These days a workout needs to be short, sharp and designed to give the body a good blast.
So it should come as no surprise HIIT, an acronym for high-intensity interval training, has become the trendy training routine many turn to for targeted results.
And now science has shown the body responds to even just two minutes of HIIT – with new research revealing even this tiny amount is as effective as a moderate half-hour session of aerobic exercise.
HIIT, acronym for high-intensity interval training, has become the top training routine many Australians turn to for targeted results (stock image)
The study carried out by Victoria University, selected a group of eight young volunteers to carry out a series of three cycling based exercise sessions.
Each session was spread over a period of weeks with seven days or more of rest in between each workout.
For one, they rode continuously for 30 minutes, but never at more than half of their maximum effort.
Following the model of HIIT workouts (high-intensity interval), the riders also did five four-minute cycling sessions, pedalling at 75 per cent their maximum capacity. Each bout was separated by a one-minute rest and recovery time.
The final test involved four ‘sprints’, with the group cycling as fast as they could, but only for 30 seconds at a time, with four-and-a-half minutes of rest time between.
When the researchers analysed mitochondria in the riders’ thigh muscles they saw that the 30-second sprinters’ cells were just as well primed to duplicate as the cells from the moderate-intensity riders.
Jaimy Chappelow (pictured before and after) completely transformed her body in just eight weeks through weekly HIIT sessions and a complete diet overhaul
Mitochondria are the organelles that churn out energy for the body’s cells. As the body ages, mitochondria slow down, gradually producing less and less available energy.
‘This suggests that exercise may be prescribed according to individual preferences while still generating similar signals known to confer beneficial metabolic adaptions,’ the study authors wrote.
‘These findings have important implications for improving our understanding of how exercise can be used to enhance metabolic health in the general population.’
While two minutes might not necessarily give you the body of your dreams, dedicated HIIT workouts – even once a week can – deliver results.
Jaimy (pictured now) revealed to FEMAIL that in just eight weeks she transformed her body by ditching takeaways, fast food and alcohol for lean protein and vegetables
Take 27-year-old Brisbane-based Jaimy Chappelow who once spent her days working eating burgers and fries (thanks to her job in a fast food restaurant) and her nights drinking with friends.
Deciding she wanted to take charge of her life, Jaimy joined a gym and embarked upon a workout program that saw her exercise for just one hour a day six days a week.
Eight weeks later, her body completely transformed – and her mind shifted along with it. Here, she reveals how she lost the weight, and how you can too.
‘I was eating Ben & Jerrys ice cream at night in bed, working at a fast food restaurant where I ate lots of the food, and drinking alcohol with friends in the evenings,’ Jaimy (pictured before and now) said of her previous lifestyle
According to Jaimy, when she moved to Brisbane, she was not in a healthy mindset.
‘I was eating Ben & Jerrys ice cream at night in bed, working at a fast food restaurant where I ate lots of the food, and drinking alcohol with friends in the evenings,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I had just moved away from my family and was lacking any discipline,’ she added.
Wanting a ‘complete lifestyle overhaul’, Jaimy discovered HIIT Australia online, which she said ‘looked like a massive family’ with plenty of positive attitudes.
‘I decided to join and set myself up for one of the challenges to see what would happen,’ she said.
When she spied an eight week HIIT training programme online, the 27-year-old (pictured now) decided to join and she was soon working out six days a week for an hour each time
Before she knew it, the 27-year-old found herself working out six days a week for an hour each time:
‘I could only afford to train once each day, for an hour, but that was all I needed,’ she said.
Alongside this, the now personal trainer swapped fast food, ice cream and nights out for complex carbohydrates, protein and tracking her macros.
Alongside this, the now personal trainer (pictured now) tracks her macros and eats plenty of lean proteins, vegetables and complex carbohydrates
‘In a typical day, I would have a bowl of oats, natural yoghurt and blueberries in the morning,’ she said.
‘I’d pair this with egg whites, spinach and tomato.’
Later on in the day, Jaimy said she has plenty of lean proteins like chicken and salmon, along with fresh veggies and brown rice.
‘I would say by week six of the challenge, I was walking past the mirror and not recognising myself,’ Jaimy said (pictured before and now)
She also factors in countless snacks so that she doesn’t get too hungry at any point during the day.
‘I would say by week six of the challenge, I was walking past the mirror and not recognising myself,’ Jaimy said.
‘I also began to get compliments at the fast food restaurant and bar about how I was looking. Not only this, but I was also so full of energy.’
By the time she had completed the challenge, Jaimy said she decided she wanted to train as a personal trainer – and she no longer craved the fatty foods she used to
By the time she had completed the challenge, Jaimy said she decided she wanted to train as a personal trainer – and she no longer craved the fatty foods she used to.
Jaimy also said taking the view ‘progress is not linear’ helped her see that change wasn’t measurable by numbers.
She explained she had actually gone up in weight during the challenges from 54.8 kilograms to 61, while her body fat percentage has dropped.
‘There’s no point in thinking of it that way.’