.14 DEXA gives two measures of central adiposity . . .
  17. Van MD, Mayclin PL. Body composition assessment: dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) compared to reference methods. Eur J Clin Nutr 1992; 46: 125-130 , .
    • . . . Total body and central abdominal fat and lean tissue mass and percentage of total tissue were measured as previously described.14 DEXA has been validated as a measure of body fat in obese and normal weight individuals,15, 16, 17 and central abdominal fat measurement by DEXA has been shown to correlate strongly with insulin resistance.14 DEXA gives two measures of central adiposity . . .
  18. Bonora E, Targher G, Alberiche M, Bonadonna RC, Saggiani F, Zenere MB et al. Homeostasis model assessment closely mirrors the glucose clamp technique in the assessment of insulin sensitivity: studies in subjects with various degrees of glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Diabetes Care 2000; 23: 57-63 , .
    • . . . The homeostasis model assessment of insulin sensitivity (HOMA-IR) was calculated for each individual.18 HOMA-IR is calculated by dividing the product of insulin (in μIU ml−1) and glucose (in mmol l−1) concentrations by 22.5 . . .
  19. Péronnet F, Massicotte D. Table of nonprotein respiratory quotient: an update. Can J Sport Sci 1991; 16: 23-29 , .
    • . . . Energy expenditure for the SSE group was estimated by converting the workload for each session (kp*r.p.m.=W) into oxygen consumption in l min−1.19 Energy expenditure for one session of HIIE was assessed in a previous study,20 and this data was used to estimate energy expenditure for the 15 weeks of HIIE of the present study . . .
  20. Trapp EG, Chisholm DJ, Boutcher SH. Metabolic response of trained and untrained females during high intensity intermittent cycle exercise. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2007 (in press) , .
    • . . . Energy expenditure for the SSE group was estimated by converting the workload for each session (kp*r.p.m.=W) into oxygen consumption in l min−1.19 Energy expenditure for one session of HIIE was assessed in a previous study,20 and this data was used to estimate energy expenditure for the 15 weeks of HIIE of the present study . . .
    • . . . Prior research in our laboratory has shown that lipid release, as indicated by blood glycerol levels, gradually increased over 20 min of HIIE.20 Catecholamine levels in this study were also found to be significantly elevated after . . .
  21. Weston M, Helsen W, MacMahon C, Kirkendall D. The impact of specific high-intensity training sessions of football referees' fitness levels. Am J Sports Med 2004; 32: 54S-61S , .
    • . . . Other studies have also shown increases in aerobic power to differing forms of intermittent sprinting,21, 22, 23 whereas Tabata et al.23 found that intermittent sprinting also resulted in significant increases in anaerobic capacity . . .
  22. Gorostiaga EM, Walter CB, Foster C, Hickson RC. Uniqueness of interval and continuous training at the same maintained exercise intensity. Eur J Appl Physiol Occ Physiol 1991; 63: 101-107 , .
    • . . . Other studies have also shown increases in aerobic power to differing forms of intermittent sprinting,21, 22, 23 whereas Tabata et al.23 found that intermittent sprinting also resulted in significant increases in anaerobic capacity . . .
  23. Tabata I, Nishimura K, Kouzaki M, Hiral Y, Opgita F, Miyachi M et al. Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1996; 28: 1327-1330 , .
    • . . . Other studies have also shown increases in aerobic power to differing forms of intermittent sprinting,21, 22, 23 whereas Tabata et al.23 found that intermittent sprinting also resulted in significant increases in anaerobic capacity . . .
  24. Bi S, Scott KA, Hyun J, Ladenheim EE, Moran TH. Running wheel activity prevents hyperphagia and obesity in Otsuka long-evans Tokushima fatty rats: role of hypothamalic signaling. Endocrinology 2007; 146: 1676-1685 , .
    • . . . Indeed, HIIE-induced suppressed diet intake may be one of a number of possible factors underlying the fat loss effect of HIIE.11 For example, HIIE may have suppressed appetite or decreased attraction for energy-dense foods.24, 25 Another explanation for the HIIE fat loss effects is that this type of exercise may result in enhanced lipid utilization . . .
  25. Kawaguchi M, Scott KA, Moran TH, Bi S. Dorsomedial hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor mediation of exercise-induced anorexia. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2005; 288: R1800-R1805 , .
    • . . . Indeed, HIIE-induced suppressed diet intake may be one of a number of possible factors underlying the fat loss effect of HIIE.11 For example, HIIE may have suppressed appetite or decreased attraction for energy-dense foods.24, 25 Another explanation for the HIIE fat loss effects is that this type of exercise may result in enhanced lipid utilization . . .
