A barrage of recent studies has shown the potential for high-intensity interval training to incite fat loss, increase muscular and cardiovascular strength and improve other health markers among participants. But how well does this format play out in a group setting?

Researchers from the City of Eugene’s FitCity Wellness Center in Oregon recruited 21 mostly active adults to participate in a HIIT group exercise program three times per week for 10 weeks. Each class included a brief warm-up and then body weight exercises following a two-to-one work-to-rest ratio. The average class lasted just over 27 minutes, and participants were encouraged to take minibreaks outside the structured rest periods if necessary.

At the end of the study, participants showed reductions in body weight, body fat percentage and body mass index. There was a slight increase in fat-free mass. The group also experienced reductions in circumference measurements of the upper arms, chest, waist, hips and calves. Thigh measurements changed very little.

“HIIT three days per week for 10 weeks produced significant reductions in body weight, BMI, body fat percentage and body circumference measurements except for the thighs,” explained study author Steven J. Auferoth, director of health and wellness for the center.

Auferoth believes HIIT could be a boon for fitness instructors, personal trainers and fitness facilities, owing to its potential to help clients make significant physiological improvements in a time-efficient manner. Professionals might also see a bump in revenue, since the short time investment makes it possible to see more clients per hour.

Check out the following video for a demonstration and discussion of the protocols used in this study: www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9U-CqiIXt0&feature=youtu.be.