Short Intense Workouts Just as Effective as Long Moderate Ones

July 16, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. intense /ɪnˈtɛns/ (adj.) – having or showing great strength
Example: Dan’s body was sore after an intense workout at the gym.

2. moderate /mɒd ər ɪt/ (adj.) – requiring an acceptable or reasonable amount of effort
Example: Doctors recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

3. interval /ˈɪn tər vəl/ (n.) – a period of temporary pause
Example: The trainer’s program is based on intervals of intense and moderate running.

4. sedentary /ˈsɛd nˌtɛr i/ (adj.) – sitting for a long period of time
Example: Regular exercise is crucial for people with sedentary desk jobs.

5. reap / rip / (v.) – to get as a return
Example: Regular exercise reaps many benefits.


Read the text below.
Short intense workouts are just as effective as long moderate workouts, according to a study.

Martin Gibala, professor of kinesiology [ki-nee-see-OL-uh-jee] at McMaster [muh k-MAS-ter] University, led a study on high-intensity interval training (HIIT). According to him, brief bursts of intense exercise are remarkably effective.

For three weeks, Gibala and his team studied two groups of sedentary men. The first group pedaled at an intense pace for 20 seconds then rode at a very slow pace for two minutes. They then intensely pedaled for 20 seconds and ended with two minutes of recovery by cycling slowly. Meanwhile, the second group cycled continuously for 45 minutes at a moderate pace.

In the early 1990s, a similar study was conducted by Dr. Izumi Tabata. He developed what trainers now call Tabata training. Tabata training includes 20 seconds of intense exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for eight times. Tabata believes that everyone can do interval training but cautions [KAW-shuh n] that beginners should start with professional trainers so they can start at the correct intensity for them.

Interval training produces significant improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness. It can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Both studies also showed that participants’ blood pressure levels were reduced and their muscles were better at utilizing oxygen and burning calories. Doing interval training burns an extra 150 calories in the 12 hours after exercising.

One can reap the benefits of interval training by doing high-intensity and low-intensity exercises alternately, either through cardiovascular exercises or bodyweight exercises.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Which do you prefer: a short but intense workout or long but moderate workout? Why?
·         Would you rather work out in the gym or at home? Why?

Discussion B

·         Aside from being physically fit, what are the other benefits of working out?
·         How can working out be more enjoyable?

July 16, 2016