This study compared the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with effects of combined training (CT) on physical function, body composition, and muscle strength in obese postmenopausal women (PW) (trial registration: NCT03200639).
PW were randomized to CT (n
= 12) and HIIT (n
= 12). The CT group performed 30 minutes of moderate walking at 70% of maximum heart rate (MHR) and five resistance exercises at 70% of one repetition maximum (1RM) for 12 weeks. The HIIT group performed 10 sets of vigorous exercises (30 seconds (s) of stair climbing and 30 s of body weight squats) at >80% MHR interspersed by a light walk (recovery period at 60% MHR).
Both groups reduced body fat percentage (0.5%), chair stand
(3 s) and increased leg lean mass (0.3 kg). Only the CT, however, increased muscle strength (29%) and fast walking speed (5%) compared with HIIT. The fast walking speed changes were partially explained by the muscle strength changes (36%, r
= 0.60, P
= 0.027) in the CT group.
These results suggest that HIIT is an alternative time-efficient protocol for improving chair stand
and body composition when compared with CT, whereas only CT is an efficient protocol for improving muscular strength and fast walking speed in obese PW. Thus, CT must be prioritized when the increase of muscular strength and fast walking speed are the goals of training.
Video Summary: Supplemental Digital Content 1, http://links.lww.com/MENO/A443.