Interval-Training Workouts Shown to Benefit Women More

Friday, 30 Aug 2013 12:28 PM

By Nick Tate

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High-intensity interval training workouts, designed to provide maximum gain in minimal time, have been shown to benefit women more than men.
 
In a new study to be published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, researchers from the University of South Carolina, University of North Alabama, and Bowling Green State University put 16 young men and women through interval training programs designed to measure differences between the sexes.
 
Participants hit the treadmill for six, four-minute intervals — performed at the highest intensity they felt they could maintain — separated by recovery intervals of one minute, two minutes, or four minutes. Throughout the intervals, researchers measured their maximum oxygen consumption and heart.

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The results revealed a significant effect of gender on both percentages. Men self-selected a faster relative pace, but the women worked at a higher percentage of their maximum heart rate than the men and a higher percentage of their maximum oxygen consumption.
Results also confirmed previous findings suggesting that a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio is optimal during HIIT for both men and women.
 
"I think what our data show is that there appear to be meaningful differences in how men and women self-regulate their workouts," said Matt Laurent, M.D., with Bowling Green.

"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."

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