The researchers took male colon cancer survivors and split them up into 2 different groups. One group would undergo a single HIIT session; the other group would undergo regular HIIT sessions. Regardless of which group the participants were in, the HIIT session(s) looked like this: a 10 minute warmup followed by 4 rounds of cycling for 4 minutes each (with 3 minute rest periods in between each round). The first group did this exercise only once; the second group did this exercise 3 times a week for a month. Before and after each session, blood samples were taken.
Once the blood samples were gathered, the researchers separated the red blood cells from the mix, leaving behind the blood’s “serum.” Here’s where it gets interesting. The researchers then replaced the serum of cancer cells that were grown in a lab with the serum from the participants in order to study how exercise affected cancer growth. What they found was groundbreaking. The serum gathered before exercise had no affect on the growth of the colon cancer cells. The serum gather after exercise, however, inhibited the growth of the colon cancer cells almost immediately. What’s more is that there was no statistical difference between the 2 groups, which suggests a single HIIT session is enough to stop cancer cells in their tracks.