Fitness Friday!

SGT Canfield

High intensity exercise and weight loss

We have a tendency to think of the gym and weight loss as the same thing. When you hit the gym or the track, your goal shouldn’t be to lose weight. In fact, only 20% of your burned daily calories are lost during exercise. That leaves 10% burned during metabolism and 70% to daily activities. The focus of our workouts may instead, focus on gaining strength and increasing endurance. Training high intensity workouts have shown to be more effective in fat burning, post workout and is recommended for greater weight loss. Evidence suggests that high intensity exercise may increase metabolic caloric burn throughout post workout hours. This may be due to increased WO2 uptake and creating an EPOC state (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, the bodies need to increase oxygen uptake to reach normality after exercise). An issue is many people can’t jump into a high intensity workout program without progressing safely. National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) recommends a progressive approach to cardiovascular training. A good idea would be to begin with two high intensity workouts a week and progressing in difficulty and frequency as time increases. There are many great resources for workouts available to include FIT-P’s Facebook page! (

When a client needs to lose weight, it is beneficial to add high intensity interval training at the end of each workout to set them up for increasing caloric burn. Participants of intense training will increase heart rate, metabolic activity, and hormone changes. A study found that women who participated in high intensity training for 15 weeks had a more significant weight loss than the opposing training style. It is recommended to perform a minimum of 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per week to maximize cardiorespiratory benefits.

When planning your next workout program be sure to program, consider including high-intensity interval training, cardiorespiratory endurance work, resistance training, and flexibility training. A well balanced program may lead to a healthier lifestyle and overall proper fitness levels.


Boutcher, S., Chisholm, D., Freund, J., Trapp, E. (April 2008). The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. International Journal of Obesity. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0803781

Boutcher, S. (24 November, 2010). High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss. Journal of Obesity. doi: 10.1155/2011/868305

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