Boxing for Fat Loss!
by: Robbie Durand
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) performed on exercise cycle or treadmill is considered safe and often more beneficial for fat loss and cardiometabolic health than moderate-intensity continuous training. There is preliminary evidence suggesting that HIIT can elicit significantly greater reductions of adiposity than moderate-intensity continuous training (i.e. walking) in overweight and obese cohorts. Studies in patients with cardiac and metabolic diseases have consistently shown that HIIT (≥12 weeks) performed on a cycle or treadmill ergometer is safe, and can result in greater improvements of cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max), endothelial function (i.e. atherosclerosis), insulin signalling and left ventricular morphology and function versus moderate-intensity continuous training matched for training load or volume (frequency/duration).
HIIT involves alternating brief (6 seconds -4 minutes) high intensity (≥75% VO2max) and lower intensity workloads or rest throughout an exercise session. This shorter duration of exercise may be a more efficient alternative for eliciting fat loss than moderate-intensity continuous training. Boxing training typically involves high intensity intervals of 2 to 3 minutes combined with shorter intervals of rest. Therefore, boxing training is recognized as a metabolically demanding mode of HIIT. The aim of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of a 12-week boxing training (HIIT) intervention compared with an equivalent dose of brisk walking (moderate-intensity continuous training) in obese adults.
Men and women with abdominal obesity and body mass index >25 kg/m2 were randomized to either a boxing group or a brisk walking (control) group for 12 weeks. Each group engaged in 4 training sessions per week, equated for total physical activity. Feasibility outcomes included recruitment rates, assessment of training intensities, adherence and adverse events. Effectiveness was assessed pre and post intervention via pertinent obesity-, cardiovascular, and health-related quality of life outcomes. At the end of the study, the boxing group trained at a significantly higher intensity each week versus the brisk walking group. The boxing group significantly improved body fat percentage (−13.2%), and experienced a small-to-moderate reduction of waist circumference (−5.3%), systolic blood pressure, absolute VO2max, and improved vitality. The walking group did not improve any clinical outcomes, and experienced a worsening of vitality. Collectively, these adaptations indicate reduced body adiposity, which is associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases (i.e. insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, cancers, and cardiovascular diseases) and associated mortality. Boxing training (HIIT) in adults with abdominal obesity is feasible and may elicit a better therapeutic effect on obesity, cardiovascular, and health related quality of life outcomes than an equivalent dose of brisk walking (moderate-intensity continuous training). Robustly designed randomized controlled trials are required to confirm these findings and inform clinical guidelines and practice for obesity treatment. Boxing training (HIIT) in adults with abdominal obesity is feasible and may elicit a better therapeutic effect on obesity, cardiovascular- and health related quality of life outcomes than an equivalent dose of brisk walking (moderate-intensity continuous training).
The feasibility and effectiveness of high-intensity boxing training versus moderate-intensity brisk walking in adults with abdominal obesity: a pilot study Birinder S Cheema, Timothy B Davies, Matthew Stewart, Shona Papalia and Evan Atlantis. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation 2015, 7:3
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