If the next person you meet says or does any of these things, they might be passive-aggressive.
If Jim Rohn is right and you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, then you definitely don't want hostile people in your inner circle. And you also don't want to hire or work with with passive-aggressive people. At least openly aggressive people are fairly direct in actions and words; while you might not like what they say or do, at least you know how they really feel--and what they are likely to actually do. A passive-aggressive person, on the other hand, "may appear to comply or act appropriately, but actually behaves negatively and passively resists."
Maybe what passive-aggressive people do is relatively benign, like agreeing to and then canceling a meeting they had no intention of attending. Or maybe their behavior is more extreme and can negatively impact your success or happiness. You definitely don't need those people in your life.
So how can you tell, as quickly as possible, if someone is passive-aggressive? Be alert for conversational and behavioral indications like these:
1. They ask questions that make you feel defensive.
You tell someone you're following a keto diet plan. Instead of asking, "What does that involve?" or saying, "I've heard about keto diets, but don't know much about them," or even just, "How is that going for you?" a passive-aggressive person might say, "Why did you ever decide to do that?"
At face value, the question is valid: Why did you decide to follow a keto diet plan? But the undertone--and tone of voice--is accusatory and immediately makes you feel defensive.
Which is a problem. You shouldn't feel defensive about the choices you make. If someone has a different opinion--one that even, after a respectful conversation, convinces you to change your mind--that's great. (In fact, Jeff Bezos says that's the hallmark of smart people.)
A different opinion shouldn't make you feel defensive.
And other people should never make you feel defensive.
2. They give back-handed compliments.
Your startup has turned the corner. Significant sweat, tears, and sleepless nights later, it's profitable.
What will a passive-aggressive person say?
"I can't believe you actually made that work." Or, "If you can convince people to buy (whatever you sell), you must be amazing at selling." Or, "Wow. I had no idea you were good with people."
A genuine compliment leaves you feeling good about yourself. A back-handed compliment leaves you thinking, "Wait...what?"
Life's too short to think, "Wait...what?"
3. They try to make you feel sorry for them.
An entrepreneur's startup gets funded. Most people will say, "That's awesome! She's worked really hard to build her business."
Passive-aggressive people will say, "We should be able to attract venture capital, too...but no one ever gets how big our market could be."
Most people are happy when others succeed. Great leaders, for example, find happiness in the success of others. Passive-aggressive people want you to feel sorry for them. They want you to feel guilty if you succeed. And they definitely try to imply that you--and other people--don't deserve the success you worked so hard to earn.
4. They ignore what you say. (Or that you exist.)
You ask a question. You make a comment. You share an opinion. There's a pregnant pause.
Then the other person talks about something else. Or says nothing at all. Or they simply ignore the fact you exist--because they're mad at you, or upset at you, or don't like something you just said or did. Not responding is classic passive-aggressive behavior. And so is pretending that someone doesn't exist: whether by ignoring their presence, leaving them off email chains, "forgetting" to ask for their input, etc. Most people let you know where you--and your professional or personal relationship--stand. Passive-aggressive people make you figure out where you stand. And where you're standing never turns out to be somewhere good.
5. They gossip.
It's hard to resist inside information and gossip. Finding out the reasons behind someone's decisions, the motivations behind someone's actions, the inside scoop about someone's hidden agenda...that stuff is hard to resist. The problem is, the person who gives you the inside scoop on other people is also giving other people the inside scoop on you. Passive-aggressive people love sharing the dirt; they feel better about themselves by making other people look bad.
The people you want around you feel good about making other people look good.
They don't take. They give.Just like you.
The real challenge isn't the work; it's learning to love your own company. For jobs that don't absolutely require face-to-face interaction, working from home is far more productive than traditional office environment and also tend to make employees happier and less stressed. The reasons: no commute time, more privacy, fewer interruptions, and control over your schedule. I know a little bit about working from home because, aside from the odd business trip or conference, I've exclusively worked from home since 1996. It's literally been decades since I've even considered taking a regular job, so I suppose you could say that I've successfully made the transition. I've also watched numerous colleagues and friends attempt full-time work-from-home, with mixed results. When they try to crossover to the lifestyle, they often discover that working from home is challenging in ways they don't expect.
Those challenges include staying focused without outside supervision, innumerable temptations to goof off (videogames, Netflix, etc.), and the nearness of a fully stocked kitchen. A former boss of mine went full-time work-from-home and gained 50 pounds in a single year.
