It’s common to see a well-written article that has a sensationalized headline…it’s the editor’s way of getting your attention and luring you in. But it’s rare to find the opposite…an intriguing yet accurate title followed by an article of pure drivel.
Unfortunately that’s what we have in this Associated Press article that’s been widely published around the internet. The headline tells us that “Interval training can cut exercise hours sharply”. OK, fine…there’s been a lot of research showing that interval training is very effective. But if you can learn anything even remotely useful by reading the rest of the article please let me know.
In the opening paragraph we’re told ” some experts say intense exercise sessions could help people squeeze an entire week’s workout into less than an hour”. That’s an awfully bold statement, so you would think the author would back it up with some research. Unfortunately all we get is a comment from a Norwegian exercise expert telling us that “we should immediately throw out the old way of exercising”.
Perhaps the biggest gaffe in this article is that nowhere are we ever told exactly what kind of benefit we’re supposed to get from this interval training. Is it weight loss? Cardiovascular health? Strength? Longevity? All of the above?
There is a mention of some research that shows that intervals can boost endurance, improve oxygen usage, and increase strength. But there’s no reference to any studies showing that working out once a week is more effective than more frequent exercise.
We do learn of a martial arts enthusiast who claims that a weekly interval session allowed him to boost his endurance rather quickly. The reporter states that he was in “top shape” after only 6 workouts (1 per week), and that this would normally take 3 months of more traditional exercise. Yeah, sure buddy…that sound’s about right!
There are a few more gems scattered about, I really recommend you read the entire article. Obviously this “Medical Reporter” is severely lacking in terms of exercise knowledge and common sense.