Low Intensity vs. High Intensity: Which Is Best for Obese Adults?

by Ryan Halvorson on May 12, 2015

Making News

The debate continues regarding the most effective exercise measures for reducing abdominal obesity and improving glucose measures.

A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (2015; 162 [5], 325–34) studied 271 abdominally obese adults who completed one of three exercise protocols five times per week for 24 weeks or acted as a control group (no exercise). In the first exercise group (low-intensity, low-amount), women and men burned 180 and 300 calories, respectively, at 50% VO2peak. In the second exercise group (high-amount, low-intensity), they burned 360 and 600 calories, respectively, at 50% VO2peak. The third group achieved the same calorie expenditure as group two, but aimed for a higher intensity of 75% VO2peak. Average session time was 31 minutes for the first group and 40 minutes for both the second and third groups.

So, which protocol came out on top?

The final data showed that all three active groups reduced waist circumference and body weight by similar results. However, the third high-intensity protocol was the only one of the three to yield improvements in 2-hour glucose levels.

To purchase the online course Complete Program Design for the Obese/Overweight Client by Brian Richey, filmed at the 2017 IDEA World Fitness Convention™, visit the IDEA Store.

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About the Author

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson IDEA Author/Presenter

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.