Melbourne, June 29 (ANI): Sprint training for 60 minutes a week burns the same amount of body fat in men as jogging for seven hours a week, Sydney scientists have suggested.
More than 40 overweight males, who participated in a short, high-intensity training regime based on cycle sprints over 12 weeks, measured a significant drop in their abdominal fat and an increase in muscle mass.
The lead researcher, Steve Boutcher, revealed that the training program provided the ideal amount of exercise intensity for health benefits, including weight loss, in a short time frame, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
We've been searching for about 10 years for the minimum amount of exercise you can do with the biggest health impact factor, Dr Boutcher, an exercise physiologist and associate professor at the University of NSW, said.
By exercising three times a week, participants, mostly university students in their 20s, lost an average two kilograms of fat and gained 1.1 kilograms of muscle mass, primarily in their trunk and legs.
The program, which required participants to sprint on an exercise bike for eight seconds, raised their heart rate to between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of its maximum rate, followed by 12 seconds of slow peddling.
In three 20 minute sessions a week, they're only working hard for eight minutes, he said.
Participants lost mainly visceral fat linked to cardiovascular disease risk, and reduced their waist circumference.
Previous studies revealed similar results for women, he said.
A control group of participants, who did no exercise, lost no weight during the study.
Both groups were asked to consume their regular diets.
Fast sprinting causes the body to release high levels of a specific group of hormones, called 'Catecholamines', which drive the release of fat, especially abdominal and visceral fat, from fat stores so it can be burned by working muscles.
We don't know why, but moving limbs very fast generates high levels of catecholamine, Dr Boutcher said.
This study has been published in the journal of obesity. (ANI)