If you've ever subjected yourself to the abuse of a personal trainer, your probably know that such workouts are part of a technique called high-intensity interval training (HIIT). In the study, 25 men were divided into three groups: one assigned to an interval workout on an exercise bike, one that was asked to complete moderate workouts on an exercise bike, and one that was told to continue the virtually non-existent exercise routine (the control group). Specifically, the interval group warmed up on the bikes for two minutes, pedaled as hard as they could, and repeated that before cooling down for three minutes, for a total of 10 minutes. After all three groups completed their routines three times a week for 12 weeks, the researchers measured their physical fitness and event biopsied their muscle tissues to determine the results, per the report.
Ultimately, the findings suggest that the excruciating bursts of exercise aren't better than longer periods of moderate exercise, but you'll end up getting the same payoff in less time. Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University who led the new study, summarized it best in the Times report: