Effect of High-Intensity Interval Training on Total, Abdominal and Visceral Fat Mass: A Meta-Analysis
- 2.3k Downloads
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is promoted as a time-efficient strategy to improve body composition.
The aim of this meta-analysis was to assess the efficacy of HIIT in reducing total, abdominal, and visceral fat mass in normal-weight and overweight/obese adults.
Electronic databases were searched to identify all related articles on HIIT and fat mass. Stratified analysis was performed using the nature of HIIT (cycling versus running, target intensity), sex and/or body weight, and the methods of measuring body composition. Heterogeneity was also determined
A total of 39 studies involving 617 subjects were included (mean age 38.8 years ± 14.4, 52% females). HIIT significantly reduced total (p = 0.003), abdominal (p = 0.007), and visceral (p = 0.018) fat mass, with no differences between the sexes. A comparison showed that running was more effective than cycling in reducing total and visceral fat mass. High-intensity (above 90% peak heart rate) training was more successful in reducing whole body adiposity, while lower intensities had a greater effect on changes in abdominal and visceral fat mass. Our analysis also indicated that only computed tomography scan or magnetic resonance imaging showed significant abdominal and/or visceral fat-mass loss after HIIT interventions.
HIIT is a time-efficient strategy to decrease fat-mass deposits, including those of abdominal and visceral fat mass. There was some evidence of the greater effectiveness of HIIT running versus cycling, but owing to the wide variety of protocols used and the lack of full details about cycling training, further comparisons need to be made. Large, multicenter, prospective studies are required to establish the best HIIT protocols for reducing fat mass according to subject characteristics.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this article.
Conflict of interest
Florie Maillard, Bruno Pereira and Nathalie Boisseau declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.
- 2.Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic. Report of a WHO consultation. World Health Organ. Tech Rep Ser. 2000;894:i–xii, 1–253.Google Scholar
- 10.Shaw K, Gennat H, O’Rourke P, et al. Exercise for overweight or obesity. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006;4:CD003817.Google Scholar
- 15.Trapp EG, Chisholm DJ, Freund J, et al. The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. Int J Obes. 2005;2008(32):684–91.Google Scholar
- 21.Cohen J. Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. 2nd ed. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; 1998.Google Scholar
- 25.Sawyer BJ, Tucker WJ, Bhammar DM, et al. Effects of high-intensity interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training on endothelial function and cardiometabolic risk markers in obese adults. J Appl Physiol. 1985;2016(121):279–88.Google Scholar
- 38.Nieman DC, Nehlsen-Cannarella SL, Fagoaga OR, et al. Effects of mode and carbohydrate on the granulocyte and monocyte response to intensive, prolonged exercise. J Appl Physiol. 1985;1998(84):1252–9.Google Scholar
- 48.Arad AD, DiMenna FJ, Thomas N, et al. High-intensity interval training without weight loss improves exercise but not basal or insulin-induced metabolism in overweight/obese African American women. J Appl Physiol. 1985;2015(119):352–62.Google Scholar
- 51.Eimarieskandari R, Zilaeibouri S, Zilaeibouri M, et al. Comparing two modes of exercise training with different intensity on body composition in obese young girls. Sci Mov Health. 2012;12:473–8.Google Scholar
- 57.Hornbuckle LM, McKenzie MJ, Whitt-Glover MC. Effects of high-intensity interval training on cardiometabolic risk in overweight and obese African–American women: a pilot study. Ethn Health. 2017;1:1–15.Google Scholar
- 68.Schjerve IE, Tyldum GA, Tjønna AE, et al. Both aerobic endurance and strength training programmes improve cardiovascular health in obese adults. Clin Sci (Lond). 1979;2008(115):283–93.Google Scholar
- 72.Stensvold D, Tjønna AE, Skaug E-A, et al. Strength training versus aerobic interval training to modify risk factors of metabolic syndrome. J Appl Physiol. 1985;2010(108):804–10.Google Scholar
- 74.Wallman K, Plant LA, Rakimov B, et al. The effects of two modes of exercise on aerobic fitness and fat mass in an overweight population. Sports Med. 2009;17:156–70.Google Scholar
- 75.Zhang H, Tong TK, Qiu W, et al. Effect of high-intensity interval training protocol on abdominal fat reduction in overweight Chinese women: a randomized controlled trial. Kinesiology. 2015;47:57–66.Google Scholar