By Adam Holding, Trainer & Assessor and Owner & Head Trainer of Momentum Personal Training
on Wednesday, 25 November 2015
  • Learning
  • Health

ABCs Catalyst television program featured Fit in 6 minutes a week on 29th September 2015.  It investigated High Intensity Training (HIT) and its effects on improving fitness levels and weightloss.


Source: http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4319131.htm

It also featured a menopausal study and how the loss of oestrogen increases abdominal fat (visceral fat) around the waist and could this be combatted with HIT program.

I was recently approached by a female client who is 52 years old and confronted with menopause.  After viewing the program on ABC, she asked if I could monitor her progress over a 12 week period whilst participating in the HIT program.  The findings were extraordinary.

The HIT program involved my client to complete the following:

  • 8 seconds of high intensity training on a stationary bike at low resistance
  • Immediately followed by 12 seconds of active recovery (pedaling at snail’s pace)
  • This is then repeated over a 20 minute duration
  • The client performed this HIT program three (3) times per week and is currently 6 weeks into the 12 week program

Below is a screenshot of the client’s body weight and percentage body fat composition using ultrasound from 29.9.15 to 13.11.15.

body weight and percentage body fat composition using ultrasound

The red line indicates that the client dropped from a pre-testing weight of 82kg to 80.2kg after six weeks.  Furthermore, the client dropped from 30.3% body fat to 27.7% after the six weeks.

As you can see from the previous measurements since January this year, the client has had difficulty losing weight or body fat despite training twice a week with a personal trainer, walking two days on her own plus incidental exercise with her children, and maintaining a generally healthy diet.

The measurements also indicate that her waist circumference and waist specific body fat measurements also reduced dramatically.

Most importantly, it must be noted that the client did NOT alter her diet during this period to assess the effects of the HIT program.

As a trainer I discovered that the client was able to withstand the entire 20 minutes as the resistance was low.  This is an important factor and noticeable difference from other interval training regimes as the intensity is high and causes early fatigue in the thighs.  This is not the case with this approach, as the client is solely focusing on aerobic capacity and heart rate as opposed to thigh muscular endurance as the sole focus.

If interested in participating in a HIT program you my need to consider the following:

  • Access to a stationary exercise bike
  • Conduct the exercise outdoors or in front of the television or with music to stay focused to maintain exercise adherence and interest
  • Be mindful of sore buttocks during the conditioning phase of the training program
  • Have a towel, water bottle and timer with you
  • Space the training sessions between Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday for appropriate recovery time.

Even as fitness professionals we learn with our clients, and I encourage others to assess current training principles for menopausal female clients with the goal of achieving weightloss.

Are you interested in a career that enables you to help others?  Learn more about exercise for special populations such as women confronted with menopause.

Visit www.ptnational.edu.au for course information and LIVE.LEARN.FITNESS®.