Metabolic effects of resistance or high-intensity interval training among glycemic control-nonresponsive children with insulin resistance

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Little evidence exists on which variables of body composition or muscular strength mediates more glucose control improvements taking into account inter-individual metabolic variability to different modes of exercise training.


We examined ‘mediators' to the effects of 6-weeks of resistance training (RT) or high-intensity interval training (HIT) on glucose control parameters in physically inactive schoolchildren with insulin resistance (IR). Second, we also determined both training-induce changes and the prevalence of responders (R) and non-responders (NR) to decrease the IR level.


Fifty-six physically inactive children diagnosed with IR followed a RT or supervised HIT program for 6 weeks. Participants were classified based on ΔHOMA-IR into glycemic control R (decrease in homeostasis model assessment-IR (HOMA-IR) < 3.0 after intervention) and NRs (no changes or values HOMA-IR ≥ 3.0 after intervention). The primary outcome was HOMA-IR associated with their mediators; second, the training-induced changes to glucose control parameters; and third the report of R and NR to improve body composition, cardiovascular, metabolic and performance variables.


Mediation analysis revealed that improvements (decreases) in abdominal fat by the waist circumference can explain more the effects (decreases) of HOMA-IR in physically inactive schoolchildren under RT or HIT regimes. The same analysis showed that increased one-maximum repetition leg-extension was correlated with the change in HOMA-IR (β = - 0.058; P = 0.049). Furthermore, a change in the waist circumference fully mediated the dose-response relationship between changes in the legextension strength and HOMA-IR (β′ = - 0.004; P = 0.178). RT or HIT were associated with significant improvements in body composition, muscular strength, blood pressure and cardiometabolic parameters irrespective of improvement in glycemic control response. Both glucose control RT-R and HIT-R (respectively), had significant improvements in mean HOMA-IR, mean muscular strength leg-extension and mean measures of adiposity.


The improvements in the lower body strength and the decreases in waist circumference can explain more the effects of the improvements in glucose control of IR schoolchildren in R group after 6 weeks of RT or HIT, showing both regimes similar effects on body composition or muscular strength independent of interindividual metabolic response variability.

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