Shorter recovery time following high-intensity interval training induced higher body fat loss among overweight women

  • Seyed Javad MirghaniEmail author
  • Mehdi Seydyousefi
  • Satu Pekkala
  • Shohreh Sharifian
  • Gheysar Beyshami
Original Article



High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been widely employed as an exercise protocol to reduce fat, and also in addition, interval recovery periods are the most important factors which can have great impact on weight loss. Therefore, the aim of this study was the evaluation of different recovery time between HIIT program on metabolic responses and weight loss in overweight women.


Twenty-four overweight (BMI 29.5 ± 3.5 kg/m2) volunteer women were randomly assigned into three groups (n = 8/group) to study the effects of different recovery times: [group 1; HIIT with 60/60 activity–rest ratio (s), group 2; HIIT with 60/30 activity–rest ratio (s), and group 3 was set as a control]. The participants performed 3 times per week and 4 bouts/session (80% of Heart Rate Reserve). The exercise program gradually increased to 10 bouts/session.


The most important findings of this study were a change in the body fat percentage (BF %) in the between group comparison: group1 (40.5 ± 0.9), group 2 (41.2 ± 0.7) and group 3 (41.1 ± 1.1). Compared to the control group the 60/30 s HIIT resulted in a significant decrease in BF % (P = 0.002). However, no other significant differences in the body composition were found. Either there were no significant differences between the groups in T4, T3 and TSH, cortisol, HGH, FBS, blood insulin, insulin resistance insulin sensitivity or fatness-associated hormones.


In conclusion, considerable decrease in BF % in the 60/30 s. rest interval group indicates that 30 s recovery period in HIIT may reduce fat % more efficiently than 60 s.


Metabolic indices Weight loss Interval recovery time Overweight women HIIT 



The researchers wish to express his appreciation to the women coach, Miss. Nosratabadi, Shahid Mirghani Research Institute and Dr. Hossein Nasehi, the director of Sepid Medical Lab in the city of Aliabad-e-Katoul, in Golestan province, for their sincere contribution to the conduct of this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest concerning this article.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the ethics committee of Sport Sciences Research Institute of Iran.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports ScienceIslamic Azad University, Central Tehran BranchTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Exercise PhysiologyIslamic Azad University, Bojnourd BranchBojnourdIran
  3. 3.Faculty of Sport and Health SciencesUniversity of JyvaskylaJyvaskylaFinland
  4. 4.Department of Exercise PhysiologyIslamic Azad University, Rasht BranchRashtIran
  5. 5.Department of Exercise PhysiologyIslamic Azad University, East Tehran BranchTehranIran

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