  26. Després JP, Pouliot MC, Moorjani S, Nadeau A, Tremblay A, Lupien PJ et al. Loss of abdominal fat and metabolic response to exercise training in obese women. Am J Physiol 1991; 261: E159-E167 , .
  27. Gaesser GA, Rich RG. Effects of high- and low-intensity exercise training on aerobic capacity and blood lipids. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1984; 16: 269-274 , .
    • . . . Prior research in our laboratory has shown that lipid release, as indicated by blood glycerol levels, gradually increased over 20 min of HIIE.20 Catecholamine levels in this study were also found to be significantly elevated after HIIE.20 With regard to SSE, the FM and aerobic fitness response was typical of that reported in the literature in that there were no significant changes in TBM, FM or trunk fat, but there was a significant increase in aerobic fitness.26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 . . .
  28. Grediagin A, Cody M, Rupp J, Bernardot D, Shern R. Exercise intensity does not effect [sic] body composition change in untrained, moderately overfat women. J Am Diet Assoc 1995; 95: 661-665 , .
    • . . . Prior research in our laboratory has shown that lipid release, as indicated by blood glycerol levels, gradually increased over 20 min of HIIE.20 Catecholamine levels in this study were also found to be significantly elevated after HIIE.20 With regard to SSE, the FM and aerobic fitness response was typical of that reported in the literature in that there were no significant changes in TBM, FM or trunk fat, but there was a significant increase in aerobic fitness.26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 . . .
  29. Ilmarinen J, Ilmarinen R, Koskela A, Koronen O, Fardy F, Partanen T et al. Training effects of stair-climbing during office hours in female employees. Ergonomics 1979; 22: 507-516 , .
    • . . . Prior research in our laboratory has shown that lipid release, as indicated by blood glycerol levels, gradually increased over 20 min of HIIE.20 Catecholamine levels in this study were also found to be significantly elevated after HIIE.20 With regard to SSE, the FM and aerobic fitness response was typical of that reported in the literature in that there were no significant changes in TBM, FM or trunk fat, but there was a significant increase in aerobic fitness.26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 . . .
  30. Jones DM, Squires C, Rodahl K. Effect of rope skipping on physical work capacity. Res Q 1962; 33: 236 , .
    • . . . Prior research in our laboratory has shown that lipid release, as indicated by blood glycerol levels, gradually increased over 20 min of HIIE.20 Catecholamine levels in this study were also found to be significantly elevated after HIIE.20 With regard to SSE, the FM and aerobic fitness response was typical of that reported in the literature in that there were no significant changes in TBM, FM or trunk fat, but there was a significant increase in aerobic fitness.26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 . . .
  31. Murphy MH, Hardman AE. Training effects of short and long bouts of brisk walking in sedentary women. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1998; 30: 152-157 , .
    • . . . Prior research in our laboratory has shown that lipid release, as indicated by blood glycerol levels, gradually increased over 20 min of HIIE.20 Catecholamine levels in this study were also found to be significantly elevated after HIIE.20 With regard to SSE, the FM and aerobic fitness response was typical of that reported in the literature in that there were no significant changes in TBM, FM or trunk fat, but there was a significant increase in aerobic fitness.26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 . . .
  32. Williford HN, Scharff-Olson M, Blessing DL. Exercise prescription for women. Special considerations. Sports Med 1993; 15: 299-311 , .
  33. Lapidus L, Bengtsson C, Larsson B, Pennert K, Rybo E, Sjöström L. Distribution of adipose tissue and risk of cardiovascular disease and death: a 12 year follow-up of participants in the population study of women in Gothenberg, Sweden. BMJ 1984; 289: 1261-1263 , .
    • . . . This is an important finding because of the effect of excess visceral fat on metabolic dysfunction.26, 33, 34 Although these changes may appear minor in these young women, their central abdominal FM before the intervention was relatively small (mean=1.27 kg) . . .
  34. Lundgren H, Bengtsson C, Blohme G, Lapidus L. Adiposity and adipose tissue distribution in relation to incidence of diabetes in women: results from a prospective population study in Gothenberg, Sweden. Int J Obes 1989; 13: 413-423 , .
    • . . . This is an important finding because of the effect of excess visceral fat on metabolic dysfunction.26, 33, 34 Although these changes may appear minor in these young women, their central abdominal FM before the intervention was relatively small (mean=1.27 kg) . . .
