Short-term HIIT and Fat max training increase aerobic and metabolic fitness in men with class II and III obesity

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Oct;23(10):1987-94. doi: 10.1002/oby.21206. Epub 2015 Sep 3.


Objective: To compare the effects of two different 2-week-long training modalities [continuous at the intensity eliciting the maximal fat oxidation (Fatmax) versus high-intensity interval training (HIIT)] in men with class II and III obesity.

Methods: Nineteen men with obesity (BMI ≥ 35 kg · m(-2)) were assigned to Fatmax group (GFatmax) or to HIIT group (GHIIT). Both groups performed eight cycling sessions matched for mechanical work. Aerobic fitness and fat oxidation rates (FORs) during exercise were assessed prior and following the training. Blood samples were drawn to determine hormones and plasma metabolites levels. Insulin resistance was assessed by the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA2-IR).

Results: Aerobic fitness and FORs during exercise were significantly increased in both groups after training (P ≤ 0.001). HOMA2-IR was significantly reduced only for GFatmax (P ≤ 0.001). Resting non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and insulin decreased significantly only in GFatmax (P ≤ 0.002).

Conclusions: Two weeks of HIIT and Fatmax training are effective for the improvement of aerobic fitness and FORs during exercise in these classes of obesity. The decreased levels of resting NEFA only in GFatmax may be involved in the decreased insulin resistance only in this group.

Trial registration: NCT02254200.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Oxidation-Reduction*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Insulin

Associated data