Study: Here’s How to Tell if Your Workouts are Working

in Science & Tech by

A recent study published by Queen’s University and the University of Ottawa may explain why your workout sessions aren’t bring you the results you think you should be getting.

Research from the two universities monitored 21 men and women who completed two types of exercise workouts during two individual training periods, with a lull between them that lasted a set period of months.

Results from the study, which has been published this past month in the journal PLOS ONE, determined that switching from one specific type of workout to a different one could provide better results.

The individuals taking part in the study did both endurance and interval training – with the endurance training consisting of repetitive action over a long period of time, compared to the intensity training with its burst and recovery training.


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“What our study shows is that if you’re doing one type of exercise and you’re not getting the optimal result, you can switch to a different stimulus and that may help you,” said co-author Brendon Gurd, PhD, associate professor of muscle physiology at Queens University School of Kinesiology and Health Studies.

In this study, the endurance training entailed riding a stationary bicycle for 30 minutes at a medium level of exertion, and the interval training involved 20-second bursts on the stationary bike, followed by ten seconds of rest between each period.

Heart rate, VO2 max, and other cardiovascular health and fitness measurements were tested.

Gurd said people following a workout plan can determine its effectiveness by measuring their heartrate after walking or running on a treadmill at a set pace and incline, and for a specific period of time. They should also time themselves on how long it takes to run a set distance.

If after several weeks of performing those tests, while also continuing their normal exercise regiment, they don’t experience a drop in heart rate and are unable to run faster, the person should switch up there current regiment to something different.


Photo: Farhad SH (cc)