Posted on Aug 17, 2011, 6 a.m.
Walking, jogging, and cycling may be key in the battle against metabolic syndrome, whereas resistance training has little impact.
Previous studies have found that aerobic training improves Metabolic Syndrome and its component risk factors, yet little data exists on the effect of resistance training on the condition. Lori A. Bateman, from Duke University Medical Center (North Carolina, USA), and colleagues studied 196 men and women, ages 18 to 70 years, who exercised no more than twice a week and had a body mass index in the 25 to 35 kg/m2 range with mild to moderate dyslipidemia. These participants were randomized to eight months in an exercise program consisting of either progressive resistance training on weight machines three days a week with three sets per day of eight to 12 repetitions each of eight different exercises targeting all major muscle groups; aerobic training on treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical trainer for 120 minutes per week at about 75% of maximum oxygen uptake, or both resistance and aerobic training regimens. Among the 86 individuals who completed the study with complete data on all five metabolic syndrome components, weight training improved strength and aerobics boosted fitness as measured by peak oxygen consumption. Metabolic syndrome prevalence fell only in the combined exercise group, and a standardized score for improvement in metabolic syndrome across components improved significantly as well. Among the individual components of metabolic syndrome, body mass index fell in the aerobics-only and aerobics-plus-weights groups; triglycerides followed the same pattern, falling by 30.1 and 21.0 mg/dL over baseline, respectively. The combination exercise group showed the greatest reductions in waist circumference. Observing that: “Combined [aerobic training]and [resistance training] was similarly effective but not different from Combined [aerobic training]alone,” the researchers conclude that: “When weighing the time commitment versus health benefit, the data suggest that [aerobic training]alone was the most efficient mode of exercise for improving cardiometabolic health.”
Lori A. Bateman, Cris A. Slentz, Leslie H. Willis, A. Tamlyn Shields, Lucy W. Piner, Connie W. Bales, Joseph A. Houmard, William E. Kraus et al. “Comparison of Aerobic Versus Resistance Exercise Training Effects on Metabolic Syndrome (from the Studies of a Targeted Risk Reduction Intervention Through Defined Exercise - STRRIDE-AT/RT).” Am J Cardiology, July 11, 2011.