By far the biggest challenge of working from home, though, is the lack of social contact. Let's face it: it's fun to bat stuff around and generally hang out with people who share a common interest, in this case the work you're collectively doing. Indeed, employees hate the open plan office because it suppresses conversations and reduces collaboration.
Lack of social contact can turn pretty quickly into loneliness. One guy I worked with in corporate marketing was basically a professional meeting-goer. When he tried to go freelance, he didn't know what to do with himself. He got so blue that he accepted an office job for which he was overqualified just to be around people again. So, if you're going to succeed and get the full benefit of working from home full-time, you'll need to overcome the tendency toward loneliness and learn to enjoy your own company. Here's how:
Stephanie Denning for Bergen Review
Every additional year I spend in the workforce, I realize promotions become increasingly mystifying. The guy you never thought would advance suddenly gets a raise. Your colleague who definitely didn’t deserve it gets promoted. Your peer, who is no smarter nor harder working, gets promoted more quickly. But you also get promoted faster than you expected maybe as many times as you’re disappointed. You are recognized for work you thought everyone was doing. And you get a raise when you least expect it.
After 10 years of watching these promotion cycles, I’ve decided they only get more and more complex.
Promotions at work, by and large, still mimic “promotions” at school. At school, you do well in an intro-level class, and you then advance to the next. That process, however ill-suited, is the same one in place for promotions at work. Do well in your existing job and you will excel. But the skill set to excel in your current job doesn’t necessarily match the skill set required for the job you’re stepping into.
You don’t have to look far to find examples. It’s common to see great software developers who get promoted and then poorly manage, great writers who get promoted to editors and then poorly edit, business analysts who get promoted and then poorly manage or sell the work. In short, the promotion problem is everywhere. So common, in fact, that there’s an entire management theory around it:
The Peter Principle.
The Peter Principle is defined as the phenomenon in most organizations where employees continue to get promoted until they hit a skill set-ceiling and eventually fail. In the book that bears the same name, The Peter Principle, by Laurence Peter and Raymond Hull, the authors describe it more succinctly. "In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." Visually, it looks a little like this.
At the start of your career or a new job, you might get promoted, but eventually, you get to a point where you no longer possess the skills needed for the job. This is where you fail. The Peter Principle posits that this is almost a universal concept, that everyone at some point will experience this. And I believe that to be true.
But if this is truly a universal problem, it would be fair to ask: Are we all fated to fall into the Peter Principle, or is there a way out?
I’ve been informally studying the trajectory of career success for the last 10 years, and to answer this question, I’ll leave you with three frameworks to consider.
Focus On Productivity (Not Income) Growth
When many people enter the workforce, they are concerned (understandably) with how much money they make. But it’s the amount of money you make relative to the value you generate as an employee that matters. In equilibrium, you’re paid what you think you are worth. If you ever let your income rise faster than productivity, the Peter Principle traps you. In "How The Economic Machine Works," investor Ray Dalio offers a similar conclusion: "Don’t have income rise faster than productivity because you’ll eventually become uncompetitive."
If your income rises faster than your productivity, you price yourself out of the market. At first, you’ll likely experience a career burst as you start making more money than your peers, but that will quickly turn into a career bust if you fail to adjust your productivity growth. Your wage will recalibrate back down to match your productivity until you reach a point of equilibrium.
Do all that you can to raise productivity because in the long run, that’s what matters most," says Dalio.
Don’t Conflate Job Title With Skill Set
As people advance in a corporation and get subsumed by the politics of that particular organization, it is easy to lose sight of the skill set you’re developing, and perhaps more importantly, to lose sight of how that skill set is valued in the marketplace. Too many people conflate job title and pay for skill set. If you aren’t proactively developing a unique set of skills, you could easily again fall trap to the Peter Principle.
Let’s say you make a pretty good salary. If your skill set isn’t difficult or costly to acquire, new entrants in the market will quickly acquire that skill set and offer to do the same job for marginally less pay. Firms will then substitute cheaper and equally effective labor. That triggers the substitution effect.
If your skill set isn’t scarce, you face either taking a salary hit or getting pushed out. Develop a skill set in high demand, but short supply.
