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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Recent study shows that women may be working out more often, harder than men do

When working out, it is said that men work out more often and harder than women, but a new study is showing women might actually exercise harder than men.

Matt Laurent, an assistant professor of exercise science, recently conducted a study involving men and women during high intensity interval training.

“High intensity interval training is this idea of working very hard, recover and work very hard again,” Laurent said.

Laurent said he wanted to do a study on men and women and the differences during high intensity interval training because of a variety of things. The men and women who participated in the study were college students.

“There’s some research out there that suggests men and women … there’s differences in how they fatigue and the rate at which they recover,” Laurent said.

There were a few reasons that Laurent wanted to do the study.

One of those reasons was because a similar study was published in Norway in 2005, but the study only used “elite, well-trained men.” Laurent wanted to see if trained men and women, instead of elite, would have similar results.

“One of the things we wanted to look at was if we just tell men and women that are fairly well trained to say, ‘hey, run at the highest intensity you think you can maintain,’” Laurent said.

Another reason Laurent wished to do the study was because he published a study previously that looked at the differences between men and women during sprints, he said. Laurent wanted to look further at high intensity interval training and see if the results would be the same.

“One of the things I also wanted to see was if I just tell you to work at a hard intensity or say ‘work hard;’ what do you actually pick? And [are] the guidelines that we know are appropriate [achieved when people self-pace]?” he said.

During the study, Laurent asked the participants to run at six four-minute intervals. In between each interval though, they got some time to recover, even though the recovery time changed from one minute, to two and four minutes each time.

“When you compare men and women, you have to do it on what’s called a relative basis … it’s more about the percent of maximum,” Laurent said.

During each interval, measurements were made to their VO2, which is the volume of oxygen that is consumed while working out, as well as heart rate, he said.

Another measurement that was taken was the percent of V VO2, which is the percent of the velocity of VO2, Laurent said.

Women, compared to men, ran at a lower rate of V VO2. This meant that women ran at a slower relative pace, he said.

“[We measured] their perception of how hard it was. A measure of how recovered they felt. Then we measured some physiological criteria of things that we call VO2,” Laurent said.

What Laurent found was, when given the same instructions, women’s hearts seemed to work harder than men’s hearts although they perceived it similarly, Laurent said.

Something that Laurent recommends students do is high intensity interval training. High intensity interval training shouldn’t be done every day, but it is good to mix into workouts every couple of days.

However, sophomore Kassidy Smith does high intensity interval training every time she works out.

“I work out probably four to five times a week. I try and do [high intensity interval training] on every machine that I use,” Smith said.

Students don’t necessarily have to do high intensity interval training though during their workout.

“If people work what they feel like is hard, then they’re in most cases going to be at the right intensity to get the benefits that they want,” Laurent said.

Junior Veronica Rasicci works out five to six days a week and tries to do high intensity interval training often.

“It’s hard to say [how often I do high intensity interval training] because I teach exercising classes as well as work out multiple times a day … I probably do high intensity interval training two or three times a week,” Rasicci said.

Regardless of whether students do high intensity interval training, what matters is how they feel during and after the workout.

“If you exercise at an intensity that you feel is hard, if you push yourself to what you consider hard, whether you’re a male or a female, you’re probably doing it right,” Laurent said.

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