  35. Saris WHM. The role of exercise in the dietary treatment of obesity. Int J Obes 1993; 17: 17-21 , .
  36. Gwinup G, Chelvam R, Steinberg T. Thickness of subcutaneous fat and activity of underlying muscles. Ann Intern Med 1971; 74: 408-411 , .
    • . . . It is considered that spot reduction (that is, deliberately reducing fat stores in specific areas of the body) is not possible, and the body will mobilize preferentially those stores with the highest concentrations of adipose cells.36, 37, 38 There is evidence in the current study that this principle may not apply to every exercise modality . . .
  37. Katch FI, Clarkson PM, Kroll W, McBride T. Effects of sit up exercise training on adipose cell size and adiposity. Res Q Exerc Sport 1984; 55: 242-247 , .
    • . . . It is considered that spot reduction (that is, deliberately reducing fat stores in specific areas of the body) is not possible, and the body will mobilize preferentially those stores with the highest concentrations of adipose cells.36, 37, 38 There is evidence in the current study that this principle may not apply to every exercise modality . . .
  38. Wilmore JH, Atwater AE, Maxwell BD, Wilmore DL, Constable SH, Buono MJ. Alterations in body size and composition consequent to Astro-Trimmer and Slim-Skins training programs. Res Q Exerc Sport 1985; 56: 90-92 , .
    • . . . It is considered that spot reduction (that is, deliberately reducing fat stores in specific areas of the body) is not possible, and the body will mobilize preferentially those stores with the highest concentrations of adipose cells.36, 37, 38 There is evidence in the current study that this principle may not apply to every exercise modality . . .
  39. Obisesan TO, Leeuwenburgh C, Ferrell RE, Phares DA, McKenzie JA, Prior SJ et al. C-reactive protein genotype affects exercise training-induced changes in insulin sensitivity. Metab Clin Exp 2006; 55: 453-460 , .
    • . . . The 9% decrease of the SSE is typical compared to results of other studies using similar exercise protocols.39 The significantly larger effects of HIIE on fasting insulin suggests that this form of exercise may be a more effective way of normalizing endocrine dysfunction . . .
  40. Ferrannini E, Camastra S, Coppack SW, Fliser D, Golay A, Mitrakou A. Insulin action and non-esterified fatty acids. The European Group for the Study of Insulin Resistance (EGIR). Proc Nutr Soc 1997; 56: 753-761 , .
    • . . . If the training continued for a longer period (6 months to a year), it is possible that the decrease in insulin concentrations would lead to greater fat oxidation,40 and hence, greater fat loss in the longer term.41 Supporting this notion is the significant inverse relationship found between loss of trunk fat and decrease in insulin concentration . . .
  41. Zurlo F, Lillioja S, Esposito-Del Puente A, Nyomba BL, Raz I, Saad MF et al. Low ratio of fat to carbohydrate oxidation as predictor of weight gain: study of 24-h RQ. Am J Physiol 1990; 295: E650-E657 , .
    • . . . If the training continued for a longer period (6 months to a year), it is possible that the decrease in insulin concentrations would lead to greater fat oxidation,40 and hence, greater fat loss in the longer term.41 Supporting this notion is the significant inverse relationship found between loss of trunk fat and decrease in insulin concentration . . .
  42. Markovic TP, Jenkins AB, Campbell LV, Furler SM, Kraegen EW, Chisholm DJ. The determinants of glycemic responses to diet restriction and weight loss in obesity and NIDDM. Diabetes Care 1998; 21: 687-694 , .
  43. Valera-Mora ME, Simeoni B, Gagliardi L, Scarfone A, Nanni G, Castagneto M et al. Predictors of weight loss and reversal of comorbidities in malabsorptive bariatric surgery. Am J Clin Nutr 2005; 81: 1292-1297 , .
    • . . . The correlation (r=0.58, P<0.01) between fat loss and initial FM supports prior research that has shown that fat loss is typically related to initial FM.43, 44 The four moderate fat loss responders in the HIIE group (women who had a 3% or less decrease in total fat) possessed significantly lower initial FM than the other women . . .
  44. Teixeira PJ, Going SB, Houtkooper LB, Cussler EC, Metcalfe LL, Blew RM et al. Pretreatment predictors of attrition and successful weight management in women. Int J Obes Rel Metab Dis 2004; 28: 1124-1133 , .
    • . . . The correlation (r=0.58, P<0.01) between fat loss and initial FM supports prior research that has shown that fat loss is typically related to initial FM.43, 44 The four moderate fat loss responders in the HIIE group (women who had a 3% or less decrease in total fat) possessed significantly lower initial FM than the other women . . .
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