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Resistance Training Induces Antiatherogenic Effects on Metabolomic Pathways


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: September 2019 - Volume 51 - Issue 9 - p 1866–1875
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002003

Introduction Arising evidence suggests that resistance training has the potential to induce beneficial modulation of biomarker profile. To date, however, only immediate responses to resistance training have been investigated using high-throughput metabolomics whereas the effects of chronic resistance training on biomarker profile have not been studied in detail.

Methods A total of 86 recreationally active healthy men without previous systematic resistance training background were allocated into (i) a resistance training (RT) group (n = 68; age, 33 ± 7 yr; body mass index, 28 ± 3 kg·m−2) and (ii) a non-RT group (n = 18; age, 31 ± 4 yr; body mass index, 27 ± 3 kg·m−2). Blood samples were collected at baseline (PRE), after 4 wk (POST-4wk), and after 16 wk of resistance training intervention (POST-16wk), as well as baseline and after the non-RT period (20–24 wk). Nuclear magnetic resonance–metabolome platform was used to determine metabolomic responses to chronic resistance training.

Results Overall, the resistance training intervention resulted in favorable alterations (P < 0.05) in body composition with increased levels of lean mass (~2.8%), decreased levels of android (~9.6%), and total fat mass (~7.5%). These changes in body composition were accompanied by antiatherogenic alterations in serum metabolome profile (false discovery rate < 0.05) as reductions in non–high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (e.g., free cholesterol, remnant cholesterol, intermediate-density lipoprotein cholesterols, low-density lipoprotein cholesterols) and related apolipoprotein B, and increments in conjugated linoleic fatty acids levels were observed. Individuals with the poorest baseline status (i.e., body composition, metabolome profile) benefitted the most from the resistance training intervention.

Conclusions In conclusion, resistance training improves cardiometabolic risk factors and serum metabolome even in previously healthy young men. Thus, suggesting attenuated risk for future cardiovascular disease.

1Genomics and Biomarkers Unit, Department of Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, FINLAND

2Research Program for Clinical and Molecular Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, FINLAND

3Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, Neuromuscular Research Center, Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, FINLAND

4Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, FINLAND

5Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre, Department of Health Sciences, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, SWEDEN

Address for correspondence: Heikki V. Sarin, M.Sc., B.Med., Genomics and Biomarkers Unit, The Department of Public health solutions, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), P.O. Box 30 (Mannerheimintie 166), FIN-00271 Helsinki, Finland; E-mail:

H. V. S. and J. P. A. contributed equally to this work.

Submitted for publication November 2018.

Accepted for publication March 2019.

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Online date: April 10, 2019

© 2019 American College of Sports Medicine