Insulin Sensitivity After Maximal and Endurance Resistance Training

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Hansen, E, Landstad, BJ, Gundersen, KT, Torjesen, PA, and Svebak, S. Insulin sensitivity after maximal and endurance resistance training. J Strength Cond Res 26(2): 327–334, 2012—The purpose of the study was to compare the effects of maximal resistance training (MRT) vs. endurance resistance training (ERT) on improvements in insulin levels and glucose tolerance in overweight individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Eighteen participants with baseline values suggesting impaired glucose tolerance were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups. Group 1 engaged in supervised MRT (Bernstein inverted pyramid system: 5 × 3–4, 60–85% 1 repetition maximum [1RM]), 3 d·wk−1 over 4 months, whereas members of group 2 acted as controls. Later, group 2 engaged in supervised ERT (3 × 12–15, 45–65% 1RM), 3 d·wk−1 over a 4 month period with the 2 prebaselines as controls. Both interventions consisted of 8 exercises that included the entire body. Glucose (fasting and 2-hour test), insulin and C-peptide measures were assessed from pre to post in both groups. The MRT led to reduced blood levels of 2-hour glucose (p = 0.044) and fasting C-peptide (p = 0.023) and decreased insulin resistance (p = 0.040). The ERT caused a significant reduction in the blood levels of insulin (p = 0.023) and concomitant positive effects on % insulin sensitivity (p = 0.054) and beta-cell function (p = 0.020). The findings indicate that both MRT and ERT lead to decreased insulin resistance in people with a risk of developing type 2 diabetes; MRT led to a greater increase in glucose uptake capacity (in muscles), whereas ERT led to greater insulin sensitivity, supporting the recommendation of both MRT and ERT as primary intervention approaches for individuals at a risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

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