1. Studies reported moderate to large effects of high intensity multimodal training (HIMT) on aerobic fitness and subjective responses (such as exercise enjoyment), but mixed effects on musculoskeletal fitness.
2. Understanding of HIMT remains limited due to significant heterogeneity with respect to protocols and outcome measures in the literature.
Evidence Rating Level: 1 (Excellent)
Adherence to physical guidelines remains an ongoing issue; particularly due to poor exercise enjoyment and lack of time. New training modalities such as HIMT combine aerobic and resistance training into a single training session which may address these issues. To date, few studies have explored the impact of HIMT on subjective responses such as exercise enjoyment as well as objective fitness measures. As a result, the present study sought to compare the impact of HIMT versus established concurrent training methods on aerobic fitness measures, musculoskeletal fitness measures, and subjective responses.
Of 9587 identified studies, 20 were included (n=619) from database inception until March 2021. Studies were included if they included healthy adults, and compared the impact of combined aerobic and muscular training (into a single session) versus a comparator group on health and fitness measures. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane ROB 2 tool. Outcome measures were analyzed using Hedges’ g and effect sizes were calculated using pooled standard deviations.
Results demonstrated that there were moderate to large effects of high intensity multimodal training (HIMT) on aerobic fitness and subjective responses (such as exercise enjoyment), but mixed effects on musculoskeletal fitness. However, understanding of HIMT remained limited due to significant heterogeneity with respect to protocols and outcome measures in the literature. The present study was limited by the heterogeneity of the HIMT experimental protocols. Nonetheless, the results of this study provide key insight into the effects of chronic HIMT versus other structured training modalities.
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