Is interval training the magic bullet for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing moderate-intensity continuous training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT)

Ricardo Borges Viana, João Pedro Araújo Naves, Victor Silveira Coswig, Claudio Andre Barbosa de Lira, James Steele, James Peter Fisher, Paulo Gentil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To compare the effects of interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training (MOD) on body adiposity in humans, and to perform subgroup analyses that consider the type and duration of interval training in different groups.

DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

DATA SOURCES: English-language, Spanish-language and Portuguese-language searches of the electronic databases PubMed and Scopus were conducted from inception to 11 December 2017.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: Studies that met the following criteria were included: (1) original articles, (2) human trials, (3) minimum exercise training duration of 4 weeks, and (4) directly or indirectly compared interval training with MOD as the primary or secondary aim.

RESULTS: Of the 786 studies found, 41 and 36 were included in the qualitative analysis and meta-analysis, respectively. Within-group analyses showed significant reductions in total body fat percentage (%) (interval training: -1.50 [95% CI -2.14 to -0.86, p<0.00001] and MOD: -1.44 [95% CI -2.00 to -0.89, p<0.00001]) and in total absolute fat mass (kg) (interval training: -1.58 [95% CI -2.74 to -0.43, p=0.007] and MOD: -1.13 [95% CI -2.18 to -0.08, p=0.04]), with no significant differences between interval training and MOD for total body fat percentage reduction (-0.23 [95% CI -1.43 to 0.97], p=0.705). However, there was a significant difference between the groups in total absolute fat mass (kg) reduction (-2.28 [95% CI -4.00 to -0.56], p=0.0094). Subgroup analyses comparing sprint interval training (SIT) with MOD protocols favour SIT for loss of total absolute fat mass (kg) (-3.22 [95% CI -5.71 to -0.73], p=0.01). Supervised training, walking/running/jogging, age (<30 years), study quality and intervention duration (<12 weeks) favourably influence the decreases in total absolute fat mass (kg) observed from interval training programmes; however, no significant effect was found on total body fat percentage (%). No effect of sex or body mass index was observed on total absolute fat mass (kg) or total body fat percentage (%).

CONCLUSION: Interval training and MOD both reduce body fat percentage (%). Interval training provided 28.5% greater reductions in total absolute fat mass (kg) than MOD.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42018089427.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-664
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume53
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2019

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Magic
Meta-Analysis
Fats
Adipose Tissue
Language
Jogging
Adiposity
PubMed
Running
Walking
High-Intensity Interval Training
Body Mass Index
Databases
Exercise
Education

Cite this

Viana, Ricardo Borges ; Naves, João Pedro Araújo ; Coswig, Victor Silveira ; de Lira, Claudio Andre Barbosa ; Steele, James ; Fisher, James Peter ; Gentil, Paulo. / Is interval training the magic bullet for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing moderate-intensity continuous training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). In: British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2019 ; Vol. 53, No. 10. pp. 655-664.
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abstract = "OBJECTIVES: To compare the effects of interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training (MOD) on body adiposity in humans, and to perform subgroup analyses that consider the type and duration of interval training in different groups.DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis.DATA SOURCES: English-language, Spanish-language and Portuguese-language searches of the electronic databases PubMed and Scopus were conducted from inception to 11 December 2017.ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: Studies that met the following criteria were included: (1) original articles, (2) human trials, (3) minimum exercise training duration of 4 weeks, and (4) directly or indirectly compared interval training with MOD as the primary or secondary aim.RESULTS: Of the 786 studies found, 41 and 36 were included in the qualitative analysis and meta-analysis, respectively. Within-group analyses showed significant reductions in total body fat percentage ({\%}) (interval training: -1.50 [95{\%} CI -2.14 to -0.86, p<0.00001] and MOD: -1.44 [95{\%} CI -2.00 to -0.89, p<0.00001]) and in total absolute fat mass (kg) (interval training: -1.58 [95{\%} CI -2.74 to -0.43, p=0.007] and MOD: -1.13 [95{\%} CI -2.18 to -0.08, p=0.04]), with no significant differences between interval training and MOD for total body fat percentage reduction (-0.23 [95{\%} CI -1.43 to 0.97], p=0.705). However, there was a significant difference between the groups in total absolute fat mass (kg) reduction (-2.28 [95{\%} CI -4.00 to -0.56], p=0.0094). Subgroup analyses comparing sprint interval training (SIT) with MOD protocols favour SIT for loss of total absolute fat mass (kg) (-3.22 [95{\%} CI -5.71 to -0.73], p=0.01). Supervised training, walking/running/jogging, age (<30 years), study quality and intervention duration (<12 weeks) favourably influence the decreases in total absolute fat mass (kg) observed from interval training programmes; however, no significant effect was found on total body fat percentage ({\%}). No effect of sex or body mass index was observed on total absolute fat mass (kg) or total body fat percentage ({\%}).CONCLUSION: Interval training and MOD both reduce body fat percentage ({\%}). Interval training provided 28.5{\%} greater reductions in total absolute fat mass (kg) than MOD.TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42018089427.",
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Is interval training the magic bullet for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing moderate-intensity continuous training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). / Viana, Ricardo Borges; Naves, João Pedro Araújo; Coswig, Victor Silveira; de Lira, Claudio Andre Barbosa; Steele, James; Fisher, James Peter; Gentil, Paulo.