Apply Neil Gaiman’s “Secret Framework”
As most people in the workforce eventually learn, promotions are not based on your work alone. In writer Neil Gaiman’s keynote address at University of the Arts, he gifted the audience his secret framework for getting freelance work. But the real secret, I believe, is that this framework applies to all jobs. "I will pass on some secret freelancer knowledge. Secret knowledge is always good. And it is useful for anyone who ever plans to create art for other people, to enter a freelance world of any kind. I learned it in comics, but it applies to other fields too. And it's this: "People get hired because, somehow, they get hired. . . . People keep working because their work is good, because they are easy to get along with, and because they deliver the work on time. "And you don't even need all three. Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. They'll forgive the lateness of the work if it's good, and if they like you. And you don't have to be as good as the others if you're on time and it's always a pleasure to hear from you."
To summarize Gaiman’s framework, here is a visual for you.
Developing unique skills is only one part of the puzzle. Find the two overlapping areas in which you most excel and mine it. If you happen to rate yourself as above average in all three, you’re probably overestimating your capabilities. However, if you happen to find yourself in a job where you feel way out of your depth, but you're willing to put in the effort learn, you can always hold on tight to these other two areas while you slowly learn the skills required to say sayonara to the Peter Principle.
Anyone who knows me knows that I religiously leverage my calendar to make sure I prioritize and shift tasks in order to get everything done as efficiently as possible. My approach is based on my core values (personal & professional) and prioritizing what is important versus unimportant. I definitely value my time and protect it. I take full accountability for how I spend it. That’s why I am a big believer in waking up early, working with purpose, working smart and getting things done – you know, the invisible work that Jeff Bezos famously refers to.
However, over the last 12-18 months, I have really started to question whether or not “busy” is the new “stupid”. In a world seduced by entrepreneurship porn and the glamorization of the “grind”, we need to step back and take notice of this epidemic. There are tons who are sacrificing their personal development and health while on a professional journey. A journey filled with glamorizing the busy life via social or by attending every single networking event the city can possibly hold, all in addition to being seduced in to mixers and incubator/chamber events due to FOMO (fear of missing out). Many feel their lack of ‘busyness’ means they are unsuccessful. Now listen, I’m in favour of being active in the community because that’s how you create opportunities, but your activity has to have a purpose and should aim directly at what you are trying to achieve, especially if your activities are going to take away from your personal time and family. It should not be aimlessly and meaninglessly driven by FOMO. It should be driven by the fact that you are hitting your professional and personal milestones and goals. The bottom line is that there needs to be results tied to your “busyness”, or you’re just haemorrhaging time! And I get it; I live it and I’ve said it before, entrepreneurship and business, especially today, is 24/7 with little to no downtime, but I implore you carve out time in your day to ensure you are not neglecting all parts of your life. It’s super important to control your time and create a cohesive and healthy approach to everything you do. Being “busy” is not the indicator of success and mentioning “you’re too busy for x” is not an indicator of success. In my opinion it is the indicator of only 2 things:
1) Whatever you are “too busy for” is simply not a priority – which is fair, but I challenge you to tell the person that it is not a priority at the moment versus just mentioning that you are too busy.
2) You’re not able to control your time – which is scary, especially when growing a business and/or family.
Overall, as mentioned by Robert Glazer via Inc. – “Being busy shouldn’t be a status symbol. It probably means you need to manage your time better.” Even Albert Einstein concluded – “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough“. I can apply this quote to this article as well. If you can’t simplify, organize and manage your life and time for personal development, claiming that you are just too busy…then you don’t understand your own life well enough.
Bill Gates states that you should ask yourself 4 crucial questions in order to assess the quality of your life (the last being inspired by Warren Buffett):
Now, I will continue to put in the invisible work by waking up early, working with purpose, working smart and getting things done. And I will still schedule my day, minute by minute, for maximum efficiency (both professionally and personally), never claiming that I am too busy, but prioritizing where my time goes. By doing this, it will continue to open up more time and focus into sitting, reading, thinking and meditating, the things that centre me, energize me and keeps me moving forward! Moving forward is ideal for business and life. This approach will ensure that I have the mental capacity and time to spend time where I want to spend time, ensuring that I can answer all 4 above questions from Mr. Gates.
Do you control your time? Share, like and comment below.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by dating apps. The endless stream of matches, messages, gifs, and shirtless selfies is a lot. But the dating burnout can start as early as not knowing which dating app to use in the first place. Now, I’ll level for you, your literal mother and I are probably the only two people who aren’t using dating apps at the moment. To each their own, but I can’t do it, it’s too Seamless-y (and IDK, it would probably tick off my S.O.). But I’m not like a regular mom, I’m a cool mom, and if you’re going to use the apps I’d rather you do it based on what you’re looking for. And whether that’s a DTF dude to boink, a woman you can grow old with, or someone with a full and robust beard, here’s how to get started. These are the best dating apps to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, in no particular order.
