Robert Pattinson went through very high-intensity preparation for his role in "Good Time." He "lived in the same basement apartment [as the character] in Harlem,” said Pattinson. “I never opened my curtains, didn't change the sheets the entire time I was there ... and I would sleep in my clothes."
That may be a good plan if you're hoping for an Oscar, but it may not improve your health.
A study published in the journal Circulation followed 289 middle-age guys for around six years to assess the impact of low-, moderate-, high-, and very-high-intensity exercise on their cardiovascular health.
The guys who did very high-intensity exercise ended up with more calcium deposits in their coronary arteries — a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. But calcium deposits aren't as risky as lipid (fat) deposits, and the researchers didn't explore how exercise intensity affected those artery blockers.
All we know is that men who regularly exercised at a moderate or simply intense level had the least amount of calcified plaque.
Another study published in the journal Nature says that if you do around 30 minutes of moderate/vigorous aerobics using one set of muscles (such as cycling) before doing strength training in which you use a different set of muscles (upper body), it can significantly benefit your strength-training muscles.
The bottom line: You can significantly improve your health with 300+ minutes of moderate and sometimes-vigorous aerobics and two strength-training sessions weekly (with that bit of aerobics first).
The reward: You'll increase your healthy longevity by about eight years.