In: British Journal of Sports Medicine, Vol. 53, No. 10, 14.02.2019, p. 655-664.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Is interval training the magic bullet for fat loss?

T2 - A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing moderate-intensity continuous training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT)

AU - Viana, Ricardo Borges

AU - Naves, João Pedro Araújo

AU - Coswig, Victor Silveira

AU - de Lira, Claudio Andre Barbosa

AU - Steele, James

AU - Fisher, James Peter

AU - Gentil, Paulo

N1 - © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

PY - 2019/2/14

Y1 - 2019/2/14

N2 - OBJECTIVES: To compare the effects of interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training (MOD) on body adiposity in humans, and to perform subgroup analyses that consider the type and duration of interval training in different groups.DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis.DATA SOURCES: English-language, Spanish-language and Portuguese-language searches of the electronic databases PubMed and Scopus were conducted from inception to 11 December 2017.ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: Studies that met the following criteria were included: (1) original articles, (2) human trials, (3) minimum exercise training duration of 4 weeks, and (4) directly or indirectly compared interval training with MOD as the primary or secondary aim.RESULTS: Of the 786 studies found, 41 and 36 were included in the qualitative analysis and meta-analysis, respectively. Within-group analyses showed significant reductions in total body fat percentage (%) (interval training: -1.50 [95% CI -2.14 to -0.86, p<0.00001] and MOD: -1.44 [95% CI -2.00 to -0.89, p<0.00001]) and in total absolute fat mass (kg) (interval training: -1.58 [95% CI -2.74 to -0.43, p=0.007] and MOD: -1.13 [95% CI -2.18 to -0.08, p=0.04]), with no significant differences between interval training and MOD for total body fat percentage reduction (-0.23 [95% CI -1.43 to 0.97], p=0.705). However, there was a significant difference between the groups in total absolute fat mass (kg) reduction (-2.28 [95% CI -4.00 to -0.56], p=0.0094). Subgroup analyses comparing sprint interval training (SIT) with MOD protocols favour SIT for loss of total absolute fat mass (kg) (-3.22 [95% CI -5.71 to -0.73], p=0.01). Supervised training, walking/running/jogging, age (<30 years), study quality and intervention duration (<12 weeks) favourably influence the decreases in total absolute fat mass (kg) observed from interval training programmes; however, no significant effect was found on total body fat percentage (%). No effect of sex or body mass index was observed on total absolute fat mass (kg) or total body fat percentage (%).CONCLUSION: Interval training and MOD both reduce body fat percentage (%). Interval training provided 28.5% greater reductions in total absolute fat mass (kg) than MOD.TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42018089427.

AB - OBJECTIVES: To compare the effects of interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training (MOD) on body adiposity in humans, and to perform subgroup analyses that consider the type and duration of interval training in different groups.DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis.DATA SOURCES: English-language, Spanish-language and Portuguese-language searches of the electronic databases PubMed and Scopus were conducted from inception to 11 December 2017.ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: Studies that met the following criteria were included: (1) original articles, (2) human trials, (3) minimum exercise training duration of 4 weeks, and (4) directly or indirectly compared interval training with MOD as the primary or secondary aim.RESULTS: Of the 786 studies found, 41 and 36 were included in the qualitative analysis and meta-analysis, respectively. Within-group analyses showed significant reductions in total body fat percentage (%) (interval training: -1.50 [95% CI -2.14 to -0.86, p<0.00001] and MOD: -1.44 [95% CI -2.00 to -0.89, p<0.00001]) and in total absolute fat mass (kg) (interval training: -1.58 [95% CI -2.74 to -0.43, p=0.007] and MOD: -1.13 [95% CI -2.18 to -0.08, p=0.04]), with no significant differences between interval training and MOD for total body fat percentage reduction (-0.23 [95% CI -1.43 to 0.97], p=0.705). However, there was a significant difference between the groups in total absolute fat mass (kg) reduction (-2.28 [95% CI -4.00 to -0.56], p=0.0094). Subgroup analyses comparing sprint interval training (SIT) with MOD protocols favour SIT for loss of total absolute fat mass (kg) (-3.22 [95% CI -5.71 to -0.73], p=0.01). Supervised training, walking/running/jogging, age (<30 years), study quality and intervention duration (<12 weeks) favourably influence the decreases in total absolute fat mass (kg) observed from interval training programmes; however, no significant effect was found on total body fat percentage (%). No effect of sex or body mass index was observed on total absolute fat mass (kg) or total body fat percentage (%).CONCLUSION: Interval training and MOD both reduce body fat percentage (%). Interval training provided 28.5% greater reductions in total absolute fat mass (kg) than MOD.TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42018089427.

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