Great if: You’re looking for something easy right now.
I won’t sermonize here because most of you are intimately acquainted with the app. In short, Tinder is best if you’re looking for something low-commitment, in uh, a variety of ways. It’s no muss, no fuss swipe-intensive approach works for quick hook-ups with the very occasional long-term success story.
Great if: You, like, actively want your friends to set you up.
Betches new baby, Ship, allows your friends to swipe for you, which definitely isn’t the worst plan. After all, when you’re trying to decide which way to swipe or how to respond to a message, isn’t the move to drop that screenshot in the group chat? Ship seems to streamline that process, so it’s a match if you’re very squad-forward (or can’t be bother to overwork your index finger anymore).
Great if: You’re trying to look for something slightly more serious than Tinder.
Right now, Hinge is “designed to be deleted.” (Does anyone really want to keep swiping until they’re using Depends? I don’t know, you do you.) Your matches are based on questionnaire that pairs you people who share common interests and expectations. You know, people who might actually want to date versus people that’ll never be dignified with a last name or introduced your second tier friends. Try it out when you’ve past the rebound phase and feel ready to graduate to dinner plans.
Great if: You’re on the quest for solid queer connections.
Her is an app “for queer womxn, by queer womxn,” and a really safe space to find lesbian, bisexual, queer, or gender non-conforming partners. More than that, Her is big on building a community; the company hosts parties and socials in over 15 cities across the country. So it’s great for finding your person, but it’s also great if you’re looking to expand your LBGTQ circle.
Great if: You want to be in control of who you talk to.
If you’re less enthusiastic about the idea of a salutation dick pic, Bumble might be the match for you. As a refresher, Bumble ethos is that women are in charge of making the first move. It encourages a more female-friendly environment in this way, with a dedication to stomp out hate speech and bad behavior. Your roommate might still end up accidentally dating a Trump supporter for six months, but this why you gotta vet people thoroughly IRL.
Great if: You’re looking for women and the OG apps are not cutting it.
Lesly has a Tinder-esque swipe right interface but dumps all those bros holding fish (to which I say, regardless of sexuality, thank GOD). Instead, you can match with other LGBTQ singles. The app promises that each registered user is “rigorously scrutinized” by staff to ensure that you’re not getting scammed. No one wants to find out that the cutie with the bob haircut is some finance guy named Mike.
Great if: You’re the person who boasts that they’re “fluent in sarcasm,” which, okay, we’re not 15 anymore. As someone who literally couldn’t write this piece without sarcasm, can we just all agree that it’s code for, “I’m kinda mean”? That, or you’re just very, very picky.
Here’s the deal, Hater matches you up with someone based on—you guessed it!—what you hate. You mark a seemingly endless list of prompts of things like, “facebook stalking,” “vegan food,” and “paying for a broker” with whether you hate, dislike, like or love it. And I wanna snark on this, but this is kind of a perfect filter if you’re one of those loves-to-bitch Misery Loves Company types. Or, like, any New Yorker.
Great if: You’re firmly committed to a sober lifestyle.
It’s pretty much a dating default to “grab drinks” after work, to the point where some of my friends have designated “Bumble Bars.” That go-to can breed awkwardness of you struggle with addiction or just don’t mess with booze anymore. Enter Loosid, a supportive app that connect you with not only connects you with other sober-minded singles, but thoughtfully tunes you in to alcohol-free events in the area.
Great if: You want something meaningful and embrace wellness as big part of your lifestyle.
And there is a very good chance that you’re down with wellness if you’re here, so here’s the situation. MeetMindful is all about “connecting with intention.” There’s no swiping, just a questionnaire that asks about your feel-good passions (yoga? spirituality? meditation?) and then presents you with a platter of people you can choose to “like.”
Great if: You’re looking for your swolemate (I’ll see myself out).
Sweatt is serious when it comes to fitness, and if you’re serious about fitness, I couldn’t think of a better app. It really separates the people who love hitting up the gym versus the people who say they love hitting up the gym. Good luck, you crazy kids, I’ll be here on my couch eating ice cream for dinner!
Great if: You’re not effing around when you put “Dog Mom” in your profile.
Yo, if I was single I would exploit this to no end. Twindog is an app for dog owners, and allows you to match with other pups in the area. Oh, and maybe you’ll fall in love with their person 101 Dalmatiansstyle. AND THE DOGS COULD BE THE RING BEARER AND FLOWER GIRL AT THE WEDDING. I don’t know how legit it is, but it might be preferable to my old technique of lurking Fido-less in Brooklyn’s McGolrick dog park, hoping to leash in a dude with a Corgi.
