Are you one of those people who LOVES to do difficult workouts and everybody thinks you’re crazy for it? Well, good news for you: an article from shape.com by Lauren Mazzo says that research is backing you up!
According to a research study done by a group of kinesiologists at McMaster University in Canada, it is proven that high-intensity workouts are actually easier to get through. The results said that you are more likely to continue doing your workout if the intensity is higher.
This shape.com article says that the study began with 40 healthy, sedentary adults. They were directed by the researchers to work out on a stationary bike 3 times per week for 6 weeks.
The first half of them were told to do high-intensity interval training, (otherwise known as HIIT). For 20 minutes, they switched between 1-minute sprint and recovery intervals. The other half were told to do moderate-intensity workouts. This consisted of the group cycling “continuously at about 70 to 75 percent of their max heart rate for 27.5 minutes.”
Lauren also added that the researchers watched over certain factors such as each groups’ endurance, heart rate, and power output. At the end of each of the 6 weeks, each participant of the study rated the enjoyment of their workouts.
What was found was very interesting: the high-intensity group enjoyed their workouts more than the moderate-intensity group AND… their levels of enjoyment increased with each passing week!
The enjoyment rates of the moderate-intensity group didn’t vary too much, but they were significantly lower than that of the others’. Who knew that working harder could be more fun? The researchers also concluded that high-intensity workouts (or any type of HIIT) are more effective!
Lauren also adds that there is an exception — if the workout is so difficult that you literally can’t go on, maybe sticking to something less intense will benefit you more.
In conclusion, the study did find that HIIT is more enjoyable and more effective. Why does this happen? Well, it could be because of the motivation that comes along with knowing you are doing so well. Also, more power is exerted is correlated to more enjoyment.
The HIIT group became stronger in the end and enjoyed their 6 weeks more. This is great information that we can take away and use in our own lives!