Strength Fitness and Body Weight Status on Markers of Cardiometabolic Health

ROBERTS, CHRISTIAN K.1; LEE, MARY M.1; KATIRAIE, MICHAEL1; KRELL, SHANNON L.1; ANGADI, SIDDHARTHA S.1; CHRONLEY, MICHAEL K.1; OH, CHRISTOPHER S.1; RIBAS, VICENT2; HARRIS, RYAN A.3; HEVENER, ANDREA L.2; CROYMANS, DANIEL M.1,4

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: June 2015 - Volume 47 - Issue 6 - p 1211–1218
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000526
Applied Sciences

Introduction: Recent evidence suggests that resistance training (RT) may reduce metabolic and cardiovascular disease risk. We investigated whether overweight/class I obese individuals by BMI classification with high strength fitness exhibit cardiovascular/metabolic phenotypes similar to those overweight/obese and untrained or those normal-weight with high strength fitness.

Methods: A total of 90 young males were categorized into three groups: overweight untrained (OU, n = 30, BMI > 27 kg·m−2), overweight trained (OT, n = 30, BMI > 27 kg·m−2, RT ≥ 4 d·wk−1), and normal-weight trained (NT, n = 30, BMI < 25 kg·m−2, RT ≥ 4 d·wk−1). Participants were assessed for strength, body composition, central/peripheral blood pressures, arterial stiffness, and markers of cardiovascular and metabolic health.

Results: Body weight was similar in OT and OU and greater than NT (P < 0.00001), and fat mass was different in all groups (P < 0.001). Compared to OU, NT and OT groups exhibited higher relative strength (NT = 46.7%, OT = 44.4%, P < 0.00001), subendocardial viability ratio (NT = 21.0%, P < 0.001; OT = 17.0%, P < 0.01), and lower brachial/central blood pressures (NT P < 0.001; OT P ≤ 0.05); augmentation index and pulse-wave velocity were lower only in OT (P < 0.05). Total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (NT P < 0.01, OT P < 0.05), triglycerides (NT = −50.4%, OT = −41.8%, P < 0.001), oxidized LDL (NT = −39.8%, OT = −31.8%, P < 0.001), and CRP (NT = −63.7%, OT = −67.4%, P < 0.01) levels were lower and high-density lipoprotein (NT = 26.9%, OT = 21.4%, P < 0.001) levels were higher in NT and OT compared to OU. NT and OT also exhibited lower amylin (NT = −55.8%, OT = −40.8%) and leptin (NT = −84.6%, OT = −59.4%) and higher adiponectin (NT = 87.5%, P < 0.001; OT = 78.1%, P < 0.01) and sex hormone–binding globulin (NT = 124.4%, OT = 92.3%, P < 0.001). Despite greater total and trunk fat in OT compared with NT, other than glucose and insulin, which were lower in NT than in both OT and OU (OT P < 0.01, OU P < 0.001), OT did not exhibit any impaired biomarker/phenotype compared to NT.

Conclusions: These findings provide evidence that overweight/class I obese individuals with high strength fitness exhibit metabolic/cardiovascular risk profiles similar to normal-weight, fit individuals rather than overweight/class I obese unfit individuals. Strength training may be important to metabolic and cardiovascular health.

1Exercise Physiology and Metabolic Disease Research Laboratory, Translational Sciences Section, School of Nursing, University of California, Los Angeles, CA; 2Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA; 3Georgia Prevention Institute, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, GA; and 4David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Address for correspondence: Christian K. Roberts, PhD, Exercise Physiology and Metabolic Disease Research Laboratory, Translational Sciences Section, UCLA School of Nursing, 900 Weyburn Place North, Los Angeles, CA 90024; E-mail: croberts@ucla.edu.

Submitted for publication June 2014.

Accepted for publication September 2014.

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© 2015 American College of Sports Medicine