Great if: You’re sexually attracted to Hagrid.
Or if you’re just a fan of facial hair. Bristlr boasts the incredibly direct tagline of “connecting those with beards to those who want to stroke beards.” If beard-stroking is a big priority for you, then truly, go wild.
When it comes to dating apps, here’s how to put your best foot forward. And here’s some advice for flirting at the gym IRL.
U.S. citizens are currently permitted to visit 26 countries in the European Union for up to three months for the purpose of business or tourism without any visa requirements. Beginning July 1, 2021, the rules will change. Visiting any of these Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical or transit will require approval from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS)—which will be considered an additional check on security rather than a visa. The intent of this new requirement is to better address the challenges posed by terrorism and to raise revenue for the EU.
The application and approval process
The ETIAS application process will take place online and should take less than 10 minutes to complete.
Applicants will be asked to provide three types of information: 1) a valid passport (with an expiration date that is at least three months longer than the intended stay; 2) a credit or debit card, and 3) an email address. Application must take place at least 96 hours before travel. Applications need to be made for infants and children as well as adults. The cost will be 7 Euros per person, waived for those under the age of 18. Payment will need to be made online via credit or debit card. The application will be checked against a number of security databases as well as an ETIAS watchlist, and then will either be approved or denied by email. If an application is denied, an explanation will be provided (which can be appealed). ETIAS travel authorization will be valid for multiple entries over the course of three years.
Other information ETIAS approval will be checked electronically prior to boarding an aircraft, boat or bus, and again by a border agent upon entry into the Schengen zone. ETIAS is not only aimed at Americans. Citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and dozens of other countries will have to meet similar requirements.
There are lots of reasons to learn a new language: whether you want to chat up the locals on your next vacation, converse better with your in-laws in their native tongue, or increase your chances of getting a job abroad. The thought of learning a brand new language (or even re-learning a mostly familiar one) can be intimidating.
Instead of fumbling through a sub-par language course in a traditional classroom environment — and struggling to find the time to practice — check out these helpful apps and online training courses, all designed to get to up and running with a new language fast.
uTalk Language Education: Lifetime Subscription
Part of the reason why traditional language lessons don't work is that they teach you formal diction that's nothing like the way people actually talk. uTalk teaches you practical, real vocabulary used by locals through engaging games that help you measure your achievements as you progress. You can choose six languages to learn over your lifetime subscription from a massive list of 130 languages, including Afrikaans, Cantonese, Czech, and many more.
Usually this subscription is $389.94, but you can get it on sale for $29.99 — or 92% off.
Online course: Become Fluent in Any Language with Gabriel Wyner
Figure out how to learn a new language in months, not years, with this course taught by Gabriel Wyner — a true lover of foreign languages. You'll explore memorization tools, linguistic concepts, and free software that will ensure speedy fluency. The course also breaks down the four essential stages of language acquisition: understanding correct pronunciation, building vocabulary and grammar skills, reading and listening effectively, and conversing with native speakers.
Usually this course is $49, but you can get it on sale for $9.99, or 79% off.
Online course: Fluent in 3 Months Premium Language Learning
Featured in the New York Times, National Geographic, BBC, and Forbes, this course is your hack to getting fluent in three months. Taught by world traveller and polyglot Benny Lewis, you'll learn the tools, resources, and daily habits you can employ to learn new languages — plus, the course gives you access to immersion resources for speaking Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, Esperanto, English, Russian, Italian, Japanese, German, Irish, Portuguese, American Sign Language, and more.
Usually this course is $97, but you can get it on sale for $29 — that's 70% off the usual price
Rocket Language Learning Service
Learning a new language can be exactly like taking classes in high school — sure, you learn the stuff, and about two years (or let's be real two days) later, it's like it never even happened. That shouldn't be the case with this Rocket Languages: not only do you learn the finer points of grammar and culture, but the voice recognition system helps you pronounce words more naturally and authentically. These 20-minute interactive audio lessons break down languages in an organic way that helps it all stick — a definite improvement over high school.
Usually this service is $149.95, but you can get it on sale for $59.99, or 59% off.
Mondly: Lifetime Subscription
The best reinforcement is the positive kind, and this helpful app only gives it to you if you actually pronounce words correctly. Using professional voice actors and using a conversation-focused curriculum, you can take your pick of five languages from a choice of 33 total options, including English, Afrikaans, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian Bokmål, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese. Catch all that? The app breaks down lessons into short, digestible lessons that you can explore any time.
