High-Intensity Training Is More Enjoyable

Research suggests that high-intensity workouts might help sedentary adults to stick to a workout routine.

If you too lose your motivation and enthusiasm after training for a couple of weeks, your remedy may lie in more intense, short bursts of exercises, according to new research published in the PLOS ONE journal.

“For sedentary individuals, a key barrier to starting an exercise program is the preconceived notion that exercising is not enjoyable. Failing to find enjoyment from exercise can make it more difficult to stick to an exercise program over time,” explains Jennifer Heisz, the lead author of this study and an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster.

This is the first study to examine changes in the level of enjoyment and enthusiasm for high-intensity interval training (HIT) workouts versus moderate continuous training, over the first six weeks of an exercise program. And in the long run, the study found that HIT tends to be more enjoyable than moderate exercise.

At the beginning of the training, sedentary young adults in the HIT group reported similar levels of enjoyment to those in the moderate exercise group. However, as training progressed and the participants got stronger, enjoyment for the HIT group increased. Levels for the moderate group remained constant and lower.

These new findings are important because they suggest high-intensity workouts might help sedentary adults to stick to a workout routine, according to the research.

“The physical benefits of exercise are widely known, yet half of the adult population is not sufficiently active for good health,” she continues. “Enjoyment during these first weeks of adopting a new exercise program may be especially important for preventing dropouts.”


1. Jennifer J. Heisz, Mary Grace M. Tejada, Emily M. Paolucci, Cameron Muir. Enjoyment for High-Intensity Interval Exercise Increases during the First Six Weeks of Training: Implications for Promoting Exercise Adherence in Sedentary Adults. PLOS ONE, 2016

Leave a Comment