Yeah, we could’ve guessed that sedentary dudes would lean up when they started doing tough metabolic conditioning workouts. But there are a few interesting things here and some things we can extrapolate and apply to our own workout plans.
First, the study participants didn’t change their diets, or at least they weren’t supposed to. Most probably didn’t, but the researchers speculated that some of them may have made unconscious dietary adjustments because HIIE (high-intensity intermittent exercise) may have a suppressive effect on appetite. (That’s what some rat studies show, at least.)
Now, imagine their results if they’d also dropped a modest 200 to 300 calories from their daily intakes. Most would probably have lost 15 or more pounds.
Second, the guys built some muscle in their legs while losing fat. Sure, they were untrained, but simultaneous fat loss and muscle gain did happen, so let’s stop it with all the “it’s impossible!” rhetoric.
Third, the participants trained only an hour per WEEK: three 20-minute workouts. In related studies, participants did steady-state cardio – jogging or light cycling – for an hour per DAY and experienced about the same results, minus the new fat-free mass in their legs.
Seven hours per week versus one hour per week to get the same results? I’ll take the hour.