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  • Author: Amanda N. Szabo-Reed x
  • Sport and Exercise Science/Kinesiology x
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Erik A. Willis, Amanda N. Szabo-Reed, Lauren T. Ptomey, Jeffery J. Honas, Felicia L. Steger, Richard A. Washburn and Joseph E. Donnelly

Background: High-intensity functional training (HIFT) may offer an attractive, time-efficient alternative to traditional aerobic exercise. However, limited information is available in the literature regarding HIFT meeting exercise guidelines for energy expenditure (improve health outcomes: ≥1000 kcal/wk; weight management: ≥2000 kcal/wk) and level of intensity (moderate: 3–6 metabolic equivalents [METs], vigorous: ≥6 METs) elicited by this approach. Thus, the primary aim was to objectively measure energy expenditure and intensity of HIFT sessions. Methods: Energy expenditure was assessed in 20 adults (18–50 y, 50% females). The HIFT session format included the following segments: warm-up (∼5 min), exercise (∼35 min), and cooldown (∼5 min). Participant oxygen consumption (COSMED, L/min and mL/kg/min), heart rate (Polar RS400), and physical activity (ActiGraph GT3X+) were collected in 15-second intervals. Average kcal per minute, METs, total kcal per session, and percent maximum heart rate (HRmax) were calculated. Results: METs ranged from 5.5 to 11.6 for the complete session (including warm-up and cooldown). Participant’s HRmax was ∼80% (range: 69%–100%). Average energy expenditure was ∼485 kcal per session (∼1400 kcal/wk). The vigorous-intensity exercise portion (∼35 min) contributed to 80% of total energy expenditure. Conclusions: HIFT has the potential to meet the recommendations for exercise to improve health outcomes.