Usually a lifetime subscription to Mondly is $1199.75, but you can get it on sale for $69.99 — that's 94% off the original price.
A few minutes of brief, intense exercise may be as effective, or more effective, for incinerating body fat than walking, jogging, swimming or cycling for lengthier periods. These intense exercises may be as effective as much lengthier walks or other moderate workouts for incinerating body fat, according to a helpful new review of the effects of exercise on fat loss. The review finds that super-short intervals could even, in some cases, burn more fat than a long walk or jog, but the effort involved needs to be arduous.
I have written many times about the health, fitness and brevity benefits of high-intensity interval training, which typically involves a few minutes — or even seconds — of strenuous exertion followed by a period of rest, with the sequence repeated multiple times. Most H.I.I.T. workouts require less than half an hour, from beginning to end (including a warm-up and cool-down), and the strenuous portions of the workout are even briefer. But despite this concision, studies show that interval workouts can improve aerobic fitness, blood sugar control, blood pressure and other measures of health and fitness to the same or a greater extent than standard endurance training, such as brisk walking or jogging, even if it lasts two or three times as long.
People being people, though, the most common question I hear about quickie intervals and have asked, on my own behalf, is whether they also will aid in weight control and fat loss. Only a few past studies have directly compared the fat-burning effects of endurance training to those of short interval workouts, however, and their results have been inconsistent. Some indicate that intervals prompt significant fat loss and others that any losses are negligible when compared to the effects of endurance training.
But those studies have almost all been small and short-term. They also used many different approaches to interval and endurance exercise, making the findings difficult to interpret. So, for the new review, which was published in January in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers from Brazil and Britain decided to pull together as much data as possible from all of the existing, high-quality studies looking at intervals and body fat. Scrolling through medical library databases, they eventually found 36 studies that involved randomized experiments — not surveys or other epidemiological data — comparing the effects of endurance training to those from interval workouts. The experiments had to have lasted at least a month and included body-composition measurements at the start and finish, even if changes to body fat had not been the primary focus of the study. (And in most of these experiments, they were not.)
Then the researchers pooled numbers from the studies, giving them a total of more than 1,000 participants, young and old, male and female.
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The moderate-exercise routines used in the studies varied considerably, with some involving walking and others jogging, cycling or swimming. In general, the endurance-style workouts lasted for about 40 minutes.
The interval sessions likewise differed from one study to the next, but most involved intervals lasting for a few minutes at a time, at a pace just below all-out effort, which is typical of H.I.I.T. Others required a few seconds of absolutely all-out exertion, an approach the researchers dubbed sprint-interval training, or S.I.T.
Then the researchers simply compared fat loss after the different exercise programs.
The results should be encouraging for anyone who exercises. Both moderate training and intervals, of all types, led to reductions in body fat, the researchers found. These reductions were absolute, meaning that people shed some of their actual fat mass, and also relative, meaning that they lowered the percentage of their body mass that was fat.
The changes also for the most part occurred whether or not people lost a noticeable amount of overall weight, suggesting that they might be losing fat while gaining muscle. Perhaps most important for people drawn to quickie exercise, interval training, especially S.I.T. workouts, often burned more fat, in absolute terms, than prolonged, moderate exercise, with interval trainers dropping an average of about 3.5 pounds of fat during most studies, versus about 2.5 pounds for moderate exercisers. It is worth noting that this is a one-pound difference, which in real-world terms is almost negligible. In fact, the primary takeaway of the review could be that, “due to the similarity of outcomes, there can be flexibility in choice of exercise approach,” for anyone hoping to trim fat, says James Steele, an associate professor of sport and exercise science at Solent University in Southampton, England, who conducted the review with colleagues from the Federal University of Goiás in Brazil and other institutions. Plan your workouts around your preferences and schedules, he says, and not concerns about which type of exercise might better trim fat. Of course, even with 1,000 participants, the review remains relatively small. In addition, interpreting the data from individual volunteers can be somewhat baffling. In every study and every exercise program, some people lost more fat than others and some much less, for reasons that remain unclear. But in general, the message is, work out how you like, Dr. Steele says. “If you prefer longer yet easier-effort exercise, then go for it,” he says. “If you want to pump it up in a H.I.I.T. session, be my guest.”
Content gathered & updated by the Bergen Review Media team.